Last updated: July 22. 2014 2:25PM - 297 Views
By Chase Jordan

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Through the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Garland NC STEP Community Leadership Committee is hosting a meeting Friday night regarding grant opportunities for small businesses.

Renovation and facade grants are available for up to $4,000 with a 50 percent match, giving small businesses an opportunity to invest up to $8,000. Retention grants do not require a match.

The purpose of the North Carolina Small Towns Economic Prosperity Program (NC STEP) is to help towns facing economic hardships because of the economy.

Brenda Cromartie, administrator of the Garland NC STEP program, said the purpose of the grant is to strengthen the business climate for the town in a time of economic challenge.

“The most important benefit is the ability to connect small businesses with the capital they need to enhance their operational needs,” Cromartie said. “Strengthening the business climate to benefit all businesses in the town of Garland is the ultimate goal of the grant.”

According to NC STEP, any established or new business employing fewer than 10 full-time employees and located in the defined city limits of Garland can apply. Applicants must be located or have a signed lease in a commercial location. Home-based businesses and nonprofit businesses are not eligible.

Priority will be given, but not limited to: job creation; job retention; address building code issues and/or building improvements (or façade improvements; inventory expansion especially for gaps identified by the Arnett Muldrow Market Analysis; established businesses with proven longevity; and new businesses with a need for retention and growth.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, July 25 at the American Legion Building (the old Garland School gym), 195 N. Church Ave. Attendees will receive applications at the gathering.

To RSVP to the Garland NC STEP program, contact Cromartie at 910-627-2811.

Businesses that are unable to attend may contact Cromartie to schedule an appointment about the program.

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