Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) and Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) announced that they have been awarded a 1.5 million dollar Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery Round 2 (CDBG-DR2). The RDC’s have been providing small grants for flood-impacted businesses throughout Windham and Southern Windsor Counties. This latest award will continue to assist small businesses with flood-related damage resulting from Tropical Storm Irene, as well as flood mitigation efforts, engineering fees, flood insurance premium payments, and funding toward the reuse or improved usage of flood affected buildings.
To date, BDCC and SRDC have assisted 43 businesses and allocated approximately $1.25 million in grants ranging from $1,300 to $75,000. The funds are being used for remaining unmet needs at small businesses, non-profits, and farms to continue to assist them in their recovery from the effects of Tropical Storm Irene almost three years ago.
Interim Executive Director at BDCC, Stephan Morse, added that “BDCC is excited to continue its involvement with the SRDC and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s CDBG-Disaster Recovery Program in our mission toward improved economic development opportunities. The influx of the DR-2 funds also provides for newly eligible funding criteria, such as flood mitigation efforts and revitalization of flood affected buildings.”
The RDC’s will begin another round of workshops and applications beginning this month. Previous applicants are welcome to re-apply and the process may be streamlined for those with applications already in-house.
This funding is made available from Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds in the total amount of $17,932,000.00. The CDBG-DR2 allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development supplements an award of $21,660,211 made to the State in 2012. As provided for by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, Vermont will use CDBG-DR II for housing, economic recovery and infrastructure activities.
At that time, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch fought to include $400 million in HUD CDBG disaster funding in the federal budget. Their efforts ensured that Vermont was one of a handful of states that received an allocation of this additional funding. The Congressional delegation further fought to assure that Windham County was included in allocating 80% of the funding the State received. Initially left off the list for the 80%, efforts by regional and State officials as well as the Congressional delegation assured funding would flow to Windham County.
“The businesses in southeastern Vermont took a tremendous hit during Tropical Storm Irene”, said Jen Hollar, Deputy Commissioner of Housing & Community Development. “The road to recovery can be long and many businesses still need help getting back to full strength. We are grateful to BDCC and SRDC for ensuring these grants are available to those that need them.”
Funds are still required to meet “unmet disaster recovery needs”, including repair of structure, repair or replace equipment, create or retain jobs, interest rate buy downs on private loans, rent subsidies and lost rental revenue, but now include more opportunity for flood mitigation efforts and revitalization through the repairing and rebuilding of structures in flood affected areas, particularly our villages and downtowns.
Bob Flint, of Springfield Regional Development Corporation, said that the additional flexibility of the new funding could help impacted businesses to be better prepared. “I’m not sure you ever can be truly prepared for something like Irene, but through this program, businesses that took the hit last time can access money to become more resilient”, Flint said.
The process will again be competitive and technical assistance will be provided by BDCC and SRDC staff. Vermont Small Business Development Center will be providing a limited series of technical assistance seminars for businesses that want help with the application. The dates for those sessions and links to register are listed below.
For more information on the CDBG-DR2 program and an update on the timeframe for supplemental funding business applications please contact: April Harkness, BDCC, 802-257-7731 (ext. 220) or Paul Kowalski or Heather Hartford, SRDC, 802-885-3061.
2014 Application Workshop Schedule – attendance at one workshop is mandatory for new applicants. Please register online following the link to the date that you choose and fill out the information for registration.
All workshops are scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Please be on time and bring material for notes. You will receive an application packet at the workshop and we will go through the entire grant application and explain the process from beginning to end. The Brattleboro workshops will be held at the Marlboro College Graduate School at 28 Vernon St in Brattleboro (258-9200). The Springfield workshops will be held at the Howard Dean Education Center at 307 South St in Springfield (885-5800).
Thurs. June 12th evening Springfield
Thurs. July 10th evening Springfield
Wed. June 18th evening Brattleboro
Wed. June 25th evening Brattleboro
Mon. Aug 4th evening Brattleboro
Mon. Aug 18th evening Brattleboro
Thurs. Aug 7th evening Springfield
Thurs. Aug 21st evening Springfield