FILE - Virginia Beach boardwalk

Virginia Beach boardwalk

(The Center Square) – In an attempt to bolster Virginia tourism during the off-season, the state approved $300,000 worth of tourism marketing grants to support 64 small business partnerships, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced.

The marketing projects will be funded partially through the Virginia Tourism Corp. grants, but will also be funded through $728,000 in private sector money. In total, the grants will support marketing initiatives worth more than $1.2 million. According to the governor’s office, the funds will support 64 marketing programs, which will impact 189 partners and more than 400 jobs.

“Tourism marketing programs that drive tourism during the off-season is part of our robust strategy to grow the economy in Virginia,” Youngkin said in a statement. “These marketing programs are designed to bring in year-round overnight visitation which will support small businesses and jobs in localities across Virginia. In 2021, the tourism industry supported over 185,000 jobs in Virginia and travelers spent over $69M per day in Virginia, and we are on a growth trajectory.”

The VTC is funding these projects through its Microbusiness Marketing Leverage Program. The program is designed to leverage marketing dollars to stimulate new tourism, according to the governor’s office. The program was created earlier this year, specifically to help small businesses during fall, winter and early spring.

River Rock Outfitter owner April Paterson said in a statement that February, March and April are slow months for the company.

“Winter weather reduces our number of shoppers, and our fair-weather customers are not actively pursuing outdoor adventures,” Paterson said. “This campaign will provide fun content to market River Rock Outfitter and the gear and services we provide while promoting the Fredericksburg-region as a go-to spot for outdoor activities.”

The VTC will offer additional grants and sponsorships at the beginning of 2023.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.