Grants to help businesses expandPublished 5:10pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Washington has been awarded $200,000 in grant funds as part of a program to help five small businesses expand.
The grant funds come from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Investment and Assistance. The businesses will contribute money toward their projects. The grants come from the division’s Small Business and Entrepreneurial Assistance program.
Tayloe Drug Co. (Hospital Pharmacy) will receive $43,750 and contribute $111,000 toward job training, with the goal of creating two new jobs. Eastern Imports will receive $21,875 and contribute $9,000 toward the purchase of car lifts and equipment rehabilitation, with the goal of creating one new job. Pamlico Fence will receive $21,875 and contribute $25,000 toward buying a skid steer machine, with the goal of creating one new job.
FRE Plumbing will receive $21,875 and contribute $2,000 toward buying equipment, with the goal of creating one new job. Park Boat Co. will receive $65,625 and contribute $25,000 toward buying a truck and tractor, with the goal of retaining one existing job and creating two new jobs.
Their grants total $175,000. The remaining $25,000 of the grant funding will be spent on project planning and administration.
Under the SBEA program, businesses are eligible to receive up to $25,000 for each new job created or each existing job retained. Before the funds are released, specific conditions must be met. One of those conditions is that each business must provide the city with a signed promissory note in the amount equal to the grant awarded to that business. This protects the city should a business default on its agreement to create and/or retain jobs.
The businesses have until Jan. 16, 2015, to fulfill their job-creation requirements. They must retain the job(s) for six months at 35 hours per job per week.
Last year, the City Council voted 4-1 in favor of a resolution supporting the submission of an application to participate in the program. Councilman Doug Mercer was the lone vote against the resolution. Mercer said then he’s opposed to give-away programs, which he considers this program to be.
In addition to buying new property and building renovations, the program’s eligible activities include infrastructure improvements (water, sewer, roads) construction of a building or other improvements, construction of tenant improvements/finishes, leasing space in or buying an existing building, purchasing capital equipment and providing job training that can be linked to specific jobs at a specific business.
The grants and businesses’ contributions total $372,000.