Business Council seeks public comment on changes to grant and loan programs
by Wyoming Business Council
August 8, 2009
The Wyoming Business Council is seeking public comment on a proposed plan to streamline its existing community development grant and loan programs.
After reviewing the proposal at its May 28 meeting in Jackson, the Business Council Board of Directors decided to proceed to a public comment stage. Comments on the plan may be sent to Molly Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214 W. 15th St., Cheyenne, WY, 82002. The Business Council will accept public comment until 5 p.m., Aug. 31. The proposed plan is available at www.wyomingbusiness.org.
"In working with the communities, we found that some changes were necessary to make it more workable. We think these changes are in line with the thinking of the communities involved and the agencies, and we are looking for further comment to strengthen even further anything we think is a good plan," said Clarene Law, Business Council Board co-chair.
"These changes follow the Wyoming Business Councilís Business Plan which calls for increased leveraging of public and private dollars, but continued investment in infrastructure," said Bob Jensen, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council. "In keeping with those goals, the Business Council has proposed a plan that is meant to be flexible and can be adjusted based on final budget numbers."
The programs impacted by the proposed plan are the Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program (BRC) and the Community Facilities Grant and Loan Program (CFP). The proposed changes would become effective July 1, 2010.
Recommended changes to the CFP and BRC programs include:
Lower maximum awards and higher match requirements - BRC and CFP projects will generally have lower maximum awards and higher matches, except Business Committed projects that will directly create jobs in which the match is not recommended to change.
Community Facilities - CFP applications will be accepted once a year with an annual set-aside of $4 million. Maximum awards will be reduced to $1 million.
Community Readiness Infrastructure - The Business Council proposed $7 million be set aside annually for BRC readiness infrastructure projects with maximum awards of $1 million.
Child Care - Evaluation of all BRC child care projects will occur at one time. The Business Council proposes a cap of $4 million in available funds for child care projects. Starting in the next biennium, child care projects will have a maximum award of $1 million each. Additionally, the Business Council is proposing the creation of a federally funded micro loan program using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars. Small loans would be available to home or center-based child care providers to cover costs associated with becoming licensed, adding capacity, and creating jobs.
Main Street and Downtown Development Grants - The Business Council is proposing $2 million of BRC funds be awarded for downtown projects.
Enhancements - The Business Council is proposing lowering maximum awards to $250,000 and setting aside $1 million for recreation and enhancement BRC projects.
Loan Funds - The Business Council will give preference to projects applying for a BRC or CFP loan in lieu of grant requests. Additionally, the creation of the Special Assistance Loan Fund will allow applicants to borrow funds in excess to the maximum award amounts or borrow the required match.
The mission of the Wyoming Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. For more information, please visit www.wyomingbusiness.org.
Wyoming Business Council
214 W.15th Street; Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002
Tel: (307) 777-2800
Fax: (307) 777-2838
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