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Apply now for local special event grant funding

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Planning a special event in Hernando County? The Hernando County Tourist Development Council (HCTDC) and Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau are here to help; offering custom-made grants designed to get the word out about public happenings in this area.

The Hernando County TDC has announced that Special Event Grant Funding is now open for applications.

The primary purpose of the Hernando County Local Special Event Grant Funding Program, according to Tammy Heon,

Manager, Tourism Development, Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee, “is to provide funding to local organizations for marketing of special events that promote Hernando County as a tourist destination.”

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“We have had this grant program in place for at least 11 years, which provides funding in particular for special events marketing,” said Heon. “The idea is to make Hernando County a destination for tourism.”

Funds received as a part of the Special Event Grant Funding Program must be used for expenses associated with marketing and promoting the event to visitors and guests outside of Hernando County, with the goal of encouraging overnight visitors. The program is administered through the Hernando County Tourist Development Council (HCTDC) and Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau.

“We’ve awarded grants to popular events such as the Blueberry Festival, Art in the Park, the Brooksville Raid, Chinsegut Hill events, the Bike Rally,” said Heon.

Applicants are required to provide a completed application, with a detailed marketing plan.

“The smallest grant is $1,000,” said Heon. “Grants can be as large as $5,000. An average grant is $2-3,000. This is money they may choose to spend on newspaper and radio ads, social media campaigns, etc.”

In addition, The Hernando County Tourist Development Council (HCTDC) and Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau will give special assistance to grant beneficiaries, in the form of p.r. and marketing consultation, video interviews, and ample promotion on the agencies’ social media channels. In return, they ask that their logo be cited as a sponsor of the benefitting event.

Although many applicants for the grant arise from nonprofit organizations, for-profit ventures may apply as well.

The ideal candidate may be hosting a two-day, outdoor event that people come from out of town to visit, and stay overnight–but not all events fit that description,” explained Heon. “Really, a person could visit any of these events and fall in love with this area. And then, they’ll come back for other events.”

Grant applications will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 4th. All forms must be completed and submitted to the Visitors Bureau in advance of the HCTDC Meeting, where presentations will be heard. Applications will be reviewed by the TDC at the October TDC Meeting and funding recommendations forwarded to the BOCC for review and approval in November. Applicants will be notified of their grant award no later than Friday, December 2, 2022.

For questions or assistance, please contact Tammy Heon, Manager, Tourism Development at 352.540.6232 or [email protected].

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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