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Accommodations Tax Grant

Grants to South Carolina Nonprofits and Agencies
to Promote Tourism Events in Eligible Regions

Agency Type:

Local

Funding Source:

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Town of Mount Pleasant

Deadline Date:

02/03/20

Description:

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Grants to South Carolina nonprofit organizations and agencies for events and activities that promote tourism in eligible regions. Eligible expenditures may include promotions and advertising, sporting events and facilities, free-standing events such as fireworks displays, website construction, and conventions that take place in the Town of Mount Pleasant.

What is a tourist/tourism activity?
- People taking trips outside their home communities for any purpose, except daily commuting to and from work. Home community usually is defined as 50+ miles but there is some flexibility.
- Tourism-related events are designed primarily for those outside of the community. What steps were taken to promote the event outside of the community? Use a conversion study if needed to determine actual number of tourists that attended.

Fundable Activities:
- Website
- Fireworks (for free-standing events designed to attract tourists like 4th of July)
- Sporting Events: When the primary purpose of the event is to attract tourists, not to fund scholarships.
- Sporting Facilities: if such facilities are expressly constructed for the purpose of hosting competitive events that will attract tourists to regional or national competitions or tournaments.
- Conventions/Meetings: If it is designed to attract tourists to the community and the expenditure is found to serve a public purpose.
- Health Facilities for Tourists
- Out-of-Market Billboards
- Construction & Maintenance of Access Roads & Utilities for civic & cultural activities
- Municipal & County Services (Garbage, Police, etc) if these local governments have a high concentration of tourism and these services can be attributed to tourism activity.
- Promotion & Advertising of Cultural Arts. TERC interprets this subsection to authorize:
a. Expenditures for advertising to increase attendance at museums or other facilities dedicated to the display of arts or at individual cultural events from either within or without of the local market, or
b. Dedication of a percentage of the total budgeted expenditures for a specific cultural event, not including the expenditures to rent or operate a facility, which percentage may not exceed the percent of out-of-market tourists in relation to the total attendance of the event.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 147657

Term of Contract:

For Projects 7/01/2020 – 12/31/2020

The law says that you have two years from receipt to spend any remaining funds from the 65% tourism-related fund, which must be used for tourism-related expenditures.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Guidelines:
State law requires that to be eligible for selection the organization must be organized as a nonprofit organization.

- Event or Festival takes place in Town of Mount Pleasant.
- Host hotel(s) in Mount Pleasant is/are specified on application and promotion materials.
- Event or Festival has economic struggle in executing project without accommodations tax funding. The Committee asks that an applicant consider returning all or a portion of their sponsorship funding if the event generates a profit.
- Event or Festival dates are during the off-season or shoulder dates of the tourist season.
- Event or Festival brings in a significant number of tourists (tourists are defined as those who travel at least 50 miles to attend) and not solely an event or festival for local residents.
- Cost per room night and visitor day is acceptable to Accommodations Tax Committee.
- Application is received by its appropriate deadline and is completed fully and accurately.
- If returning applicant, a verifiable performance report is completed fully and accurately.

Counties and municipalities are required to expend its Tourism-related funds primarily in the geographical areas of the county or municipality where the tax was collected, if practicable.

Not Fundable:
- Sporting Events with Scholarships: Sporting events such as tournaments and other competitions which award scholarships or donate proceeds from an event to charitable organizations are not eligible for A-Tax funding to any extent or for any purpose as this results in the use of public funds to support private philanthropic or charitable interests.
- Training Programs for the Hospitality Industry
- Health Clinics for hospitality industry (Ok if for tourists)
- Welcome Signs
- Promotion of events staged by colleges, senior centers, local choirs unless it is advertised and intended to attract tourists from the outside
- Travel & lodging for high school bands
- Cultural programs in the schools
- Buildings for Chamber of commerce Unless they operate as the Visitor’s Bureau or Visitor’s Center
- Transportation for senior citizens’ programs, or programs related to drug abuse, AIDS awareness or similar items for residents
- The county’s or municipality’s employees to attend educational workshops, conferences or programs involving tourism
- Mosquito Control
- Anything that involves a “re-granting”
- For-Profit Entities

Possibly fundable activities, but not likely:
- Beautification & Maintenance of Exits off State Highways, Lighting
- Historical Markers/Monuments
- Acquisitions by local museums
- Museums
- Farmers Markets
- Local Government Salaries
- A county’s or municipality’s supplies such as checks, paper, copier machines, etc.

Pre-Application Information:

Application available December 1, 2019 and due February 3, 2020.

February 3, 2020, 12:00 pm: Presentations to Committee (Town Hall, 100 Ann Edwards Lane, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464)
March 5, 2020: Presentations to Committee
March 6, 2020: Committee Deliberation and Grading
March 10, 2020: Presentation to Town Council for Final Approval

Those organizations receiving funding will be notified shortly after Town Council’s approval.

Applications may be emailed or mailed.

FAQ:
https://experiencemountpleasant.com/faq/

Guidelines:
https://experiencemountpleasant.com/faq/accommodations-tax-guidelines/

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Applications may be emailed to:
Tourism@tompsc.com

Mail applications to:
ATAC
100 Ann Edwards Lane
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Questions may be addressed to the email above.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Carolina: Town of Mount Pleasant

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