Cape Charles Main Street Announces Tourism Grants


By Stefanie Jackson – Cape Charles Main Street stated in a press release in May that it partnered with four other organizations and businesses in town to apply for and receive nearly $23,000 in Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program grant funding, an average of $4,550 each.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced a total of more than $2.7 million in VTC grants for 259 local and regional tourism marketing programs throughout Virginia.

“These grant funds provide an important opportunity for communities across the Commonwealth to accelerate recovery efforts and continue with their best-in-class marketing initiatives to attract new travelers,” said Rita McClenny, president and chief executive officer of VTC.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation was established by the General Assembly in 1999 to advertise Virginia’s tourist attractions and coordinate public and private efforts to promote tourism.

The five Cape Charles organizations and businesses that received funding were:

• Cape Charles Main Street was awarded $5,000 to promote Festive Fridays, special events held every Friday during the winter holiday season to attract visitors to Cape Charles’ shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, and other businesses. 

The nonprofit was established in 2018 and is a member of the Virginia Main Street program that revitalizes downtown commercial districts while preserving the history and heritage of communities.

• Citizens for Central Park, another nonprofit, received nearly $4,600 to support its Harbor for the Arts summer concert series.

  • Buskey Cider received $5,000 to promote the Cape Charles Craft Trail. Cape Charles’ Buskey Cider on the Bay is an outpost of the Buskey Cider production facility and tasting room in Richmond.
  • The Local-ISH Art Gallery/Live Local-ISH received around $4,300 to launch a new website. The ISH in Local-ISH stands for Inspire Shore Hospitality and the gallery features one-of-a-kind creations designed to evoke memories of the Eastern Shore. Live Local-ISH provides concierge services to Cape Charles homeowners such as listing vacation properties online, cleaning, and repairs.

  Drizzles received nearly $3,900 to revitalize its brand and website. Drizzles is a gourmet store selling olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and other products and gifts.

“All of these organizations contribute to the fabric of our community and help to boost the town’s tourism related revenues, which allows us to maintain the infrastructure that ultimately benefits everyone,” said Cape Charles Town Manager John Hozey.

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program was created to leverage limited funding for tourism marketing through partnerships between tourism organizations and businesses, expanding the Virginia Is for Lovers brand, attracting more tourists, and stimulating visitor spending.

To apply for and receive a grant, a partnership was required between at least three entities, including Virginia cities, towns, and counties; convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, and other regional destination marketing organizations; private businesses, tourist attractions, cultural events, museums, and other tourism-related businesses.

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