GYPSUM – The Gypsum Economic Development Committee announced its recommendations for recipients of the town’s first Business Grant on Tuesday.
The announcement came sooner than expected.
Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll presented the recommendations at the end of Tuesday’s Town Council meeting. With Tim McMichael absent, the council members unanimously approved the committee’s recommendation for the awards.
Out of five applications, three won grants. Wine or Wort Home Brew Supply at 150 Cooley Mesa Road won $10,000. The Old Gypsum Printer at 437 Railroad Ave. received $7,500 and Axis Sports Medicine at 620 Red Table Drive got $3,500.
“We’re not recommending anything for Grace Ammo at this time because it’s still a bit premature — they don’t even have a location secured yet,” Shroll said. “We think we’re going to see a lot of them here in the near future, and if they are able to do what they are hoping to, we think that’s going to be a great thing for the town.”
Grace Ammo is currently working on deals to open a light industrial facility in Gypsum that would make small arms ammunition. That will create about 25 jobs if it comes to fruition.
The fifth applicant was Backwoods Barbell and Fitness at 101 Airpark Drive. That application was dismissed because it did not meet all of the requirements.
Shroll said The Old Gypsum Printer is using its grant money to pay for a new piece of equipment and Axis Sports is getting signs for its building.
“The $10,000 is going to Wine or Wort because we think they put together a good business plan,” Shroll said.
Wine or Wort owners Beth Reed and Bit Hood told the council that they will use the money to open a beer and wine tasting room.
“We think it’s going to cost $20,000 to do that, so we will be investing our own money as well,” Reed said.
The venture will also require a liquor license.
“A number of home brew stores across the country are more successful if they add tasting to the mix, so people can try the beer and variations of a theme,” Reed said. “It makes them appreciate what they brew more. We’re trying to educate people about the nuances of beer and wine because it’s a fun hobby.”
The store has hosted regular classes for making beer and wine since it opened in the spring of 2012.
Reed said they want to have the tasting room open by Thanksgiving. Once it’s open, it will likely have hours from 2 or 3 to 8 or 9 p.m.
Gypsum allocated $60,000 to the business grant fund when it launched the program in April. That means $39,000 is still in the pot, and restaurants might be the next beneficiaries.
Shroll said another round of grants might be offered in the fall.