LA GRANDE – Normally this time of year the Union County Chamber of Commerce would announce the TRT Mini Grant Cycle as being open and accepting applications; however, this year’s grant cycle is not opening. The Union County Tourism Promotion Advisory
Committee (UCTPAC) made the decision not to open the grant cycle this year. The COVID-19 Pandemic postponed many events and projects in 2020, meaning most of those award recipients still have funding available to use towards events in 2021. The Committee is using this as an opportunity to evaluate and restructure the grants to maximize positive impact on tourism promotion efforts in Union County.
Each year, a portion of transient room tax (TRT) funds are set aside to assist in the promotion or development of events or attractions with the goal of increasing the economic impact of tourism in Union County. While there are typically three different TRT-funded grants available, this year will be used as a rebuild and restructure year, with additional information coming later this year about new grant opportunities. The Co-Op Grant is open throughout the fiscal year without deadline (dependent on availability of funds). The purpose of the Cooperative Advertising Program is to promote tourism related events and activities to a wider audience through cost-sharing partnerships. Applicants of this grant may request up to 50% of the cost of media advertising to promote their event, project or activity, with an annual $1,000 cap. Those requesting more than this amount must approach the Chamber’s Executive Director for special consideration. The Discretionary Funds Grant aids in the promotion or development of new projects, events and attractions emerging outside of the TRT Mini Grant cycle. Applicants may request up to $250 to support the development of new projects throughout the year (dependent on availability of funds).
“With the COVID-19 pandemic having put so many of the events and projects on hold from 2020, we are using this as an opportunity to evaluate the true effectiveness of the grant programs and really doing what we can to ensure these grants take projects and events to the next level,” said Suzannah Moore Hemann, Executive Director of the Union County Chamber of Commerce. “We’re excited and encouraged to have the opportunity to find new ways to support these efforts with more strategic effectiveness.”
The Union County Tourism Grant program, sponsored by the City of La Grande and Union County Transient Room Tax dollars, is administered by the Union County Chamber of Commerce and overseen by the Union County Tourism Promotion Advisory Committee. The program’s purpose is to assist in promoting events or attractions which increase economic vitality and the impact of tourism in Union County. More information is available from the Chamber office (by calling 541-963-8588 or emailing Director@visitunioncounty.org).