Special Event Support Grant
Butte County Special Event Support Grant


Explore Butte County is working with Butte County to distribute $65,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to Butte County special events that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The grant program will be based on a lottery system with a minimum of two (2) applications being selected from each of the six (6) jurisdictions within Butte County: Biggs, Chico, Gridley, Oroville, Paradise, Unincorporated Area.

This program was approved by the Butte County Board of Supervisors because as early as April 2020, event organizers had to cancel or postpone their events. Many organizations rely on special events as fundraisers, to raise awareness, support programs, fund staff, or support their partner businesses and were negatively impacted by closures due to COVID.

Program Outline

There is a total of $65,000 allocated to fund the Butte County Special Event Support Grant (grant). There are a total of $10,000 available for special event support in each of the 6 jurisdictions within Butte County. To apply for the grant, a Special Event Support Grant Application (application) will be required. The application will be entered into a lottery for the appropriate jurisdiction in which the event is headquartered. Only one application per special event can be entered into the lottery. A special event can be either an annual event or a recurring/serial event. There is a limit of one (1) applications per event organizer, no matter how many events they host. Multiple applications will disqualify the event/organizer. The amount of grant award can be between the minimum request of $1,000 up to a maximum of $5,000 for a single event. A lottery winner must meet all of the eligibility requirements in order to be granted the funds.

Full details of the program can be found in one of the three (3) tabs below. All questions should be in writing and directed to [email protected].

In order to be eligible for the special event support grant, the following criteria must be met:

  • The event must be open to the public.

  • The event must be publicly noticed (advertised).

  • The event must demonstrate financial need as a result of COVID-19.

  • Updated (7.29.22) Events must have three or more years of history in Butte County to be eligible for grant awards. Events are eligible for application if they have been in existence with public attendance for at least three years. Canceled events do not count toward event history, and event years do not have to be sequential. Event history may be demonstrated with three years of ticket or sponsorship sales records, or other means that confirm the event was held and open to the public.

  • The event headquarters must be in Butte County.

  • The event can be an annual event or an event series, as long as the event history criteria is met.

  • Provide a proposed budget with a plan for how you will spend the grant.

  • Grant funds may only be used for event expenses and may not be used to show profit. (Sample expenses are advertising, cost of rentals, registration software, etc.)

  • Plan to spend the grant funds between September 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023.

  • Applicants must provide a valid photo ID from Butte County.

  • Only one application per organization/event organizer will be accepted. (If your organization plans multiple events, either recurring or annual, only one can be submitted for the program.)

  • Exclusion - grants will not be given to any organization funding political activity or coordinating religious events.

You can download a checklist pdf here.

If you meet all of the eligibility requirements (listed in previous tab) and would like to submit an application for the 2022-2023 Special Event Support Grant, the timeline for applying is below.

Click here to apply

8/1-31/22: Applications accepted. All applications must be received by Aug. 31, 2022 by 5:00 pm

9/1-15/22: A three person team will convene to draw the winning applications. Team members: 1 person from Butte County, one person from EBC staff, one person from EBC board of directors. All selected applications will be vetted by the team to confirm they meet the stated eligibility.

9/16/22: All lottery winners will be notified.

9/30/22: Letter of acceptance from lottery winner due, acknowledging applicant will use funds by December 31, 2023.

10/15/22: Grant funds distributed.

12/31/23: All grants must be spent and final reports submitted.


Apply Now
Click here to apply

You can click here to complete the online application.

If you would like to download the application questions in preparation for completing the application you may do so here.


You can apply online by clicking on the link above, or by mailing a printed completed application to Explore Butte County, P.O. Box 2154, Chico, CA 95927.

If you need a special accommodation for accessing the application or for applying, email [email protected] and we will make any necessary arrangements for accessing the application.

Use this tab to find the answers to frequently asked questions. All comments and questions must be asked via email to [email protected]. All answers will be posted here within 72 hours. No new questions will be addressed after August 20, 2022.

Can I ask question?

Yes you can!

Can I apply for an event that has already happened?

Unfortunately, no. The grant will be for events that happen between September 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023.

What will happen if there are not enough eligible applications in each jurisdiction?

If there are any funds remaining from a jurisdiction after the lottery process, and there are no more applications from that jurisdiction, the funds will be placed in a larger lottery process and all remaining applications will be combined to select applications for the remaining funds until all $65,000 is allocated to eligible Butte County special events.

Can I use the grant for a new event?

No. The grant must be used for an event that has a history in Butte County. The goal of the program is to support events that have been negatively impacted by COVID, and describing that impact is a part of the application process.

If our organization has a history of putting on events and we want to apply for the grant for a new event; is that event eligible? (7.29.22)

No. The grant must be used for an event that has a history in Butte County. The goal of the program is to support events that have been negatively impacted by COVID, and describing that impact is a part of the application process.

My organization is interested in applying for the grant but we do not have a 3-year event history. Is it possible to use the event history of one of our member organizations to fulfill the requirement if we reimagine one of the annual events they offer?

Unfortunately, no. The grants will be awarded to a business or organization, and that organization will need to provide their own budget and narrative about the negative impact of COVID.