Cheshire County requests federal cash to assist regional tourism press | Area News

Cheshire County is eyeing 50 % a million bucks in federal funding that it would place toward an ongoing exertion, led by area business leaders, to catch the attention of people today to the Monadnock Location.

That funds would mostly be applied to employ the service of a tourism coordinator for the regional chamber of commerce and to create a strategic program for drawing persons to the space, Suzanne Bansley, the county’s grants supervisor, told county commissioners Wednesday.

If the $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Improvement Administration is approved, the Bigger Keene and Peterborough Chamber of Commerce would kick in an supplemental $125,000, Bansley reported. Tips for that money also include helping neighborhood entrepreneurs get started their individual organizations and bringing a significant-profile speaker to the yearly Monadnock Global Movie Festival, she said.

Cheshire County’s a few commissioners voted unanimously at their weekly conference Wednesday to ask for the federal aid.

Formally known as the Advertising and marketing the Monadnock Region Initiative, the campaign aims to attract readers, employees, bigger-training learners and young households to southwestern New Hampshire to combat that “demographic headwind,” then-chamber President and CEO Phil Suter explained in early June. That operate would be break up into two phases: the very first, to figure out how to brand name the location, and the 2nd, to commence attracting individuals who are looking at either relocating or visiting, chamber officials stated at the time.

Luca Paris, a Keene restaurateur who succeeded Suter as chamber president around the summertime, claimed Wednesday he thinks the project will aid bring in equally staff and clients. That starts with building a popular identification for the location, he claimed.

“It unifies what our similarities are all over the area and who we are,” he explained. “It sort of provides us a launching issue of how we current ourselves to the world all-around us.”

The chamber’s advertising drive is already underway after it was awarded a $300,000 grant, also from the EDA, in late May perhaps and lifted one more $100,000 from community donors, Bansley explained Wednesday.

The group, which just lately opened a Peterborough branch, has employed North Star Location Branding and Promoting, a national firm, to support with the first actions, in accordance to Paris. That will include things like launching a location-huge study next 7 days to gauge how people watch their communities.

“We’re at the data-collecting stage,” he explained.

The county’s new funding ask for “naturally dovetails” with the branding marketing campaign, Paris mentioned, by highlighting the facilities that carry individuals to the space.

If authorized, that request would faucet a $750 million EDA software Congress designed earlier this yr as part of a COVID-related stimulus invoice and which is intended, in aspect, to help vacation, tourism and outdoor recreation projects.

People resources are not able to be applied for advertising and marketing uses, Bansley instructed county commissioners Wednesday. As a substitute, they would generally go towards choosing the tourism coordinator, a chamber staff who she claimed could support area corporations “beef up” their on the net existence so they are more noticeable to possible readers.

“We have a great deal of fantastic vacationer organizations with out exceptionally obvious details on their sites,” she claimed. “They do not even know that their deal with is not there.”

Paris stated Wednesday he’d hope to retain a tourism coordinator at the chamber over and above the two-calendar year EDA grant.

The federal assistance would also be utilised to build a technique for attracting persons to the Monadnock Location, which Bansley explained would be made by the Southwest Area Scheduling Commission. It could also go towards expert pictures and video clips of the area, she stated.

And the money would enable the Keene-primarily based Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship offer training initiatives and complex help for local business owners, according to Bansley. With few bicycle-rental retailers in the location, she prompt that all those options could enable an individual commence a new small business to choose edge of the Monadnock Region’s rail trails.

“Nobody can appear from outside the house the region to appreciate it unless of course they have their very own bike,” she mentioned.

Apps for an EDA grant are owing by the conclude of January, nevertheless that funding is available on a first-come, initial-served foundation, in accordance to Bansley.

The county will possible master the up coming month regardless of whether its request has been permitted, she said. The tourism-relevant do the job would then begin several months later.

Bansley famous, even so, that the metropolis of Keene has also utilized for a $2.3 million grant from the exact same software to support its planned Transportation Heritage Trail — a rail trail expansion undertaking celebrating the region’s record that requires moving or rehabilitating many bridges.

Federal officials are unlikely to approve funding for far more than just one undertaking in New Hampshire, she said. Nonetheless, Bansley said creating the grant proposal has served the chamber hone its designs for the advertising press.

“A lot of setting up and conversations and system came out of this,” she mentioned. “… It was well well worth everyone’s energy, even if nothing will come out of it in conditions of income.”

County Commissioner Jack Wozmak, whose district largely handles towns west of Keene, like Hinsdale, Swanzey and Winchester, explained he hopes the chamber focuses on marketing neighborhood vacationer attractions rather than developing a new detect for the location.

“I really don’t consider we wrestle with who we are,” he claimed. “The dilemma is we don’t explain to any individual … I hope we’re seriously previous the discuss phase, and we finish up undertaking some thing.”

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