EDA: $5 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Invested to Support the Tourism Industry in Duluth, MN

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of Duluth, Minnesota, to reconstruct a section of a seawall along Lake Superior behind the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC).

This project will help revitalize the local tourism industry through enhanced protection from storms and increased access to waterfront services. This EDA grant, to be matched with $3.3 million in local funds, is expected to create 132 jobs, retain 535 jobs, and generate $26 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to unleashing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will boost the Duluth area’s tourism industry and leverage beautiful Lake Superior – all while building resiliency in the region’s economy for decades to come.”

“The Economic Development Administration supports community-led strategies to accelerate economic recovery from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support the local tourism sector, the region’s second largest employer, through reconstruction of a seawall designed to accommodate the cruise ship industry, creating new opportunities for business growth and job creation.”

“We know that investing in local jobs and projects across the state is key to ensuring Minnesota’s economy remains strong,” said Governor Tim Walz. “This is good news for Minnesota and an example of how state and federal investments can complement each other to improve lives and boost our economy. I’m excited to continue this collaboration with our federal partners to improve critical infrastructure and create a positive economic impact on local businesses in Duluth.”

“This investment is a win-win – helping boost the tourism industry integral to Duluth’s economy while bolstering critical shoreline infrastructure,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar. “I’ve long pushed for this funding, and as co-chair of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus, I’ll keep fighting to make sure Minnesota’s tourism industry has the economic resources it needs to thrive.”

“This grant will help reinvigorate our waterfront in Duluth and protect the surrounding areas against increasingly frequent storms,” said Senator Tina Smith. “The project will help create jobs, boost the local tourism industry, and generate over $25 million in private investment. I am proud of our work on the CARES Act, which has made investments like this possible.”

“This CARES Act grant award is great news,” said Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08). “By investing in our waterfront, this project will create jobs and ensure future tourism and shipping industries in Duluth and the Northland remain strong.”

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.

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