The South Hill Chamber of Commerce has received a  $10,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Recovery Marketing Leverage Program (RMLP), designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds.

More than $1.9 million in matching grant funds were awarded to 161 local tourism initiatives through this program. This funding cycle, local partners will provide more than $5.6 million in-kind value to match the VTC grants. The grants will ultimately impact 483 statewide tourism entities.

The South Hill Chamber of Commerce will use the VTC Recovery Marketing Leverage grant funds to assist with the “Discover the Unexpected” marketing initiative for the creation and implementation of digital marketing/videos focusing on specialty businesses, stellar eateries, and area-specific unique attractions that will appeal to a plethora of potential new visitors to our area.

Shannon Lambert, Executive Director of The South Hill Chamber of Commerce commented, “We are most appreciative to have received this grant fund, which will directly and positively impact our digital marketing efforts for local businesses. Our business community is the backbone of local commerce, and our Chamber’s mission is supporting those businesses and helping them to grow and thrive, especially during these most challenging times.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality industries in Virginia.  As the Commonwealth slowly reopens for business, VTC offered these grant funds as a first step to re-entry into the marketplace to spur economic activity and future travel across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Tourism is a crucial section of the Virginia economy and when we invest in this industry, we support local job creation and drive regional economic growth, which is desperately needed now due to the pandemic,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “These funds give localities and businesses access to critical marketing resources that will help bring more travelers to our Commonwealth, increase visitor spending, and grow demand for Virginia products.”

Tourism is one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic engines, with visitors to the South Hill area spending more than $153 million in 2019, supporting countless work opportunities and contributing $4.4 million in local and state tax revenue. The tourism and hospitality industries have also been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic, experiencing decreased revenue and job loss, along with the temporary closure of many tourism-related businesses. A revived tourism economy can help spur new economic activity and inject critical funds back into Virginia communities.

The South Hill Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) organization, led by a passionate and active Board of Directors. With a robust and involved membership, the South Hill Chamber is a driving force of economic development and community support in the region.

About Virginia Tourism Corporation

Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. In 2019, visitors to Virginia spent $27 billion, which supported 237,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more, visit virginia.org