EDC president announces Food and Beverage Grant is open

The Henry County Commissioners met for their first meeting of September on Wednesday night with plenty of business to discuss.

New Castle Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Corey Murphy was in attendance to update the commissioners on the state of the EDC. Murphy announced that the Henry County Food and Beverage Grant is open for applications.

The nine-member Food and Beverage Advisory Committee was appointed by various elected bodies and communities from around the county.

The committee’s purpose is to advise the Henry County Council on projects to receive funds from the county’s food and beverage tax.

This funding round, as determined by the County Council, has $1.2 million available. The current timeline is for the Committee to make project funding recommendations to the County Council by mid-December 2021.

The deadline for applications is on Oct. 29. by 4 p.m. Applications must be submitted online using a Google form on the Henry County EDC website. You can find an application at www.growinhenry. com/2021/08/31/henry -county-food-beverage -grant.

Local government and non-profit organizations that are within Henry County are eligible for the grants. Projects must be related to economic development and/or tourism. Personnel expenses are not eligible. Minimum matching funds in the amount of 20 percent of the total project cost are required.

Murphy then gave an update on the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI).

“The state gave us an extra 30 days to submit the plan. The original plan was for it to be due at the end of August. Now, it will be due at the end of September,” Murphy said. “The region accepted over 150 ideas and projects. All of these ideas will be included in the plan, some projects will be featured or highlighted. We are wanting to put together a compelling plan and grant application. But just because it’s highlighted doesn’t mean it will be funded, and vice versa. I will share the plan more with you all as it comes together.”

Murphy also announced that 17 businesses received the second round of funding for the Henry County Covid Small Business distribution,a partnership between Henry County, ARa, and the EDC.

The county invested some money into this match in order to help the businesses.

Murphy said, “Once these grants are concluded, this will be the end of the program. In the second round, 17 businesses were awarded $118,750. $100,000 coming from grants and the other $18,750 coming from the County.”

Murphy finished by saying, “I appreciate all the support of the Henry County Government. I am glad we were able to help those businesses in need.”

– Story by Dakota Locker (DLocker@thecouriertimes.comof The Courier-Times. Read more local stories at TheCourierTimes.com.