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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Williamsburg’s Tourism Development Fund grant applications are online. Here’s what you need to know

(WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Economic Development Office)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Economic Development Office)

Applications for the next round of Tourism Development Fund grants are now available online, Williamsburg city officials announced Monday.

The TDF application process consists of two phases. The first phase, open now, is due March 13. This phase establishes eligibility before inviting applicants to participate in phase II in April.

Qualified applicants then complete the Phase II application and present their proposed projects to the Tourism Development Grant Review Committee in June, officials said.

Differing from the previous grant cycle, the FY21 application process is now fully online creating a more user-friendly experience for the parties involved. Applicants can save their progress and easily upload attachments as necessary.

Officials said the purpose of the TDF is to “increase patronage to restaurants, attractions, hotels, and events in the City of Williamsburg through financial assistance and reinvestment in tourism products, place-making projects, and public-private partnerships.”

City Council adopted its TDF policy on Aug. 10, 2017, revised it on Feb. 14, 2019 to recognize the creation of the Williamsburg Tourism Council and its mission to market the area for tourism, and appointed members of the Tourism Development Grant Review Committee in January 2019.

The TDF is funded through the half of the 1 percent sales tax increase that is collected in the city, as set by Senate Bill 942 (2018).  The other half of the 1 percent sales tax is allocated to the Williamsburg Tourism Council to market the Williamsburg region to visitors, officials said.

The first grant cycle completed in November 2019 when City Council approved seven grant recommendations.


The Economic Development Department and the Tourism Development Grant Review Committee will host two “open house” workshops where potential applicants are invited to stop by and ask questions about proposed projects or the application process.

The workshops are scheduled for Friday from noon to 2 p.m. in room 128 of the Stryker Center, 412 N. Boundary St., and Feb. 20, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Copper Fox Distillery, 901 Capitol Landing Road.

“If you are considering applying for a TDF grant, but are unable to attend one of our workshops, we are happy to speak with your group or organization directly,” said Joanna Skrabala, tourism development specialist. “Just call our office at 757-220-6129 and we can walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the fund.”

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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