Supervisors allocate $100,000 to stimulate Kern County tourism promotion

Kern County Board of Supervisors offered a helping hand to the local visitor industry on Tuesday, giving unanimous approval for the 2015 Tourism Promotion Grant Program as a part of the FY 2014-15 County budget. The grant program, administered by the Kern County Board of Trade, provides financial assistance for efforts intended to attract traveler spending to the region.

Supervisors authorized up to $100,000 to assist qualified non-profit groups with efforts enticing visitors to bring their travel dollars Kern County. The popular program has provided 273 grants totaling $2,075,000 since its inception in 2001.

Applications are now being accepted from any Kern County 501c organization engaged in the promotion of tourism. The current cycle is focused on direct marketing, and projects seeking funds must show the potential to attract tourists – and their dollars -- to the region. Deadline for applications is 5:00pm on October 24, 2014.

Tourism is a $1.33 billion-a-year industry in Kern County, according to figures provided by the California Travel and Tourism Commission. The industry supports approximately 13,000 local jobs while generating over $321 million in payroll and $77 million in state and local taxes that help pay for important services such as law enforcement, fire protection and public health efforts.

Organizations may apply for up to $10,000 per project in marketing assistance. Applicants may submit more than one project for consideration, but no single organization can receive more than $10,000 in total aid.

Application materials are available on-line at http://www.visitkern.com/grants/ . Also available are a sample application, a downloadable application template, and complete program guidelines and instructions.

For more information, contact the Kern County Board of Trade at 661.868.KERN or e-mail Grants@VisitKern.com .

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