Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority reported interest is high in its revised tourism matching grant program.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Director Josiah Jones reported, “Grant applications are rolling in. A lot of new people have contacted us for information.”

Applications are due by Friday, March 29 by 4 p.m.

The program was revised last year to have only one sequence per year, eliminating a fall round previously offered. CCRTA members decided it was more feasible to have more funds available earlier in the year when organizations and businesses are developing their marketing strategies. The closeout for the award would then occur in the same calendar year rather than the next year as the fall round often did.

Traditionally CCRTA received few applications for the fall round.

The program has a total of $70,000 available for tourism promotion. Awards are granted on the basis of merit to qualified applicants as determined by a committee whose recommendations are ratified by CCRTA.

Members discussed briefly at Wednesday’s meeting how the grant application process could be simplified or made clearer for applicants. Jones said he believes some would submit requests for funding but are discouraged by the form’s questions.

“I believe they are intimidated by the paperwork,” Jones said. “They don’t want to fill it out because they are afraid they might not do it right.”

Jones said he thought perhaps an example could be made available for applicants to review and a workshop could be offered to offer details about the types of grants CCRTA offers and the application paperwork for each.

“That way they would know what’s needed, what’s available and how to fill out the paperwork,” he explained.

Clearfield County Tourism Promotion grants are made on a cost reimbursement basis following a process of application, review, approval and completion. Receipt of a CCTP award is contingent upon submittal of receipts from bona fide trade’s people. The applicant must submit documentation for the total and final cost of the project.

All marketing dollars must be spent or accounted for and the close out report must be completed before Dec. 31, 2019 or the grant being awarded will be forfeited. A cash match equal to the grant amount is required for all awarded CCTP projects. Applicants can apply online at www.visitclearfieldcounty.org under the partners tab or applicants can stop by the office for a copy of the grant applications.

Applicants will also need to complete the matching grant form to be considered for the CCTP grant and they will be notified on April 17 if they have been awarded the grant. They have until Dec. 2 to closeout the award.

For additional information about the grant, call the Visit Clearfield County office at 765-5734. Applicants may set up an appointment if they need help completing the grant application. Information about grants and links to the applications and closeout documents is also available on CCRTA’s website, www.visitclearfieldcounty.org.