Highland County EDA Incentive Grant Applications Available


The Highland County Economic Development Authority has the 2023 Incentive Grant applications ready.   The grant program encourages the growth of small businesses within Highland County by helping with start-up or expansion costs.  The grants are funded by the Board of Supervisors and are awarded by the Economic Development Authority.

Dail Fields is a member of the Highland County Economic Development Authority.

“The kinds of expansion that we’re talking about would probably only be financed by retained earnings or capital from the owner under ordinary circumstances and that may be an impediment to expansion or enhancement of an existing business,” says Fields.  “So, the grants are to provide, as they are titled, an incentive for businesses to think bigger and look at possibilities of increasing business activity, but also possibly employment within the county.  So, it’s an extra ‘umph’, if you will, to get a plan moving that might ordinarily be kind of held up, because people are more risk adverse or just cautious about venturing into something.  This is a way to remove some of that initial cost consciousness and get the thing moving and, hopefully with a good plan, have it be something that is sustainable for the long run.”

The Highland EDA Incentive Grant Program encourages entrepreneurship, the provision of new jobs for residents and an increase in the commercial tax base.   This year the Board of Supervisors increased the total amount available for the grants.  This year it is $20,000.

Individual grants of $2,000 to $5,000 per business will be awarded.  Applications are reviewed by the EDA through a set of scoring criteria.

“There’s a whole series of criteria with recommended weightings,” says Fields.  “Generally speaking, there’s some basic questions. Does it add new business opportunity within Highland County? Does it add employment?  Does it make sense in terms of the existing business plan or business operations, because part of the application is to submit a business plan that shows how the money will be used to expand and enhance the existing business,” says Fields.

Applications will be available the week of November 28th.  Both hard copies and digital copies will be available.  To get an application, visit the Highland County Chamber of Commerce website, the Highland County government website or email highlandeda@htcnet.org

Completed applications are due by 5pm on January 16, 2023.  Award letters will go out at the end of February.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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