2020 Tourism Promotion and Development Grant Program

SUMMARY OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

The Delaware County Occupancy Tax was enacted into law by the Board of Supervisors for the purposes of creating a dedicated funding stream to promote and develop the tourism industry within Delaware County and stimulating economic growth.  Funds raised through the occupancy tax will be utilized to support the implementation of programs designed to promote and increase tourism in Delaware County, as well as projects relating to capital and infrastructure investments supporting the further development of this industry.

The Tourism Promotion & Development Grant Program will provide funding assistance to eligible applicants for projects that seek to attract visitors to Delaware County and enhance the overall tourism industry.  In 2020, the Tourism Promotion & Development Grant Program will focus on four categories of awards; Promotion/Marketing, Community Celebrations, Capital Improvements, and Arts & Culture.

  1. Promotion/Marketing: Projects should be designed to promote specific locales, activities or tourism segments in Delaware County and target a defined market of non-county visitor. In general, funds requested under this category should be used to cover costs related to printed materials, web site and social media marketing, and other promotional or marketing initiatives.  The maximum amount of funding available under this category is $5,000.
  2. Community Celebrations: Projects that support events, programs, or a series of events that seek to build upon historical, musical, culinary, agricultural, recreational and/or cultural traditions of the area and hold the reasonable potential to attract non-county visitors.  Events must be open to the general public.  Community Celebrations limited to serving the local community without a strategy for growth or not seeking to attract non-county visitors will not be funded.  The maximum amount of funding available under this category is $1,200.
  3. Capital Improvements: Projects eligible for funding under this category include; the renovation/construction of tourism properties owned by a municipality or non-profit, infrastructure improvements with a direct relationship to tourism, and other physical/structural items with a greater than 5 year lifespan. The maximum amount of funding available under this category is $5,000.
  4. Arts & Culture: Projects that support artistic events, programs, or a series of events that seek to promote public engagement and access to the arts and hold the reasonable potential to attract non-county visitors.  Events must be open to the general public.  Artistic events/programs limited to serving the local community without a strategy for growth, or not seeking to attract non-county visitors will not be funded.  The maximum amount of funding available under this category is $1,200.

All grants will be awarded on a competitive basis and will require a minimum 1:1 cash match.  Grant recipients will be required to document the availability of matching funds prior to receipt of grant funds.  Grant awards are made by the Delaware County Board of Supervisors on recommendation of the Tourism Advisory Board.

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Applications for 2020 Tourism Promotion & Development Grants are due by February 14, 2020.  Any application received or postmarked after February 14th will be ineligible.  Applications should be delivered or mailed to (emails will not be accepted):  The Delaware County Tourism Advisory Board, c/o Delaware County Department of Economic Development, One Courthouse Square, Suite 4, Delhi, NY 13753.

For questions relating to this funding opportunity, or for assistance in completing the application, please contact the Delaware County Department of Economic Development at 607-832-5123.

ELIGIBILITY

Under New York State Law, not all entities are eligible to receive funding from a County government.  Only municipalities, nonprofit corporations and certain not-for-profit entities are eligible for funding.  However, applicants may apply under the fiscal sponsorship of a municipality or non-profit organization with the formal approval of such entity.  Eligible, non-municipal applicants will be required to submit proof of nonprofit status in the form of an IRS determination letter or documentation of formal municipal fiscal sponsorship.  Collaboration between for-profit and not-for-profit organizations is permitted as long as the lead agent is eligible under NY State Municipal Law to receive funding from a County.

Requests for general operating support, requests for retroactive support for expenses accrued prior to an award and requests for sectarian based projects will be considered ineligible.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Applications submitted to the Tourism Advisory Board must clearly demonstrate how the project will result in an increase in the number of visitors, visitor frequency and/or visitor spending in Delaware County.   Applicants shall clearly define project goals and how the success of the project will be measured.  Applicants will be required to demonstrate a minimum of 1:1 match between Tourism Promotion & Development grant funds and other project funds, as well the applicant’s organizational and financial capacity for completing the project.  The Tourism Advisory Board will evaluate proposals on such criteria as:

  • Is the project, including goals, tasks and outcomes, clearly defined and likely to succeed?
  • Does the applicant have the organizational and financial capacity to undertake and successfully complete the project?
  • How likely is the project to result in increased visitors, particularly for overnight stays, and increased visitor spending?
  • How significant are the potential benefits of the project, are they measurable and how will they be measured?
  • Are the overall project costs and grant request justified based upon the expected benefits?
  • Does the project hold the potential to draw visitors during the mid-week and/or or off-season?
  • Does the project demonstrate strong partnerships, community support and collaboration with for-profit businesses?
  • To what degree does the project leverage other public and/or private funds?
  • Is documentation of project match provided?
  • Is the budget reasonably detailed and appropriate?
  • Is the project likely to be completed in a timeframe that is reasonable and appropriate?

REQUIRED REPORTING

Upon project completion, the grant recipient will be required to submit a closeout report no later than October 1, 2020*, that will enable the Tourism Advisory Board to evaluate the success of the project.  In the event that the event/project will not be completed by October 1, 2020, the reporting submission date must be indicated on the grant application.

The closeout report will specifically address the results/impact of the project and project finances, in addition to other items deemed appropriate by the applicant and/or requested by the Tourism Advisory Board.  To the extent possible, the applicant shall include quantitative as well as qualitative measurements of the results/impact of the project including survey results, statistics and/or other compiled data. To the extent practicable, grant recipients are required to collect survey data to estimate the impact of their project on tourism.  Financial reporting shall include a summary of all project receipts and expenditures, along with appropriate documentation.

Any grant recipients that do not submit final reports will no longer be eligible for future grant funding.

Delaware County Tourism Promotion & Development Grants are funded by the Delaware County occupancy tax, which is a percentage tax on occupancy charges in hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts and other lodging establishments in Delaware County. By law, local occupancy tax funds are used for the purpose of the promotion and development of the tourism industry.  Grant awards are made by the Delaware County Board of Supervisors on recommendation of the Tourism Advisory Board.