Release Date: Thursday, December 13th 2012
BDCC Laura Sibilia 802-257-7731 x 217 or [email protected]
SRDC: Bob Flint at 802-885-3061 or [email protected]
For Immediate Release
December 13, 2012
Brattleboro & Springfield Development Corporations
Receive Disaster Recovery Funding
Will help flood impacted businesses throughout Windham and southern Windsor Counties
BRATTLEBORO/SPRINGFIELD – The Vermont Community Development Program announced on Thursday that they have awarded a one million dollar Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) to two southeastern Vermont Regional Development Corporations. Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) is partnering with Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) to provide grant and loan funding for flood-impacted businesses throughout Windham and southern Windsor counties.
BDCC Executive Director Jeff Lewis is encouraged by what this means for flood impacted businesses.
“One of the most striking things we have learned since Irene is just how long recovery takes,” he said. “While it is discouraging that some businesses are still trying to recover, we’re happy to have been able to find another resource to try and help.”
Notification of the grant award came on Thursday from the Vermont Community Development Program which handles the application process for CDBG funds statewide, and represents the second round of funding made available from $21.7 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds allocated to the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development following Tropical Storm Irene.
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 funding. Leahy, Sanders, and Welch have also worked with HUD to ensure that the funding had less strings attached enabling the funds to be used in some of the most severely impacted communities in Windham County. The awards are based on project reviews by the Vermont Community Development Program staff, funding recommendations made by the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Secretary of Commerce and Community Development Lawrence Miller.
“These awards are the result of hard work by many individuals and the partnerships formed to make these projects a reality,” said Secretary Miller. “First the work of our congressional delegation, then our Agency staff and Community Development Board to implement the program efficiently and effectively and of course the tireless efforts of the applicants to bring needed resources to their communities. This is another important step forward in the recovery process. We’re pleased the two regional development corporations were able to collaborate and expand their abilities to help businesses impacted. The RDC’s are an important partner in our economic delivery system and flood recovery is another area where they have stepped up. Recovery funding is still available and we look forward to making additional awards in the months ahead and putting this funding to work helping Vermonters.”
Funds are 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.
SRDC’s Bob Flint indicated that the funding would help ease the transition from recovery to growth. “We hope to utilize the block grant to help the small businesses that are still feeling the financial pressure from Irene be in a position to have stability and start to move forward to prosperity”, Flint said.
The sub-grant process will be competitive. Applications will be available on the BDCC and SRDC websites by December 19th, www.brattleborodevelopment.com or www.springfielddevelopment.org. Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) will be providing a limited series of technical assistance seminars for businesses that want help with the application. The dates for those sessions will be posted with the application.
For more information on business applications please contact: April Harkness, BDCC, 802-257-7731 or Paul Kowalski, SRDC, 802-885-3061