Businesses in Vernon are submitting applications for financial assistance to help expand their operations. It is just one week since voters approved a tax proposition to divert some existing sales tax money into a fund to help the local economy.
Newschannel 6 went to Vernon and sat down with the President of Vernon's Business Development Corporation, Sean Stockard to learn more about when they could start seeing some of that money. We found out businesses are already stopping by to utilize the help.
Sean Stockard says he has heard from two local businesses wanting to take advantage of the services. He says once local businesses in the service industry start using their services the City of Vernon can start to see a boost in the local economy.
Stockard comments, "The majority of the sales tax in the city comes from the retail service industry and restaurants. If anything by being able to help them stabilize, possibly grow, and do more business, it will help the cities bottom line and our budget." Growing the Business Development Corporation's budget is key now that last weeks ballot measure passed. The BDC operates on a $550,000 budget. The group plans on putting up to $100,000 of that money into a new fund called The Revolving Loan Program. That fund will help local businesses with loans up to $5,000.
Stockard says, "We will offer low to no interest loans depending on the business and what they want to do with the money. Also depending on the stability of the loan." The BDC tells us the funds will not be available until spring because they are waiting to find out if it can get more funding.
But despite that timeline Billy Talbot, Owner of Talbots Home Showroom will definitely be utilizing the help. Talbot says, "It's a matter of time and money and which one we're going to have the most of. This will help assist us and other merchants have those funds available."
The Vernon Plaza Theater plans to do the same. Owner Mark Farr-Nash comments, "We have some projects lined up down the road that are pretty upscale and high end. This is going to help us in terms of budgeting for those projects. Maybe there is some money we did not know of that we could have access."
The Vernon Business Development Corporation tells us funding will not be available until spring of 2012. They are waiting to apply for more money through the US Department of Agriculture and that deadline to apply is in January.
The BDC tells Newschannel 6 they hope to have nearly 15 applicants for their Revolving Loan Funding Program by the end of the year. They tell us they do offer other services besides funding. They provide counseling and consulting services.