Apply Now for a Local Special Event Grant

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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 tailored grants designed to publicize public events in this area.

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

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

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

“We’ve had this grant program in place for at least 11 years, which provides funding specifically for special event marketing,” Heon said. “The idea is to make Hernando County a tourist destination.”

Funds received through the Special Events Funding Program are to be used for expenses associated with marketing and promoting the event to visitors and guests outside of Hernando County for the purpose of encouraging overnight visitors. The program is administered by the Hernando County Tourist Development Council (HCTDC) and Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau.

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

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

“The smallest grant is $1,000,” Heon said. “Grants can reach $5,000. An average grant is $2-3,000. It’s money they can choose to spend on newspaper and radio ads, social media campaigns, and more.

In addition, the Hernando County Tourist Development Council (HCTDC) and Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau will provide special assistance to grant recipients in the form of public relations and marketing consultations, video interviews and a wide promotion on the social networks of the agencies. In return, they request that their logo be cited as a sponsor of the beneficiary event.

Although many grant applicants are from nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies can also apply.

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

Grant applications will be accepted until Friday, November 4. All forms must be completed and submitted to the Visitors Bureau prior to the HCTDC meeting, where the presentations will take place. Applications will be reviewed by the TDC at the October TDC meeting and funding recommendations will be forwarded to the BOCC for review and approval in November. Candidates will be informed of the award of their scholarship no later than Friday, December 2, 2022.

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

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