Governor Bob McDonnell recently announced that three Main Street organizations would receive matching tourism grants as part of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Grant program. Abingdon Main Street will receive $5,000 for its “Shop, Dine, Play and Stay in Downtown” campaign; Historic Manassas, Inc. will receive $4,250 for a website makeover; and the Ashland Main Street Association will receive $5,000 for its “Find Your Passion in Ashland: The center of the universe” initiative.
The grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 in order to support marketing projects.
These grants enable local tourism partners to pursue projects that might otherwise be beyond their budget. The Marketing Leverage Grants program is a powerful tool in helping to support and grow a robust economy in Virginia. Our local partners are working on amazing projects and campaigns that will help to beautify communities, bring more visitors to Virginia and create even more outstanding tourism products that visitors will continue to fall in love with year after year.” – Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation
Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2012 tourism generated $21.2 billion in revenue, supported 210,000 jobs and provided $1.36 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 return in tax revenue for Virginia, and the grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue.
The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants will open in spring 2014. Localities interested in applying may visit www.vatc.org for more information.