Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.78 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of Angoon, Alaska, to support growth of the region’s tourism economy. This EDA grant is expected to create 22 jobs and generate $450,000 in private investment.
“COVID-19 has had an outsized impact on the travel and tourism industry and has hurt far too many local economies, businesses, and workers,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Angoon will support the city as it develops a sustainable cultural tourism sector to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the local economy.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and economic resiliency efforts,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will fund construction of a 2,000-square-foot visitor center and retail facility in Angoon, helping build local tourism capacity to increase the resiliency of the local economy.”
“The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been far-reaching, placing severe economic strain on Alaska’s economy, particularly on communities that are reliant on tourism,” said Senator Lisa Murskowski. “The announcement of this funding is significant for the City of Angoon, but also other Southeast communities whose economies will also benefit from a sustainable tourism sector. I’m proud to have played a role in securing this funding to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, and I am encouraged by the opportunities for new revenue and job growth it will provide.”
“Angoon, with its pristine landscape and rich cultural history, has all of the potential to be the next great Alaskan getaway for visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “I’m glad to see these CARES Act resources going toward building the facilities necessary to support increasing visitors to this beautiful Alaska community along the Inside Passage, and broadening the economic opportunities available to Alaskans here.”
“Alaska’s tourism industry is central to our culture and way of life. Each year, our state’s small businesses work hard to welcome visitors to Alaska and make their trip memorable, but the COVID-19 pandemic has produced more challenges than ever before,” said Congressman Don Young. “Getting our tourism sector back onto solid footing will require tremendous collaboration and innovation, but I know that Alaskans can get it done. I am very pleased that the EDA is investing in the City of Angoon with funding made possible through the CARES Act. Through this grant, the City will help mitigate the impact of the pandemic and boost economic resiliency in the area for years to come. As the summer tourism season approaches, I will keep working with my colleagues in Congress and with the Administration to ensure that Alaska comes back from this pandemic stronger than ever.”
This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.