Tourism Product Development Grant

Explore Newnan-Coweta, the destination marketing organization for Coweta County, is solely funded through funds collected from a local occupancy tax on lodging sales. The goal of ENCI is to promote Coweta County as a preferred visitor destination with an emphasis on leisure travel, sporting events and tournaments, meetings and conventions, corporate and transient travel, cultural activities, films, and special events.

ENCI has established a reimbursement grant program to assist local partners in marketing tourism attractions, projects, or events exhibiting positive tourism potential for the Coweta County area and attracting new overnight visitors. Partners can apply for up to $5,000 to make specific tourism marketing enhancements to a particular project or event, research potential product development, or generally promote or enhance a tourism location. Decisions on funding are made by a team of grant reviewers along with the ENCI staff. The ENCI board of directors approves the final grant recipients. The goal of these funds is to attract new visitors to Coweta County and therefore stimulate an increase in hotel/motel occupancy, expenditures by visitors to Coweta County, and to promote a positive image and increased visibility of the county’s assets.

An investment in tourism provides a trickle-down effect for the community: a stronger, more diverse economy, an influx of substantial revenue, increased sales tax collection, lower taxes, and improved quality of life for Coweta County residents who partake in restaurants and retail operations, cultural and recreational attractions, and entertainment options that are supported and sustained through visitor spending.

Timeline

All application materials must be received by 5 p.m. on November 11, 2022. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Award notices will be made on or before December 2, 2022.

Please send all questions and application materials to info@explorenewnancoweta.com

The following tourism-related projects/activities/assets/events qualify:

Event/Meeting/Conference/Convention
A one-time event that brings out-of-town/overnight guests to a community. Examples include large car shows, sports tournaments with national/regional teams, regional or national association annual meetings, concerts with regional/national appeal, industry conferences, etc.

Tourism Program
An ongoing series of offerings or events that brings out-of-town/overnight guests to a community. Examples include a summer racing series, promotion of a live performance venue’s season (as a whole–not individual shows), new visitor experience at existing attraction/business, and social media ad placements promoting a farm’s seasonal events.

Tourism Asset/Product Development
A permanent business or location that provides an ongoing (or potential) opportunity for visitor interaction and experience or future investment in tourism product development. Qualifying expenses include research/feasibility studies, marketing strategies that increase overall awareness, access, and education about a business that enhance its ability to attract more/new visitors. This could be elements of an ongoing awareness campaign, such as a website, brochure, or digital ads for a hotel, museum, event facility, retail establishment or restaurant.

Guidelines and Requirements

  • Applicants must be based within Coweta County
  • All projects, events or marketing strategies must happen within the time period of December 1, 2022 and December 1, 2023.
  • The promoted event, business or organization must hold a valid business license or occupation tax certificate and all appropriate permits.
  • Events must show proof of liability/medical insurance.
  • The primary goal of CVB-funded projects must be visitor-facing tourism programs, events, projects or marketing. While residents may benefit from the funded project/programs, they cannot be the primary audience.
  • A marketing plan (if applicable) must be submitted for the project/event.
  • Businesses may submit applications for more than one marketing initiative/event, but they must be submitted on a separate application. For events, there can be no overlap between the applications.
  • All advertising must be targeted outside of Coweta County (the exception is billboard signage along major interstates). Print advertising and radio ads whose reach and distribution include Coweta County are acceptable as long as greater than 50% of the target audience is outside the county.
  • Events must be open to the general public (ticketed events are accepted as long as the public has the opportunity to purchase tickets).
  • No event-related marketing efforts may promote facilities or properties located outside of Coweta County.
  • Execution of the project will be the sole responsibility of the business requesting funding.
  • ENCI must review and give advance written approval on funded marketing activities, including advertisements, flyers, posters, programs, radio advertisements, websites, digital marketing, etc.
  • ENCI does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), first amendment-protected activity, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in reviewing applications submitted for Tourism Product Development Grants.
  • All applications will be judged using the Grant Rubric.

Eligible Grant Program Projects include:

  • Production of promotional pieces to be distributed outside of Coweta County. These pieces may include brochures, posters, direct mail pieces, etc. Applications must be specific on methods of distribution, production costs, or any other expenses.
  • Website development/upgrades (If an upgrade, the application must demonstrate how the upgrades will enhance the event/business’s ability to attract new visitors)
  • Graphic design services (for marketing collateral)
  • Video production
  • Marketing Photography (for tourism-related businesses or events)
  • Digital or print advertising placements (must be targeted outside of Coweta County)
  • Paid social advertising
  • Research for tourism product development viability or feasibility study (primary target audience must be visitors outside Coweta County and applicant must show potential to generate NEW visitor growth/overnight lodging stays)

Examples of ineligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Any event expenses not approved for funding in the application
  • Infrastructure costs for a business or an event
  • Advertising or promotional pieces placed within Coweta
  • Website development or enhancement for non-visitor-facing websites
  • Promotional items
  • Signage or kiosks
  • Logo or brand development
  • Trade Show registration or attendance
  • Fees associated with the hiring of a marketing or public relations company
  • Event tickets or passes used in marketing or PR projects. (i.e., in-kind costs)
  • Salaries and other monetary compensation to staff or talent
  • Food and beverage
  • Mileage or gas expenses due to the distribution of materials

Funding and Reimbursement

  • Grant funds are capped at $5,000 per project/event per fiscal year.
  • Grant funds are meant to enhance, not replace, existing funding for the event
  • An indemnification agreement must be signed and on file with ENCI before funds are distributed.
  • Funding will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis. Proof of marketing materials or research results and paid invoices/proof of payment must be presented with final report.
  • Applicants who receive grant funds must submit a Grant Usage Report regarding the return on investment (ROI) of the funds, using the metrics presented in the grant application, in order to receive reimbursement.
  • All final reports/documents are due to ENCI within 30 days of the end of the grant cycle for which grants were approved or within 30 days of the end of the event/program.
  • ENCI may terminate or adjust funding if applicants do not adhere to the application parameters or post-reporting agreement.

Documents