The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority wants to bring visitors back to the Region this summer.
So the CVA is offering cities and towns in Lake County grants to help with festivals, tournaments, special events and other tourism-related projects.
“Our communities have faced a number of challenges this last year and supporting local events and sporting events promotes economic growth," said Brent Brashier, vice chairman of the board of directors for the South Shore CVA and owner and chief barbecue officer at Doc's Smokehouse and Craft Bar. "Tourism is one of the quickest ways to stimulate the economy as well as enhance each community’s quality of place.”
Cities and towns in Lake County can apply for up to $20,000 to stage events or for wayfinding signage.
"Everybody's been impacted by the pandemic and a lot of communities have budgetary shortfalls. When that happens the first thing they always cut is recreational fun stuff in the community," he said. "But we have federal funds we can get to the local municipalities to bring people out to enjoy festivals and fireworks. Tourism dollars are great for communities because people come, spend money and leave without being a burden to the services."
A committee that meets monthly will review the applications. The goal is to get the funding out as quickly as possible and cities and towns are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
"They could use it for a bandshell or to spruce up the Festival of the Lakes or whatever," Brashier said. "We're not going to nitpick. We want to get the money to these communities as soon as possible, whether it's for Fourth of July fireworks or whatever they normally do to attract visitors."
A total of $300,000 is available.
"We basically want to help bring normal back," he said.
For more information or to apply, reach out to South Shore CVA President and CEO Speros Batistatos at email@example.com.