The Clarksdale-Coahoma County Tourism Commission spent all of the $198,750 it received in CARES Act funds and used the opportunity to promote the community.
The funds came as a result of the COVID pandemic.
“We were supposed to spend all of it before Dec. 30, 2020, but they extended it the last week, so we had some little funds carried over,” said Clarksdale-Coahoma County Tourism Commission executive director Bubba O’Keefe at the Wednesday, May 12 board meeting.
“When we had the CARES Act funding, I used some of that funding to pay for our billboards and Live from Clarksdale. These were extensions that we normally would have paid out of our budget, but because I could qualify these for the CARES Act, I didn’t want to exhaust our general fund unnecessarily.”
O’Keefe said CARES Act expenses went toward items such as the touch screen kiosk in the tourism office that helps visitors plan, about seven billboards between Tupelo and Birmingham, between Jackson, Tenn., and Nashville, Tenn., around Sikeston, Mo., between Memphis, Tenn., and Little Rock, Ark., Natchez, Lula and Walls, an African-American heritage map and tourism maps.
The slogan was “Ready to road trip?… Safely!”
“At that time, it was before December,” O’Keefe said. “We were just…