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Chamber awards tourism grants

POSTED: August 8, 2011 6:48 p.m.
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The Effingham Chamber of Commerce awarded checks totaling $18,000 in tourism grants to three Effingham County organizations. Checks were awarded to the Historic Effingham Society, the Georgia Salzburger Society and to the Jerusalem Lutheran Church for various tourism related projects.

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The Effingham Chamber of Commerce awarded checks totaling $18,000 in tourism grants to three Effingham County organizations. Checks were awarded to the Historic Effingham Society, the Georgia Salzburger Society and to the Jerusalem Lutheran Church for various tourism related projects.

“The awarding of this funding signifies the Chamber’s commitment to growing our county’s tourism business,” said Scott Hinson, chairman of the Chamber’s tourism committee.

“If you don’t think of tourism as a business — and a big one at that — just look at Savannah’s tourism spending,” added Brooke Graham, Chamber president. “We want to be careful about how we grow Effingham tourism and supporting our two museums and the oldest continually active Lutheran congregation in the nation are excellent ways to get started.”

Some of the tourism projects to be funded out of these grants will be new visitor brochures and other electronic visitor materials, tourism marketing, enhanced walking trails and more. One big project of the Historic Effingham Society will be a new brochure detailing the newly state-designated Effingham Scenic Byway route.

After receiving the grant checks, the three grantees will present project updates to the Chamber periodically. Chamber Director Rick Lott said he hoped this might spur the county and the city of Rincon to institute the county’s first hotel-motel tax, which would be used solely to provide a continual source of funding for tourism marketing in Effingham. Lott said that local business thrives as tourism expands in an area.

For more information on the Effingham Chamber of Commerce, contact Lott at 754-3301 or email to ricklott@effinghamcounty.com.

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