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Yoakum grant programs funding approved

By BY SONNY LONG
July 14, 2010 at 2:14 a.m.

Pat Kennedy

FOR MORE INFORMATIONTo learn more about the programs offered by the Yoakum Economic Development Corporation, contact Pat Kennedy, economic and community development coordinator, at 361-293-6321 or pkennedy@cityofyoakum.org.

YOAKUM - Local grant programs that helped 10 Yoakum businesses improve or expand last year have been approved for funding again.

On Tuesday, the Yoakum City Council approved the city's Economic Development Corporation's master plan and budget that includes $50,000 set aside for retail enhancement, business district preservation and community service grant programs.

Three organizations were assisted with community service projects last year.

"All 13 of the projects funded last year are complete," said Pat Kennedy, Yoakum economic and community development coordinator. "The EDC spent $66,000 and about $220,000 was injected into our economy through these projects."

The program is a cost reimbursement program, requiring the work be completed before funds are dispersed. Last year the grants ranged from $750 to $10,000.

The new budget includes $20,000 each for the retail enhancement and business district preservation grants and $10,000 for community service projects.

Application requirements for the retail enhancement grant include submission of a business plan coordinated with the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center.

The amount of the grant can be for up to 50 percent of the total project cost, not to exceed $10,000.

For business district preservation grants, a business must be located in the designated business district bound by Hopkins, Front, West and McCarty streets. Grants will be made for up to 50 percent of the total project cost, not to exceed $7,500.

Applicants must also provide bids they have received to complete the project.

Community service grants will be made up 50 percent of the total project cost, not to exceed $5,000.

Organizations have to mention the economic development corporation funding in all advertising and marketing.

For each grant category, an application criteria score sheet must also be completed. The scoring includes job creation and retention, if applicable, and use of local contractors and suppliers, among other criteria.

"It's a competition," Kennedy said. "We will have training workshops in the next few weeks to let people know what we are looking for."

Applications may be turned in through Friday, Oct. 1. The YEDC board of directors will select the grant recipients during its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 4.

Kennedy said another $50,000 in the budget has been designated for business expansion for "other projects that might come up."

The corporation's total budget is about $210,000.

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