The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is now accepting grant applications for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. This year the TDA reworked the grant program and those who applied in past years should study the changes, Jackson County TDA Director Nick Breedlove said.
TDA grants are used to assist with promoting and supporting events and initiatives that generate overnight visits and increase tourism, along with enhancing visitors’ experiences to Jackson County. Funding comes from occupancy tax collected in Jackson County that is reinvested in the local communities through the grant program.
“We took a wholistic look at the grant program from ease of application to how we could support more tourism-related initiatives in addition to advertising,” Breedlove said, noting he is pleased with the streamlined program the grant program review committee and full board adopted.
Several key changes were made to the grant program:
- For profit entities are now eligible to apply for grant funding, with a one-to-one cash match eligibility
- A pre-application workshop is now included as part of the process, helping applicants determine how to best generate a successful funding request
- The application is now easier to fill out and is provided online only, allowing those completing the application to submit documents, budgets and copy/paste information easily into the new form.
- There are now two grant windows, allowing applicants greater flexibility:
- July 1 – Dec. 31 events and initiatives applications are due March 1, with award notification March 30; required grant workshop Feb. 7, 4 p.m.
- Jan. 1 – June 30 events – Due Sept. 1, with award notification Sept. 30; required grant workshop Aug. 8, 10 a.m.
“We have given more than $115,000 to our partners for advertising the great things happening here,” said Breedlove. “The grant program was created to support the community and to encourage visitation to the area through our one-of-a-kind events and initiatives, so we want to encourage our partners to apply for these grants and take advantage of the funding.”
Applications must be received by March 1 for consideration in the first cycle of the upcoming fiscal year’s budget. The grant application may be filled out online and is available online here.
This fiscal year, the TDA awarded grants to Cashiers Plein Air Festival, Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival, Colorfest, Front Street Arts and Crafts Show, Greening Up the Mountains, Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries, Pots on the Green, and the WNC Pottery Festival.
Those with questions may call the Jackson County TDA at 828-848-8711.