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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Recovery of the Arts Sector and Boost Tourism in Santa Cruz, California

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program grant to the city of Santa Cruz, California, to develop a new arts and entertainment infrastructure and increase tourism to the region.

This project will support the long-term recovery of the arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors while promoting tourism through the construction of a new, 5,360-square foot performance and dance building within the Tannery Arts Center complex. The new facility will include two performance bays, office space, and changing areas. The arts, performing and visual, have been a growing part of the tourism economy in Santa Cruz as it provides for year round activities that draw visitors from outside the county. This EDA grant will be matched with $990,000 in local investment and is expected to create 60 jobs, retain 70 jobs, and generate $1.3 million in private investment.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution the travel and tourism industry makes to the American economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to helping this critical sector not only recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic but build back stronger and more equitably for the future.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The new facility will provide space and resources for the local arts community, supporting a diverse and resilient economy.”

“With breathtaking redwood forests, a rugged coastline and majestic mountains, Santa Cruz is home to many of the unique natural wonders that make California the envy of the world when it comes to travel and tourism,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “I thank the Biden Administration for investing in this important sector, as well as arts and entertainment, key economic drivers that are helping local communities roar back from the pandemic.”

“I was proud to support the American Rescue Plan to provide much needed relief and help rebuild some of California’s most vital sectors,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “Investing in a new arts and entertainment venue will help boost tourism in Santa Cruz and the Central Coast – creating jobs and stimulating local economic activity in the region.”

“Santa Cruz was hit pretty hard during the pandemic, especially due to the decline of tourists coming to the region,” said Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20). “I’m proud that Congress worked hard to pass the American Rescue Plan and provide the funding necessary for us to emerge from the pandemic. Moreover, I appreciate our partnership with the Department of Commerce and Secretary Raimondo to recognize where that federal funding can go to create jobs and best support and stimulate our arts community, tourism industry, and, ultimately, the Santa Cruz economy.”

This is the first project funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to all 50 states and territories. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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