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Montgomery County winery benefitting from tourism grant

Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Updated: 2:11 AM


For the C-S-E

CHARLESTON -- A simple sign can make all the difference for a small business trying to stay alive in Montgomery County.

Ever since the Hummingbird Hills Winery bought a sign advertising what it is and where it is located, business has begun to pick up, co-owner Kimm Schick said.

The sign was funded through a $1,000 Montgomery County Economic Development Tourism Grant, which was awarded in June.

"We have been in business for four years and we have never been able to afford a sign that said we were here," Schick said. "We applied for the grant and the county came through with a $1,000."

Hummingbird Hills Winery is the only winery in Montgomery County and everything is grown and produced right on the site on Burtonville Road.

Schick said within the first week of putting the sign at the intersection of Route 30A and Burtonville Road, she had 10 new clients walk through the door, many of whom said they didn't know a winery had been there.

Every weekend, more and more people have been coming in and last weekend the winery held a successful four-year anniversary event.

"The county offering this grant has helped us to be recognized at the end of road " Schick said. "We are fortunate and grateful to have that opportunity from the county."

Economic Development Director Ken Rose said the grants are provided annually to help local businesses cover the costs of events or promotion.

This year, the department awarded $10,000 worth of grants to 10 organizations including the winery.

The only requirement for the grant is that the funds have to be used for tourism-related projects.

"It seems to be successful and the organizations love it," Rose said. "It helps the smaller businesses hold events."

The funding for the program comes out of revenues generated by the county's hotel occupancy tax.

The other 2014 Tourism Grant recipients included:

-- Friends of Schoharie Crossing

-- Fort Johnson -- Taste of History Event

-- Amsterdam Mohawks -- Rock the Park Celebration

-- Friends of Fort Plain -- Diefendorf Hall Cultural Heritage Center Project

-- Mohawk Valley Collective -- River Through Time Event

-- Arkell Hall -- Winslow Homer Art Exhibit Promotion

-- Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation -- Riverlink Park Summer Series

-- Salt Springville Community Restoration -- Windfall Dutch Barn Event Promotion

-- George Landis Arboretum -- Full Moon Music Series Promotion


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