MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced that more than $70 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds were distributed to members of Wisconsin’s lodging industry. Grants of up to $2 million were released on Friday to 888 lodging businesses around the state to help them offset some of the losses they incurred during the pandemic.
“Members of Wisconsin’s lodging industry are essential to tourism in our state, and they were hit very hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Tourists and residents alike depend on their services when visiting or traveling around our beautiful state. We appreciate the work they’ve done under difficult circumstances. We are pleased to be able to provide a shot in the arm to an industry that needs it,” said Governor Tony Evers.
Despite the pandemic, Wisconsin’s tourism industry supported more than 157,000 jobs across the state and had a $17.3 billion impact on the state economy in 2020. So far in 2021, the industry is seeing recovery above 2020 numbers as travelers make up for missed vacations while reconnecting with friends and family.
Lodging grants were funded by ARPA and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR). The DOR will continue releasing lodging grants to additional lodging businesses in the coming days.
“Getting funds into the hands of businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic is a priority of Governor Evers,” said DOR Secretary Peter Barca. “I am pleased our staff is able to assist with this effort.”
Gov. Evers’ announcement today is a continuation of the governor’s efforts to support the tourism industry’s recovery and rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. The funds announced today are part of the governor’s previously announced more than $140 million in ARPA funding for Wisconsin’s tourism and entertainment industries, including up to:
- $10 million for local tourism investment projects;
- $75 million for the lodging grants;
- $11.25 million for movie theaters;
- $12 million for live event small businesses;
- $2.8 million for minor league sports teams;
- $10 million for live venues;
- $15 million for destination marketing organizations;
- $8 million for summer camps;
- $1 million for the Wisconsin Historical Society to assist in reopening historical sites; and
- $7.5 million to increase marketing support for Wisconsin’s tourism industry.
Individuals and businesses interested in receiving more information about the grants, including application, should sign up to receive alerts here.