A new matching grant program is available to assist 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.
This is similar to the Destination Development Grant awarded to Erie County organizations earlier this year and in addition to the sponsorship grant programs that will continue to be offered.
The Ottawa County Destination Development Grant offered by the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau, Inc., part of 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 Ottawa County, 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.
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.
Informational meetings detailing the grant, eligibility, application process, and reporting requirements will be held at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Aug. 10 at the Shores & Islands Ohio West Welcome Center, 770 S.E. Catawba Rd., Port Clinton.
Application proposals are being accepted now and will be due by 5 p.m. on Sept. 23. Grant finalists will be notified by Sept. 30, and final grant recipients will be chosen by Oct. 17. For more information on the grant process or to receive an application, contact Shores & Islands Ohio Destination Development Director Amanda Smith Rasnick at email@example.com or 419-625-2175.