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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tourism in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to boost tourism by enhancing the Sault Ste. Marie International 500 Raceway. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will construct new roads, a parking lot, vendor building and other upgrades that will help make the raceway venue a year-round tourist destination. The EDA investment will be matched with $513,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 50 jobs and generate $2 million 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 in Sault Ste. Marie expands opportunities at an important tourism asset in the state’s Eastern Upper Peninsula region that will provide new jobs, attract more tourism dollars and build economic resiliency for decades to come.”

“This $2 million investment in the Sault will create or retain 50 good-paying jobs and help us continue to grow our Pure Michigan economy,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Since I took office, we have made the largest one-time investment in state and local parks in Michigan history, supporting local tourism and recreation driven economies across our great state. Today’s Michigan’s economy is growing, with low unemployment, 133,000 jobs added in the last year, and transformational projects bringing billions in investment and creating thousands of jobs. I will work with anyone to keep moving Michigan forward.”

“Investing in infrastructure is critical to Michigan’s economy and attracting visitors, including in the Upper Peninsula,” said Senator Gary Peters. “This grant will provide federal resources for upgrades at the International 500 Raceway that will help boost tourism, support local jobs and strengthen the economy.”

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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