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Nebraska EDA Tourism Grant Program

The Nebraska EDA Tourism Grant Program, funded by the US Economic Development Administration (EDA), will be administered as a competitive subgrant program open to eligible grantees within qualified census tracts (“QCTs”) within a city of the Metropolitan Class, within a city of the Primary Class, and outside of a city of the Metropolitan Class and Primary Class.

Eligibility Information

What Can the Grants Be Used for? 

All award recommendations will be sent to EDA for approval prior to award. DED will consider proposals for three eligible project types:

  1. Events & Marketing Fund.

Eligible grantees may propose a project targeted at stimulating the local economies within QCTs through direct investments in events, promotion, and marketing. This strategy would simultaneously help attract visitors into adjacent communities to patronize restaurants, museums, and other traditional tourist locales.

Messaging must be consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines.

Advertising on behalf of private companies is not permitted.

Eligible Expenditures:

  • Campaign development
  • Media purchases
  • Advertising
  • Promotional events

  1. Planning & Technical Assistance Fund.

Business and event travel were among the hardest-hit sectors of the Nebraska tourism industry. This has been devastating for smaller, rural communities across the state. Many locales generate most of their tourism revenue through conferences, business meetings, sporting events, and other hosted activities — all of which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.

As such, DED proposes to assist eligible grantees in the resumption and promotion of events and the attraction of new events. Eligible grantees may propose a project targeted at planning and/or technical assistance for businesses and events in QCTs in the tourism industry.

Eligible Expenditures:

  • Event attraction, such as conferences and business meetings
    • This includes upfront and non-reimbursed costs involved in making communities competitive and compelling for such events.
  • Local research
  • Marketing
  • Event planning
  • Creating new community events and/or enhancing existing programs
    • Annual events
    • New ideas for inaugural events

  1. Infrastructure Projects Fund.

Eligible grantees may propose a construction project targeted at increasing short-term and long-term travel/tourism activity through infrastructure upgrades within QCTs.

The following project types are eligible:

  • Projects that increasing travel/tourism activity.
  • Projects that make infrastructure more functional under pandemic social distancing conditions.
  • Projects that improve disability access.
  • Built-environment and infrastructure enhancements that promote long-term increases in tourism activity in a community.
  • Projects enhancing public access to outdoor recreational opportunities.

Eligible Expenditures:

  • Hard costs for construction
    • Materials, labor
  • Soft costs for construction
    • Design, fees, insurance, surveys, studies, environmental assessments, marketing & advertising, project management, administrative costs

Who is Eligible to Apply? 

Nebraska Department of Economic Development has designed the Nebraska EDA Tourism Grant Program to be extended to the following:

  • Cities or other political subdivisions within the State of Nebraska, including special purpose units of state or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions;
  • State of Nebraska agencies;
  • Institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education;
  • Public or private nonprofit organizations or associations, including community or faith-based nonprofit organizations, acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska;
  • Economic Development District Organizations located within Nebraska; and
  • Indian Tribes or a consortium of Indian Tribes located within Nebraska.

Important Definitions

Nonprofit:  Pursuant to the Supplementary Information promulgated with 31 C.F.R. Part 35 the definition of nonprofit includes 501(c)(3) organizations and 501(c)(19) organizations.

Impacted Industry:  If the industry is in the travel, tourism, or hospitality sectors (including Tribal development districts), the industry is impacted.

City of the Metropolitan Class: defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 14-101 et seq.

City of the Primary Class: defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 15-101 et seq.

Application Information

Nebraska EDA Tourism Grant Program

Application Period:

Open Date – 12/22/2022 9:00 AM Central Standard Time
Close Date – 2/2/2023 5:00 PM Central Standard Time

Letter of Intent Deadline: January 13, 2023 5:00 PM Central Standard Time

Anticipated Award Date: March 2023
If there are remaining funds after the announcement of awards, DED will re-open the application window and make necessary accommodations and announcements related to the next application window.

Period of Performance: Funds must be expended before December 31, 2025.

Award Amount:

Not to exceed $3,074,000.

  • No less than $1 million to eligible grantees located within one or more Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) within a city of the Metropolitan Class.
  • No less than $1 million to eligible grantees located within one or more QCTs within a city of the Primary Class.
  • No less than $1 million to eligible grantees located QCTs located outside of a city of the Metropolitan Class and Primary Class.

Grant Management Resources

This page will provide technical assistance on using AmpliFund to apply for and manage grants awarded by DED.

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Have questions?

Abra Kataka

Economic Recovery Program Manager