The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

February 19, 2014

Editorial: ERDA grants to growing business too good to pass up

ENID, Okla. — Enid Regional Development Alliance is doing its part again to help bring businesses downtown.

The agency plans to hand out two $5,000 grants this year to help new or expanding businesses in the downtown area. This is the third year of the program

One of the hurdles new or expanding businesses have is coming up with the capital to fund the endeavor. That’s where the grants help. They provide the money necessary.

Two of the businesses that have been helped in the past are Downtown Threads and One Page At A Time.

Downtown Threads, formerly the T-Shirt Store, used the grant to expand its product line. Her sales are up 50 percent over this time last year.

One Page At A Time, scrapbooking and paper-crafting shop, owner Gina Malaska used her grant to attend a business class at Autry Technology Center, buy a die-cutting machine and remodel her store.

These grants are one of the continuing efforts to revitalize the downtown area. A lot has happened over the past few years, with more businesses coming to downtown. What once was nearly deserted location has become vibrant again.

Applicants should include a comprehensive business plan, balance sheets and financial information and a paragraph saying how the money will be used. More information about the Downtown Grant program can be found on the ERDA website at www.growenid.com. The deadline to apply is April 4.

For purposes of the grants, downtown is defined as the area from Elm to Garriott and Adams to the railroad tracks east of 2nd Street.

Anyone looking to open a business downtown, or someone looking to expand should consider the ERDA grant program. You can’t get a better deal than free money.

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