The Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation is offering up to $50,000 to a veteran or veterans interested in bringing a new business to the city or expanding an existing business to the city, which is located 55 miles south of Dallas and is considered the commercial center of Cedar Creek Lake.
Dennis Baade, a Gun Barrel City Councilman and member of the EDC Board of Directors, said the EDC designated the funds within their 2013 budget as incentive to business-minded veterans to choose Gun Barrel City as the location for their business. The goal is to bring needed jobs and services to the community.
“We wanted to do our part to help our valued military personnel return to civilian life. We’re interested in helping those who dream of owning their own business and who can show us viable business plans. We are ready to provide not only money, but support. We want to help turn their dreams into reality here in Gun Barrel City,” Baade said.
Gun Barrel City is a unique community. It is a small town that is also the commercial hub for one of Texas’ largest and most popular recreational lakes. The town was established in 1969 when Cedar Creek Reservoir was completed, and it has grown steadily to have more than 7,500 citizens, with a commercial area that services nearly 40,000 people, and even more during the summer boating season.
According to the Economic Development Corporation, Gun Barrel City is in favor of progressive growth that fits within the EDC’s identified focus areas. The town caters to both families and retirees. It is a Go Texan Certified Retirement Community, and the city is also home to “weekenders,” primarily from Dallas, who own second homes on the lake.
The grant application process will require submission of a comprehensive business plan that covers a list ranging from the business goals to five-year financial projections, as well as estimates for employment and sales tax generation. A scoring system will also provide additional points to those businesses that are committed to hiring veterans and disabled veterans.
A committee made up of citizens, veterans, business people and EDC board members will review all applications. Deadline for submitting an application is May 15,, 2013. Decisions on the first grant recipient or recipients will be made no later than June 15, 2013.
Baade says the EDC has made arrangements with nearby Trinity Valley Community College and the Small Business Assistance Center there to provide free assistance to any applicants who want help completing the grant application process.
Gun Barrel City has recently welcomed national restaurant franchises, and new affordable senior housing communities. It is also home to some fast-growing businesses that chose the location simply because they could locate anywhere, and the lake location was helpful in attracting top talent. Businesses that are of interest to the community and that applicants are encouraged to propose range from light industry and agriculture to technology and green businesses. The community also welcomes housing and construction, recreation-based businesses, retail and restaurants.
A detailed application can be obtained by contacting the Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation at 877 243 7896. Interested organizations representing veterans and individuals can also request a copy by email by going to the Boots to Business Grant page in the EDC section of the Gun Barrel City website, located at www.gunbarrelcity.net. The site offers a program summary and instructions for obtaining an application.
Applicants must be willing to establish their business, franchise or expansion in Gun Barrel City, Texas.
Applicants must either be honorably discharged from the military or be serving in the Military Reserves.
The winner(s) of the grant will be required to submit quarterly financial reports to the EDC for the first year of business. Baade says that ongoing support and counsel for business planning, marketing and operations will be available from the Small Business Assistance Center at Trinity Valley Community College and other entities.
For more information on the Gun Barrel City Boots to Business Grant Program, contact the Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation, at 903 887 1899 or toll free at 877 243 7896.
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