Money

A number of community organizations recently received a financial boost to fund their local events and endeavors through the city’s Economic Development Grant Program.

Brentwood City Council OK’d $177,365 in grants to 12 organizations whose activities promote Brentwood and attract commerce and tourism to the city.

“The applicants cover a wide variety of projects, programs and activities that support key community events, business training, tourism, cultural activity and promotion of Brentwood,” said Brentwood Senior Analyst Peggy Berglund.

All 12 applicants received grants — ranging in amounts from $1,500 to $39,261 — to offset costs of local events and programs such as the annual Art, Wine and Jazz Festival, downtown ice rink and a craft beer festival.

The Brentwood Art Society ($50,500) and the Downtown Brentwood Coalition ($47,461) both received multiple grants, with the society’s grant covering costs of the annual Art, Wine and Jazz Festival and an art banner program. The Downtown Brentwood Coalition’s allotment aims to help fund a downtown mural and OktoberFEST, which features live music, food, beer and wine, as well as myriad community-centric contests and activities.

Other recipients include: the local Got A Party business, which received $20,000 to fund elements of the holiday downtown ice rink; the Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble ($14,500), to help cover expenses for Festival 10 – A Treasury of 10-Minute Plays; and the John Marsh Historic Trust ($8,854), to offset the costs of an annual event showcasing Marsh Creek State Park and the historic John Marsh Stone House, along with providing educational and recreational activities.

All events run between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020.

The city sets aside 20% of business license tax revenue for economic development purposes. The grant program has contributed $2,014,261 in grants to local organizations since 2004.

Grant applications are evaluated by city staff on a variety of criteria and forwarded to city council for consideration and eventual approval.

Key criteria include: the project should create positive publicity for Brentwood throughout the region; generate tax revenue, jobs and other economic benefits for the city; build goodwill among local businesses; and support the overall vibrancy and cohesion of the business community.

For recipients, the funds are vital to the success of their endeavors, said Rick Lemyre, executive director of the John Marsh Historic Trust.

“The grant program is a great example of investing tax dollars back into the community,” he said. “It helps keep some of our most-loved events and activities coming back and provides a way for new ones to emerge. It’s managed by the city, but what it boils down to is businesses helping the community build its character and image, which in return helps businesses grow.”

For a complete list of recipients, visit bit.ly/ThePress_GrantProgram.

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