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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.9 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds for River Park Development to Support Tourism in Skowhegan, Maine

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.9 million grant to the town of Skowhegan, Maine, for construction of the Skowhegan River Park. 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 $1.2 million in local funds and is expected to create 40 jobs, retain 136 jobs and generate $38 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 boost 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 expand the capacity of visitors to experience Maine’s natural splendor, while supporting business expansion and promoting economic resiliency.”

“Whether you use them for hiking, biking, or just as a quiet place to relax, outdoor spaces are a valuable resource for any community,” said Senator Angus King. “With this investment from the American Rescue Plan, the Skowhegan River Park will attract visitors from far and wide – bringing new economic activity to the town, and supporting already existing businesses. This recreation area will be a much-needed source of revenue for the region and another great outdoor option for Maine people. We’re grateful for this new funding from the Economic Development Administration, and look forward to seeing the impact the Skowhegan River Park will make across Western Maine.”

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. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

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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