City Council Regular Meeting
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New Business   Item #: G.
American Rescue Plan Act Tourism Recovery Program Grant
The Danville Office of Economic Development and Tourism, through its role as the Destination Marketing Organization for Danville and Pittsylvania County, applied for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding through the Virginia Tourism Corporation to enhance marketing and support of tourism-related businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both localities were approved the maximum allocation (Danville - $100,000 and Pittsylvania County - $110,000). The ARPA program will help build the foundation for a newly created and sustainable tourism program that will promote the region as a desirable tourism destination, which will, in turn, increase the tax base for both localities, and instill a sense of community pride with residents. Funding provided through this program will be used toward the development of a marketing and branding strategy, creation of a new tourism website and customer relationship management system, development of a new library of photographs and video content, the design and production of a visitor’s guide and regional maps, the creation of a sports tourism strategy, and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a continued and devastating impact on Virginia’s tourism and hospitality industries. To better support these businesses, and increase travel throughout the Commonwealth, the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) has provided grant funding through its American Rescue Plan Act Tourism Recovery Program to aid in economic recovery. VTC was provided $50,000,000 to support local Destination Marketing Organizations, as well as enhance statewide marketing and incentive programs. Each locality could apply for a designated amount based on the annual sales tax collected by the Commonwealth. The City of Danville could apply for up to $100,000 and Pittsylvania County could apply for up to $110,000.
It is recommended by staff that City Council approve the attached Ordinance Amending the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Appropriation Ordinance to appropriate funds from the Virginia Tourism Corporation to the City of Danville for the purpose of enhancing and implementing our regional tourism strategy to better support businesses located within Danville and Pittsylvania County that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and increase visitor activity throughout the region.
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