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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.7 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds for Park Development to Support Tourism in Memphis, Tennessee

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.7 million grant to the Riverfront Development Corporation, Memphis, Tennessee, for construction of the Tailout Trail, a new canopy boardwalk along the Mississippi River. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will boost the outdoor recreation and local tourism industry by bringing new visitors to the city, its businesses, and local attractions. The EDA investment will be matched with $6 million in local funds and is expected to generate $2.8 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is dedicated to supporting the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector as it works to recover and rebuild following the pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will support the local tourism industry while promoting job creation and business expansion.”

“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. “This project will provide a unique opportunity to experience the natural splendor that Memphis and the Mississippi River have to offer, while creating opportunities for new local businesses in river touring, biking, and hiking.”

“This significant funding will accelerate the already-impressive transformation of our downtown riverfront, enhanced when I was able to announce this Spring a $3 million appropriation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for improvements to Tom Lee Park,” said Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09). “Combined with private and other government investments, this EDA grant funding to the Riverfront Development Corporation for the Tailout Trail project will unite our city and will make the trail the kind of iconic park feature that will attract tourists and residents alike.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Memphis Area Association of Governments (MAAG). EDA funds MAAG 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.

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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