Springfield, Illinois (WAND) – Governor JB Pritzker and the Office of Economic Opportunity, Illinois announced a new $ 10 million grant program on Tuesday. It aims to revitalize the Illinois tourism industry. state.
The Federal Dollar is funding tourism attraction and festival grant programs from the United States Rescue Planning Act (ARPA) as part of a broader effort to revitalize tourism in Illinois.
Tourism and festival companies and organizations can now apply for up to $ 1 million in grants that can be used to establish and enhance tourism attractions or festivals planned for this year or next year.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the funds are exhausted in the quarterly awards.
The department has the ability to fund applications that most closely match the eligibility criteria approved for immediate funding through notification of funding opportunities.
To view the NOFO, go to the following website: https://bit.ly/3fRxKgN..
“From state parks to famous drives, world-famous restaurants, wineries and architecture, Illinois has earned itself a position as a major international destination for business and leisure travel.” Governor JB Pritzker said. “In collaboration with the General Assembly, we have built an extended tourism recovery grant program to help more communities in Illinois regain some of the pie. We bring visitors back to the community. Supports the hospitality and entertainment business. Helps bring more Illinois residents back to work-another step to get our state back on track. “
Tourism attractions and festival grant programs Help develop new attractions and enhance existing attractions such as museums, businesses, events, performances and festivals.
DCEO will use ARPA’s federal recovery funds to provide grants ranging from $ 10,000 to $ 1 million and require local matches.
The goal of this program is to attract additional visitors and accommodations that bring foot traffic back to the Illinois-wide community.
“Travel and tourism play an important role in our Illinois economy, fueling hundreds of thousands of jobs each year and driving important economic activity throughout our community.” Sylvia Garcia, Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity for Commerce (DCEO), said. “To support the tourism industry with a continuous recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois will help communities attract new visitors and repeaters to attractions, events and festivals for a new $ 10 million. The program has begun. Illinois is focused on developing resources to market the state and provides direct assistance to tourism-related businesses, which will increase spending, revive jobs and Illinois. The state comes to mind as the top destination. ”
Eligible applicants include local governments, local governments, counties, non-profit organizations, commercial organizations, or local promotion groups.
The funds can be used for commentary programs such as capital projects, equipment, training, transportation, housing, receptions, entertainment, photography, temporary housing, exhibitions and installations to develop new attractions and events that attract visitors to Illinois. ..
The program hopes to encourage and increase visitor spending in the local community, generate Illinois income and create jobs.
“The Illinois travel and tourism industry is a major economic and brand driver for the state,” said Dave Herrell, chair of the Illinois Convention and Visitor Bureau Council (ICCVB). “This investment, announced today, further increases the likelihood that the community will leverage and invigorate its destination and tourism marketing efforts. Illinois remains competitive on both leisure and business trips and visits the state. We need to continue to add value to our economy. These resources will strengthen Illinois’ assets, create jobs and introduce the state. “
The proposed attractions and festivals should be evaluated based on their marketing value and ability to attract guests, demonstrating how the award will help businesses in the surrounding area.
Projects score high based on their proximity to commercial corridors and services such as hotels / motels, restaurants, retail stores and other commercial facilities. Attractions include, but are not limited to:
- Museums and cultural centers.
- Theme / amusement park.
- Outdoor activities and recreation sites.
- Other facilities or businesses that attract or serve visitors.
Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), chairman of the Senate Tourism and Hospitality Committee, said: “This new program by the Pritzker administration provides the community with the opportunity to showcase the wonderful festivals and attractions that take place here in Illinois. Our restaurants, hotels and small businesses safely welcome visitors. Ready to do. ”
Bounced behind the recently launched Time for Me to Drive campaign, the movement and grant program continues its efforts to revitalize the industry and help convention and visitor bureau (CVB) partners attract visitors to Illinois. increase.
“Time for me to drive“” Is the first new tourism campaign since COVID-19, creating a deadlocked travel demand, or road trip, to encourage residents and visitors to safely enjoy the diverse communities and scenic landscapes of Illinois. Grab it.
“With the leadership of Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly, Illinois is reviving and revitalizing our tourism industry.” Lamont J. Robinson, Jr. (D-Chicago), chairman of the House Tourism Commission, said. “The $ 10 million Tourism Recovery Grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity for Commerce gives a diverse community a starting point for attracting visitors to experience world-class museums, iconic festivals and historic buildings in Illinois. The Tourism Commission looks forward to working with the Pritzker administration to rejuvenate and build a rethinked 21st century Illinois tourism industry. “
A technical assistance webinar will be held on Wednesday, August 25, from 1 pm to 2 pm to discuss application requirements, program eligibility, and program guidelines. To sign up for the webinar, please visit: This link..
Over $ 75 million in grants have been directed to tourism-related businesses through the State Suspension Grant (BIG) program.
This is in addition to the $ 133 million that has been offered to restaurants and bars (which are themselves major tourist destinations) since the pandemic began.