November 24, 2020 – Cape Charles Main Street has received $20,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Recovery Marketing Leverage Program (RMLP), designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds.
More than $1.9 million in matching grant funds were awarded to 161 local tourism initiatives through this program. This funding cycle, local partners will provide more than $5.6 million in-kind value to match the VTC grants. The grants will ultimately impact 483 statewide tourism entities. Cape Charles Main Street will use the VTC Recovery Marketing Leverage grant funds to drive more people to visit Cape Charles through the shoulder seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring) to help our businesses not only recover from short-term losses due to the impact of COVID 19 but to extend shoulder seasons and build longer-term stability.
“The impact of COVID has driven more people to stay closer to home. Here on the Eastern Shore, we understand that our best opportunity for recovery is to market to those day trippers who are craving outdoor experiences, exploring historic architecture, shopping unique shops and savoring incredible food, said Karen Zamorski, Executive Director of Cape Charles Main Street. People don’t realize that 27 of the best shops, restaurants, spirits, etc. (as voted by Virginia Living, July 2020) are right here in their own backyard!”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality industries in Virginia. As the Commonwealth slowly reopens for business, VTC offered these grant funds as a first step to re-entry into the marketplace to spur economic activity and future travel across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“Tourism is a crucial section of the Virginia economy and when we invest in this industry, we support local job creation and drive regional economic growth, which is desperately needed now due to the pandemic,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “These funds give localities and businesses access to critical marketing resources that will help bring more travelers to our Commonwealth, increase visitor spending, and grow demand for Virginia products.”
Tourism is one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic engines, with visitors to Cape Charles spending more than $26,419,806 in 2019, supporting 476 work opportunities and contributing $2,078,498 in local and state tax revenue. The tourism and hospitality industries have also been among the hardesthit by the pandemic, experiencing decreased revenue and job loss, along with the temporary closure of many tourism-related businesses.
A revived tourism economy can help spur new economic activity and inject critical funds back into Virginia communities.