Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission sees decrease in funding during COVID

Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission sees decrease in funding during COVID

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Think of some of your notable events in Jonesboro like the Downtown Jonesboro BBQ Fest or well-known organizations like The Foundation of Arts.

The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission awards organizations like those thousands of dollars annually.

But, how much depends on how successful the 3% hotel tax is.

According to the Commission’s Chairman, Jerry Morgan, the year started off strong, especially having the new Embassy Suites completed.

However, after the start of the pandemic, many events were canceled, and traveling stop causing a net decrease of about 25 percent in hotel occupancy and hotel revenue.

The A&P is 100 percent funded by the 3-percent hotel tax. That money then comes to A&P and they allocate it back to several different city events and organizations.

For the year 2020, A&P awarded $734,000 to around 30 organizations.

But for 2021, they awarded about $554,000, down almost 25 percent, meaning those same organizations saw that decrease of 25 percent in what they received.

Morgan says although their numbers are down, the decrease was still lower than what’s being seen across the nation and state. He says this has been the toughest grant cycle they ever had.

“If the pandemic gets out of way and it will rebound and we will be back to our normal numbers, maybe even more. But, we also are going to work really hard to maintain our cash reserve to also be ready if this thing lingers on or gets worse into 2021,” Morgan said.

He says they did all they could do in making it work with what they had and was still able to fund most organizations, adding it made it all better because the organizations were understanding and appreciative.

Morgan says there will still be some good, safe and exciting events coming down the pipeline, even with the decrease.

Below is a chart of Jonesboro A&P Commission 2021 Applicants:

Organization Event Name 2021 Request 2021 Recommendation
Jonesboro A&P Administration $25,700 $25,700
Christmas Attractions (Ground Crew) Christmas at the Park (2022 $5,00) $10,000 $10,000
City Parks & Rec (Baseball Boosters) Pro Turf- 5 year contract (2018-22) year 4 of 5 $85,000 $85,000
Jonesboro Police DARE Three DARE Programs $15,000 $12,500
St. Bernards Women Advisory Council Three-Day Pink Warrior Events $5,000 $5,000
Craighead County Master Gardeners Ark. State master Gardener Conference $10,000 $9,000
The Link Theatre Company First Professional Theatre Season $15,000 $7,500
Jonesboro Softball Association Host Youth and Adult Tournaments $80,000 $40,000
DNW Regional Duck Call Contest $5,000 $5,000
Delta Symphony Orchestra Annual Program Support $12,000 $10,000
The Foundation of Arts Annual Program Support $65,000 $50,000
Downtown Jonesboro Alliance Annual Program Support $45,000 $30,000
Hispanic Community Services El Centro Community Events $14,000 $7,500
United Way Battling for a Better Tomorrow $3,000 $1,500
Treble Clef Club Special Needs Program $1,500 $1,500
Crowley’s Ridge Cruisers Annual Car Show $5,000 $4,000
Jonesboro Baseball Boosters 2021 Spring and Summer Tournaments $65,000 $30,000
Jonesboro City Stars Booster Club 2021 Youth Sports League and Tournaments $50,000 $37,500
St. Bernards Medical Group Annual Health and Fitness Expo $5,000 $4,000
NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation Annual Duck Classic $10,000 $4,000
Hijinx PBA Jonesboro Open $40,000 $30,000
Joey Perry Martial Arts The Arkansas Open $5,000 $5,000
Disc Side of Heaven The Jonesboro Open- Disc Golf Pro Tour $14,750 $10,000
Downtown Jonesboro BBQ Fest Annual BBQ Fest $100,000 $70,000
Jets Aquatic Club Spring/Summer Events $120,000 $6,000
North East Arkansas Pro Rodeo Inc Rodeo $5,000 $4,000
ASU Red Wolves Foundation Annual Marketing Expenses $75,000 $50,000
Totals $885,950 $554,700

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