Paragould’s Advertising and Promotion Commission has followed through on actions regarding ongoing concerns.

The commission adopted a tiered maximum percentage it will grant for projects and events.

“We don’t want everybody to sit back and expect a $30,000 check from the A&P to fund their $32,000 project every year,” said commission chair Jeremy Biggs. “We shouldn’t be the only reason an event occurs.”

After discussion, the commission adopted a procedure that would limit the percentage of a project/event total budget the commission would fund to:

90 percent of the event budget for a first-year event, up to a maximum of $20,000 from the commission.

80 percent of the budget for the second year of a given event

70 percent for the third and subsequent years of a given event

Commission members had expressed concern over funding large amounts to organizations that don’t “have some kind of track record,” as treasurer Joe Wessell had said.

And after discussion, the commission agreed to consider all current approved grantees to be “second-year” for subsequent grant requests regardless of how many times they had actually received A&P grants.

“I think we can put everybody on the second year,” said Biggs, “that got funds this year. I mean, we’ve talked about [tiered funding] at meetings.”

The commission also voted to change from four to three the number of funding cycles, ending Feb. 28, June 30 and Oct. 31. The change becomes effective in 2022.

And the commission discussed, but took no action on, a proposed requirement for grantees to provide information about how many hotel and motel rooms were booked in response to their events. “We need some metrics,” said commissioner Neal Adams.

Commissioner KimberlyDale noted that grantees had told her the lodging establishments were very reluctant to provide such information to them. In response, Biggs suggested commissioners themselves should visit the establishments face-to-face, explaining to the management that the information sought serves as a gauge of how effective the event has been in drawing people to Paragould. “We’re trying to ‘put more heads in beds,’” said Adams.

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