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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $750,000 in American Rescue Plan Funds to Establish a Visitor Center in Jacksonville, North Carolina

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $750,000 grant to the city of Jacksonville, North Carolina, to build a local visitor center that will help boost the region’s tourism economy. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will provide a dedicated support facility for the local tourism industry, helping to bring new visitors to the city and its local businesses. This EDA grant will be matched with $187,500 in local funds.

“The travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector is a critical economic driver for many communities and the Economic Development Administration is pleased to support community-led development strategies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will enable the city of Jacksonville to showcase its community attractions and provide local information to visitors, increasing both tourism and jobs in the community.”

“The travel and tourism industries are a major economic engine for our state,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “It’s important to invest in destinations like Jacksonville that are beautiful and welcoming North Carolina communities.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Eastern Carolina Council (ECC). EDA funds ECC 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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