Tourism Grants

On September 17, 1991, the Mattoon City Council established a Tourism Committee to make recommendations to the City Council relative to the disposition and allocations of tourism funds generated by a Hotel-Motel Tax. Funds generated by this tax are to be expended by the municipality for the promotion of tourism and conventions within the City of Mattoon or otherwise attract overnight non-residents. The Committee consists of seven members appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the City Council. A City Council member serves as an ex-offico member.

How To Apply

Note: Tourism Grants can only be recommended to City Council for events that are open to the general public and not private in nature. Additionally, events that enhance the reputation of an individual or business over the reputation of the community will be given lower funding priority.

  1. Click here to be directed to our application via Google Forms. Or obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office, or the Tourism Office at City Hall.
  2. Fully complete the grant application along with any other pertinent documents plus twelve (12) copies (13 in all) to the Tourism Office located at 208 North 19th Street, Mattoon, Illinois 61938.
  3. Carefully address the evaluation criteria.
  4. The Committee should receive the application ninety (90) days prior-to the planned event date when possible. Any application received later than 90 days may be tabled until the next meeting. It is mutually advantageous to have the application acted upon up to six (6) months prior to the planned event date.
  5. Application MUST be typed. Any handwritten applications will not be reviewed.
  6. A representative from the sponsoring group applying for the funds MUST attend the application review process by the Mattoon Tourism Committee.
  7. Submit evidence seeking additional funding sources, such as foundations, matching grant programs, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, Illinois Bureau of Tourism, etc.
  8. Applicants must make an appointment with the Tourism Director prior to submitting the application for evaluation of the application. Applicants can expect this to be a 10-15 minute meeting.

Evaluation Criteria

Grant application for Mattoon Tourism Fund shall be evaluated primarily on the following terms:

  • Overnight hotel stays give events a greater weight
  • The event compliments the best interest of the Mattoon Community.
  • The event or some portion of the event must occur within the city limits of Mattoon or otherwise attract overnight non-residents.
  • Provides economic opportunities for Mattoon Businesses.
  • Be proposed by an organization (or individuals) that has/have an established history of successful accomplishments.
  • Be innovative in the promotion of the Greater Mattoon Community.
  • Enhances the visual environment that results in lasting positive impressions of the community.
  • One or more of the following is included:
    • A repeat of an event that has been successful in past years. This should not be interpreted however, as an on going means of funding an event. The ideal scenario is lending more funds to “new” or “young” events and gradually decreasing the amount as the event moves toward becoming self-supporting and profit making.
    • An event that meets a need for greater attention, in the total spectrum of Mattoon attractions.

Eligible Uses for Mattoon Tourism Funds

  • Advertising
  • Entry Fees/Entertainment
  • Hotel Rooms
  • Transportation Expense
  • Insurance
  • Officials
  • Capitol Improvements/City Facilities that encourage/enhance tourism

Ineligible uses

  • Concessions
  • Souvenirs
  • Equipment/Balls
  • City Labor Costs

Crediting City/Tourism Board For Funding Project

The following statement will be incorporated on all printed material and/or television/radio marketing: “Funding provided in part by Mattoon, Illinois Tourism”. The official logo of Mattoon Tourism shall also be used on printed materials. Failure to include a statement or logo will result in a total cost disallowance for the portion of the grant project.

A follow-up report of any monies from the Mattoon Tourism Committee MUST be received within sixty (60) days after the event. The follow-up summary can be found by clicking here. Said report will consist of actual financial statements, samples of promotional materials, event statistics and/or the usage of Tourism money to promote tourism in the Mattoon Community.