April 21, 2022

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

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced a new bill with Senator Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) to promote economic development, including in Nevada’s key travel and tourism industries, 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 would increase the access to and use of funding available from the EDA for Nevadans across the state.

“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.”

“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.

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.

Senator Cortez Masto has been a champion of Nevada’s economy, supporting the travel and tourism sectors and working through her Innovation State Initiative to promote economic development and diversification. In the American Rescue Plan, Senator Cortez Masto secured dedicated funding for the Economic Development Administration to help states like Nevada that were affected by job and revenue loss, including in the tourism and travel industries. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cortez Masto delivered resources to the state’s businesses and secured flexibility for the gaming industry. She helped secure more time for small businesses to repay COVID emergency loans, and she has introduced legislation to make sure that transportation policy boosts travel and tourism.