Flagler County’s tourism office – Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches – has revamped its Special Events Marketing Grant and Capital Project Funding Program to achieve two objectives: potentially provide more funding to applicants, and to provide a greater return on investment using the Tourist Development Tax.

“These grant programs are now more aligned with what other tourism organizations are doing,” said Tourism Development Director Amy Lukasik, who noted that the grant revisions were a result of its 2019 Strategic Plan.

There are three major changes this year: there is a scoring system for better grant application analysis; the Special Events Marketing Grant has been opened up to provide more than the previous cap of  $1250 per applicant; and, non-profits have been added to the eligibility for the Capital Project Funding Program that had been open solely to governmental agencies. The Capital Project Grant also lifted the previous funding cap of $150,000.

“We want to ensure we are successful at delivering a high level of economic impact and tourism promotional benefit in Flagler County,” Lukasik said. “This new application criteria will help us in achieving that.”

Special Event Marketing Grant

The Special Event Marketing Grant is intended to provide funding assistance to organizations for marketing of special events that promote Flagler County as a tourist destination. Funds must be used on expenditures associated with marketing and promotion of the event to visitors from outside the county. The goal is to increase the overall economic impact or overnight stays within Flagler County.

To qualify for funding, the event must take place between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022.

Applicants will be evaluated and scored in four categories based on the following criteria:

  • Commitment to the overall economic impact of Tourism Development in Flagler County – Evidence of the overall tourism economic impact by out-of-county visitors.
  • Event Marketing Plan – Includes strategies and opportunities for attracting visitors from out-of-county. Marketing plan is thorough, well-defined and realistic.
  • Soundness of Special Event – Event clearly defines event objectives, funding sources and overall budget.
  • Stability and Management Capacity – Proven record or demonstrated capacities to effectively plan, organize and implement a unique and high quality Special Event.     

The deadline for application submittal is June 11, 2021. Additional information, including complete grant guidelines and application, is available at https://www.visitflagler.com/partners/funding-programs/special-event-marketing-grant/.

Capital Project Funding Program

Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches Capital Project Funding Program is intended to provide partnership funding for projects that best use the Tourist Development Tax to deliver a high level of economic benefit or overall high promotional benefit to the community’s profile and enhance Flagler County’s economy.

Who qualifies to apply?

Applicant must be either:

  • A local government organization (county, municipality, school board) located in Flagler County, or
  • An organization that is a not-for-profit and open to the public located in Flagler County.

How much can be applied for?

Applicants must contribute a cash match in a minimum ratio of one dollar matching funds to one dollar Capital Project Funding Program funds (1:1). Matching Funds may not include grants from other state or local governments. Total available funding to be awarded is $739,158.

What is the criteria?

Criteria that will be utilized to evaluate these funding requests include:

  • Return on investment of TDC funds
  • Results from Capital Project Impact Model
  • Results from Tourism Economic Impact Study (if applicable)
  • Useful life of project
  • Planning and readiness of project commencement
  • Frequency of use and primary purpose to promote tourism
  • Applicant contribution or match
  • Stability and management capacity
  • Soundness of proposed project
  • Detailed financial projections demonstrating solid business

The deadline for application submittal is June 10, 2022. Additional information, including complete grant guidelines and application, is available at https://www.visitflagler.com/partners/funding-programs/capital-project-funding-program/.

Flagler County currently collects a 5% Tourist Development Tax (aka Bed Tax) on all overnight tourism accommodations in the County. This tax is levied on customers of hotels, motels, condominiums, campgrounds, apartments, and private homes that rent accommodations for less than six months in duration. The purpose of the tax, as outlined in Section 125.0104, Florida Statutes, is to provide funds to implement programs to increase the amount of tourist activity in counties within Florida.