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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.8 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tourism in Galena, Illinois

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.8 million grant to Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society, Galena, Illinois, to construct a new Galena & Ulysses S. Grant Museum. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will build a one-story, 8,542-square-foot building that will provide more space for social distancing, accessibility for people with disabilities and integration of stories of local Indigenous populations that were not previously part of the museum. The EDA investment will be matched with $1.9 million in local funds and is expected to create 60 jobs, 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 enhances the visitor experience in Galena, one of state’s top tourist destinations, ensuring that the region continues to be a critical driver of tourism-based economic development and job creation.”

“Galena is one of our state's greatest attractions, serving as an idyllic getaway for tourists each summer,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Investing in a brand-new museum builds on the city’s proud tradition of welcoming people from around the country and is a fitting tribute to President Grant, one of Illinois’ most notable former residents. I’m thankful for the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to assisting in the recovery of the state’s tourism industry and I look forward to seeing this project’s completion.”

“The American Rescue Plan, which I worked to help pass, is accelerating the restoration of Illinois’ tourism industry,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “This funding allows the City of Galena to create local jobs as they continue to recover from the pandemic, and I’ll keep working to bring these federal funds home for our communities.”

“Thanks to the Democrat-backed American Rescue Plan, folks in Galena will soon be able to experience a new, ADA-accessible museum that honors local indigenous stories so everyone can learn from, and enjoy, the region’s rich history,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth.

“Galena’s deep history and stunning natural beauty are assets to our state and key economic drivers in Northwest Illinois,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17). “I’m thrilled to join Secretary Raimondo, Governor Pritzker, and Senators Durbin and Duckworth to announce $1.8 million in federal funding to construct a brand new Galena and Ulysses S. Grant Museum right here in our community. This announcement is yet another example of how the American Rescue Plan is bringing home meaningful federal investments.”

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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