How does a business compete for such funding?
How does a business compete for such funding?
Who/what business should consider applying for these funds? As an example, if, as the owner of an existing business, you have been working toward a larger capital expenditure, perhaps you have been eyeing a new piece of equipment specific to your business or you’re considering an expansion of your space or any other type of expansion to your business, this may be for you. We will call such things your project as it is something that will be facilitated by this grant program. In such a scenario, you likely have saved some money, which would serve as the required match, and the equipment may allow you to retain or grow the number of your employees. In this way, the Business Retention and Expansion Incentive is assisting your project, which will grow your business, retaining employees or growing the number of employees.
How does a business compete for such funding? There is an application that a business must complete and submit by Aug. 31. The following seven elements comprise the application. Any business applying will need to provide responses to the following in no more than two pages, excluding the attachment of your current business plan.
- Written narrative of your project, which includes:
- A description of the business and how it benefits the local community.
- The current business challenge(s).
- The proposed solution(s) to address the challenge(s) and direct correlation between a grant award and the proposed solution.
- Specific outcomes relative to job retention or growth.
- Budget and general schedule of your project
- Attach your current business plan
- A comparison of the wages of the applicant’s business jobs being retained or created relative to the Coconino County median wage and relative to the average sector.
- A narrative of the impact of the applicant’s businesses relative to water and energy usage, and to the community waste stream (this does not need to be elaborate).
- A description of any proposed direct benefits to the community (not just applicant’s business) such as infrastructure, workforce development opportunities for residents or students, volunteer work or some other benefit that the business is able to offer to the community (this does not need to be elaborate).
- An accounting of the applicant’s private investment relative to the requested grant.
The remainder of this article will provide general guidance on the BR&E Incentive application in the hopes that businesses will be better positioned to compete for the funds.
The scoring of the applications is important to discuss, as it guides the applicant to community values. 30 points may be awarded each for wages, environmental impacts and direct community benefit; 10 points may be awarded for the cash match, for a total of 100 possible points. Here is a brief elaboration of each of those scored elements.
Wages. Wages are a big deal. Any jobs retained or created will be scored on the wage relative to the Coconino County median wage, which is currently $21.27/hour. The higher the wage relative to $21.27, the higher the score for that category.
Environmental impact is important. If your business practices include renewable energy or recycled materials, or if your processes divert material from the landfill or if your business is a low-water user, your score may be higher.
Direct community benefit is an element intended, as it suggests, to benefit the entire community. This element allows for a great deal of creativity. Here are a few examples:
- Infrastructure: A small manufacturer needs to upgrade their power supply to their location but may be required to install oversized infrastructure to meet the needs of properties in the area. The infrastructure of capacity greater than the individual need may be considered a direct community benefit.
- Workforce Development: As part of a project that includes the purchase of a machine to chip plastics for a recycling process, internship(s) for youth or some type of work-based learning opportunity are incorporated, which may be considered a direct community benefit.
To you, the business owner, now is the time to put your best foot forward to compete for funding to grow your business and to grow your positive impact in the world.
Find more information on the program, including the application, at chooseflagstaff.com/business-retention-expansion-incentive-2021. FBN
By John Saltonstall
If you have any additional questions about the Business Retention and Expansion Incentive or would like to submit an application, please contact John Saltonstall at firstname.lastname@example.org.