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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tourism-Related Business Growth in Venango County, Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.2 million grant to the Venango County Economic Development Authority, Franklin, Pennsylvania, for partial renovation of the historic Oil City National Bank building to accommodate new business growth. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will boost the local tourism industry by bringing new visitors to the region, its businesses, and attractions. This EDA grant will be matched with $796,785 in local funds and is expected to create more than 20 jobs, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution the tourism industry makes to the American economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This project will boost the tourism and hospitality industries in Venango County while providing economic stability for the region.”

“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 investment will help Venango County leverage a regional asset to boost local tourism, create jobs, and fortify the local infrastructure to create jobs and build resiliency for decades to come.”

“Giving local tourism a boost is a hand-up for the local economy, businesses, and residents,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “This is a strategic and targeted investment that will benefit Pennsylvania for years to come.”

“This funding for the historic Oil City National Bank building is an investment in the people of Oil City and Venango County and the tourism industry of the region,” said Senator Bob Casey. “I was proud to advocate for the Venango County Economic Development Authority to receive this $3.2 million grant, as well as $400,000 in community project funding earlier this year, to help the people of Oil City and Venango County build the future they’ve been working toward.”

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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