New York invites applications for $125 M tourism industry relief programs

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of applications for two tourism grant programs designed to support and revitalize New York State’s tourism and hospitality industry. The $100 million Tourism Return-to-Work grant program and the $25 million Meet in New York grant program were first announced in November as part of the governor’s nation-leading “Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs” initiative. Both programs will now be making full applications available to tourism businesses, convention and conference centers, and licensed overnight lodging facilities that have qualified for the program.

“The pandemic challenged the entire New York State business community, but its effects were especially damaging to our tourism and hospitality professionals,” Governor Hochul said. “These programs are targeted to get help businesses rehire workers and bring new, world-class conventions and events to our communities – sparking the statewide economic engine that is tourism. New York is the most exciting, most vibrant, and most engaging place on the planet, and we need to do all we can to invite and welcome visitors from around the world.”

Through the Tourism Return-to-Work grant program, qualified businesses can receive grants of $5,000 for each net new full-time equivalent job added, and $2,500 for each net new part-time equivalent job added between January and June 2022. Grantees must achieve a net employment increase of at least two full-time equivalents to qualify for funding; grants will be awarded for a minimum of $10,000, and a maximum of $200,000. Applicants must complete the required eligibility screening and pre-qualified applicants will be sent a link to apply directly.

To encourage the return of business travel and attract new events, the $25 million Meet in New York grant program will provide grants to conference venues and licensed overnight lodging facilities to offset a portion of discounts provided on approved meeting space rental fees and group room rates that help attract qualifying events. Grants will be provided on a reimbursement basis, and depend on factors including event size, fees waived, and discounts offered. The program is limited to new events that were not previously scheduled. Applicants must complete the required eligibility screening and pre-qualified applicants will be sent a link to apply directly. Applications are due by December 31, 2022.

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