Angeline Terry

Evers Gives $10 Million More In Tourism Grants

A total of $150 million has now been granted for tourism from ARPA funds.

By - Aug 3rd, 2021 04:41 pm

Tony Evers. This photo was taken by Angeline Terry on August 3rd, 2021.

Governor Tony Evers announced Tuesday that an additional $10 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds will be used to support the Wisconsin tourism industry.

This is on top of $140 million in previously announced ARPA funding allocated to strengthen the tourism and entertainment industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including money for lodging grants, movie theaters, live event small businesses and live venues. 

“The folks here in Milwaukee know it well,” Evers said in a press conference at the Historic Third Ward pickleball court. “Small business owners and folks in the tourism, lodging and entertainment industries had to stay flexible, innovative and adapt to the challenges brought by the pandemic.”

Individuals and businesses can sign up to receive more information about the application process. Grants of up to $3.5 million will be given to regional entities to support things like travel infrastructure and convention centers. 

Wisconsin’s tourism industry had a $17.3 billion impact on the state economy in 2020 despite the pandemic, according to a statement from Evers.

“Even with what was a very difficult year in 2020, Wisconsin tourism still supported more than 157,000 jobs,” said Anne Sayers, Department of Tourism acting secretary. 

Milwaukee Department of City Development Commissioner Lafayette Crump emphasized that the tourism industry has served as a strong economic driver for the city. 

“We’ve seen proof of this recently, of course, with the incredible title run by our world champion Milwaukee Bucks, a series of 11 home games in the beautiful Fiserv Forum that Visit Milwaukee estimates brought in nearly $36 million in direct and indirect spending into the local area,” said Crump. 

Though the pandemic presents concerns as the contagious Delta variant pushes a rise in infections, Evers said that encouraging vaccinations is the solution to the spike. 

“We can fix this. We need people to get a shot. Simple as that,” Evers said. 

He described supporting the tourism economy and dealing with COVID-19 as needing to “walk and chew gum at the same time.” He said that this multifaceted focus is something that the state has to do and has already done a “great job” at.

Evers added that he encourages employers to “do whatever they can to get shots in people’s arms.” He has not yet announced if it will be required for state employees to get vaccinated or tested regularly, but it is something Evers is still considering. 

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us