U.S. Division of Commerce Invests $1.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Enhance Tourism by Making Leisure Infrastructure Enhancements in Portland, Oregon

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The US Department of Commerce is investing $1.2 million in US bailout funds to boost tourism through improvements to recreational infrastructure in Portland, Oregon

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced today that the Department of Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to the City of Portland, Oregon, to help the tourism sector recover through improvements and beautifications to support the leisure infrastructure. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will support the construction of a new 32,000 square foot park in downtown Portland, Pride Plaza. The EDA investment, which will be matched with $302,400 in local funding, is expected to help create or sustain 289 jobs and generate $1.9 million in private investment, the grantee estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution that the travel and tourism industry makes to the American economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Portland will help the city’s tourism sector recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and build stronger for the future.”

“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will develop new green spaces and recreational facilities in downtown Portland and make the area more attractive to visitors.”

“Parks are essential for downtown Portland to thrive, and I’m glad my hometown has secured this important federal investment for a new park that can be used by both residents and visitors,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “Building a new park while supporting jobs for Oregonians is a winning formula for strengthening Portland.”

“Part of a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is making community improvements that will have a lasting impact,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “With these EDA funds from the American Rescue Plan, Pride Plaza will be built, creating dozens of well-paying jobs and a safe and usable community space. This funding to build this square is a win for locals and visitors alike.”

“I appreciate the Biden administration’s support for the redevelopment of Pride Plaza in SW Portland,” Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) said. “This project is a win in making Portland a safer and more livable place for people who live and work downtown, as well as visitors. It is part of the growing “Green Loop,” a 6-mile pedestrian corridor that connects people to the heart of the city. It will also support small businesses still recovering from the pandemic. This grant connects the pieces to accelerate downtown revitalization.”

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

About the US Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)

The mission of the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the country’s regions for growth and success in the global economy. EDA, an agency within the US Department of Commerce, invests in communities and supports regional collaborations to create jobs for US workers, foster American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.