U.S. Department of Commerce invests $2.6 million in U.S. bailout funds for Trailway expansion to boost tourism in Southbridge, Massachusetts

Washington (June 7, 2022) – Today, Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) applauded U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo’s announcement that the department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is granting $2.6 million of dollars grant to Southbridge, Massachusetts, for the construction of the Quinebau Valley Rail Trail. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will support outdoor recreation and stimulate the local tourism industry by attracting new visitors to the city, its businesses and local attractions. This EDA grant will be matched by $1.5 million in local funds and is expected to create 45 jobs, maintain 325 jobs, and generate $3.3 million in private investment, according to recipient estimates.

“With so much to discover across the Commonwealth, this project opens up the possibility for travelers to explore all that Southbridge has to offer,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “This multi-million dollar investment in the local tourism industry will help create hundreds of jobs and strengthen Southbridge’s economic resilience.

“President Biden’s America’s Bailout is providing federal resources to communities to ensure our nation not only recovers from the pandemic, but builds a better America for the future,” Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo said. “This project will boost tourism and outdoor recreation in Southbridge while providing economic stability to the region.

“The travel and tourism industry is an important part of many local economies across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment in Southbridge is a great opportunity to leverage a regional asset and build economic resilience for the region’s growing outdoor recreation and tourism industry.

“This $2.6 million federal investment will fund the construction of the Quinebau Valley Rail Trail, bringing visitors from across Worcester County and the Commonwealth to Southbridge to enjoy the beauty of nature and support our local businesses. . said Senator Elizabeth Warren.

“Thanks to the Biden Administration’s commitment to rebuilding our economy and funds from the U.S. bailout, the City of Southbridge will be able to expand the Quinebaug Valley Rail Trail,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal (MA-01). “The rail trails provide new recreational and tourism options, safe transportation solutions and improve the quality of life for surrounding communities. Thank you for the Economic Development Authority’s continued support of outdoor recreation and congratulations to the Town of Southbridge.

This project is being funded under the EDA’s $240 million competitive US bailout Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Program. The EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to the 50 states and territories. Both programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities dependent on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, the EDA has officially closed all of its US bailout programs for applications. Funding for the $3 billion program will be provided on an ongoing basis through September 30, 2022.

About the United States Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing regions across the country for growth and success in the global economy. An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration to create jobs for American workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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