Department of Commerce invests $1.6 M in ARPA funds to build a visitors center and boost Tourism in Saline County, Mo.


WASHINGTON, DC — On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $1.6 million grant to Saline County, Mo., to support tourism by building a new visitors center. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will boost the local tourism industry by providing the infrastructure needed to attract new visitors to the community, its businesses, and local attractions. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.6 million in local funds.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan delivers federal resources to communities to ensure our nation not only recovers from the pandemic, but builds a better America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This project will support tourism activities across Saline County, providing economic recovery and a more resilient tourism industry for the region.”

“The travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector is a critical economic driver for many communities and the Economic Development Administration is pleased to support community-led development strategies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will strengthen Saline County’s tourism sector, creating a stronger regional economy.”

“The American Rescue Plan is once again delivering for the people of Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District,” said Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05). “I am thrilled to see $1.6 million in federal funding heading toward Saline County. With the construction of a new visitor center, Saline County will be able to show tourists all that rural Missouri has to offer! The economic development spurred by this investment will be felt for generations to come.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission (PTRPC). EDA funds PTRPC 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.

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to all 50 states and territories. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through Sept. 30, 2022.

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