Visitors bureau offers up to $20,000 in help

Recognizing the difficulty placed on Broward County’s tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched the 2020 Supplemental Tourism Place of Interest Sponsorship Program. Approved sponsorships of up to $20,000 will be awarded to qualifying Broward County tourist attractions, museums and welcome centers that provide services to and attract visitors from outside of Broward County.

Retail establishments are not eligible recipients. Application forms, available online at sunny.org/POIsponsorship, are being accepted through 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20.

The supplemental sponsorship program, supported by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, helps with ongoing operational expenses and promotional efforts to help qualifying locations get back on their feet and ready to welcome visitors.

Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau

“When government and health officials lift restrictions to allow visitors to return, we want to help our attractions open their doors and promote their businesses,” says Stacy Ritter, President & CEO of the visitors bureau. “We’ve worked hard during the pandemic to provide information and promotional support to our local tourism industry. Now we’re in the position to be economic responders by using tourism dollars that would have gone to support cancelled or postponed events through our tourism sponsorship program.”

What’s covered? Funds must be used to preserve staff jobs or to support ongoing operational expenses that have been severely impacted by suspension of services as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and to enhance marketing and promotional programs to attract visitors back to Broward County and to the permanent attraction, museum or visitor center. Funding is conditioned on the organization using good faith efforts to obtain assistance from available COVID-related funding. Those receiving support through the national Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will need to show that requested local funding is not supporting identical jobs or duplicating support for operational services covered under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Award recipients must commit to immediately reopening to visitors when government restrictions are lifted.

What’s not covered? Funding from the program can’t be used for new job positions or new programs. Salaries, wages, benefits and fees incurred in connection with fundraising are not allowable project expenses. Retail establishments are not eligible recipients.

How are applications evaluated and awarded? Applications will be scored and evaluated by tourism staff on the categories of organizational need, promotional reach of planned marketing, and the number of non-resident visitors to the location in 2019. Sponsorships will be awarded in amounts up to $20,000 per applicant based on the application score and funds available, up to $150,000 total. Following staff review, award recommendations will be presented to the Broward County Board of County Commissioners for final approval.

For additional information and to access the application, visit sunny.org/POIsponsorship. Completed applications must be emailed to chartsell@broward.org by no later than 5 p.m. on May 20, 2020.

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