Visit Sarasota County announces Sarasota County Tourism Marketing Grant Program changes and informational workshops


Lynn Hobeck Bates, 941-955-0991 Ext. 103
[email protected]

Visit Sarasota County announces Sarasota County Tourism Marketing Grant Program changes and informational workshops


SARASOTA, Fla. (June 18, 2014) – Visit Sarasota County (VSC) will hold two voluntary informational workshops on the grant application process on Thursday, June 26 from 9-10 a.m. at the Venice Area Association of Realtors, 680 Substation Road, Venice, FL 34285, and from 4-5 p.m. at the Sarasota County Visitor Information Center, 701 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL.  VSC will introduce a new process this year, and all grant applicants are invited to learn more about the process.

In general, the VSC is moving from a reimbursement process to a performance based process grant program.  The purpose of the Marketing Grant program is to stimulate and enhance the tourism marketing of programs, projects and events in Sarasota County.  Total budget for this grant program is $70,000 for events or programs in Fiscal Year 2015 (October 1, 2014-September 31, 2015) with the maximum of $7,000 awarded to any one program or event.  Municipalities, local agencies, business associations and nonprofit organizations located in Sarasota County are eligible to apply. 

Because this is now a performance based grant process, the metrics that the applicant lists on the application are the basis of the grant award.  The objective of the program is to provide marketing support for innovative and collaborative ideas that drive tourism to Sarasota County in non-peak periods, which is why events held “in season” are not eligible.  This program is envisioned to help projects get off the ground or expand so that these projects eventually will succeed without the financial assistance of this program.

Funding decisions are based on the strength of the applicant’s ability and intent to attract visitors and lodging nights from outside Sarasota County from October 10, 2014 to September 15, 2015, except for the period from February 1, 2015 through April 12, 2015.  Projects or events that fall within the February 1 to April 12, 2015 timeframe are ineligible for funding.  It is expected that the marketing and promotion expenditures for events will be expended outside of Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto and Charlotte counties to drive overnight visitation.

Applications must be received by the VSC by Thursday, August 7, 2014 no later than 4:00 p.m.  An award decision will be made by September 30, 2014.   One original signed Application Form must be sent or delivered to the VSC Administrative Office, 1777 Main St, Ste 302, Sarasota, FL 34236 by the deadline, along with one electronic copy of the completed Application Form which must be emailed by the deadline to [email protected].   No attachments, brochures, CDs or additional materials may accompany the application except as specified in the directions.

Media inquiries, please contact Lynn Hobeck Bates, Public Relations Manager, at [email protected] or 941.955.0991 Ext. 103.


About Sarasota County
Located on Southwest Florida's Gulf Coast, Sarasota County offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene, a diverse array of culinary experiences and a variety of opportunities to take advantage of the clear waters and the great outdoors. Sarasota County provides the quintessential, laid-back beach getaway with numerous sprawling, white-sand beaches, including Siesta Key Beach, named "America's Best Beach" in 2011 by Stephen Leatherman, aka, Dr. Beach. Dubbed "Home of the American Circus," Sarasota County served as the headquarters for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus for 75 years, and visitors can experience its unique circus heritage first-hand by following the circus trail or catching a performance by one of two local circus companies. For more information on visiting Sarasota County, visit or call (941) 706-1253.