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Westmoreland County Tourism Grant Program

Grants to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Tourism Nonprofits and
Businesses for Capital Funds, Marketing, and Visitor Center Operations

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau (LHVB)

Deadline Date:

11/16/18 4:30 PM


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Grants to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania nonprofit and for-profit tourism and tourism development organizations for capital projects, marketing, and visitor center operations. Funding is intended to increase local tourism visitation, enhance the tourism experience, and increase overnight stays within Westmoreland County.

Awards are granted annually on the basis of merit as determined by the Westmoreland County Tourism Grant Review Committee and administered by the Westmoreland County Commissioners and the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau. Thus, grant funding should be primarily used for marketing and advertising expenses that target potential visitors who reside outside of the Laurel Highlands counties and whose visit is likely to result in an overnight stay.

Key criteria grant committee members will take into account when reviewing and selecting tourism projects for funding:
- The project has the ability to draw or increase the number of tourists.
- The project provides a distinctive experience.
- The project has the potential to appeal to various age groups or to educate/develop appreciation by future generations.

Grants may be awarded in the following three (3) project categories:

Marketing Programs :
- Marketing and advertising programs must be targeted to media that primarily reach non-Westmoreland County residents. Cooperative programs, which include tourism partners in the three-county Laurel Highlands region, are eligible. The Grant Program will not fund advertisements in local event programs (i.e. high school sports programs, local dance troupe programs, etc.)

Tourism-related marketing expenses eligible for funding, including but not limited to:
- Internet website development or enhancement.
- Image marketing (creating photo or film libraries, logo development, new artwork, etc.).
- Tourism awareness programs and customer service programs.
- Brochure design and printing
- Advertising (TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc. – local media may be included if the majority of their audience is out of the county).

Capital Projects:
- Capital improvements that benefit tourism and augment the visitor’s experience by developing new or enhancing existing Westmoreland County tourist attractions or amenities will be considered.

Visitor Center:
- Operation of a visitor center in an Allegheny Trail Alliance recognized “Great Allegheny Passage Trail Town” in Westmoreland County, including expenses related to staffing the center (payroll, payroll taxes, and payroll fees).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166387

Term of Contract:

Award amounts must be appropriately utilized before December 2019. Applicants can incur expenses eligible for assistance immediately after grant notification. Expenses cannot be incurred before notification date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants may be awarded to any non-profit or for-profit tourism-related business or organization located within Westmoreland County that submits a request for such funds utilizing the official grant application furnished for this purpose and whose mission and operation are directly related to tourism and tourism development.

Expenses not eligible for grant funding:
- Food, lodging, mileage and transportation costs.
- Purchase or rental computers, software, projectors and other equipment.
- Telephone expenses.
- Postage and handling expenses
- Purchase of brochure racks.
- Envelopes, letterhead, business cards, and miscellaneous office supplies.
- Membership dues, sponsorships and talent/dignitary honorariums.
- Office space rental.
- Physical construction of billboards
- Gift cards, t-shirts and items for resale.
- Standard operational expenses such as rent, utilities, insurance, payroll, postage, etc., with the exception of the approved expenses directly related to the operation of a seasonal visitor center
- Sectarian religious purposes

Events that will not be continued annually do not qualify for grant funds.

Pre-Application Information:

2019 Tourism Grant applications and documentation must be received no later than 4:30 PM Friday, November 16, 2018.

Applications may be mailed or personally delivered to the Laurel Highlands Office. Fax transmittals or emails will not be accepted. Any application received after the deadline will be disqualified.

Granting decisions will be determined and notification will be announced in January 2019.

An applicant may not file for more than one grant request for each type of grant.

Non-profit and for-profit organizations are required to have a 25% cash match or a 12.5% cash match and 12.5% in-kind match. The in-kind services and/or donated materials and documentation must be provided for any in-kind match. In-kind services documentation must include work performed, date/dates of the services and hourly rate and hours donated. In-kind volunteer work is only acceptable for events (such as festivals) and only for the time the volunteer works at the event. The volunteer’s time is valued at $10 per hour and must be documented, including dates, services they provided, and hours of service.

Contact Information:

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

Mailing address for all grant correspondences:
Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau
ATTN: Grant Administrator
120 East Main Street
Ligonier, PA 15658

For specific questions please contact Grant Administrator, Georgia Robinsky by e-mail at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Westmoreland County