Meet in New York Grant Program

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The New York State Meet In New York Grant Program (the “Program”) was created to incentivize the return of conferences, meetings and trade shows that generate significant tourism economic activity (e.g., overnight stays, dining and other tourism activities) by covering a portion of the cost of event-based discounts at conference spaces and partnering hotels.

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Grants will be limited to:

  • Convention centers, conference centers, licensed overnight lodging facilities and other event venues that rent out conference spaces for eligible events, and
  • Licensed overnight lodging facilities that provide lodging to groups of travelers in partnership with eligible events.

Further, all Eligible Applicants must:

  • Offer discounts to eligible events in connection with attracting visitors to New York State.
  • Be in operation in New York State as of the date of application;
  • Have experienced economic harm resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidenced by a year-to-year decrease of at least 15% of gross receipts and/or gross wages between 2019 and 2020;
  • Be in substantial compliance with any public health or other emergency orders or regulations related to the business’ sector or other laws and regulations as determined by the Commissioner;
  • If a not-for-profit organization, be prequalified in Grants Gateway prior to disbursement;
  • Not owe past due federal, state or local taxes unless making payments pursuant to and complying with an approved binding agreement with the appropriate taxing authority; and
  • Be in substantial compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, codes and requirements, including tax, labor and environmental laws within New York State.

In addition to the above, all Eligible Applicants seeking a grant for discounts on event space must further

  • Have a minimum capacity of 250 people.

Eligible Events must:

  • Take place over the course of at least two consecutive days;
  • Demonstrate that at least 35% of their attendees come from at least 50 miles away, or at least 35% of event participants staying overnight in licensed lodging facilities.
  • Occur after the acceptance of applications under the Meet in New York Program and prior to December 31, 2024; and
  • Have not been held in New York State in the last four (4) years (i.e., any time since 1/1/18); and

Discounts on room rates will need to be:

  • Offered as a room block of at least 10 overnight rooms per night in connection with eligible events as defined in these guidelines.

For the complete eligibility terms please read the guidelines here.

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Application Prep

To help you prepare, please review the information that will be needed to complete a preliminary application:

  • Proof of at least 15% Gross Receipts loss or 15% Gross Wages loss: 2019 and 2020 Business Income Tax returns (Applicants must demonstrate a year-to-year loss of at least 15%; however, Applicants with 25% or greater loss will receive priority):
  • Completed IRS Form 4506-T
  • Description of the type of event, along with an executed contract, demonstrating event was contracted and/or rooms were booked after the Program start date and a down payment received from the event producer dated after the beginning of the Program’s application period and before December 31, 2022 (hotels do not necessarily need a deposit from the event producer);
  • Verification of hotel “standard” and “discounted” booking rates (e.g., calculation of average effective hotel/space rental fee rates during a given period);
  • Evidence that this a new event that has not been held in New York State in the last four (4) years;
  • Evidence that this event has at least 35% of their attendees come from at least 50 miles away, or at least 35% of event participants staying overnight in licensed lodging facilities;
  • ESD reserves the right to request evidence and additional information that ESD, in its sole discretion, deems to be necessary to prove any of these requirements are being met.
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  • A total of $25 million in funding has been allocated to reimburse conference venues and licensed overnight lodging facilities to offset a portion of discounts on approved meeting space rental fees and group room rates that help attract qualifying event types.
  • Grant size will vary based on event size, the booking fees waived, and the hotel discounts offered, subject to maximum reimbursement rates and amounts.
  • The program will be limited to incentivizing the attraction of new events that have not previously been scheduled.
  • Eligible event types will be limited to those that drive tourism and visitors to New York State. Local events, such as weddings, will not be eligible.

Read the Meet in New York Guidelines

For more information about Meet In New York please contact New York State Division of Tourism, Tourism Grants staff at [email protected].

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the requirements to qualify as a conference center, conference space or licensed overnight lodging facility?

A: To qualify, the applicant must have a minimum capacity of 250 people and have experienced economic harm resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidenced by a year-to-year decrease of at least 15% of gross receipts and/or gross wages between 2019 and 2020. Additional qualifications for applicants and eligible events are outlined in the Program guidelines.

Q: I am an event producer; can I apply directly for this grant?

A: Event producers are not eligible to apply directly for Meet In New York grants and may benefit from this program in the form of discounted event costs. Instead, venues will apply for program funding to reimburse a portion of the discounts granted. Please work directly with a conference center/space.

Q: We are a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Designation Marketing Organization (DMO) or Tourism Promotion Agency (TPA), are we eligible to apply for these funds directly?

A: CVBs, DMOs and TPAs are not eligible to apply for funding. We encourage you to work together with your local convention center/space and/or licensed overnight lodging facilities in connection with an eligible event.

Q: Are hotels eligible to apply without an eligible event?

A: Licensed overnight lodging facilities must be contracted and working together with an eligible event to be eligible to apply for Meet in New York funding.

Q: What is the maximum discount I can provide? How much of the discount will be reimbursed by New York State?

A: Conference centers/spaces will be reimbursed 75% of the discount provided up to a maximum of $2,000,000 per organization, which may include multiple events. There is a minimum grant of $10,000 per event to qualify.

  • For example, if a rental space’s regular fee is $20,000 and an approved applicant of this program offered the space at $2,000, the total discount offered is $18,000 and ESD would reimburse 75% of this amount, at $14,000.

Hotel Room Rate Discounts will be reimbursed at 50% of the discount granted for room blocks, capped at $300 or 70% of the average regular room daily rate (“rack rate”) for the duration of the event, whichever is less.

  • If regular rack rate is $200/night and is offered at $100, an approved applicant would be eligible for 50% ($50) of the $100 discount offered.

Grants may cover multiple events, with the grant size varying based on event size, discounts and award caps.

Q: By when do events have to take place?

A: Events must be contracted after the start of the grant program and no later than December 31, 2022. The event itself must be completed by December 31, 2024.

Q: What required documents are needed to apply for funds?

A full list of required documentation can be found in the Program guidelines.

Q: What documents are needed to receive approved/awarded funds?

A: In order to initiate the reimbursement process, grantees will need to complete and submit completed reimbursement documents (as provided) along with required backup materials as outlined on the reimbursement forms (i.e. event contract(s), cashed check(s), and proof payment has been made for the event).

Q: How long after the conclusion of an approved event will I received my grant?

A: Payment reviews time vary and depend on number of reimbursements received at the same time. We anticipate a processing time of approximately 8-10 weeks for approved applicants and events.

Q: What are the important dates of this program to be aware of?

A: The deadline to apply for these funds is December 31, 2022. The deadline for completion of events to be eligible for reimbursement is December 31, 2024.

Q: What happens if an awarded event is found to have not met grant requirements when payment is being requested after the event has taken place?

A: Additional evidence and demonstration of program requirements may be requested. If the event is found not to meet the requirement, reimbursement will be denied.

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How to Apply

Applications will follow a three-step process.

  1. Fill out a required eligibility screening tool to determine if your business qualifies for the program.
  2. If your business qualifies you will receive an email from [email protected] with a link to the complete application.
  3. You will need to fill out and submit the completed application ahead of the December 31, 2022 deadline. 

Meet In New York Important Dates:

  • Deadline for applications - December 31, 2022
  • Deadline for events to be completed - December 31, 2024

To receive email program updates, sign up here.