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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $6.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Modernize a Civic Center and Restore Road Infrastructure on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $6.5 million in American Rescue Plan grants to support Maryland’s Eastern Shore as it recovers from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Wicomico County, Maryland, will receive a $5.5 million EDA American Rescue Plan grant to improve safety and accessibility at the Civic Center, boosting tourism and creating jobs in the local hospitality industry. The project will be matched with $1.4 million in state and local funds and is expected to create 70 jobs, retain 150 jobs and generate $34.6 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
  • Somerset County, Maryland, will receive a $1 million EDA American Rescue Plan grant for the restoration and resurfacing of local tourist roads. The project will be matched with $250,000 in local funds and will create 10 jobs, retain six jobs and generate $100,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden is committed to providing communities with the resources they need to recover from the pandemic and build a better America in the process,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “These EDA investments will increase tourism opportunities in Maryland, creating local jobs and promoting economic resiliency.”

“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The projects announced today will help create diverse regional economies on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, while inviting tourists from near and far to visit the state.”

“These newly announced federal investments in Somerset and Wicomico counties will spur tourism and provide well-paying jobs in important and sometimes-overlooked corners of Maryland, where they will have a significant benefit for local communities,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “It is exactly this type of strategic investment we envisioned when crafting the American Rescue Plan, as the grants will be leveraged with state and local funds to maximize their reach and also will mobilize substantial private investments. I appreciate the EDA’s recognition of Maryland’s potential and look forward to seeing these investments inspire more people to visit more parts of our great state.”

“As our communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been one of our top priorities to provide them the resources to rebuild and grow our local economies,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. “These investments will help our Shore communities do just that. This $6.5 million in federal funding will help Wicomico and Somerset Counties’ vital tourism industry and spur job growth in the process. I will continue working alongside the Administration and local partners to support the Shore’s economic development and create more good-paying jobs.”

“I’m glad the Department of Commerce is investing in rural areas of America where the needs of local communities are frequently forgotten by governments,” said Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01).

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. 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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