2023 Tourist Attraction Grant (TAG) Program

Overview

Destination Hilliard’s priority is to encourage economic vibrancy in the City of Hilliard through the development and promotion of special events, attractions, culture, history, recreation, parks, dining, retail, meeting and event space, and overnight accommodations. 

Destination Hilliard’s Tourist Attraction Grant program provides money to develop new initiatives that will bring visitors into our community. This grant money is used to infuse our local economy, by promoting overnight stays in hotels within City limits. This program expands awareness of Hilliard as a visitor destination, and encourages residents to take advantage of the tourism-industry amenities of this community.  

The TAG program dedicates up to $50,000 in hotel/motel bed tax funding  for new community events, attractions, and initiatives. Individuals can be awarded a grant up to $10,000 based on the criteria outlined below. 

Eligible Applicants

Destination Hilliard Board of Directors (DH) will provide grant money for programs and events launched within two years of the application date. To be eligible, applicants must be:

  • An existing for-profit business (or group of businesses) within the City of Hilliard OR registered non-profit 501(c)(3) agency (or group of agencies) based within the City of Hilliard. Priority consideration is given to groups of businesses working collaboratively, small businesses, or entities generally considered to be part of the tourism industry (e.g., retail, restaurants, tourist attractions, hotels, special events, etc.) 
  • Host new special events within the City of Hilliard designed to attract visitors to the community OR existing special events adding significant elements designed to attract new visitors to the community. Priority consideration will be given to new events/projects, events designed to be annual/ongoing, or events/projects designed to generate significant economic activity in the community.  

Applicants must be current on all municipal income and property tax obligations , and without any outstanding City Code violations. The Board will consider the applicant’s partnership with Destination Hilliard and with the TAG program in determining eligibility. 

Selection of grant applicants are made without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, familial status, marital status, or military status. 

 The grant applicant shall not be an entity owned or managed by a Destination Hilliard employee, Board of Director member, or a family member thereof; a City of Hilliard employee; a City of Hilliard elected official; or an immediate family member of a City of Hilliard employee or elected official.  

 Individual entities will be limited to one grant per calendar year, regardless of the number of different businesses or programs those individuals may be involved in. Collaborative groups of businesses/agencies may be considered for multiple grants. 

Grant Awarded Amount

Grants may cover up to 50% of the total eligible project costs, not to exceed $10,000 (e.g., a grant request for $10,000 must be for a project with reported expenses of at least $20,000). 
Funds must be used to cover new projects or new expenses incurred for existing events/projects (e.g., event logistics, promotion/marketing, security, equipment, etc.) Existing expenses, expenses for elements already included in existing events, and in-kind expenses/contributions may not be covered by TAG grants. 

Taxes

Neither the City of Hilliard nor Destination Hilliard provide tax advice and have no responsibility for any tax liability or other tax-related consequence of an applicant’s acceptance of grant funds.

Eligible Projects

Destination Hilliard is open to creative ideas from our community for programs, activities, and initiatives that are eligible for this grant. Priority will be given to activities that include (but are not limited to): 

  • creative and exciting new ideas that have potential to produce ongoing, recurring, or annual community events; 
  • production of overnight hotel stays; 
  • production of new employment opportunities; 
  • generation of revenue for businesses within Hilliard; 
  • generation of positive regional media attention for the community; 
  • development of permanent or temporary tourist attractions; 
  • development or permanent or temporary public art; 
  • celebrations of history and culture; 
  • celebrations of diversity; 
  • educational programs designed to attract visitors to Hilliard; and   
  • alignment with the general philosophies outlined in this document 

Grant applications from collaborations of businesses/groups will receive preference over applications from individuals.

Financial Responsibility and Reporting

TAG funds are distributed after completion of the event/project. In order to receive TAG funds, the recipient must first provide the Destination Hilliard Board with a financial report (including receipts, invoices, etc.). Recipient must show sufficient eligible expenses were incurred to align with the applicant’s originally stated intent for the use of those funds. The recipient also must provide the Board with evidence that Destination Hilliard has been recognized in promotional efforts as a sponsor of the event/activity. 

Destination Hilliard is not required to disperse funds for expenses not specifically described in the initial application.  

The grant recipient understands that Destination Hilliard will disperse the agreed-upon funds within 90 days of receipt of the financial report and completing any follow-up question from DH. 

The recipient agrees failure to fulfill the agreed-upon program/event/project by the date(s) indicated in the application and to provide Destination Hilliard with the required follow-up report(s) will result in no reimbursement.  

In the event of weather or other unforeseen circumstances that may cause a project/activity to be cancelled or delayed, the Board will allow for a 1-year extension of this program/activity/event.  

The grant recipient agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Destination Hilliard and the City of Hilliard from any and all claims, losses, damages, suits, court costs and other fees. 

Promotional Consideration

The grant recipient agrees to allow Destination Hilliard and the City of Hilliard the right to use pictures, videos, or descriptions of the work for any  promotional purposes in perpetuity. 

The grant recipient also agrees to recognize Destination Hilliard as a sponsor in all promotional materials, including print, digital, (social media, and website) communications, and provide evidence of this promotion. 

City of Hilliard Requirements

Depending on the nature of the TAG program/activity, the recipient must work with the City of Hilliard to ensure all necessary permitting and processes are followed. It is the obligation of the recipient to contact the City to identify all such requirements. Failure to fully comply with the City of Hilliard’s permitting requirements will result in no reimbursement of TAG funds. 

Special events that will require City services or use of City property should contact Kristan Turner at kturner@hilliardohio.gov. Projects that may require other permitting should contact the Planning Department at jtalentino@hilliardohio.gov.

City of Hilliard Special Event Policy

Grant Process

Step 1 – Grant ApplicationThe applicant must submit the application here. Applications will be accepted until all monies have been awarded for the year. 

Step 2 – Select applicants will be invited to meet with the Board to provide a brief (10 minute) presentation of their application and to answer questions from Board members. 

Step 3 – Destination Hilliard Board of Directors will select  grant recipients.  

Step 4 – The grant recipient must submit a completed W-9 form or non-profit agency tax form. 

Step 5 – Awarded grant recipients will be notified by April 30, 2023. 

Step 6 – The grant recipient must provide the Destination Hilliard Board with a financial report detailing expenditures (including receipts, invoices, etc.) and confirm the benefits resulting from the grant funds (e.g., attendance, financial impact, hotel night stays, etc.)  The recipient also must provide the Board with evidence that Destination Hilliard has been recognized in promotional efforts as a sponsor of the event/activity.  

Step 7 – Destination Hilliard will disperse funds to recipients. 

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