Sunday, June 17 , 2018, 11:48 pm | Fair 56º



Groups Benefitting Local Tourism Receive Chamber Grants

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) has announced recipients for the first of two grants cycles in the 2017 calendar year. Nearly $30,000 was recently awarded to eight local nonprofit organizations that submitted applications.

“Our Special Projects Grant sponsorship program is funded by the VCB in order to support events, projects and attractions that generate overnight stays in local hotels and strengthen our economy,” said Jennifer Harrison, director of the Santa Maria Valley Visitor & Convention Bureau.

“We strategically support a diverse suite of events in order to tap different markets and groups. This includes reaching out to meeting planners and sporting event hosts to grow the number of gatherings in the Santa Maria Valley,” she said.
Harrison said the grants program allows organizations planning events to apply for marketing assistance in order to reach target visitor markets.

Key travel and tour markets for the Santa Maria Valley include the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Bakersfield and Kern County, Nevada and Washington state. The VCB also offers complimentary services for event planners, including free welcome bags for attendees.  
Recipients for the first cycle of grants in 2017 are:
Elks Recreation, Inc., in support of the Santa Maria Elk’s Rodeo held in June
Elks Lodge, in support of the Elks Rodeo Parade held in June
West Coast Kustoms Car Club, in support of its West Coast Kustoms Cruisin’ Nationals Car Show and City Cruise held in May
Santa Maria Bent Axles Street Rods, Inc., in support of its Bent Axles Car Show held in July
Santa Maria Fairpark, in support of its Strawberry Festival held in April and the Santa Barbara County Fair held in July
Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley, in support of the Tour & Taste of the Valley event
Pickups Limited, in support of its F-100 North-South Run auto show held in August
Pacific Conservatory Theatre, in support of its year-round community performances

“The success of these events truly builds on our area’s recognition and economic well-being. We are pleased to offer our support and collaborate on getting the word out,” Harrison said.

For more information, visit or call the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau at 800-331-3779.

— Malei J. Weir for Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau.


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