Tourism Grant Program

GENERAL INFORMATION

A. Introduction

In January 2000, Dauphin County adopted a hotel room rental tax, which is an additional fee on the prices of hotel rooms. The Dauphin County Department of Community & Economic Development administers the County’s portion of the hotel room rental tax.

In an effort to use a portion of the hotel tax revenue to benefit Dauphin County communities and to enhance tourism, the Dauphin County DCED has instituted the Dauphin County Tourism Grant Program. This program allocates grant funds to Dauphin County based entities whose primary activities are tourism related. 

B. Eligible Applicants

Applicants must be located within the legal boundaries of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

C. Eligible Activities

Eligible activities under this grant program are limited to the following:

  • Marketing efforts to attract tourism
  • Tourism enhancement programs
  • Beautification projects
  • Limited general operating expenses

These activities are not confined only to new projects. Applicants who have already begun projects that satisfy the requirements for eligible activities may also apply for funding.

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

A. Application Submittal and Deadline - All applicants must apply online.  Applications received in the mail will not be accepted.  Deadline to submit an application and required documentation is February 1, 2023. 

Contact:
Brooke Echevarria, Grants Coordinator
Dauphin County Office of Community & Economic Development
bechevarria@dauphincounty.gov
717-780-6250

Please note:  Grant funds will be released in priority order of approval of grant applications. Funds will be released as revenue from the hotel tax is received by the County. There may be a short delay between the time successful applicants receive notice of grant awards and the actual receipt of grant funds.

Applicants may contact the Dauphin County DCED at (717) 780-6250 for assistance in completing the application and/or determining the eligibility of proposed activities.

B. Grant Application Instructions

      Applicants are required to submit simple and concise proposals following the format provided in this grant application. Each section of the application should be completed and all requested attachments provided. It is not necessary to submit general letters of support or endorsement with the application. Applicants must provide the following information:

  • Name of applicant
  • Identification of a contact person and/or administrator responsible for the implementation of the proposed project
  • A description of your organization and its experience with tourism related activities
  • Scope of work (a detailed description of the eligible activities to be conducted with grant funds and the expected benefit of the project)
  • Proof of 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status, if applicable, and a list of the organization’s Board of Directors and EIN
  • Economic Impact
  • Amount of tourism dollars requested
  • Overall project budget
  • Cost quotes for grant request
  • Matching funds

APPLICATION REVIEW AND AWARDS PROCESS

A. Application Review

Preference will be given to those projects that provide for physical enhancement and improvements of tourist areas and attractions.

Dauphin County DCED will review the applications as they are received. Applications that are not complete or that require more information will experience a delay in the grant award process. Where possible, Dauphin County DCED will contact applicants by telephone with questions regarding their applications and requests for additional information.

 Dauphin County DCED reserves the right to reject applications for funding if they do not comply with application guidelines, do not meet the eligibility requirements, or costs are in excess of what is reasonable for completion of the project.

Applications will be reviewed for:

  • Accuracy and completeness
  • Eligibility of proposed activities under the program guidelines
  • Verification that the applicant is located in Dauphin County and the proposed activities will occur in Dauphin County
  • Plans to administer the grant
  • Plans to close the grant at completion of the task, including filing a final report
  • Excessive costs (applicants should, where possible, include quotes from vendors, bids or basis or estimates)
  • Detailed budget
  • Detailed cost quotes
  • If other matching funds are being used to leverage the project

 B. The Award Process

  • Applicants will be notified in writing if they have been awarded a grant under this program.
  • The term of the grant is for a period of one-year following receipt of grant funds. Approved projects and activities must be completed within the term of the grant.
  • A final report narrative documenting successful completion of the project, including all applicable financial accounting for the expenditure of grant funds, must be submitted thirty (30) days following the end of the grant term.
  • Grantees wishing to announce receipt of grant awards for public relations or community information purposes prior to actual receipt of funds must request approval of said announcement from the Dauphin County Department of Community & Economic Development in advance.
  • Grantees receiving funds for general operating expenses or for activities that were underway prior to the grant announcement may be required to submit certain documentation relative to the expenditure of grant funds. This documentation shall be in addition to the general reporting requirements for all grantees.
  • If requested, applicants may be asked to give a presentation during budget hearings and must appear on the assigned date and time.

Tourism Grant Application

Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the grant agreement may result in penalties, including repayment of grant funds.