Buda eyes tourism boost with co-marketing program

With applications due at the end of the week, Buda officials hope the third round of a program designed to maximize downtown businesses’ advertising dollars will bring in more tourism for the entire historic district.

The Buda Main Street Department launched the co-marketing program in October, Main Street manager Maggie Gillespie said.

Over the course of two rounds, seven downtown businesses have been approved to receive a bit more than $3,000, she said. Nearly $1,800 has been reimbursed to downtown Buda businesses so far.

“The main goal is to bring people into historic downtown,” Gillespie said. “If individual businesses are bringing in people, then all the businesses will be discovered.”

Businesses located within the historic downtown district can apply for a matched grant of up to $500 each quarter, up to $2,000 a year.

If approved, the applicant can be reimbursed for up to $500 or 50% of its marketing costs, whichever is less. The reviewing committee may distribute up to $5,000 per round. The total amount budgeted for the 2017-18 fiscal year was $20,000. As of April, events are also able to apply for the grant.

The money comes with stipulations, Gillespie said.

Each business or event must submit a proposed advertisement, whether it be for a magazine, a newspaper, television, radio or social media. It must include the phrase “located in historic downtown Buda,” or something similar, and target areas 30 miles outside of Buda.

A unique aspect of the program is that businesses are permitted to save even more money by going in on advertisements together, Gillespie said.

If several entities, for example, were to split the cost of a billboard, the co-marketing program could reimburse $500 toward each of the businesses’ share, she said.

The department will be accepting applications for the third quarter round through the end of this week, Gillespie said.

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