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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.6 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tourism-Related Business Growth in the Lummi Nation

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.6 million grant to the Lummi Nation, Bellingham, Washington, to develop infrastructure needed to support tourism-related business. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will support the construction of a new retail marketplace for use by Indigenous artisans and craftspeople where they can sell their wares and continue to attract more tourism to the region. This EDA grant is expected to create 71 jobs, retain 139 jobs, and generate $186,688 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden is committed to supporting Tribal communities in their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will create economic growth and opportunity for the Lummi Nation through new and expanded business opportunities.”

“Tribal communities were disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment in the Lummi Nation will support its efforts to develop a central retail location for Tribal vendors, improving the marketability of traditional arts and crafts to local visitors.”

“Our Tribal communities were hit especially hard by the pandemic, and, as a voice for Washington state’s Tribes in the Senate, I am proud to bring home this critical funding for the Lummi Nation to support small businesses in their community,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This Economic Development Administration grant, funded by Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, is going to make a world of difference for Lummi workers, artisans, and families, and will support small businesses and good-paying jobs on the Lummi Reservation and throughout the region.”

“While the pandemic impacted nearly every aspect of our economy, Tribal communities like the Lummi Nation have been hit especially hard,” said Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01). “I’m pleased to see this $4.6 million from the American Rescue Plan Act invested in Whatcom County to create jobs and stimulate economic activity in the Lummi Nation.”

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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