Program Information
The GHLA grant team is hard at work with State officials and others to finalize the Save Georgia Hotels grant criteria and process. This site serves as a pre-opening site for your information and will be transitioned to the operational application website once final details are completed by the state.
The Save Georgia Hotel grant is a meaningful show of support by Gov. Brian Kemp and his administration for an industry that was severely impacted from the start of the pandemic. The hotel industry was devastated, and among the last to recover.
All operating hotels in Georgia may apply for the grant program. The property must be a Georgia hotel as defined in O.C.G.A § 43-21-1. To be eligible the hotel must be able to document at least 15% RevPAR loss from 2019 to 2020 and be in operation prior to the start of the pandemic. Additional information can be found in the FAQs.
Grant amounts are determined by a strict formula that has been approved by the state based on RevPAR loss, room count and labor cost by service level to aid those most in need.
Funds awarded through the Save Georgia Hotel grant must be dedicated to specific uses that rebuild Georgia’s hotel and lodging workforce. Uses include workforce incentives such as additional pay, accelerated wage scales and bonuses; enhanced safety and security on lodging property; and employee training and career development.
The funds are to be used at the hotel level in Georgia. The overall mission of the grant is to get people back to work and improve safety and security.
Here are four steps you can take to prepare to apply for your hotels share of the Save Georgia Hotel funds:
  1. Designate who will be the lead contact for processing the application for your property. The application should be completed by whoever can legally sign binding contracts for the hotel.
  2. Determine whether a property is eligible for funds. Among the criteria for qualification are meeting the definition of a Georgia hotel, operating prior to the start of the pandemic, and documenting monthly RevPar loss from 2019 to 2020.
  3. Gather the documentation required for the application. Documentation requirements include an accurate number of full-time employees, verification of financial loss, and stated use of funds.
  4. Determine how you’ll use the funds. All funds must be used for approved initiatives, which include employee training and career development and workforce incentives such as additional pay, accelerated wage scales, retention bonuses, safety, and security.
Additional information can be found in the FAQ section.
Award Estimate

*Awards are estimated. Actual award will be determined during the application process.

Frequently Asked Questions
As we move from the preopening phase to opening the grant application process, this page will be continually updated with the latest information and updates as required by the compliance guidelines.

How do I receive upcoming information on the grant process?

  • If you are already a member of GHLA as the main contact for your hotel or management company, you will automatically be included to receive updates.
  • If you regularly receive information from GHLA as a main contact for your hotel or management company, you will automatically be included to receive updates
  • If you have signed up for information on Grants.GHLA.net, you will automatically be included to receive updates.
  • Every effort will be made to contact all operating hotels in Georgia to provide information on the grant opportunity.

What determines eligibility to apply for a subgrant award?

  • Must be a Georgia hotel as defined in O.C.G.A 43-21-1.
  • Be in operation prior to the start of the pandemic. (See page 24 of [Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: Overview of the Final Rule.])
  • Document at least a 15% loss from 2019 to 2020.
  • Agree to use the funds at the Georgia hotel level.
  • Comply with federal and state compliance regulations for receiving grants.
  • Agree to use the funds for the program specific uses.

Who should submit the application on behalf of the hotel?

The application should be completed by whoever can legally sign binding contracts for the hotel. That could be the owner, owner's representative, general manager, or chief executive officer.

I/we are owners of multiple hotels in Georgia. Can one application be filed for all the properties collectively?

This grant is structured for individual hotel locations in Georgia. Multiple applications may be submitted by an owner or ownership group, but each property must submit its own application. The applications will be linked together, but each property must be filed under its own application.

What are acceptable uses of the grant funds?

The overall mission of the grant is to get people back to work and improve safety and security.
Priority uses include:
  • Rebuilding the workforce
  • Workforce incentives that may take the form of additional pay, accelerated wage scales or bonuses.
  • Enhancing safety and security in the building and on the grounds of the hotel. This may include the hiring of off-duty officers, hiring additional security personnel, security cameras and interfacing security cameras with local law enforcement systems.
  • Employee training and career development. Training must include annual training for all customer facing employees on human trafficking prevention. New hires are to be trained within 90 days of their starting date.
If you are unable to apply the full amount of your potential grant to the primary use cases, you can submit a plan for review based on the final rule.
Funding from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds is subject to the requirements specified in the Final Rule released by Treasury on January 6, 2022. Treasury released an Overview of the Final Rule, which provides a summary of major rule provisions to assist recipients and stakeholders.

