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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Improve Aviation Museum, Boost Tourism in Monroe, Louisiana Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $450,000 grant to Friends of Chennault Aviation & Military Museum, Monroe, Louisiana, to boost tourism in the region by helping to construct an outdoor pavilion, park display and activity area that will aid the display of military aircraft. The grant will be matched with $112,500 in local funds, and is expected to create or retain 30 jobs and generate $1.6 million in private investment. This project is located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act-designated Opportunity Zone.

“Supporting locally-devised strategies to boost economic opportunity is a major focus of the Trump Administration,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “The improved Chennault Aviation & Military Museum will attract additional tourists and private investment to benefit Monroe and the surrounding region.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the North Delta Planning and Development District (NDPDD). EDA funds NDPDD to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The funding announced today goes to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, which provides special incentives for further private sector participation and development. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zone designations spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page. To learn more about the Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, read our blog post.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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