The American Rescue Plan receives a $1.4 million investment from the U.S. Department of Commerce to support the development of tourism in Smitters, West Virginia.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has announced that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the Department will grant a $1.4 million grant to the Upper Kanawha Valley Strategic Initiatives Council in Smithers, West Virginia, for the construction of the River Cities Trail and the Oakland Riverfront Park as well as for remodeling the Montgomery Marina. The American Rescue Plan provided the funding for this program.

By attracting more tourists to the area, its businesses, and local attractions, this project will promote outdoor leisure and strengthen the local tourism sector. According to recipient estimates, this EDA grant will result in 53 new employment, 28 job retentions, and $5.6 million in private investment when matched with $350,386 in municipal expenditures.

According to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, President Biden “recognizes the crucial contribution the travel and tourism industry contributes to the American economy.” “This initiative will develop additional outdoor recreational activities and tourism attractions in the neighborhood, bringing tourists to the region and bringing revenue to its restaurants.”

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In many local economies around the nation, the travel and tourism sector is significant, according to Alejandra Y. Castillo, assistant secretary of commerce for economic development. This EDA investment will bring Smithers more outdoor recreational opportunities that it needs to boost tourism and local businesses.

Senator Joe Manchin stated that “West Virginia continues to benefit from crucial American Rescue Plan investments that promote economic development and create well-paying, long-term jobs.” “I’m glad the EDA is supporting these initiatives in the Upper Kanawha Valley to bolster the regional economy, increase access to outdoor recreation, and promote the expansion of sustainable tourism. I anticipate benefiting from this financing for years to come, and I will keep collaborating with the EDA to assist economic development throughout the Mountain State.

The $240 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program of the EDA provides funding for this project. In 2021, EDA gave $510 million to all 50 states and the territories. The two initiatives are intended to hasten the recovery of areas dependent on the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries. EDA has formally closed the application process for all of its American Rescue Plan programs as of May 26, 2022. Up until September 30, 2022, $3 billion in program money will be distributed on a rolling basis.

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U.S. Economic Development Administration information (www.eda.gov)

The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) goal is to steer the federal government’s economic development agenda by fostering competitiveness and putting the country’s regions on the path to expansion and success in the global economy. EDA, a department of the U.S. Department of Commerce, invests in local communities and fosters regional cooperation to boost long-term sustainable economic growth, encourage American innovation, and produce jobs for American workers.

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