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Waterloo Hotel-Motel Tax Grants - Capital Grants

Grants to Iowa Organizations in Eligible Regions
for Capital Projects that Enhance Tourism

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Experience Waterloo

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Grants of up to $20,000 to Iowa organizations in eligible regions for capital projects that enhance the local tourism industry. Funding is intended to support equipment purchases and capital improvements that have a positive effect on the tourist trade and draw increased numbers of visitors who remain overnight in the City of Waterloo.

The hotel-motel tax grants have been established to reach the following goals:

  1. Support capital projects significantly impacting the Waterloo visitor experience (50%).
  2. Support organizations and activities that strengthen the perception of Waterloo (25%).
  3. Make impactful projects possible with financial support from this process (25%).

The grants have been established to:

  • Drive overnight stays in Waterloo
  • Support active partners who serve and drive visitors to Waterloo
  • Support organizations and activities that have a positive impact on Waterloo
  • Provide seed money for new or innovative ideas/projects
  • Provide assistance in marketing outside of Black Hawk County

Fundable items Include purchase of equipment that allows the applicant to operate events more effectively, draw more out-of-county visitors, and have financial benefit to the organization in the long term. Applicants should show with specific data how the purchase provides a long-term impact on tourism in Waterloo. Transportation to and around Waterloo for the event is also eligible.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 149253

Estimated Size of Grant:

Organizations may apply for no more than $20,000.

Term of Contract:

Funding is for projects that are completed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants are available to organizations whose events are held in Waterloo, regardless of where the organization itself is based.

Applicants must have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) in order to apply.

Applications will only be considered if requested funds are used to close a funding gap (i.e. hotel/motel tax dollars should not be requested at the beginning of a capital campaign, but instead at the end to ensure that funds awarded are distributed in that fiscal year).

- Annual operating expenditures.
- Salaries, wages or administrative fees.
- Professional services - Includes legal, engineering or other services not expressly listed as fundable.
- Travel expenses of staff and guests not expressly listed as fundable.
- Tangible personal property, including but not limited to, copy/fax machines, computer equipment, other office equipment or furniture, light fixtures, musical instruments, permanent collections and exhibits.
- All food and beverage.
- Toll-free phone numbers, in-house postage, or material inventory.
- Interest or reduction of deficits or loans.
- Anything contrary to state or federal law or local ordinance.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due by March 11, 2020.

Applicants must show matching funds of 50% or more for the project. The grant will fund no more than 50% of the total project cost. Only funds directly involved with the project may be used as matching dollars. Operational funds may not be used to match the grant funds.

- February 7, 2020: Applications available on
- March 11, 2020: Applications due to Experience Waterloo
- April 2020: Board meets and makes recommendations to City Council
- Apr/May 2020: Applicants notified of funding results
- July 1, 2020: Funds available after completion of project
- 30 Days Post Project: One hard copy and one electronic copy of evaluation form/final report due to Experience Waterloo

Experience Waterloo Partner Program participants cannot apply for funding during the two fiscal years following a Capital or Event award.

Grant funds will be paid only after the project is completed and reimbursable expenses are confirmed with Experience Waterloo staff.

Questions about the grant application process may be directed to Tavis Hall.

Contact Information:

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

Email applications to:
Tavis Hall

Experience Waterloo
500 Jefferson Street
Waterloo, Iowa 50701
(800) 728-8431
(319) 233-8350

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Iowa: Waterloo

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