Sampson Independent

Sampson CVB awarding capital grants

After assisting the Sampson County History Museum with a new military museum, the Convention & Visitor Bureau is working to help more organizations in the future to increase tourism.

The organization recently announced open enrollment for the Capital Grant Program (CGP) starts July 1 and will continue through July 30. Sheila Barefoot, director of the Sampson County CVB, said the program is designed for brick and mortar projects that benefit the area. All applications must be postmarked by July 30 to be considered for the application cycle.

“The history museum is the first one that we did last year,” Barefoot said.

In Fall 2017, the Sampson County CVB Board of Directors approved the implementation and funding of CGP, developed to stimulate economic growth by supporting nonprofit visitor attractions in Sampson County. If approved, funding may be used to build new visitor attractions or enhance existing structures.

“I’m hoping to get a lot of input from businesses or anything that attracts visitors or visitor related,” she said. “We love to help everybody and anybody that meets those guidelines.”

According to a news release from the CVB, organizations that may apply for funding is legally chartered 501c3 nonprofit Sampson County organization or chartered municipality representing a visitor attraction, which includes tourism promotion among its major activities.

Documentation of legal status, tax exemption, federal identification number, budget, and organizational purpose are required with all applications. The organization applying for funds must show that they own the property, and it is not leased by the organization. However, if an organization making a request does not own the land or the structure to be preserved or built on a site, the organization may provide properly executed documents that state the organization has a permanent easement for the site, including ingress and egress.

The CGP uses a matching grant formula, up to $50,000 per project. With the potential amount of grant applications, the full amount of an organization’s grant request may not be awarded. Typical grant awards may average between $5,00 and $10,000. Once the amount has been distributed to an organization, CVB officials said they must sit out of the grant process for about three years from the date of final funding from the CVB. Also, multiple nonprofits may not receive funding for the same project.

The grant is awarded in August and January or until the allocation is exhausted. Applications for the first cycle may be submitted from July 1 until July 30, and must be postmarked no later than July 30 for consideration during the August cycle. Applications for the second cycle may be submitted from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31, and must be postmarked no later than Dec. 31 for consideration during the January cycle. Capital Grant applicants must contain the written approval or a formal resolution of the organizations governing board, and include relevant municipal government endorsement, and a list providing other individuals or organizations that have made contributions to the proposed project.

The Sampson County CVB was approved and enacted to be a public authority established through legislation by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina and adopted, approved, and enacted by the Sampson County Board of Commissioners with the purpose of promoting the development of travel and tourism related activities in Sampson County, through state, regional and national advertising, marketing and promotional activities and campaigns.

For more information or details about the SCCVB Capital Grant Program or to receive grant guidelines and applications, contact Barefoot at 910-592-2557 or via email at The Sampson County CVB’s offices are inside the Sampson County Exposition Center located at 414 Warsaw Road, Clinton.

Program developed to aid tourism

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.