City of Kent seeks applicants for tourism grants

Funds to help promote city as business, leisure destination

People visit the Kent Farmers Market. FILE PHOTO

People visit the Kent Farmers Market. FILE PHOTO

City leaders are looking for groups to apply for grants to help promote Kent as a business and leisure destination.

Applications for the City of Kent’s 2019 Business or Leisure Tourism Promotion Grants will be accepted online Sept. 1-30.

The program is designed to fund the marketing, operation and promotion of activities, events or projects that promote Kent both as a business or leisure destination, ultimately bringing more people to the city, according to a city news release.

Nonprofit industry associations and organizations, convention and visitors’ bureaus, public facilities districts, destination marketing organizations, chambers of commerce and municipalities are eligible to apply.

Kent’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) will review the applications in October and make funding recommendations to the City Council. Grant funds will be disbursed in 2019.

According to Council President Bill Boyce, the grant program is a great opportunity for small nonprofits just getting their events started, as well as larger scale industry groups who wish to expand their programs.

“The LTAC is making a concerted effort to ensure different organizations are aware of this opportunity to obtain financial backing. While the process is competitive, the committee wants to support those with innovative ideas to elevate Kent’s profile, both from a business or entertainment perspective,” Boyce said.

The grant awards are selected through a competitive process. Complete program eligibility requirements and criteria are available at KentWA.gov/LTAC; the online application will go live Sept. 1.

The money for grant awards is from a 1 percent state tax on overnight hotel, motel, bed and breakfast and campground stays in Kent. State law dictates who is eligible to apply, and mandates the funds be used for marketing and promotion of business and leisure tourism.

In 2017, the committee awarded more than $325,000 in grants to support local project and events, as well as marketing services to promote Kent across the Pacific Northwest.

For more information, contact Michelle Wilmot, city economic development manager, at mwilmot@KentWA.gov or 253-856-5709.

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