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Explore Gordon County, part of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, has received a $25,000 state recovery marketing grant.

Governor Brian Kemp’s office has announced Explore Gordon County as one of the recipients across the state to receive part of the $2 million in funding.

In partnership with Explore Georgia and the state tourism office within the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the governor announced the recipients of a special round of Tourism Recovery Marketing Grants on Wednesday.

The program supports marketing efforts to bolster the recovery of Georgia’s tourism industry from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the governor’s office. Thirty-four destination marketing organizations in 27 counties will receive a combined total of nearly $1.5 million in recovery marketing funding as part of this one-time grant program.

The Georgia General Assembly approved $1 million in the amended FY21 state budget for tourism recovery. According to the station, because of the substantial number of grant applications – from 58 organizations totaling nearly $2.5 million in funding requests – Explore Georgia contributed an additional $1 million from the state tourism marketing budget to fund as many grants as possible.

The Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing program also includes $500,000 in co-op matching funds, for a total of $2 million in recovery support.

“A prospering tourism industry creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and positively impacts the health and vitality of our state’s economy. I’m proud to support our hardworking tourism organizations across the state through this recovery funding,” Kemp said. “The tourism and hospitality community needs our support more than ever, and this funding will provide the immediate marketing assistance they need to make sure that Georgia is on the minds of eager travelers.”

According to the state, the Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant program was designed to provide relief to areas of the state most impacted by the drop in tourism and is intended to fund promotional efforts to aid the travel industry’s recovery in 2021. The grants awarded have prioritized organizations and communities that have experienced the greatest impact from the loss of visitors and subsequent tourism spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Georgia is a beautiful state and as we continue to recover, I look forward to working alongside our industry partners to promote the state’s incredible tourism assets to travelers across the globe,” GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson said. “These grants are an important tool for our industry organizations, the majority of which are small businesses, to begin their recovery efforts. We are dedicated to rebuilding travel and tourism across our state because Georgia’s diverse economy cannot fully recover until our tourism and hospitality industry is thriving once again.”

The applications were evaluated based on need, quantified by the year-over-year loss in hotel-motel Excise tax collections for the organization, and the change in unemployment in the organization’s county. Grant recipients received 100% of the award amount requested on their applications.

A complete list of this year’s recipients can be seen online at ExploreGeorgia.org.

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