UPPER CUMBERLAND – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced has opened the second round of Tourism Enhancement Grant applications.
The grants are available for counties and cities seeking to enhance existing tourism assets or develop new infrastructure to increase economic impact. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, Nov. 30. State officials provided more than $999,000 in funds in round one.
“Tourism is one of the most important economic drivers in many of Tennessee’s communities,” TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “With this second round of grants, we will continue to work in lockstep with the Department of Tourist Development to help communities make smart investments that will have a profound and lasting impact.”
In July, TNECD and Tourist Development awarded Tourism Enhancement Grants to 29 local communities – including Fentress County, Gainesboro, Lafayette, McMinnville and Smith County – after receiving 61 submissions. Those UC counties and cities received a combined $250,770.
“Tourism development and economic development go hand-in-hand and we’re excited to partner with more local stakeholders as we strive to build prospering communities throughout Tennessee,” Assistant Commissioner of Rural Development Amy New said.
“It is exciting to see the impact the Tourism Enhancement Grant is making on our communities just after the initial implementation,” added Kevin Triplett, commissioner of Tourist Development. “We look forward to continuing to work with TNECD through this grant to further assist communities in a way that enhances both the community and tourist experience.”
Funded by the Rural Economic Opportunity Act of 2016, the second round of Tourism Enhancement Grants offers communities grants of up to $50,000 with a match requirement based on economic status. Counties and cities that have a desire to develop a tourism asset plan are also eligible for up to $20,000.
Tourism Enhancement Grants are designed for cities and counties seeking to invest in local tourism infrastructure assets such as stages, boat ramps, scenic pull-offs and other resources that target expanding local tourism.
Additional information about the grant application is available at tn.gov/TourismGrant.