Kelly, Cortez Masto, Introduce Bill to Promote Economic Development and Strengthen Key Industries 

Today, U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced a bill to promote economic development by expanding funding available under the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The Increasing Our Nation’s Value through Economic Support and Tourism “INVEST” in Our Communities Act will increase the access to funding available from the EDA across Arizona.

“Tourism is a big part of Arizona’s economy and our economic recovery. Our legislation will help communities across our state boost tourism and create good-paying jobs for Arizonans,” said Senator Kelly. 

“Nevada’s communities deserve all the support we can provide them to attract businesses and plan for innovative new ventures,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’ve heard from many communities in my state that want funding to promote economic development, diversify our economy, and expand our travel economy. This bill will let them do that more easily. I’ll continue working in the Senate to continue our robust recovery and create more jobs for hardworking Nevadans.”

The INVEST in Our Communities Act would:

  • Establish a $100 million annual “Hospitality and Outdoor-Recreation Supporting Tourism (HOST) Grant” program to aide in economic recovery, development, and the expansion of vital tourism efforts, including marketing to highlighting the benefit of investing in tourism;
  • Allow recipients to use grant funding for capacity-building programs to create comprehensive strategies for economic development, including to hire qualified economic development professionals or services;
  • Establish an Office of Rural and Tribal Economic Development to help with the outreach and technical assistance for often-underserved rural and tribal communities;
  • Provide various provisions to help Western states be more competitive for EDA investments, including:
    • Providing reduced non-federal match and additional technical assistance for rural counties with high levels of publicly managed lands;
    • Reducing the non-federal share for EDA funding overall, including in response to economic disasters and public health emergencies;
    • Setting aside specific percentages of EDA funds for economic development planning, technical assistance and rural communities in general; and 
    • Allowing more time for states to disburse COVID-19 relief awards.