Scenic view at sunrise in Kentucky

Coronavirus Relief Fund Grant Requirements

The Kentucky Department of Tourism will provide grant funding to museums and designated Destination Marketing Organizations throughout the state. Only these specified entities will be eligible to receive funding under the program. Funding for the purposes of resuming business operations in the context of a public health emergency and assist entities with helping restore economic activity amid the current COVID-19 public health emergency. These grants may be used to cover costs as described in this document.

These museums and designated Destination Marketing 0rganizations, through their core marketing mission, have significant impact on Kentucky’s economy by creating incremental visitation and resulting incremental visitor spending throughout the state. The museum sector adds depth to the lives of the Commonwealth and is a significant factor in the health of Kentucky’s tourism economy.  While the COVID-19 crisis threatens these organizations, they continue to be at the center of community life and will be critical to the State’s economic recovery. The goal of this program is to assist in the preservation of these entities and to provide bridge funding to continue operations. The department will provide operating support to museums and tourism organizations whose normal business has been interrupted due to COVID-19.

The purpose of this document is to provide eligible museums and designated Destination Marketing organizations with information to prepare and submit a grant application. The State as represented by the Kentucky Department of Tourism intends to award up to $??? million in grants through this program. Funding for this assistance is provided to Kentucky by the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Granting Agency

This grant is issued by the Kentucky Department of Tourism which is the sole point of contact during the selection process.  The person responsible for managing the grant process is:
        ?? Rhonda Nix, Grant Administrator
        Kentucky Department of Tourism
        500 Mero Street, 5th Floor
        Frankfort KY 40601
        Email: [email protected]

The agreement(s) resulting from this grant will be administered by the Kentucky Department of Tourism.

Electronic Communication

The ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency and related disruptions require this program to accept documentation electronically and may result in amendments to the grant process or documentation in accordance with changes to guidance issued by public health or other authorities.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

To department acknowledges organizations that may have tourism components and seeks to provide guidelines for eligibility below. The department shall interpret eligibility criteria to align with program objectives and CARES Act requirements. Eligibility determinations by the department are final. Eligible applicants are those designated Destination Marketing Organization and museums or similar non-profit organization in the absence of a DMO that meet the following requirements:

  1. Be a tourism focused Kentucky government or private organization not organized or incorporated for profit. This includes, but not limited to those classified as 501c3 or 501c6.  Applicant must submit a W-9 with their application.
  2. A local unit of government applying on behalf of an eligible museum.
  3. Provide tourism promotion services for geographic based (community/county/regional/statewide) traveler destinations.
  4. Produces, promotes or presents museum activities for the public (such as workshops, classes, exhibitions, or performances).
  5. Provides public access to physical collections and exhibits at museums.
  6. Be established prior to March 1, 2020.
  7. Destination Marketing organizations must have applied for funding through the Regional Marketing & Matching Funds Program within the last two years. 
  8. Grant Deadlines and Grant Award

Listed below are specific and estimated dates/times of actions related to this grant.  

  • Eligible Expenses Incurred Period is March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020.
  • Application Due on November 14, 2020 ????
  • Notification of grant amount ????
  • Final submission due ??????   
  • Factor determining funding availability is based on a percentage from the county economic impact report from 2019 for Destination Marketing Organizations and ??????????? for museums.

Recipients may request funds only on a reimbursement basis. Supporting documentation must be provided to substantiate all funds requested.  The department will not accept applications by mail, hand delivery or facsimile machine. Kentucky Department of Tourism reserves to right to deny any application.

Examples of Eligible Projects

Emergency operation activities and services related to public health, emergency services, and public safety response.  Lost revenues that are attributable to the COVID – 19 pandemic, as evidenced by:

  1. Financial commitments (memberships, room tax, event revenue etc.) made to the organization that were rescinded or reduced due to COVID -19.
  2. The difference between designated Destination Marketing Organization revenues during the 2020 period for which payment is requested and revenues during the same period in 2019.
  3. Employee Costs such as salary and fringe that are not reimbursed from another source such as the Federal “Paycheck Protection Program” or unemployment insurance.  If claimed as an expense, the same employee costs may not also be reimbursed using funds received from a lost revenue claim to this program. 
  4. Increased workers compensation costs due to COVID-19. 
  5. Facility operational costs (such as rent, mortgage, utilities, equipment, information technology, building maintenance, cleaning services).
  6. Medical and protective services and equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE).
  7. Testing costs incurred by the applicant above those covered by existing State or Federal programs.
  8. Cleaning, sanitizing, and other costs of COVID-19 mitigation in public areas and facilities.
  9. Purchase of services or equipment to facilitate telework by employees.
  10. Implementation of safety protocols, as well as unanticipated costs associated with facility improvements and supply purchases directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  This can include masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), physical barriers, signage, stickers, brochures, safety plans, etc.
  11. Enhanced screening measures at events or event facilities.

Examples of eligible Marketing Local Activities uses of funds:

  1. Supporting the resumption of local business activities by promoting or publicizing a destination specific attraction, convention/event facility, or scheduled event as being open for business or occurring during COVID-19 public health emergency and ensuring a safe and healthy experience for travelers and resident consumers.
  2. Demonstrating that the destination/attraction/facility/event has implemented COVID-19 response messaging/imagery may include but is not limited to encouraging or demonstrating the need for visitors/attendees to utilize face coverings, follow social distancing guidelines, wash hands often and thoroughly, and limit attendance/close contact when visiting attractions/attending events.
  3. Marketing safe travel ideas to potential visitors; showcasing activities and attractions taking precautions; promotion of outdoor activities; campaigns with messaging around masks, social distancing and sanitization; and other COVID –19 response safety messaging.
  4. Public relations efforts to attract appropriate and promote safe travel to your area.
  5. Direct sales efforts to resume leisure groups, sports and meeting events (outreach and campaigns, not salaries for employees already on staff). 
  6. Marketing of new safe events that your organization develops or supports to fill gaps caused by other cancellations.
  7. Advocacy efforts to educate your hospitality partners and local residents about safe travel procedures and the resumption of travel to your area.
  8. Market research tied directly to the COVID crisis and intended to drive marketing decisions during 2020 (not long-term marketing decisions).
  9. Costs for registration fees for trade shows or other tourism sales events cancelled due to COVID. 
  10. Costs associated with advertising festivals/events/exhibits that were cancelled.

Examples of ineligible Projects:

  1. Governmental entities are not eligible for Continuation of Operations funding.
  2. Funds may not be requested for expenditures reimbursed or planned to be reimbursed from any other program including the Regional Marketing & Matching Funds Program. 
  3. Additional ineligible uses include, but are not limited to, fees incurred submitting an application, taxes (except sales taxes on eligible use of funds), and other uses ineligible under the CARES Act.
  4. Funds may not be used for long-term positioning or more traditional marketing campaigns unrelated to the pandemic. 
  5. Costs associated for pre-payment for a marketing campaign that would occur in 2021. 
  6. Funds can not be re-distributed directly to a business in your area.
  7. General marketing and promotional expenses not related to the impact of COVID-19 and/or resale items purchased to sell (concessions and promotional merchandise). 
  8. Cash reserves.
  9. Costs of entertainment, included amusement and social activities such as receptions, parties, galas, dinners, etc., and any as associated costs including catering, alcohol, planning, staffing, supplies, etc.
  10. Any project prior to March 1, 2020 or after December 30, 2020.