Grand Marais Area Tourism Association "Mini Grant" 

Grand Marais Area Tourism Association (GMATA) recognizes and appreciates local area groups and businesses for the effort and time spent creating events that attract visitors to the area, provide exposure to local non-profits, and increase commerce for local businesses. Because it is in GMATA’s best interest to keep events strong, and lodging occupancy rates high, we offer financial assistance in the form of our Local Events Marketing Grant, or ”Mini Grant,” program.

Applications for GMATA Mini Grants are accepted annually to coincide with Visit Cook County’s upcoming fiscal year (May 1 – April 30). Funding requests must be for events that occur in this time frame, and take place in the GMATA lodging district.

The maximum allocation for GMATA Mini Grants is $1,000 and is subject to available 1% funding in the annual GMATA budget. Please note that applying for grant funding does not guarantee funding. If your organization receives funding from Visit Cook County's 1% Events Budget elsewhere, that will be taken into consideration. Applications are scored on a scale of 1 - 5 for each of the four criteria. A perfect score is 20. The average of the scores from the GMATA board members is used as a touchstone in allocating funding, along with general discussion and other information provided by applicants or gathered data from past years’ events.

Consideration for funding will focus on scoring applicants on the following criteria, please keep these in mind as you fill out the attached application:

  1. Purpose or Goal of Event: Does the goal align with supporting tourism?
  2. Season/Timing: Preference shown to “shoulder season” and non-holiday, off season events.
  3. Potential Economic Impact: Will the event bring more visitors to the area? Is there room for expansion?Preference for events that support more “heads on beds”.
  4. Marketing Plan*: If funded, how will the dollars be spent to encourage heads on beds.




*Applications for the FY 24-25 funding cycle are now closed*

The Mini Grant program is generally viewed by GMATA and Visit Cook County as a way to nurture and support new events and initiatives bringing visitors to the area rather than a long-term funding and workforce source. Events that need more boots on the ground support and are bigger in scope or require funding beyond the Mini Grant cap may still be eligible for funding through the greater Visit Cook County 1% Events Budget. Guidelines and questions regarding that funding can be discussed by contacting the Visit Cook County staff.


Malorie Brazell - Executive Administrative Assistant

Malorie Brazell Events & Board Manager