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Restart Vermont Regional Marketing and Stimulus Grant Program

The Restart Vermont Regional Marketing and Stimulus Grant Program application is closed. A list of awardees is available.

What Is the Program?

The Restart Vermont Regional Marketing and Stimulus Grant Program will provide grants to organizations for efforts and activities related to economic recovery, consumer stimulus, marketing, or tourism related projects to support businesses that have suffered economic harm due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The grants are intended to enable local, regional, or statewide organizations implement campaigns and initiatives that will increase consumer spending, support local businesses, and advance community recovery efforts.

What Are the Goals?

Grant funds are intended to increase the ability of local business-minded organizations to increase consumer spending and support local business recovery efforts. Resulting marketing and stimulus efforts will enhance and extend existing state marketing and stimulus initiatives.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include downtown organizations, chambers of commerce, regional development corporations, municipal economic development/community development departments and committees, local community/economic development organizations, statewide business organizations, or other similar groups.

Eligible Uses of Grant Monies

  • Development of programs or initiatives designed to increase consumer spending, through local stimulus programs, advertising, promotion, publicity, events, and other activities or initiatives specifically designed to support local businesses.
  • Projects that focus on serving businesses most impacted by COVID-19, such as retail, restaurants, lodging, and other businesses that have been negatively impacted by forced closures, reduced occupancy, and capacity constraints.
  • Eligible expenses can include local “downtown bucks” or similar stimulus programs, mobile app stimulus programs, marketing and advertising, events and promotions, and local/regional initiatives that increase consumer spending and advance local business recovery efforts.
  • Administration costs are not eligible expenses.

NOTE: Grant monies must be used for immediate consumer stimulus to support a wide range of local Vermont businesses impacted by COVID-19. Funds may not be used exclusively for the benefit of one business/entity.

Funding Considerations and Requirements

  • Be able to be deployed quickly. Funds must be expended by November 15, 2020.
  • No single award will exceed $10,000.
  • No match is required.   
  • Grant awardees must submit to ACCD by December 1, 2020 a report with examples of materials developed, initiatives implemented, and measurable outcomes achieved. The report must include documentation of all grant expenditures for the project, including invoices, cancelled checks, or other receipts.

Evaluation Criteria

Priority in all awards shall be given in the following order of preference:

  1. Projects and/or initiatives that demonstrate the ability to increase consumer spending in local businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  2. Projects that maximize the amount and number of:
    1. businesses that participate,
    2. incentives offered,
    3. additional consumer spending leveraged.
  3. Strength and quality of project work plan, budget, and timeline.
  4. Projects that maximize the use of local media, local suppliers, vendors, and/or labor.
  5. Projects that serve a designated downtown(s) or village center(s).
  6. Projects that have a demonstrable component of long-term sustainability.
  7. Projects that make creative use of business, local and regional partnerships.

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