EDP discusses implementing incubation grant | CraigDailyPress.com

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EDP discusses implementing incubation grant

In other news …

At its regular meeting Wednesday, the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership:

• Approved, 9-0, Aug. 17 meeting minutes.

• Heard Northwest Colorado Community Assessment data from Kate Nowak, executive director of Yampa Valley Data Partners.

• Examined hits and traffic trends through Google analytics and Constant Contact results for the partnership’s website, http://www.cmedp.com.

— Board members Scott Cook, Jerry Thompson and Alisa Corey were absent from Wednesday’s meeting.

The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership discussed Wednesday creating an implementation team to manage a business incubation grant it received through the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

The three-year, $115,000 grant will fund a program tentatively called the Craig/Moffat One Stop Incubation Center that will provide services to help start and grow small businesses, small business counseling and classes on entrepreneurialism and business skills.

The grant is broken into chunks, and EDP will receive $50,000 the first year, $35,000 in the second year and $30,000 in the third year.

EDP Director Darcy Owens-Trask said Wednesday the grant wouldn't have happened without the help of Colorado Northwestern Community College.

"We have a wonderful partner in CNCC," Owens-Trask said. "If they had not been at the table, we would not have received the funding."

Owens-Trask intended on reviewing details of the grant with the EDP board Wednesday, but decided to spare the committee the "minutia."

Instead, she recommended the board create an implementation team consisting of four to six members from EDP, CNCC, the Craig Chamber of Commerce Board, Craig City Council and the Moffat County Commission.

"It (the grant) does get complex and I think this board deserves an overview of that," Owens-Trask said. "But, I would like to get this team in place to go tooth and nail over all of the details and start to formulate a plan."

Owens-Trask also suggested the implementation team could be made up of the 12 member EDP board.

"I think a smaller group would be more efficient," county liaison Audrey Danner said. "And then report back."

Technically, EDP still needs to complete one more step in the approval process.

"It's a fairly procedural approval because they're general fund dollars out of the governor's office," Owens-Trask told the board. "We should be getting that in the next few days and I don't anticipate any issues there. Then, it takes four to six weeks for them to write the contract."

Owens-Trask estimates the EDP board and subsequent implementation team has eight to 12 weeks to prepare.

She talked about opening the business incubator's doors in CNCC's Bell Tower building in February or March.

Owens-Trask said the grant request was written as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to give the business incubator the option to apply for additional funding in the future.

She also said the nonprofit could have its own board of directors.

Gene Bilodeau and city liaison Jennifer Riley volunteered for the implementation team.

For more information on the incubation center, call EDP at 826-2039 or 846-1663.

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