Boost Your Business With The Iron County Small Business Grant Program
The Iron County Economic Opportunity Board and Cedar City Business & Innovation Center will administer $60,000 in funding through the Small Business Grant program, which allows businesses in Iron County to submit pre-applications until January 12, 2024 for incentives that promote economic growth.
Gabbie Costello, Public Information Officer for Cedar City and David Johnson, Economic Development Director for Cedar City joined us on the radio this morning to explain the program, and how small businesses in Iron County can get involved.
Johnson told us, “this is the second year we've had it. It' an opportunity for small businesses. If you've worked in a small business, you know what you do real well. The difficult part is finding the capital and the resources to help support what you do really well.”
The grants can be used for a variety of things including infrastructure, construction, start up costs, new or upgraded equipment or machinery and other things needed to work the daily business. For example, one of the grant recipients from last year, Yummy Tummy Sweets Bakery, was able to use the grant to get ovens and other equipment along with getting a storefront.
The grant is not available to cover day to day costs, such as payroll. Also, the grant is not available to businesses that are behind on taxes, nor is it available to businesses that don't have a business license.
Costello mentioned that there are things businesses can do that will give them a higher ranking in the evaluation process. “If your business creates new jobs, is more specifically higher wage, full time jobs and you're able to keep employees. Those applications will have higher rankings.”
The grants are available to businesses in Iron County so this is not limited to strictly Cedar City.
This pre-application period is designed to be easy for businesses to fill out. Johnson told us, “We want to make it simple for small businesses to apply because we know they have a lot going on.”
The grant program is funded by the Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity through their Rural County Grant Program. As of the time of our broadcast 13 businesses had made the application. “We'd like to see a lot more,” Johnson said.
More than one grant will likely be awarded. Costello said, “last year we had five winners, and they had various amounts that they each received.”
While the grants began as we were emerging from the pandemic, Johnson said that was only a part of the reason for the program. “The governor, Spencer Cox, has been really pushing rural county initiatives. There's been a heavy rural focus.”
Business owners are invited to explore the Application Instructional Packet online at www.bit.ly/icsbgo to prepare in anticipation of the pre-application window. The Business & Innovation Center partners will review pre-applications and narrow down finalists after the Friday, January 12 deadline. If selected to move forward, businesses will be invited to fill out a full application for the Iron County Economic Opportunity Board to review. As part of the grant requirements, awardees must provide at least a 1-to-1 funding match.
You can listen to our entire segment, including Johnson's thoughts on the future of the economy in Cedar City, below.