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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.8 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tourism in Eagle, Wisconsin

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.8 million grant to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, to help build a guest services center at the Old World Wisconsin history museum. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will aid in the construction of two buildings that will offer a variety of amenities, including retail space, ticketing windows, a lounge area and restrooms to boost the local tourism economy. The EDA investment will be matched with $687,500 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 100 jobs and generate $500,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution the travel and tourism industry makes to the American economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina 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 project will ensure the long-term viability of a regional gem as a critical source of tourism-based economic development in the state.”

“Wisconsin’s travel and tourism industry is an essential economic driver for our state, and that’s why we’ve made sure to prioritize more than $200 million to support the hard work, determination, and ingenuity of the folks in our tourism industry,” said Governor Tony Evers. “I’m proud that our investments have outpaced the national average as a percentage of recovery funds allocated toward arts, culture, and tourism, and this $2.8 million grant will help us continue supporting this industry and the jobs and economic activity that come with it.”

“I voted for the American Rescue Plan because it delivers economic development support for our Made in Wisconsin economy and businesses,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “This federal investment from the Biden Administration will accelerate our local tourism economy by providing infrastructure upgrades to the Old World Wisconsin history museum to attract new businesses and create new 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. 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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