The Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Division of Economic Development and Tourism has established the Local Tourism Grant Program for the purposes of promoting tourism and events within, or otherwise attracting overnight nonresident visitors to Shelbyville and Bedford County (note: Bedford County refers to all municipalities and communities lying within the county borders). This program will provide funding towards programs and events that exhibit positive tourism potential to the community. The provision of these funds will assist qualified organizations with the promotion of tourism activities that directly increase overnight stays and create a positive image and build publicity for Shelbyville and Bedford County.
The following guidelines are provided to assist and guide you through your application for a local tourism grant through the Chamber of Commerce Division of Economic Development and Tourism. (References to the Chamber throughout this document refer to the Shelbyville- Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Division of Economic Development and Tourism)
The purpose of the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber Local Tourism Grant program is to promote our community as a travel destination to potential visitors and increase overnight stays. In attracting visitors to Shelbyville and Bedford County, this program positively impacts the vitality of our area and contributes to the economic growth of the local tourism industry. The Chamber has provided this program to provide support for local tourism programs, attractions and events that will enhance the marketing of our community to visitors.
Increased hotel occupancy and visitor travel into and throughout our community positively impact the economic vibrancy of our area and support our local economy.
Applicants to the Local Tourism Grant Program must be organizations seeking to produce and promote a clearly defined festival, program or event that promotes tourism and conventions within, or otherwise attracts overnight nonresident visitors to Shelbyville and Bedford County.
The Chamber local tourism grant program is a reimbursement grant program. Grant funding will only be issued upon presentation of invoices for goods or services or paid receipts. Applicants must submit for payment or reimbursement through the use of a reimbursement form along with an invoice or proof of payment to receive grant funds.
The Chamber will consider factors such as the type and scope of the applying organization or project, the applicant’s resources, the impact of the project, the timetable, the number of applications received, and the amount requested when evaluating grant applications.
Additional considerations regarding the grant award follow below:
All events must show the potential to generate overnight hotel stays and should include Shelbyville and Bedford County hotel, motels and inns in their promotion. Applications will be assessed considering the following:
The Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Division of Economic Development and Tourism annually allocates a certain amount of funding towards the tourism grant program. Grant awards for returning programs will be made once a year. To be considered for repeat funding, an application for returning programs must be received on or before the application deadline established each year. New applicants are encouraged to apply along with returning applicants or as soon thereafter as practicable. In order to remain eligible for grant funding, proposed activities must not be initiated prior to approval by the Chamber.
A project is considered ineligible if it does not contribute to the overall intent of bringing additional tourists and visitors into Shelbyville and Bedford County and general increased lodging and tourism revenues.
A post-event summary shall be completed on the forms provided by the Chamber within 90 days of completion of the event. Failure to submit a post-event summary or the submission of an incomplete summary may affect the applicant’s ability to receive future grant funding. Post-event summaries shall include: