Grants would help out businesses in county | TheUnion.com
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Grants would help out businesses in county

Business owners in Nevada County’s unincorporated areas who are looking to grow may have a chance to tap into a new money source if the county wins a $200,000 “business assistance” grant from the state.

This is a big first step for the county in generating more jobs and a better economy by helping residents who want to expand their clientele, develop Web sites, or move into a new building, said Nina Bigley, the program manager of the housing and planning department.

“The purpose of this is to provide a little economic vitality to the community and provide gap financing to some businesses,” Bigley said, who came to the county with a background in economic development.



Loans of $5,000 to $50,000 would be available to business owners who agree to certain attached strings and who are able to find matching funds from an alternate loan source.

“Each business will be judged individually on their ability to pay back (the loan), but we want them to succeed,” Bigley said.




One of the strings is that once a business is given a $35,000 loan and becomes viable, the business has to provide one job for someone in a low-income bracket, Bigley said. Another requirement is that if a loan goes toward building, prevailing wages must be paid to anyone hired for the job.

If awarded a grant, the county would be able to apply for more money in the future, but for the time being, the grant is set up to be a “revolving loan fund,” meaning that interest generated from the loans will go back into the fund to benefit future businesses.

A resolution was passed unanimously Tuesday by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors to support submitting the 45-page grant application to the State Community Development Block Grant Program. The winners of the competitive grant will be announced in mid-May.

“It is really wonderful. (Hopefully) there are new fledgling business out there that can take advantage it,” said District 2 Supervisor Sue Horne.


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