Destination Development Grants Available Again in Erie and Ottawa Counties
A popular matching grant program is available for the purpose of assisting Erie and Ottawa County businesses, organizations, and communities in developing activities or projects that will attract and engage visitors, serve and educate regional tourism partners, and generate economic growth for their communities and the region through travel and tourism development. The Shores & Islands Ohio Destination Development Grants will be awarded to Erie and Ottawa County organizations again in 2023 and are in addition to the organization’s sponsorship grant programs which will also continue.
The Erie County Destination Development Grant offered by the Erie County Visitors Bureau, Inc. and the Ottawa County Destination Development Grant offered by the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau, Inc., together doing business as Shores & Islands Ohio, serves to develop and enhance destination-based assets that reflect the regional organization’s mission and helps attract visitors, talent, and increased visitor spending in the region. The grant will support tourism industry and community collaboration, maximize the economic return on public and private investments for travel and tourism destinations in the region, and enhance the quality of life for residents as a result.
Eligible grant recipients must be a partnering business/organization with Shores & Islands Ohio and could include, but are not limited to, local governments, for-profit enterprises, and non-profit organizations, and grant requirements must be met. If a for-profit enterprise is the lead or a partner applicant, the project must reflect an economic benefit for their municipality or the county at large. Eligible projects should target the development of quality-of-place amenities, attractions, and facilities that enhance the visitor experience and foster connectivity with the specific destination or geographic area.
Once again, this grant program seeks big, transformative ideas. Applicant preference will be given to large-scale projects that enhance communities with visitor attraction efforts. Information on the types of projects that are potentially eligible for grant funding can be found in the official grant application.
Ottawa County grant applicants can apply for up to $10,000 and Erie County applicants up to $25,000. However, this program is not designed to cover the entire cost of a project – it is a matching grant program; therefore, the grantee must secure an equal amount of funds as they are granted towards the project in order to receive funding. Organizations with active projects funded through the 2022 grant are not eligible to apply until the previously funded project is complete and all requirements have been fulfilled.
Informational meetings detailing the grant, eligibility, application process, and reporting requirements will be held at both welcome centers in February. Interested parties are welcome to join any meeting, regardless of county of origin.
Thursday, Feb. 2nd, 2023 at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. – S&IO East (125 E. Water St., Sandusky)
Tuesday, Feb. 7nd, 2023 at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. – S&IO West (770 S.W. Catawba Rd., Port Clinton)
Wednesday, Feb. 15th at 9 a.m. – S&IO East (125 E. Water St., Sandusky)
Wednesday, Feb. 15th at 2 p.m. – S&IO West (770 S.W. Catawba Rd., Port Clinton)
Application proposals are being accepted now and will be due by 12 p.m. on April 20th, 2023. Erie County grant finalists will be notified by May 12th, 2023 and Ottawa County grant finalists will be notified by May 19th, 2023. For more information on the grant process or to receive an application, please contact Shores & Islands Ohio Destination Development Director, Amanda Smith Rasnick, at email@example.com or (419) 625-2175.
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