All small towns know their ability to provide services and maintain infrastucture is dependent on the success of their local businesses, but the town of Gypsum is willing to back up that knowledge with the offer of cold, hard cash.
Gypsum recently introduced its 2014 Gypsum Business Grant Program and has allocated $60,000 to fund the program in 2014. In short, leaders in Gypsum want to help out smaller businesses that chose to run their businesses locally.
“The mayor and town council wants anyone who locates a business in Gypsum to be successful,” said Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll. “If a small grant like this can help draw in more customers, add a couple of new jobs, make things run more efficiently, then we are behind it.”
The town debuted the business grant program last year and the first awards went to Wine or Wort Brewing Supply, Axis Sports Medicine and Old Gypsum Printer.
“The goal of the program is to increase the success of local businesses by creating improvements directed towards economic development,” said Lana Gallegos, senior planner for the town. “This could either be in the form of exterior improvements making the business more attractive to shop at, or expansion of businesses that would increase product/service sales, additional employees and such.”
She cited remodels, improved landscaping, additional equipment or construction of outdoor sitting/eating areas as examples.
Gypsum officials noted that the community of Silverthorne has successfully operated a similar grant program.
2013 grant projects
As one of the 2013 grant recipients, Wine or Wort expanded a tasting area to their business. Now, not only can customers buy supplies and take classes for home brew activities, they can taste other brew products as they develop their own recipies.
Axis Sports Medicine used Gypsum grant dollars to improve its business sign, which resulted in an increase in the number of patients that are now receiving care at the facility.
“The town was very pleased with how things went last year and are excited for round two,” said Shroll.
Two Track program
As it refines its business grant program, Gypusm is planning two options for applications.
Track 1: The town will consider providing site enhancement grants to businesses that wish to install traditional site improvements including façade and other architectural upgrades.
Track 2: The town will consider economic development grants to businesses that undertake capital investments (excluding working capital) that bring one or more of the following to Gypsum:
Addition of jobs to the local economy
A unique amenity
A regional draw
Diversification to the town’s economic base
Additional vitality to the town core or other commercial district
Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $10,000, however, applications in excess of $10,000 may be considered for projects that provide exceptional benefit. Grant requests that include matching funds from a business will generally be given preference in the review process as the town values a shared investment in economic development projects.
“There are not any revisions really from last year. We improved the notification processes this year of the availability of the program to businesses, by sending out individual invitations to businesses so we really hope to get more applications this year,” said Gallegos.
The 2014 Gypsum Business Grant Program application deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 1. Applications are available at www.townofgypsum.com and Gypsum Town Hall, 50 Lundgren Blvd, Gypsum Colorado 81637.
Applicants are required to review their proposed projects with town staff prior to application submission to gain an understanding of any town codes that may be relevant to a particular project. Completed applications can be sent to email@example.com or Gypsum Business Grant Program, PO Box 130, Gypsum, CO 81637.
Representatives from the Gypsum Economic Development Advisory Committee (GEDAC) will review all grant applications and provide funding recommendations to the Gypsum Town Council for final determination.
Grant awards will be announced no later than June 1. Questions regarding the Town of Gypsum Business Grant Program can be directed to Lana Gallegos at 970-524-1729.