Grants to assist communities with tourism infrastructure assets
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced Friday that 29 communities will receive more than $1 million in Tourism Enhancement Grants to assist with tourism infrastructure assets.
“We want to congratulate the 29 communities that will be receiving Tourism Enhancement Grants,” Haslam said. “Tourism is an important part of our state economy, and these grants showcase how tourist development and economic development work together to make our state not only a great place to live and work, but a top tourist destination. With the assistance of these grants each community will be able to grow and enhance their local tourism assets.”
The grants help counties and cities improve local assets to increase the economic impact of tourism. This is second round of the Tourism Enhancement Grant program. In July, nearly $1 million was awarded to 29 communities during the first round of tourism grants.
“I am happy to announce the 29 communities that have been awarded Tourism Enhancement Grants,” Boyd said. “Tourist development and economic development have a great partnership with a common goal: making sure Tennessee and the communities across the state are able to succeed and grow. With these grants, each participating community has shown that they are investing in economic development and the future growth in our state.”
Grundy County is slated to receive $20,000; Marion and Sequatchie counties will each receive $10,000.
Grundy County Mayor Michael Brady said he is excited about the tourism enhancement grant award to Grundy County.
“Grundy County is such a beautiful, pristine place to visit. Tourism is a key element of economic growth for our area,” stated Brady. “This grant will enable us to have clear, direction on our short-term and long-term goals regarding tourism in the county. It will also enable us to join efforts and ultimately accomplish our united goals.”
The Tourism Enhancement Grants are funded through the Rural Economic Opportunity Act, which is designed to improve the economic indicators in rural communities across Tennessee. Announcements will follow this spring for Site Development Grants, Main Street Entrepreneur Grants and Asset-Enhancement Grants for distressed communities.
“Arguably the only thing about this program more exciting than announcing the grant recipients is the opportunity it provides these communities,” Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett said. “The Tourism Enhancement Grants help enhance local tourism assets, which is an integral part of every county in Tennessee. Our partners at TNECD realize how critical these assets are in regards to tourism and economic development and I am thankful for the commitment to helping these communities grow.”
An advisory committee made up of staff from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture selected the 29 communities from a pool of 50 grant applications.