Applications now being accepted for third round of funding, available to start-ups and pioneering businesses
After a successful second year in which four Somerset-Pulaski County businesses received a financial boost to start-up or innovate, the Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority (SPEDA) is accepting applications for a new round of funding.
The SPEDA mini-grant program awards a total of $10,000 per year to support entrepreneurial endeavors, made possible with savings realized through proper financial management and oversight. The deadline to apply for the third round of funding is Feb. 25, 2022, with winners to be selected in April or May.
SPEDA will award four $2,500 grants to businesses with the best applications for start-up or expansion projects. Those projects can include but are not limited to: strategic planning and management; purchase or physical improvements to facilities or equipment; training; or leadership, planning and management capacity initiatives.
Some of the program’s success stories include helping purchase an intercom system for a new coffee shop in Nancy, a large-format printer for the community’s first consulting engineering firm, and Somerset-Pulaski County’s first electric car charger at a local hotel.
SPEDA President and CEO Chris Girdler said the value of these mini-grants to the local economy extends well beyond the $10,000 invested.
“SPEDA is returning the savings we’ve realized back into our community, helping businesses to cross the finish line on projects that will have a ripple effect on our economy,” Girdler said. “Every cup of coffee purchased through Battlefield Coffee’s intercom system, every electric car charged at Hampton Inn, every turkey call made by hand and sold by 19 Kilo Turkey Calls — these transactions help generate revenue in our community and make our economy stronger.”
Girdler said proposals that build capacity through the promotion, support and advancement of a business and overall economic development will take priority. Businesses should present their overall plan in their applications, ways in which the grant investment will be utilized, the need for the investment along with how they are helping to build community, mobilize local resources, and strengthen community institutions and networks.
Complete guidelines for the mini-grant program and the proposal form can be downloaded online at somersetkyleads.com/opportunities/, or e-mailed by contacting Girdler at firstname.lastname@example.org or SPEDA Chief Accounting Officer Jessica Carlton at email@example.com.