COVID Resources & Recovery Programs

Kentucky’s travel and tourism industry has been profoundly impacted by COVID-19. Federal, state and local government directives, guidances and programs continue to evolve as does the crisis itself. KTIA’s efforts also continue – engaging in advocacy in support of the industry, to providing information and advice and charting a course toward recovery. We encourage members to contact us at [email protected] with questions, requests and suggestions. 

American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law March 11, 2021 by President Biden and includes several relief programs applicable to business in the travel & tourism industry. Click here for a comprehensive review of all industry related highlights of the Act. 


The amount being received by Kentucky state government from the ARP Act is in excess of $2.1 billion and the federal legislation specifically cites support of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry as an allowable use of those funds. KTIA has developed a proposal that has been presented to the General Assembly and the Governor and legislative leaders requesting industry recovery and investment funds in the amount of $75 million from the state’s ARP allocation. 



KTIA members are urged to contact their legislators to encourage their support of an appropriation of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funds for the industry’s recovery and long-term strength as an economic engine for Kentucky. Specifically, request support for KTIA’s Tourism Industry Recovery & Investment Plan.

In addition to utilizing the one-page industry plan in communicating with legislators, KTIA members can also use information from TRIP Notes, a specialized newsletter KTIA is sending on a biweekly basis to all members of the General Assembly to keep legislative attention focused on the KTIA plan and the continuing needs of the industry. Below is a link to past issues of TRIP Notes  



Just as state government is receiving ARP funds that can be utilized for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, Kentucky local governments have also received ARP funds directly from the federal government and those funds are also eligible for industry support. KTIA members should contact their local government to explore the prospects of some of those funds being invested in the industry. It is highly recommended that industry discussions with local officials about ARP funding be coordinated through the local destination marketing organization (DMO).

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. On March 25, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which extends the deadline for PPP applications from March 31 to May 31, with an additional 30 days for the Small Business Administration to process applications.  

Click here for full program details and see below for links to additional PPP resource information.


If you have not received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan before, First Draw PPP loans may be available to you. See below for an overview and for an application to apply.

PPP First Draw Loans Overview
PPP First Draw Borrower Application Form (revised March 18, 2021)
How to Calculate First Draw PPP Loan Amounts (revised March 12, 2021)



If you have previously received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, certain businesses are eligible for a Second Draw PPP loan. See below for an overview and for an application to apply.

PPP Second Draw Loans Overview
PPP Second Draw Borrower Application Form (revised March 18, 2021)



Borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness. A borrower can apply for forgiveness once all loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness have been used. Borrowers can apply for forgiveness any time up to the maturity date of the loan. If borrowers do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, then PPP loan payments are no longer deferred, and borrowers will begin making loan payments to their PPP lender.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Overview
PPP Loan Forgiveness Application + Instructions (revised January 19, 2021)



U.S. Travel Association PPP Fact Sheet (updated March 30, 2021)

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

The COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides economic relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. 

EIDL Program Details
EIDL Application 

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Program

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19. The program opened on April 8, 2021. 

SVOG Program Details
SVOG Application
U.S. Travel Association Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program Overview (updated March 15, 2021)

Economic Development Administration (EDA) Tourism Grants

The economic development administration will provide up to $750 million specifically for travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors from a total of $3 billion in grants to eligible entities to respond to the economic effects of the pandemic. For a comprehensive overview of the program provided by U.S. Travel, click here. 

EDA is not yet accepting grant applications. However, once they post a Notice of Funding Opportunity, you can apply here. Note that the application process is likely to mirror the application process provided under the CARES Act. 

See EDA’s Guidance for DMOs before submitting an application. It is also important to establish contact with your nearest regional EDA office before beginning the application process. 

EDA Guidance for DMOs
Regional EDA Office Contacts


Travel, Tourism, & Outdoor Recreation Grant Program

The U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA) has announced a $750 million program that focuses on revitalizing the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries and that is intended to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on those sectors.  

The funds are divided between State Tourism Grants and Competitive Grants. There are $510 million in non-competitive awards to help states quickly invest in marketing, infrastructure, workforce and other projects to rejuvenate safe leisure, business and international travel. The competitive grants fund is $240 million to help communities that have been hardest hit by challenges facing the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors to invest in infrastructure, workforce or other projects to support the recovery of the industry and economic resilience of the community in the future. Click here to access the program details and application information.

Program Details & Application


Coal Communities Commitment

EDA also announced a Coal Communities Commitment allocating $300 million to ensure support for those communities as they recover from the pandemic and create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. 

Although the EDA programs originate from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, they are distinct from the ARP funds previously allocated to states that KTIA is pursuing on behalf of the industry.

Learn More


Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Program

The Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Program is providing eligible transportation service companies with resources to help to maintain payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead and operational expenses.

CERTS Program Details

Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) Grants

The ARP Act allocated $28.6 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund for industry-focused grants. The program provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impact by COVID-19.

RRF Program Details
U.S Travel Association Restaurant Revitalization Funds Overview (updated April 20, 2021)
RRF Application

Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Program

Under the program, the U.S. Treasury will provide grants to eligible companies that certify they have experienced an annual revenue loss of 25 percent or more as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19. CERTS grant funds are primarily  to cover payroll costs, but may also be used to cover the acquisition of services, equipment, including PPE and protection measures from COVID-19 for workers and customers; continued operations and maintenance of existing equipment and facilities; rent, leases, insurance, and interest on regular debt service.  

CERTS Program Details

Employer Tax Credits

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.

Learn More

KTIA Recovery Actions for Tourism (RAFT)

Prior to the passage of the ARP Act, KTIA had been focused on industry-wide recovery and developed a comprehensive plan called RAFT: Recovery Actions for Tourism. Click below to view the plan. 

The evolving and continuing utilization of this plan led to the development of the Kentucky Tourism Industry Recovery & Investment Proposal mentioned above. We are pursuing that proposal based on the RAFT recommendation that the industry is still very much in need of immediate support.

Other Resources


Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services
Healthy at Work
Kentucky SBA Contact


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
U.S. Travel
Small Business Administration
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Department of the Treasury


World Health Organization
U.S. Department of State

CVB COVID-19 Partner Assistance Initiatives

As their community’s destination organization, convention & visitors bureaus are in a unique position to assist their tourism partners and the entire community. Many took on that challenge early in the crisis and continue to do so. Those efforts are occurring as the CVBs, themselves, are dealing with the disruption of their employees, operations and revenue. Below are responses received from a KTIA survey of CVB members designed to capture and share the assistance they are providing.

CVB Partner Assistance Initiatives