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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tourism Industry in Kokomo, Indiana

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to the city of Kokomo, Indiana, for infrastructure upgrades to prevent flooding in the downtown area adjacent to the Kokomo Speedway. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant would mitigate flooding issues that disrupt speedway events and impact tourism-related businesses around the speedway. The EDA investment will be matched with $383,300 in local funds and is expected to create 50 jobs, retain 113 jobs and generate $2.85 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution the 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. “This investment will help the city of Kokomo leverage a regional asset to boost local tourism, create jobs, and fortify the local infrastructure to build resiliency for decades to come.”

“Tourism is an integral part of the Hoosier economy, contributing $6.9 billion and supporting 149,000 jobs in 2020,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “I’m grateful for the collaboration at the state, federal and local level to ensure the Kokomo Speedway can continue to be an economic engine that attracts visitors and residents alike.”

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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