Schoharie County hopes to boost tourism with grants

Schoharie County is making $23,000 in grants available to help promote events and activities expecte

Schoharie County is making $23,000 in grants available to help promote events and activities expected to bring tourists into the county.

The grants, supported by the county’s 4 percent occupancy tax collected on lodging bills, will support the cost of events, including artistic and professional fees and advertising, according to program guidelines.

An application process set up for the program calls for three business references, a marketing plan detailing an advertising budget, media contacts, a description of the event and a listing of all costs related to the event.

Occupancy Tax Board member Robert Holt, general manager at Howe Caverns, said the program is aimed at helping attractions bring more people into the county.

“That is the whole objective of the grant program, to bring folks in and extend stays, or as we say in the industry, ‘put more heads in beds,’ ” he said.

If successful, it will mean more sales tax and occupancy tax revenues, further supporting tourism activities, Holt said.

Seward Supervisor J. Carl Barbic said the county attempted to distribute bed tax money in the past and simply sent $1,000 to the towns. The new program, with an established criteria and guidelines, should help make better use of the money, he said.

“I was pleased with what I saw,” Barbic said of a presentation last week on the new program.

The grants are available for both non-profit and for-profit organizations, groups, individuals, clubs and business consortia. All must be located within Schoharie County.

Two applications can be made, one for the cost of events and another for advertising and promotion. Capital expenses will not be funded. Other items excluded from funding include promotional items that would be sold, travel and food, education costs and brochures.

Various events are eligible, including concerts and fairs, fireworks and weekend events like the annual Maple Festival, hiking and biking, hunting and fishing, white water rafting and others.

Applicants have about five weeks to get applications in: The deadline is 5 p.m. March 31.

Application materials can be found on the county’s Web site at under public announcements.

Categories: Business

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