Time is running out for any Ocean County non-profit organization or government agency that wants to apply for the Matching Tourism Promotion Grants from the Ocean County Board of Freeholders.

Applicants have until January 31st to apply for the grants which will help fund any ideas for bringing tourists into the county. That includes advertising, marketing, publishing calendars of events, printing brochures, as well as idea’s utilizing the web.

Freeholder Joe Vicari said the grants will be a help in keeping Ocean County on people’s mind when it comes to a place to visit.

” We have a lot of competition from neighboring states, whether it be from New York or Pennsylvania, Delaware, or even North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. So we’re very competitive, Ocean County is a great place to come and we’re very proud of what we have to offer. “

According to a press release from the county bonus points are awarded for programs which promote off season and mid week visitors. The grant also requires the recipients to include the countywide tourism website and toll-free telephone number in any publications or advertising.

The grant application is available on the home page of the county's official website. The grant amount must be matched dollar-for-dollar by the applicant. The minimum grant amount is $500, which means the organization or agency must have at least a $1,000 promotional budget.

Freeholder Joe Vicari says that “It’s based on merit whatever, they’re comfortable with. Usually most people do receive some of kind of subsidy from the county of Ocean. “

Vicari reminds all ideas that fall into the realm of advertising and marketing to get the word out qualify. “So it’s not to buy a product, it’s to get the word out to different people to come to Ocean County. “

Questions should be directed to the Ocean County Public Affairs and Tourism Department at 732-929-2000.