Are there additional requirements or restrictions on the use of the grant funds?

Yes. The funds must be used at the property level with a priority on wage enhancements, employee bonuses, COVID protections, human trafficking prevention training, workforce development, career development programs, employee training, safety, and security enhancements. The funds shall NOT be used for replacing lost profits, taxes, renovations, or new construction. Every grant recipient must implement an ongoing human trafficking prevention training program.

Our hotel has changed ownership since 2020. Who is eligible to submit and benefit from the grant program?

This grant is designed to get workers back on the job and get the hotel back on its feet. The grant application should be made by the current owners and/or operators.

Our property was not open prior to the start of the pandemic. Are we eligible to apply for a grant?

No. According to the Federal compliance document a business must have been in operation prior to the start of the pandemic. (See page 24 of [ Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: Overview of the Final Rule.]). The final rule maintains the interim final rule's requirement that aid may only be considered responsive to the negative economic impacts of the pandemic if it supports businesses, attractions, and Tribal development districts operating prior to the pandemic and affected by required closures and other efforts to contain the pandemic. The grant team continues to seek options for properties that opened during the pandemic. Any change in eligibility per this restriction that is approved by the state will be immediately announced.

If a grant is awarded for our property, are we subject to an audit?

A single audit is required for all grants over $750,000 in a single fiscal year. Here is the link to that code section. The federal and state governments reserve the right to audit any recipient. You should consult your tax advisor / attorney. For details, click here for the federal documentation.

What follow up reports will be required of grant recipients?

All Grantees shall be subject to ongoing reporting requirements as required by the state. When grant is ready to be closed, a close-out report will be required.

What conditions must applicants agree to if they accept a grant?

Grant recipients will be required to sign a legal document agreeing to the validity of the data provided, the responsible parties representing the hotel, the terms of the grant, compliance with state and federal requirements, and the follow up reporting procedures required.

How will grant funds be transferred to grant recipients?

Approved grant funds will be electronically transferred to the recipients from the grant’s official banking, finance, and accounting service providers once all legal requirements and documents have been properly submitted and approved.

What happens if the property is sold or becomes under new management after the funds have been received?

The responsibility to complete the terms and conditions of the grant will transfer to the new owner or operator until grant requirements have been completed and the final reports have been submitted. The exiting owner or operator must submit a report on the balance of the funds that remain and how the expended funds were used.
The grants are directed at the property level. If there is a change of ownership, then the grant must go through the closeout process with a final report submitted. The new owner may apply for the balance of the funds. Otherwise, the remaining funds must be returned to use for workforce development purposes.

What happens if the property closes after the grant funds have been received but before the terms of the grant have been completed?

The grant recipient must submit the final report showing the use of funds up to that point. Any unused funds must be returned.

What is the process that will be used for the grant applications?

Here is the overview of the process.
  • Grant applications will be made through a secure webform.
  • The application will be reviewed to see if all required data and documents have been submitted.
  • Completed applications will be verified for accuracy. Applicants will be contacted for any additional information or documents needed.
  • Verified applications will be submitted for a final review.
  • Approved applications will be passed on funding. Approval is based on strict adherence to the terms set forth in the grant for eligibility and use.
  • Approved applicants shall submit ongoing reports verifying the appropriate use of the funds.
  • Once the funds have been used completely, a final report must be submitted.
  • Once the final report is accepted with no concerns, the grant will be formally closed out.

Will I be able to start an application and come back to it to provide additional information or complete it?

Yes, the online application form will allow you to save your work and come back to it to complete it. Once you click on submit, it will lock your form until it goes through the review process, and you are asked for additional information.

How long do you have to use the funds?

By December 31, 2024, you must have received the funds and applied them toward their approved uses. Should additional time be needed, a wavier can be requested for a limited period.

Can grant funds be used on third party contracts such as staffing companies?

Yes, if the staffing companies are filling positions in the hotel. The funds may be used to supplement staffing expenses incurred by the hotel.

