Visit Jackson Proclaims City 'Open For Business,' Announces Grant Program

September 8, 2022

Visit Jackson held a press conference today in the JXN Welcome Center to encourage support of Jackson restaurants and to announce a program aimed at providing some monetary relief in the form of a grant program.

The hospitality industry has been the hardest impacted business sector during the COVID-19 global pandemic, and ongoing water challenges have been exacerbated by flooding.

Dr. Rickey Thigpen, President & CEO of Visit Jackson proclaimed, “The City With Soul is open for business.”

He noted that:

  • Businesses and restaurants know how to operate in a challenging environment--they follow protocols and still deliver a unique and excellent experience.
  • Mississippi is one big neighborhood; we help our neighbors, we support each other, and it is our way of life to support our neighbors – especially during difficult times.
  • We need your help this weekend by visiting a Jackson restaurant and enjoying a unique experience in the City with Soul!
  • Our state can only progress if Jackson (OUR Capital City) moves forward; this, in part, depends on ALL OF US.

Dr. Thigpen challenged all Jacksonians and Mississippians who live, work and play in and around the capital region to support our Jackson restaurant community. “Dine & Drink in Jackson!”

David Moncrief, a manager at Barrelhouse located in Fondren, responded to the call, asking for support of the restaurants in Jackson.

“We are absolutely open for business,” Moncrief said. “While maybe the attention and some of the things we’ve seen are new related to the water crisis, it’s not new to us. It’s something we’re well-equipped to handle. It’s old hat to us. As our friends and neighbors, we’re relying on you now.”

A Tourism Water Crisis Sustainability Grant program was also announced during the press conference that will be supported by Visit Jackson reserve funds, as their fiscal year ends on September 30, 2022.

Visit Jackson Board of Directors has identified $50,000 in funding to reimburse identified sector partners for ice, water and soft drink expenditures. Additional funds are expected from local and national DMO and tourism partners that have expressed a desire to give. Details of the program are available at visitjackson.com/watercrisisgrant.

Ken Crotwell, a chef and restaurant consultant and former Visit Jackson board member who serves as a consultant for the program, said the grant is tiered based on business size.

The program is a reimbursement program for Jackson lodging and restaurant, along with museum and attraction industry partners who prepare and serve meals onsite. Participants must provide verifying documentation that they collect and remit the special tourism levy that funds the official Jackson, Mississippi Destination Management Organization (DMO), Visit Jackson, to the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

The Tourism Water Crisis Sustainability Grant program has been established with three categories eligible for reimbursement:

  • Small Industry Sector Partners: 50 Seats or Less up to $500.
  • Medium Industry Sector Partners: 51-200 restaurant seats up to $1,000.
  • Large Industry Sector Partners: More than 200 seats up to $2,000.

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About the Tourism Water Crisis Sustainability Grant

Potential grant applicants can log on to visitjackson.com to learn more about the program and apply. Partners that execute only carry-out food service could also qualify; hence, their applications will be examined case-by-case.

Entities may request a hard copy of the application by contacting Jennifer Chance, 601.345.2513, at 308 East Pearl Street, Suite 301 Jackson, Mississippi 39201.