Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced $15 million in funding to support tourism sector across Illinois, through the second round of the Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program offered by the State.
Through the $15 million investment, which is now open for applicants, $5 million will be reserved for festivals, which serve as economic drivers while bringing communities together, and $10 million will support a broad range of other tourism-related project such as attractions, museums, live performance venues and more. This grant is funded using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars.
“When the pandemic struck, the tourism industry across the globe lurched to a standstill,”said Governor JB Pritzker. “That’s why, last August, I launched the Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program—delivering the support our communities needed to bring back parades, festivals, and cultural celebrations that are so vital to families in neighborhoods across our state. Today, I’m proud to announce an additional $15 million for this successful program to continue supporting our tourism sector, driving economic development, and bringing our communities together.”
“From boosting local economies and small businesses to showcasing the beauty of our state, Illinois’ tourism industry contributes more than fun experiences for all of us. It is also about history and community—and preserving the rich, diverse stories that make Illinois a great place to live in and visit,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “Our administration has been committed to supporting the tourism industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic because of how integral it is to our state’s communities. This additional $15 million in funding is a testament to that.”
This round of funding prioritizes downstate communities, communities that have experienced declines in hotel tax revenues and provides $5 million specifically for festivals. Additionally, in order to maximize funding, applicants are required to submit matching funds with the goal of attracting additional visitors to localities and events, thereby supporting local hotels, restaurants, and businesses. Through the revised approach for the second round of funding, the State is ensuring localities and tourism entities hardest-hit by the pandemic receive additional support.
“Illinois tourism attractions, festivals and live venues bring scores of visitors to communities all around our state,” said State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “These grants will go a long way to rebuild the diverse attractions that makes Illinois the middle of everything!”
Through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), localities, tourism and festival businesses, and entities can apply for grants of up to $500,000 that may be used to establish and enhance tourism attractions or festivals. Applications will be accepted until Friday, September 23, 2o22. To view the NOFO and apply for the grant, please visit this page