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OVRDC ‘SEED’ program can help businesses

Officials hope a new state grant program targeted at business owners will help Lawrence County economics.

Monday, January 15, 2001

Officials hope a new state grant program targeted at business owners will help Lawrence County economics.

The Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission’s SEED Program assists new business startups or existing business enterprises having 10 or fewer employees and in operation for less than 36 months.

The program is available in the OVRDC’s 11-county area, which includes Lawrence, said commissioner Jason Stephens.

Stephens attended a Jan. 9 OVRDC meeting in Piketon where grant officials detailed the program.

"They presented several different grants, most of which are already utilized, but this one can make a big difference to our county," he said.

The SEED Program will pay a maximum of $5,000 or 75 percent of total costs, whichever is less, to business owners for initial legal, financial, engineering, marketing or other advisor/consultant fees for a startup business, Stephens said.

It’s not much money but it can become a valuable tool for local entrepreneurs and small business operators, he said.

Here are the details of the grant, which requires the business owner match it by 25 percent:

– Approval process: Applicant submits application to OVRDC; application reviewed by OVRDC and presented to Advisory Committee. Upon approval, a contract is executed.

– Reimbursement: Payment to applicant will be on a reimbursement basis, which means costs must be documented, and payment of the 25 percent match must come first.

– Requirements: Applicant must submit to OVRDC a copy of any professional opinions or products developed with these funds.

– Contact information: John Hemmings or Doug Fry, OVRDC, P.O. Box 728, Waverly, Ohio, 45690. Or, call toll-free, 1-800-223-7491.f