Small biz grant applications under review with Economic Development Advisory Committee at full strength

Fessler's Barber Shop on the corner of Victory and Mack Lane in Craig has been recommended to receive funding from the small business grant to expand their parking lot.
Amber Delay/Craig Press

The Economic Development Advisory Committee now has a full roster, which will administer the revamped small business grant.

The committee put out a call for applications in March to try to attract new members who may have been overlooked. Economic Development Manager Shannon Scott said the committee officially formed in April and has had three meetings so far. 

The city received seven applications for committee members, which was the exact number needed. Scott recently presented the applications to Craig City Council, and they were approved. 

Priority areas of expertise listed in the committee application included, tourism, infrastructure and planning, marketing, transit, finance, real estate, and business retention and expansion. 

The seven new committee members have a variety of different experience and backgrounds. They are Chairman Chris Jones, Vice Chairman Tony St. John, Christian Dufresne, P.J. Howe, John McMurry, Jon Miller and Sasha Nelson. 

The council appointed City Council member Derek Duran as the City Council liaison for the economic development committee. 

As a part of the application, members must agree to disclose any conflicts of interest that may arise when making funding decisions on behalf of the advisory committee. The primary concern for conflicts of interest is for the small business grant, which the economic advisory committee now oversees. 

Now that the advisory committee is fully seated, committee members reviewed the first round of applications for the small business grant and met with the applicants on June 27. 

Fessler’s Barbershop and Salon, which recently moved into its new location on Victory Way and Mack Lane, requested $10,000 to continue making improvements to its new site. Owner, Joshua Fessler, has already made several improvements to the new location including making the barbershop accessible with an entry ramp and paved parking spots. 

Fessler explained to the committee that his vision is to be a standout location and to help create jobs for stylists in Craig. This funding request will be used to expand the parking lot with more spaces, which will create the capacity to serve more customers and bring an additional stylist on board. 

Craig Steel and Salvage also requested the maximum amount to fund updates to its storefront at 345 Russell St. The business was purchased from the original owners in 2021 by Iron Springs Enterprise, and the new owners want to maintain the values of the established company. 

This funding request will be used to update signage, replace entry doors, upgrade interior and exterior lighting, and replace original masonry with faux rock panels that will withstand the Colorado weather. 

Chapman’s Automotive requested funding to replace its sign at the business on the corner of Rose St. and Victory Way. J.B. Chapman explained to council that the updated signage will improve the aesthetic of Victory Way’s westbound one-way, as well as its business. 

The current Chapman’s sign is 22 years old and has outdated technology, limiting its functionality. Chapman’s also requested the full $10,000 of funding. 

Now that the applications have been reviewed by the committee, they will be taken to council on July 12 for the final approval. Scott said City Council has the final say on the applications. 

Scott said the committee has $85,000 this year for small business grants. The funding will be granted on a first come, first serve basis, and the committee will continue accepting applications through Oct. 21 or until funding is exhausted. 

There were a few changes made to the applications and funding process. The maximum amount of funding for the past few years has been $25,000, which has now been lowered to $10,000. Applicants must be in business for 2 years to apply, and the committee will take into consideration if the application has received funding in the past.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.