Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitor Bureaus, Bloomington, Illinois, to create marketing campaigns promoting tourism across the state. This EDA grant will be matched with $250,000 in state funds.
“President Biden is committed to getting our tourism sector back up to speed and Americans back to work,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitor Bureaus will boost the local tourism economy, creating jobs in the hospitality sector and allowing the state to build back better.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Susan Brehm, Director of EDA’s Chicago Regional Office. “This EDA investment will support marketing efforts to highlight communities across the state and include sample road trip itineraries that will help jumpstart the tourism and hospitality industries.”
“Investments in our tourism and hospitality industries are investments in jobs, in communities, and – when it comes to travelers eager to get back out there – in real joy for our residents after the pains of the last year,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I want to thank the Biden-Harris Administration for directing additional funds to the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitor Bureaus, which couldn’t come at a better time as Illinois launches our statewide Time for Me to Drive tourism campaign. And thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we’re building on those investments with significant supports for tourism promotion, Back to Business grants, and workforce recovery efforts included in Illinois’ pandemic recovery package. With more than two-thirds of our adults vaccinated, Illinois is seizing every opportunity to shape a safe and strong recovery this summer and in years to come.”
“These federal CARES Act funds will raise awareness for all that Illinois has to offer in tourism and hospitality,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “Supporting local economic activity will be key as we rebuild and recover from the pandemic.”
“Helping Illinois build back better includes supporting our tourism sector and creating economic opportunities in the process,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “I’m glad that this CARES Act funding will help our great state both attract visitors and economically recover from this pandemic.”
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 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.