BY GLENN PUIT
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Leelanau County businesses have a one-time opportunity to secure what amounts to free money for operating capital or other business needs in the aftermath of county leaders’ disbanding of their economic development corporation.
The county Board of Commissioners this year voted to dissolve the Leelanau County Economic Development Corporation by the end of December. The EDC’s remaining assets are, as a result, being transferred to the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation for use in helping Leelanau County businesses.
This week, the Traverse Bay EDC said it will hand out money in small, one-time grants through what’s being called the Leelanau County Business Grant Program. The program will disperse nearly $19,000 in assets to Leelanau-based businesses in January.
The deadline for county businesses to apply for the money is Dec. 11. Applications must total at least $500, and no matching funds are required. Businesses must complete an online pre-qualification application that identifies the name and address of the business and the year it was founded, the purpose of the grant and amount requested, and a description of the product or service provided in Leelanau County.
The application must also identify the opportunity or need the company will address with the grant, describe the project and its impact and timelines, and the jobs to be created or retained through the grant. Applications will be reviewed by a committee that includes David McCulloch and Linda Peppler of the Leelanau County EDC, county resident Robert Vandermark and Doug Luciani of the Traverse Bay EDC.
Grant funds will be dispersed starting in January 2014. The Traverse Bay EDC will promote the grant program, maintain the funds, produce financial statements, follow up with recipients on the impact of the grant awards and report the results of the program to Leelanau County officials.
For more information call Kathy Bussell at Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce at (231)995-7115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.