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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Support Implementation of Marketing Plan to Aid Reopening of Tourism Economy in South Carolina

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Columbia, South Carolina, to support the implementation of the state’s Tourism Recovery Marketing Plan to assist its tourism industry’s economic recovery from the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The EDA grant will be matched with $3 million in local funds.

“President Trump is working diligently every day to support our nation’s economy following the impacts of COVID-19 through the CARES Act,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This investment will provide the resources that South Carolina’s tourism industry needs to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and, in turn, create a stronger and more resilient state economy for the future.”

“This investment comes at a crucial time to help South Carolina’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “EDA is pleased to invest this CARES Act funding to support the state’s Tourism Recovery Marketing Plan, which will increase consumer engagement and help the recovery of visitation, visitor spending and other unprecedented challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.”

"This is big news for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “I appreciate the EDA, Secretary Ross, and the Trump administration for working to award these much-needed funds to help our state’s economy. The Palmetto State is a great place to visit, and these grants will help South Carolina reenergize our tourism economy.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Appalachian Council of Governments (COG), Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester COG, Catawba Regional COG, Central Midlands COG, Lowcountry COG, Lower Savannah COG, Pee Dee Regional COG, Santee-Lynches Regional COG, Upper Savannah COG, and Waccamaw Regional COG. EDA funds these COGs to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 7, Secretary Ross announced that EDA is accepting applications for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding opportunities.

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. For complete information, please visit our recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
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.

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