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Officials seeking $300K grant for microenterprise

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County supervisors on Wednesday approved submission of a $300,000 2021 Community Development Block Grant application to the state to operate a new Microenterprise Program.

The program — run through the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth — assists very small businesses in Fulton County with financial awards.

The Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development and Environment Committee on Wednesday authorized submission of the grant application to the state Office of Community Renewal.

“We’ve operated such a program through the CRG since 2018,” county Planning Director Scott Henze told the committee.

County officials on Wednesday were trying to set up a public hearing on the application for the board’s next meeting on March 8.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said there were not a lot of risks if there was a “slight delay” in getting the county’s application out.

Henze said the Microenterprise Program has changed, including increasing the amount available from $200,000 to $300,000.

“We can now proceed to a full grant application,” he said.

The application process has also changed because there is more of an “open round” application process, Henze said. Individual grants are being capped at $35,000.

CRG President/CEO Ronald Peters said the Microenterprise application with the state has become “more competitive.”

He said he has more than 25 potential businesses interested in applying for Microenterprise money.

In his monthly report to the committee, Peters said the CRG previously submitted a pre-application in January to the state for the 2021 program — the first step in seeking state approval to submit a fill application. He said the state in turn authorized the county to submit for the full application.

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