Can the funds be used for supply items such as linens, utilities, marketing, food supplies and others?

The funds may only be used for COVID protections, safety, and security items (this could include personal protection alert systems and devices), training and staffing related items as outlined in the grant. It is not to be used for consumables, marketing, or renovations.

Can the funds be used for temporary or seasonal employee payroll?

Yes, the funds may be used to supplement staffing expenses.

How are the grant amounts calculated?

Grant amounts are determined by a strict formula that has been approved by the state based on RevPAR losses, room count and labor cost by service level to aid those most in need. See the Calculator for estimated amounts.

My hotel is an independent hotel not associated with any of the hotel brands. How do I determine my Smith Travel Research (STR) classification?

The STR classification maps independent hotels back to one of the main classifications. If you are not aware of your equivalent placement in the classifications, please contact Smith Travel Research (STR) for that information.

What documents are required?

Applications are processed in phases. Properties can not move to the next phase until the current phase is approved. For example, no banking information may be submitted to the accounting firm until the application is approved for funding.
Verification Phase
  • Current guest room count (keys): Please provide the current guest room count (# of keys).
  • Smith Travel Research (STR) Class: Please provide your Smith Travel class. If you do not have an assigned class, please contact Smith Travel to have a class assigned.
  • Stated Uses: Please choose how you will utilize the funds.
  • Georgia only: Save Georgia Hotel grant funds are only to be used in Georgia. Please confirm your commitment to use the funds in Georgia.
  • Smith Travel Research (STR) Number: Please provide your STR number. If you do not have a number or are unsure of your number, please contact Smith Travel to have a number assigned.
Application Phase
  • 2019 guest room count (keys): Please provide the 2019 average guest room count (# of keys). If the number of rooms changed during the year, please include a statement in the "Notes" section that describes the change.
  • 2020 guest room count (keys): Please provide the 2020 average guest room count (# of keys). If the number of rooms changed during the year, please include a statement in the "Notes" section that describes the change.
  • 2019 FTE Count: Please provide your average monthly FTE count (including subcontractors) for the year of 2019.
  • 2020 FTE Count: Please provide your average monthly FTE count (including subcontractors) for the year of 2020.
  • 2019 Revenue Verification (RevPAR): Please provide one of the following documents to verify your RevPAR (Revenue per available room) for the calendar year (January 1 - December 31) 2019. The documents are listed in priority order with one being the highest priority. If you do not choose option one, please also include statement in the "Notes" section declaring you did not have any of the higher priority documents.
    1. Audited Financial Statements
    2. Reviewed Financial Statements
    3. Compiled Financial Statements
    4. Annual reports from Point of Sale (POS) system
    5. Monthly Sales Tax (ST-3) documents (all months)
  • 2020 Revenue Verification (RevPAR): Please provide one of the following documents to verify your RevPAR (Revenue per available room) for the calendar year (January 1 - December 31) 2020. The documents are listed in priority order with one being the highest priority. If you do not choose option one, please also include statement in the "Notes" section declaring you did not have any of the higher priority documents.
    1. Audited Financial Statements
    2. Reviewed Financial Statements
    3. Compiled Financial Statements
    4. Annual reports from Point of Sale (POS) system
    5. Monthly Sales Tax (ST-3) documents (all months)
  • Loss level: Please identify your RevPAR loss level category when comparing 2019 RevPAR to 2020 RevPAR.
Funding Phase
  • Bank Account: Please provide the bank account number you wish the funds to be distributed to.
  • Bank Routing: Please provide the bank routing number for the account you wish the funds to be distributed to.
  • Grant Amount: Please confirm the amount of money you would like to receive. This number can not exceed the approved amount.
Reporting Phase
  • Status Report: Please provide a status report letting us know what funds have been spent for what pruposes.
Closeout Phase
  • Current FTE Count (Closeout phase): Please provide your current FTE count. FTE counts should include staffing agencies (ex. housekeeping).
  • Closeout Questionnaire: Please complete the closeout questionnaire located at www.ghla.net and provide your confirmation number. This number is located at the end of the form and is also emailed to the email address you provided.
  • Funds Expenditure: Please provide receipts, labor reports, or other evidence that you used the funds for your stated uses.