County Funding to Expand Businesses
County of Maui News Release
Maui County businesses looking to expand, strengthen or diversity have an opportunity to apply for funding through the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED). The office is rolling out a program designed to support Maui, Molokai and Lanai businesses.
The Economic Development Revolving Fund (EDRF) was created by the Mayor’s Office and passed by the Maui County Council in late 2011. The fund currently has $1 million which, by ordinance, was designed to strengthen and diversify the County’s economy; to support existing County businesses; to promote job creation; to attract new business, industry, construction, and events that will foster economic development in the County; and to improve the overall economic and social well-being of the County.
“This is a visionary program that could become a catalyst for growth for many businesses out there,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “By providing the capital, we provide opportunities for business to expand and hire new people and buy more goods and services from our community.”
Although the program met with Council approval several years ago, much research was needed to put together the right policies and procedures, as well as creating the proper application process. Councilman Don Guzman, chairman of the Council’s Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture and Recreation Committee, helped to format the program.
The EDRF is designed to give either grants or loans to both for-profit and nonprofit businesses that have a strong balance sheet, have established markets that show growth potential, and show strong potential for creating living wage employment for Maui County residents. The fund purpose is to assist companies with these qualifications to expand their business through additional locations, new equipment, exporting opportunities, R&D for a demonstrated capability or product, or to commercialize capability or a new product.
The minimum award that will be made is $50,000. All applicants will need to demonstrate a one to one match in cash. The cash match can come from a third party grant or loan. Organizations or businesses that have other active grants with the County of Maui are not eligible to apply for this program.
The program will run year round until all available funds are pledged. There is no deadline for applications. The application and program details may be found on OED’s web page at mauicounty.gov/OED or for additional information call the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development at 808-270-7710.