ERC talks county contract, federal grant |

ERC talks county contract, federal grant

Efforts around securing future funding and grants for the Nevada County Economic Resource Council became a topic of discussion at the group’s board of directors meeting Thursday morning, with board members stressing the importance of finding long-term funding sources for the organization.

Currently, the ERC is awaiting word of a potential $500,000 federal grant the group would use to fund its American Digital Leadership Campus, which would bolster the ERC’s goals of attracting and retaining professional talents and companies in the digital media industry.

ERC Executive Director Jon Gregory said the group was told federal grant recipients would be notified in the coming month.

“Grants to me are (smaller) opportunities,” ERC Chair Lynn Wilson said. “We can’t look at grants as funding this organization, we’ve got to come up with solid streams of revenue to keep the organization going. But it’s great to be prepared for grants when they come out there, and we go after them.”

The ERC is also initiating efforts in the coming months to extend contract funds from the county and city of Grass Valley.

In July 2014, the ERC received a $10,000 grant from Grass Valley for its Royal Welcome initiative, a facet of the group’s strategic plan to attract growth-oriented businesses looking to relocate or expand into Grass Valley. The ERC is also in the final year of a three-year contract with Nevada County, which ends on June 30, and which has funded the ERC to the tune of $125,000 annually.

“We feel very confident that we’ll have good partner and working relationships with the county and city of Grass Valley moving forward in the long term,” said Gregory. “We value the county’s support of the ERC hugely, they are far and away the number one contributor to our efforts. We are looking at the prospects of having more flexibility with our agreement, having a longer term agreement. We’re looking for ways to leverage that partnership as much as we can.”

The county’s budget is scheduled to be approved for final adoption on June 16.

Gregory also said Thursday that local entrepreneur Sebastian Rapport has begun working with the ERC and will help fuel the group’s Fab 5 initiative, along with Consolidated Fire board member David Hanson.

“There is a growing group of entrepreneurs with early stage companies, and mid-size companies that need access to capital and experienced leadership to aid in the development, monetization, and ultimate success of their ventures,” Rapport said. “… We are exploring the possibility of hybrid partnership that brings entrepreneurs, highly experienced executives, and capital together to vet and fuel the best opportunities in Nevada County.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email or call 530-477-4236.

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