Downtown Development Authority Awarded $250,000 Grant
The Shreveport Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has been notified of the award of a $250,000 marketing grant from the Deepwater Horizon Claims Administrator and the Gulf Tourism Promotional Fund. In their grant application, DDA made the strong case for downtown Shreveport, explaining that problems in the coastal areas of Louisiana also have chilling effects on other parts of the state.
“Our area saw this in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and after the BP oil spill,” says DDA Executive Director Liz Swaine. “People from outside Louisiana tend to believe that everyone in the state lives on the coast and that all of our areas are equally affected after natural or man-made disasters. We know that is not the case, but it is almost impossible to get that word out. We lost business and tourism after the hurricanes, and believe the same happened in the aftermath of the oil spill.”
What the grant will allow the DDA to do is market downtown Shreveport to a wide audience outside the state. “We intend to promote all the special things about our historic downtown,” says Downtown Development Authority board president Terry Moore. “Our history, buildings, architecture, our restaurants, clubs, music, attractions, casinos and events... and we’ll show how Louisiana seafood plays a role in the culture of the northern part of the state.”
Additional details of the grant will be forthcoming but the DDA team is ready to get to work on sharing downtown’s message to a larger audience. “I cannot tell you how thrilled we are and how thankful we are to the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Administration, BP and the Plaintiffs Steering Committee,” says Swaine. “This is truly a case in which something horribly bad is being turned into good.”
More than 350 applications to the claims fund were made and 110 requests in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida were approved.
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