HCCVB announces new tourism grant program

Hamilton County attractions, festivals, sports organizations or communities may apply for a share of $70,000 in grant funds from the Destination: Hamilton County 8 Great Towns Grant Program. The Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau grant program targets non-profit organizations whose activities host local residents while also attracting out-of-area visitors. The grants support operations, special projects, festivals, events or special marketing and promotions.

Applicants must justify how the proposed grant supports tourism development in Hamilton County. Application and grant details are available at www.8greattowns.com/grants. The deadline for applications is Jan. 31.

Past grants have supported projects large and small including: ball field development for tournament play, operating grants for major attractions, marketing and promotions for theater seasons, a chili cook-off, a national vocal competition and signage detailing Westfield’s Quaker roots and connection to the Underground Railroad.

Groups that don’t fit the requirements for this grant may be interested in two additional grant programs. Hamilton County Sports Authority, a division of the Hamilton County CVB, offers a separate grant program to attract out-of-area sports-related events. Details are available by calling 660-4041. A new arts-focused grant for the Nickel Plate Arts initiative, which runs from Fishers to Atlanta, will be announced in February.

The Hamilton County CVB operates using lodging taxes collected by the county’s hoteliers on almost 3,000 hotel rooms. These funds feed tourism’s economic development impact on the community and support community development initiatives.