CLT Host 2020, Inc. Debuts Close Out Plan Distributes $3.2 Million to the Charlotte Region

Charlotte, N.C.- The Charlotte Host Committee, CLT Host 2020, Inc., debuts its close-out process today by moving out and donating furniture that was provided unused starting in May 2019 to house the 2020 Republican National convention planners who moved to Charlotte for planning efforts. All furniture was provided by Ashley Furniture Industries in conjunction with Fort Mill’s Broad River Retail, the largest independently owned Ashley HomeStore licensee, and will serve hundreds of families in need by Beds for Kids, a local non-profit based in Charlotte.

CLT Host 2020, Inc. and its partners are shifting from planning the convention to the close-out process. Focusing on its economic development mission, to showcase the Charlotte region and the states of North Carolina and South Carolina as a premier business environment and world-class convention and event destination, the Host Committee will distribute over $3.2 million dollars in cash and in-kind donations into the Charlotte community and surrounding region.

The Host Committee’s close-out plan has a four-pronged approach totaling more than $3.2 million dollars going back into the community. Hard assets such as furniture and office supplies will help many non-profit organizations give to those in need during this difficult time. Second, The Host Committee is initiating a $500,000 grant program in partnership with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA). Funds will initiate a grant program helping the hospitality and tourism industry in Charlotte that will benefit our neighbors that own small businesses. Third, CLT Host 2020, Inc. has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for a $2 million competitive, discretionary grant to provide seed funding or partnership support outside operating budgets and current initiatives. Lastly, CLT Host 2020, Inc. is enhancing the economic development efforts within the City of Charlotte and the region with marketing and branding materials.

By partnering with several local and regional organizations, the Host Committee will donate office supplies, apartment furniture, technology, and distribute funds to organizations like Purple Heart Homes, Good Friends, Habitat for Humanity, The Green Chair Project, the Nest Academy, TreesCharlotte, Leadership Charlotte, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Foundation, and more.

“I accepted the opportunity to serve as CEO of CLT Host 2020, Inc. for just this reason. As important as large-scale events can be to the hospitality and tourism industries, the value-add to the community is what most interested me,” said John Lassiter, CEO CLT Host 2020, Inc.

“Amidst both a healthcare crisis and an affordable housing crisis, Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region appreciates the investment from the CLT 2020 Host Committee that will increase our ability to work with families and secure their housing needs for the future. HfHCR is committed to building and maintaining affordable homeownership throughout our community,” said Laura Belcher, President and CEO of Habitat Charlotte Region.

“We are deeply appreciative the RNC Host Committee shares our passion around investing in creating a safer community. The mission of our police foundation is to invest in creating a safer community by supporting efforts to pilot new strategies and improve officer safety and effectiveness, while promoting trust in and support for the police in our community. These funds will provide resources for us to put towards key initiatives which are strongly aligned with our mission,” said David Dooley, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Foundation Board Chair. The Host Committee will also fulfill its economic development mission by providing hospitality and tourism small business grants to one of our hardest hit industries. $500,000 will initiate a grant program in partnership with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA). As a key partner with a shared mission to assist those businesses and vendors who were adversely affected by the scale-down of large events due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Host Committee and CRVA will create a joint selection process to develop the criteria, application process, and approval methods. The goal is to announce details shortly and approvals/funding allocation by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

CLT Host 2020, Inc. will also release a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for a $2 million competitive, discretionary grant to provide seed funding or partnership support outside operating budgets and current initiatives. The objective of this grant is to foster creative initiatives and stimulate lasting impact on the economic growth and opportunity in the Charlotte region. A more formal Program Announcement (PA) with detailed criteria and funding priorities will follow in the fall 2020.

During the Convention period, CLT Host 2020, Inc. hoped to capture the attention of the 15,000 credentialed media anticipated to cover the National Convention pre COVID-19. In that vein, the #MeetCharlotte campaign was developed with the city, as well as the tourism and hospitality industry, and economic development organizations. The marketing and branding materials surrounding this campaign will enhance the economic development efforts within the City of Charlotte and the region with marketing and branding materials that help highlight the city’s potential for recruitment and retention efforts. The estimated value of these materials is $200,000.

“We appreciate the work that the Charlotte Host Committee has done to shine a light on Charlotte and we look forward to working with our partners in continuing to showcase the Charlotte area to continue economic development efforts that helps our community survive the current COVID-19 pandemic and thrive in the following months and years,” City of Charlotte Economic Development Director Tracy Dodson said.

By honoring our mission- to showcase Charlotte, the region, and the states of North Carolina and South Carolina as a premier business environment and world-class convention and event destination- the Host Committee is working diligently to support the hospitality and tourism industry along with economic development promotional efforts for Charlotte and the Carolinas. This close-out process will also help and support other organizations that were helpful to the effort to secure the convention. Our support is to benefit those businesses and vendors who have been disproportionately affected by the scale-down of large events due to the pandemic.

“We’re so grateful for the support we received to host the 2020 Republican National Convention. While the outcome was not what we intended, knowing so many local organizations and businesses will benefit from our efforts during this difficult time is a legacy we can all be proud of,” said John Lassiter.

For more information, please visit: www.charlottein2020.com