On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Panhandle of Florida, severely impacting Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington counties. VISIT FLORIDA has created an emergency grant program to assist local tourist development boards in these counties affected by the storm.
Grant funds are to assist local tourist development boards with increasing visitation once hurricane-damaged areas are open to visitors through advertising (print, broadcast, digital, social media or out of home), direct mail, brochure production, website development, as well as other related marketing projects/programs. All marketing must include the VISIT FLORIDA Grant Logo in compliance with the Grant Logo Guidelines.
Submission and Selection Criteria: Local tourist development boards (“Applicant”) must demonstrate how the program will directly contribute to the increase of visitors to affected counties. All Grant application submissions must:
- Identify the Applicant as a local tourist development board representing a county included in the FEMA major disaster declaration on October 11, 2018, including: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington.
- Include a proposal detailing marketing strategy and tactics, including target market(s) (DMA) and audience(s), projected goals, anticipated results, detailed description of how results will be measured, and detailed media plan with proposed budget. The media plan should include media channel, flight dates, anticipated results, and budget by line item.
- All grant expenditures must be completed by June 30, 2019.
Application Period: Applications for the Tourism Recovery Grant Program for Hurricane Michael must be submitted online by February 28, 2019. Applications will be reviewed as submitted. If approved, a signed contract must be executed prior to expending any funds.
Requirements for Reimbursement: All reimbursement requests must include:
- An invoice for the grant reimbursement request to VISIT FLORIDA at grants@VISITFLORIDA.org within 45 days after the completion of the marketing project/program, but no later than August 15, 2019.
- Additional support required include:
- Copies of paid invoices and proof of payment to support the marketing project/program. All grant project costs must be paid in full prior to requesting reimbursement from VISIT FLORIDA. Proof of payment must include copy of the invoices and a) copies of cleared checks (front and back) to support payment to vendor b) copy of check and bank statement supporting payment c) credit card receipts with credit card statement.
- Copies of proof of performance for marketing elements outlined in the marketing plan. Proof of performance includes copies of advertising elements (print, broadcast, digital, out of home and social media) displaying the VISIT FLORIDA logo/tagline and any analytical reporting received, such as impressions, click-throughs, or distribution.
- Grant reimbursement requests must include a post marketing plan and ROI (Return on Investment) report that includes the results of your project/program/event.