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Bureau to offer grants for advertising events

The Thomson-McDuffie Convention and Visitors Bureau met last Thursday morning and adopted an advertising grant program for local events.

Nonprofit organizations can receive advertising funds for events by submitting an application to the board. To qualify for funds, several guidelines must be met, including but not limited to: the event must be open to the public, and the advertisement must promote out-of-county visitors.

Bureau Director Elizabeth Vance said the CVB is required by state law to only provide funding that will entice out-of-town visitors. Therefore, the goals of the advertising grant program are to increase overnight stays in McDuffie County, promote a positive image and increased visibility of the county's attractions, increase expenditures by visitors in the county and provide programs and activities beneficial to drawing additional tourists.

The total amount of the program's grants is dependent on tax receipts. The funds are not given up front, but are contingent upon submitting an application, invoices, copies of materials, receipts and other documents.

All applications must be submitted by March 1 of each year. Discussion by the board before the vote included the benefits of applicants appearing before the board with their application.

"It's not required, but the application may be tabled if there are unanswered questions," said board member David Moore. "We are following state guidelines, so we don't want to get in trouble. So, I'm in favor of the grant program."

A committee consisting of Mr. Moore, Kelly Evans and Glenn Wilson presented the grant program, which was discussed and approved unanimously by the CVB board. In the past, similar funds have been provided to the Festival Off Main and the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival.

Mrs. Vance said she'd like to encourage all qualifying events and attractions to apply, thus helping to promote McDuffie County as an attractive destination.

Call Mrs. Vance at (706) 597-1000 for more information.

Web posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009

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