Highlights of a new, comprehensive budget for North Carolina include the following:
$30M FOR STATE TOURISM PROMOTION: The Visit NC marketing budget includes an additional $30 million over three years for state tourism promotion (as part of American Rescue Plan Act stimulus funding).
$500M FOR GRANTS TO HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES: Direct grants of up to $500,000 will be available to businesses that experienced losses of 20 percent or more during the pandemic; $300 million of these funds are specifically protected for businesses in NAIC codes 71 and 72, which are primarily restaurants, hotels, bars and other entertainment businesses.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM EXPENSE DEDUCTIBILITY: North Carolina was one of the last states in the country to enable business expenses made with PPP funds deductible for state income tax purposes.
$5M FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: The N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association was appropriated $5 million to run a statewide campaign to recruit workers to the hospitality industry.
OCCUPANCY TAX: Local occupancy tax bills that passed in the House remain sitting in the Senate. Asheville area hotel leaders continue to advocate for Buncombe County legislation to be changed from a split of 75 percent marketing and 25 percent product investment to one of two-thirds marketing, one-third product investment, through requesting an amendment to legislation to be introduced and passed before the end of this session.