Southwest Airlines opens Heart of the Community grants to stimulate economic growth

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) and Project for Public Spaces have opened the 2017 Southwest Airlines´ Heart of the Community grant application as part of the airline´s commitment to building connections that strengthen communities for a more resilient future, the companies said.

The company´s corporate and nonprofit partners said they have witnessed four years of impactful projects in 18 cities, and they are eager to fund the next round of innovative place-making projects in cities served by the airline.

An evaluation focusing on five initial projects is demonstrating that on average a Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant leverages four times its amount in additional funding from other sources.

Place-making improvements have helped create new jobs across the five sites, and generated USD7.7 million in visitor spending.

Project for Public Spaces is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Since 1975, the organization has completed projects in over 3000 communities in 43 countries and all 50 US states.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. operates more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season across a network of 98 destinations in the United States and seven additional countries with service to Varadero, Cuba beginning Nov. 13, 2016, and to Havana, Cuba, beginning Dec. 12, 2016, both routes subject to governmental approvals.