News & Views

Tapping EDA Funds for Economic Development & Tourism Industry Recovery Efforts

Pivot. Reimagine. Pivot again. Sound familiar? As we all settle into the “new normal,” you might be thinking about how marketing could play a role in your community’s recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe there is an untapped opportunity for economic development and destination marketing organizations to capitalize on available Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant funds to develop marketing strategies as part of their overall recovery efforts.

What Funding is Available? 

On March 27, 2020, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided the EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

Is Marketing Eligible?

DCI spoke with an EDA representative and confirmed that the EDA will consider funding marketing strategies from eligible organizations with the goal of driving visitors, talent, investment and/or jobs in direct response to the impacts of COVID-19.

The EDA states, “applicants for EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance are still required to explain clearly in their application how their project will ‘prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus’ or respond to ‘economic injury as a result of coronavirus.’”

While you won’t find case studies from the EDA on COVID-19 recovery marketing strategies quite yet, an EDA representative said marketing strategies are something for which they expect to see applications, given the broad parameters of the CARES Act.

What’s the Best First Step to Apply?

If you’re interested in applying for an EDA grant to develop a marketing strategy (or implement other recovery efforts) contact your regional EDA office and talk with an EDA representative to determine your eligibility and more specifics as you consider applying. DCI found that EDA representatives from offices across the country responded quickly via email and were eager to help.

Where can I read more about this?

These resources are a great place to start:


To learn more about destination brand and marketing strategies, check out our Branding and Strategy page featuring blogs and case studies, or get in touch with Rachel Deloffre at [email protected]

Written By

Rachel Deloffre

Rachel Deloffre is an Account Director at DCI. Since joining the company in 2011, she has carried out strategic media relations and marketing campaigns for clients ranging from the country of Colombia, to the city of Calgary, Alberta, to the Port of Long Beach. She has also assisted in executing a talent attraction campaign for the Research Triangle region of North Carolina.

More Articles by Rachel Deloffre

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