Craig City Council increases budget for small business improvement
The city of Craig is expanding its popular new business grant program in the wake of several small businesses downtown utilizing the program for building improvements.
On Tuesday, June 11, Craig’s City Council voted to increase the committee’s business grant program annual total from $162,800 to $195,000. The extra $32,200 will come from the general fund, which has a healthy surplus, according to Councilman Tony Bohrer.
“$33,200 is probably not going to break the bank,” Bohrer said.
Much of the work that’s been happening around town is already making the area look better, Bohrer said.
The city’s economic development committee awarded nearly $50,000 to five local businesses: the shared building of Downtown Books and Sundrop Custom Framing on Yampa Avenue received $6,900; Eyecare Specialties and the Victory Building, $15,000 each; Action Services, Inc., $7,500; and Just Dance LLC, $5,500.
Each grant must be matched by the business and must be used for façade or capital improvements, among other requirements.
“I drove by today and man, it looks phenomenal,” Bohrer said.
Councilor Chris Nichols, who made the motion to pass the business grant program increase, said it seems to be spreading to still other businesses.
“It’s contagious,” Nichols said.
Councilor Andrea Camp commented on the program’s ability to help small business owners who would otherwise be unable to afford such major improvements.
“When you’re looking at a $10,000 for a small business, it just seems out of reach sometimes,” Camp said.
Councilman Paul James was the only dissenting vote to increase the funding Tuesday night.
In an effort to make coal more competitive against natural gas and renewable energy sources, two of the nation’s largest coal companies, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, have announced that they plan to combine assets in Colorado and Wyoming. Routt County’s Twentymile Mine would be managed under the new joint venture.