Grants to assist communities with tourism infrastructure assets

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced today that 29 communities will receive more than $1 million in Tourism Enhancement Grants to assist with tourism infrastructure assets.

“We want to congratulate the 29 communities that will be receiving Tourism Enhancement Grants,” Haslam said. “Tourism is an important part of our state economy, and these grants showcase how tourist development and economic development work together to make our state not only a great place to live and work, but a top tourist destination. With the assistance of these grants each community will be able to grow and enhance their local tourism assets.”

The grants help counties and cities improve local assets to increase the economic impact of tourism. This is second round of the Tourism Enhancement Grant program. In July, nearly $1 million was awarded to 29 communities during the first round of tourism grants.

“I am happy to announce the 29 communities that have been awarded Tourism Enhancement Grants,” Boyd said. “Tourist development and economic development have a great partnership with a common goal: making sure Tennessee and the communities across the state are able to succeed and grow. With these grants, each participating community has shown that they are investing in economic development and the future growth in our state.” 

The Tourism Enhancement Grants are funded through the Rural Economic Opportunity Act, which is designed to improve the economic indicators in rural communities across Tennessee. Announcements will follow this spring for Site Development Grants, Main Street Entrepreneur Grants and Asset-Enhancement Grants for distressed communities. 

“Arguably the only thing about this program more exciting than announcing the grant recipients is the opportunity it provides these communities,” Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett said. “The Tourism Enhancement Grants help enhance local tourism assets, which is an integral part of every county in Tennessee. Our partners at TNECD realize how critical these assets are in regards to tourism and economic development and I am thankful for the commitment to helping these communities grow.”

An advisory committee made up of staff from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture selected the 29 communities from a pool of 50 grant applications.

The grants awarded include:

  • Anderson County – $50,000
  • Benton County – $50,000
  • Bledsoe County – $10,000
  • Campbell County – $47,605
  • Carter County – $20,000
  • Cocke County – $20,000
  • Coffee County – $50,000
  • Dyer County, City of Dyersburg – $50,000
  • Fayette County – $10,000
  • Gibson County, City of Milan – $50,000
  • Grundy County – $20,000
  • Henry County, City of Paris – $32,900
  • Houston County – $50,000
  • Jefferson County, Town of Dandridge – $50,000
  • Lauderdale County, Town of Halls – $50,000
  • Lawrence County – $45,000
  • Marion County – $10,000
  • Marshall County, City of Lewisburg – $50,000
  • McNairy County – $50,000
  • Perry County – $20,000
  • Polk County – $20,000
  • Rhea County – $50,000
  • Sequatchie County – $10,000
  • Stewart County – $20,000
  • Sumner County – $30,000
  • Van Buren County – $50,000
  • Washington County, Town of Jonesborough – $50,000
  • Wayne County, City of Clifton – $47,500
  • White County – $50,000                                                     

Each application was supported by the community’s senator and representative in the Tennessee General Assembly.

About the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is to motivate travel to and within Tennessee by inspiring enjoyment, creating memories, producing a desire to return, and establishing key long-term relationships that result in visitors becoming residents. The promise of Tennessee—the birthplace of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll—is to be the global music destination of choice. To deliver an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.”

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Tennessee is the only three-time winner of “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. Find us on the web: Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook:



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