By Jan Rahn
When citizens voted in favor of the City of Grant’s Economic Development Program on July 30, 2002, it seemed like the 10-year plan went far into the future—well, that 10-year wrap-up of the initial program is right around the corner.
The Economic Development Program will end its 10-year run in 2012 and it will be determined at that time how to proceed.
During the regular meeting of Grant City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 25, Bernie Deaver reported on behalf of the Economic Development Program.
His semi-annual report cited the program’s history and economic impact along with a report on current figures.
Deaver’s report on the program’s entire history shows that 80 percent of the loans made by the program have either been repaid or are currently in payments.
Of the other 20 percent of loans made, two are late in payments, while two more are in default and being pursued through legal means available to the city.
No loan to date has been written off as “bad debt,” said Deaver.
Very good news for the city as indicated by Deaver’s report is that 13 of 17 businesses receiving funding through this program are still in business today, with a resulting annual payroll in excess of $500,000.
“This is a very high success rate, as most development programs nationwide have a low success rate, due to the fact they participate where conventional lenders can’t, for the sole purpose of creating and maintaining a climate of economic prosperity,” said Deaver.
As the program nears the end of its 10-year run in 2012, other indicators will be reviewed by the Economic Development Committee to analyze the program’s effectiveness and impact on the local economy.
Those serving on the Economic Development Committee besides Deaver include Don Softley and Jeff Wallin.
Individuals who might be interested and willing to serve on the committee are asked to contact Mayor Mike Wyatt or City Superintendent Tyson McGreer.
The Economic Development Advisory Board is comprised of five members, including Doug Beck, Kevin Hatch, Ryan Cornelius, Cathy Harden and newly appointed Ann Burge.