When given an opportunity to help the Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market, GVEA’s Board of Directors decided to apply for a Rural Economic Development Grant. “We were glad to be able to assist another cooperative and help boost economic development in our community,” said CEO Brian Newton.
The Rural Economic Development Grant Program (REDG) provides low-interest loans and grants to Rural Utility Service borrowers like GVEA. Should we receive the grant, GVEA would establish a revolving loan fund to promote economic development and job creation projects locally.
Here are some of the grant stipulations:
GVEA must match 20 percent of the grant – in this case 20 percent amounts to $60,000. The $60,000 will come from unclaimed Capital Credits and will have no impact on GVEA members’ bills. The total amount of $360,000 will form the beginning of a revolving loan fund available to support community efforts.
Proposals to use the REDG grant funds must show that they will offer facilities and services needed in the community.
The first revolving loan would go to the Co-op Market as a zero percent interest loan for a maximum of
15 10 years. As the loan is repaid, the funds go back into the revolving loan fund and become available for other community development projects.
The Co-op Market plans to take over a portion of the space in the Alaska Marketplace Building, formerly Carrs Foodland. It will establish a natural foods and products store focused on locally grown and produced items. For more information about the Co-op Market, visit its website: www.fairbankscoop.org.