Eastern Regional Tourism District Accepting Marketing Grant Applications. Funding up to $10,000 is available for businesses, non-profits, municipalities

The Eastern Regional Tourism District (ERTD) is now accepting applications from organizations for marketing initiatives that support eastern Connecticut’s tourism economy.
Called the Regional Marketing Partnership Program, it is a one-to-one match for deserving organizations in the 41-town region that have satisfied all grant requirements, including the ability to match their grant funding request.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 15, 2024.

“This program that several of us started three years ago has been extraordinarily successful. We want to continue leveraging state dollars to heavily promote and market Eastern Connecticut,” said Chris Regan, Chairman of the District. 

Since 2020, ERTD has distributed a total of $377,267 in grant funding, and $328,634 has been matched by the grantees.

A total of $70,000 has been allocated by the Connecticut Office of Tourism to fund the 2024 program. 
Plans should focus on marketing eastern Connecticut’s tourism economy and encourage the safe enjoyment of Connecticut’s tourism opportunities as well as encourage collaboration and partnerships. 
“Tourism assets of all sizes are encouraged to apply and develop new partnerships as part of the program,” said Fran Kefalas, Chair of the Grants Committee. “We want to encourage tourists from all backgrounds to visit Eastern Connecticut and we can be most successful when we are marketing the region from many perspectives.”

There will be a meeting held on Dec. 6 at noon via Zoom to answer questions that applicants may have. If an organization cannot attend the meeting, a recording will be provided. Also, questions can be directed to Rachel Lenda, Administrative Partnership Manager, at visiteasternct@gmail.com.

Here are the rules to apply: 
1. All proposals must be submitted via email in PDF format to: visiteasternct@gmail.com.
2. The submission must contain the following information:
a. Overview and full description of the project.
b. Whether the project is a one-time initiative or a long-term campaign.
c. Timeline of the project.
d. Measurable goals.
e. Budget for the project. Budgets and financial reporting need to distinguish separately between administrative and programmatic costs. Administrative costs are not eligible for grant funding and are not considered in-kind match. Please disclose any other state funding you have received - or will receive - for this project. 
f. The towns and venues promoted through the program. The project must primarily promote the 41-town Eastern Regional Tourism District. 
g. Capacity to complete the project (i.e., does the grantee have staff or the professional capacity to complete the proposed project?).
h. The sources of matching cash funds.
i. The number of collaborative entities involved in the project. A collaborative entity is an active partner in the project, not merely a tourism entity that may benefit from the project.
j. The number of visitors who will be impacted by the project.
k. The seasons this project will occur.
l. Is there an element of this project that promotes tourism assets in traditionally underrepresented communities? Please describe.
m. Does this project promote diversity, equity, and inclusion? Please describe.
n. In what way does the project fulfill an unmet regional tourism need?
o. Have you received a grant from ERTD in the past? If so, please describe.
p. The Grants Committee often makes partial awards. In the event of a partial award, how would this project still be executed? Please explain.
3. Applicants are eligible for one program grant per funding cycle.
4. All application materials become the property of the ERTD.

The ERTD Grants Committee will select program participants.

About Connecticut Eastern Regional Tourism District
Provides visitor information for 41 cities and towns in the eastern region of Connecticut. The mission of the Eastern Regional Tourism District is to stimulate and support the growth of eastern Connecticut’s tourism economy by providing marketing, grant and collaboration opportunities for the region’s municipalities and tourism venues throughout the region. For a full list of what to do, where to shop, what to eat, where to stay, please visit ctvisit.com/easternconnecticut.