The Franklin County Local Development Corporation (FCLDC) announced the launch of a new funding opportunity available to for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, and municipalities in Franklin County. The Destination Development & Marketing Fund (DDMF) was created to support projects and activities that increase recreational, tourism or cultural visits to the county and enhance visitor experience.
Tourism in the North Country Region is over a $1 billion industry and is one of its fastest growing sectors in economic impact. The FCLDC identified a high priority need to support this burgeoning industry by increasing resources and opportunities for tourism within Franklin County. To meet this need, the FCLDC partnered with Franklin County to develop the DDMF. The goals of the fund are as follows:
■ Increase the number of products, experiences and services available for visitors and residents, particularly those that are hospitality and tourism-related;
■ Enhance the quality of experiences and events available for visitors and residents;
■ Grow the number of visits, length of stay and spending by visitors;
■ Strengthen tourism-related businesses and organizations; and
■ Keep Franklin County competitive with other destinations.
Available funding for the first round of grants totals $20,000. Awards are expected to range between $500 and $5,000 and will be issued on a reimbursement basis. Applications are accepted and scored on a rolling basis until all funds are exhausted. Examples of eligible projects that will be considered include:
■ Rental of timing system for a snowshoe race
■ Construction of a trail
■ Construction of an ADA fishing pier
■ Advertising for a first-time event
■ Support an outdoor summer movie or concert series
■ Print trail maps
■ Development of a website & marketing plan for a new guiding business
■ Construct a canoe launch
■ Create an outdoor seating area for a restaurant
■ Purchase of a bicycle repair kiosk
Additional information about this program, including contact information and the program application, is available at www.franklinida.org. Another round of funding is anticipated for early 2020.
Donna Kissane, Franklin County Manager, said, “Franklin County is excited to contribute to the Destination Development & Marketing Fund and looks forward to seeing the projects that are supported. The County has many great destinations and opportunities to offer its residents and tourists alike. This fund will not only increase the number and diversity of activities, it will also help to increase visitation and the visitor experience and put Franklin County on the map as a world class destination.”
Jeremy Evans, CEO, Franklin County Industrial Development Agency, said, “Supporting tourism is a key component of the FCLCD’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and with programs such as the DDMF, we are able to support initiatives that grow and enhance our tourism assets and leverage efforts that are already underway by our regional partners. We hope there is a lot of interest in this program so that we can make more opportunities like this available in the future.”