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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.85 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Aid Reopening of Alaska's Tourism Economy

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.28 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Alaska Travel Industry Association, Anchorage, Alaska, to implement emergency efforts needed to aid in the reopening of the state’s tourism economy. This EDA grant will be matched with $570,566 in local 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 Raimondo. “This EDA investment in the Alaska Travel Industry Association will expand their capacity to support businesses and communities as they strive to build back stronger in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.”

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to helping communities across the nation implement strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will support efforts to promote Alaska tourism through the creation of education programs targeted to the region’s businesses, organizations, and communities on adapting operations to provide a safe and healthy experience for visitors.”

“Alaska’s tourism industry was widely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and this welcomed boost to the industry will help as Alaskans prepare for a robust season this summer,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “Alaska is one of the world’s top tourism destinations and visitors have an immensely positive impact on our local and statewide economies.”

“The tourism sector is a fundamental part of Alaska’s economy, creating thousands of jobs that support Alaskans throughout the state and generating important tax revenue for state and local governments. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on this critical sector,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “This CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant will encourage economic recovery in tourism-reliant communities impacted by a decline in travel and other lost revenue due to the pandemic. The Alaska Delegation worked hard to ensure that, when Congress passed the CARES Act, funding to support Alaska’s struggling tourism sector was included.”

“One of the best ways we can rebuild our struggling tourism sector and support hard-working Alaskans in the industry is to get the word out that Alaska is ready to host Americans for a vacation in our state,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “With this new EDA grant announced today, the Alaska Travel Industry Association and its partners will be better equipped to promote the Last Frontier and the Alaskan adventure of a lifetime awaiting travelers.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every sector of our economy, especially Alaska’s tourism industry,” said Congressman Don Young. “I have been working hard in Congress to ensure that Alaska can safely welcome tourists this year because the viability of our small businesses depends on it. The CARES Act was a critical piece of legislation, and I am pleased to see even more funding created by its passage make its way to Alaska. I want to thank the Economic Development Administration for making these crucial investments in the Alaska Travel Industry Association. Our communities need this funding, and I will keep working in Congress to ensure that the Alaskan tourism sector can weather this storm and come out of this 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.

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