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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.7 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Help Build Visitors Center to Boost Tourism in Colbert County, Alabama

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.7 million grant to the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau, Tuscumbia, Alabama, to help build a visitors center to boost tourism in the region. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will provide a large, separate visitors facility that will allow for the organization and flow of more visitors to the Helen Keller birthplace and other local attractions. This EDA grant will be matched with $829,000 in local funds.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan delivers federal resources to communities to ensure our nation not only recovers from the pandemic, but builds a better America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This project will provide the infrastructure Colbert County needs to stimulate its tourism economy.”

“The travel and tourism industry is an important part of many local economies across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will improve the visitor experience at the Helen Keller birthplace, the Tennessee Valley Art Museum, and other local attractions, creating new economic opportunity in the region.”

“Colbert County has so much to offer. From Helen Keller’s birthplace to the Muscle Shoals Sound that continues to influence American music, there is so much to see and do,” said Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04). “I’m glad that this new center will help even more people explore this culturally rich area of Alabama.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments. Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments is funded by EDA 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 2021 to all 50 states and territories. 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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