Image by Melissa Askew

Let's do this together!

Tourism Grants

website icon-01.png

Purpose

The Tourism Grant Program is offered through the Union County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) to enhance the economic impact of tourism in our community. The grant program assists non-profit, for-profit, and municipal organizations with marketing, promotion, product development, and event and attraction enhancement that increases destination appeal, and enhances the visitor’s experience, resulting in increased visitation and room night generation. 

 

Procedure

  • One round of funding will be held each calendar year. Applications for 2022 funding may be submitted online at visitunioncountyohio.org (under Partner Resources) from Monday, September 27 – Friday, October 15, 2021. 

  • The same application will be used for both Quick Grants, request of $1,000 or less that do not need approval from the Union County Board of Commissioner, as well as larger grant event needs beyond the $1,000 threshold.  The Union County CVB administers the grant under contract with the Union County Board of Commissioners, which is funded through a portion of the lodging tax. 

  • Any grant recipient from 2021 who has not completed a post event report and met all criteria will be in jeopardy of funding loss in 2022.

  • Applications are reviewed by the Tourism Grant Committee and are awarded annually. 

 

Application Deadline

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 15.

 

Notice of Approval

Applicants who have been approved for funding will be notified by November 30, 2021.

 

Funding Uses

Grant funds may be used for but are not limited to:

  • New or expanded events or tourism projects

  • Advertising (billboards, website banner ads, print ads, Facebook ads, Google ad words online ads, radio spots, television ads, etc.)

  • Marketing (videos, eblasts, etc.) 

  • Website design/upgrades

  • Photography

  • Graphic design and/or printing of promotional materials

  • Signage (wayfinding, on-site attraction, visitor information kiosk)

  • Brochure and guide distribution

  • Other expenses as approved by the CVB

 

Tourism Grant Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must ensure that their event/project/program:

  • Is located in Union County.

  • Demonstrates a measurable community or economic benefit.

  • Enhances the character and reputation for unique activities and memorable experiences in Union County.

  • Encourages and assists new and appropriate tourism development or events in Union County. 

  • Helps existing community events expand their market outside of Union County.

  • Generates additional sales and lodging taxes for the community.

  • Must be open to the public or have non-exclusive membership.

  • Must comply with all local and state regulations regarding permits and handicap accommodations.

  • Grants are not to be used for general business expansion or development.

  • No more than one grant application may be submitted by any one organization, per calendar year.

  • Grant funds are limited. Applications must be fully completed for consideration.

 

Consideration

Primary consideration will be given to organizations who strive for the following criteria:

  • Those who offer distinctive events/projects that contribute to the ability to attract visitors (especially those outside of a 50-mile radius), drive economic impact, generate room nights, and improve overall tourism assets in Union County

  • Organizations and events with a successful track record in communication, marketing, and execution, with a strong potential for growth in the future 

  • Entities with sustainable business and marketing plans 

  • Events/projects/programs who have determined how they will track out-of-town guests 

  • Offerings that present opportunities for media coverage

  • Organizations with a solid funding plan that includes ongoing operating costs and maintenance

 

Obligations of Grant Recipients

If application is approved, the grantee organization must agree to:

  • All printed and broadcast materials and advertising copy must include the Union County CVB logo and website visitunioncountyohio.org and acknowledge the Union County CVB as a funding source.

  • Organizations receiving a tourism grant must have a reciprocal link on their website to visitunioncountyohio.org. 

  • Must submit event into the events calendar on VisitUnionCountyOhio.org.

  • When applicable, provide exhibit space at the event for CVB promotional use. 

  • Provide high-resolution, visitor-oriented images of the event for CVB promotional use (pre-event, if available, post event is mandatory).

  • When applicable, provide tickets to the event for CVB/promotional use. 

  • Work cooperatively with the CVB staff if the event/offering presents an opportunity to showcase Union County to travel media, social media influencers and/or special groups. 

  • Use funds as specified. Failure to do so may result in penalties up to and including a full refund of grant funds. 

  • Submit a post-event report within 60 days of the end of the event outlining attendance, proof of logo usage on marketing and promotional materials, proof of room night generation, if applicable and visitor demographic information, if available. 

 

Thank you!

Thank you for your work in presenting unique and engaging events and activities for visitors and residents alike!

 

Questions?

Contact Union County Convention & Visitors Bureau with any questions you may have:

Karen Eylon at keylon@unioncounty.org or (937) 642-6279

 

Each grant application will be considered on its own merits. Final determination of grant awards is solely at the discretion of the Tourism Grant Committee and the Union County CVB.