2024 Tourism Grant Program Guidelines and Criteria
The Tourism Grant Program is offered through Union County Tourism (UCT) to enhance the economic impact of tourism in our community. The grant program assists non-profit, for-profit, and municipal organizations with marketing, promotion, and event, attraction, and product development that increases destination appeal, and enhances the visitor’s experience, resulting in increased visitation and room night generation.
- One round of funding will be held each calendar year. Applications for 2024 funding may be submitted online here until Friday, December 1, 2023. Regardless of grant funding approval history, applications must be submitted each year.
- Union County Tourism administers the grant program, which is funded through a portion of the lodging tax, under contract with the Union County Board of Commissioners.
- The same application will be used for all entities interested in tourism grant funding support. The UCT has $30,000 budgeted (awaiting approval on the final amount) for tourism grant funding in 2023.
- Any grant recipient from 2023 who has not completed a post-event report and met all criteria will be in jeopardy of funding loss in 2024.
- Applications are reviewed by the Tourism Grant Committee and are awarded annually.
- Further follow-up with grant applicants may be necessary, as the committee moves through the review and approval phase.
Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, December 1.
Notice of Approval
Applicants who have been approved for funding will be notified by January 5, 2024.
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
- 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 UCT
Tourism Grant Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must ensure that their event/project/program:
- Is in Union County.
- 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.
- Generates additional sales and lodging taxes for the community, in that it appeals to visitors.
- Demonstrates a measurable community or economic benefit.
- Must be open to the public or have non-exclusive membership.
- Must comply with all local and state regulations regarding permits and handicap accommodations.
- 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.
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 that have determined how they will track out-of-town guests
- Events/projects/programs held during the off-peak or shoulder seasons, bringing tourists to the community during times they usually do not visit
- 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 the application is approved, the grantee organization must agree to:
- All printed and broadcast materials and advertising copy must include the Union County Tourism logo, website, UnionCountyOH.com, and acknowledge Union County Tourism as a funding source.
- Organizations receiving a tourism grant must have a reciprocal link on their website to UnionCountyOH.com.
- Must submit event into the events calendar on UnionCountyOH.com.
- When applicable, provide exhibit space at the event for UCT promotional use.
- Provide high-resolution, visitor-oriented images of the event for UCT promotional use (pre-event, if available, post-event is mandatory).
- When applicable, provide tickets to the event for UCT promotional use.
- Work cooperatively with the UCT 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 (see funding uses listed above). Failure to do so may result in penalties up to and including a full refund of grant funds.
- Submit a post-event report within 30 days of the end of the event or project outlining attendance, proof of logo usage on marketing and promotional materials, proof of room night generation, if applicable and visitor demographic information, if available.
- Grants are not to be used for general business expansion or development (the project must demonstrate a reasonable link to potential overnight stays)
- Salaries, administrative expenses, or other monetary compensation to event or organization staff
- Scholarships or endowment funds
- Cash awards of any description
- Annual fund drives
- In-kind services
- Expenses are typically considered to be overhead
- Interest and/or other reductions of deficits on loans or debts
- Events that take place outside of Union County
- Events that have a negative impact on the image of Union County
- Union County CVB board of trustees are not permitted to apply during their tenure
Thank you for your work in presenting unique and engaging events and activities for visitors and residents alike.
Contact Karen Eylon at email@example.com or (937) 642-6279 with any questions.
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 Union County Tourism.