Did you know that VISIT FLORIDA has a program in place which awards grants to help businesses market themselves and promote tourism in the State of Florida? If your hotel or restaurant hosts local events, or engages the community in a way that has significant economic impact in the tourism industry, you may consider applying for a VISIT FLORIDA Small Business Grant.
The Small Business Grant only has two easy-to-meet requirements to apply: Your business must be a Small Business Marketing Partner with VISIT FLORIDA and must not exceed $1.25 million in gross revenue annually. Your hotel or restaurant will also qualify if registered as a 501(c)(3) organization under IRS guidelines. This grant is a dollar for dollar matching grant, awarding up $5000 to a small business for the purpose of publicizing their tourism advantages in the State of Florida. This money can be used for marketing your business to promote tourism to Florida, from revamping your website to advertising an event your property hosts to draw in more visitors.
In addition, VISIT FLORIDA administers the following grants:
• City-wide Meetings & Conventions Grant
• Advertising Matching Grant
• Cultural, Heritage, Rural and Nature Tourism Grant
• Minority Convention Grant
VISIT FLORIDA’s grant application cycle opens every December and closes in February. The application must be completed online; full details for the various grant programs can be found HERE including a list of prior year grant recipients.
VISIT FLORIDA also provides many marketing programs in addition to grants which can help businesses engage visitors and boost visitation. A Marketing Partnership with VISIT FLORIDA is a cost-effective and easy way to participate because it provides a host of benefits, including a robust listing on our website and in the Official Florida Vacation Guide. In addition to these features, you can also request posts to display on VISIT FLORIDA’s social media channels, furthering your reach to Florida visitors. Other benefits that indirectly help you target potential patrons include access to visitor research and free online hospitality training for front-line employees.
Visit the Online Marketing Planner to review opportunities to maximize your advertising budget and reach target audiences. Marketing Partners receive discounts on advertising and co-op programs ranging from 20% to 40% off, too! Some programs of interest include brochure distribution at the Official Florida Welcome Centers, a TripAdvisor Homepage Takeover, and World Travel Market. Opportunities in the planner are updated frequently, and include programs of all price ranges, so there is something for everyone’s budget.
VISIT FLORIDA’s goal is to maximize the economic impact of travel and tourism to Florida. By offering resources to businesses such as yours, we aim to empower you to continue bringing in more patrons to your hotels and guests to your restaurants. Join VISIT FLORIDA today!
Article by Kate Chunka and Duncan Graham
Kate Chunka is the Partner Relations & Industry Communications Manager at VISIT FLORIDA®
Duncan Graham is the Partnership Services Coordinator at VISIT FLORIDA ®