Through collaboration between the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation, the Ottawa County Community Foundation, and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the Regional Incubator for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (RISE) Program’s Small Business Innovation Grant is expanding into Ottawa County. The grant will focus on assisting existing Ottawa County entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
The intent of this program is to have a positive impact on the overall economic landscape across Ottawa County.
The RISE Small Business Innovation Grant is intended to make possible innovative and strategic investments for businesses to thrive and adapt given recent events. Examples include but are not limited to: Capital improvements, the development or acquisition of online platforms such as websites or mobile apps, or the development of new solutions to problems presented during these challenging times.
“We are very excited about this new collaborative effort with the Erie County Economic Development Corporation (ECEDC) and are optimistic about the benefits it will bring to the small businesses in Ottawa County,” said Ken Williams, OCIC Executive Board President.
Grants will be made in the amount of $500 to $3,500. While grant availability is limited, all applicants with a completed application will be invited to participate in a one-time training course, called “Remaining Relevant in Chaos.” This $500 course will be provided at no cost to all applicants and will deliver value to customers with limited resources. Topics covered include communication, digital marketing, and management.
The application period will be run through Nov. 6. Applications will then be reviewed by OCIC’s RISE selection committee, which consists of representatives from the Ottawa County business community. All applicants will be informed with the result of their application. They may also be contacted with clarifying questions during the review process. Recipients will be chosen based on creativity, feasibility, clarity, and impact on the business and our local economy. In conjunction with the holiday season, the goal is to award the grant recipients prior to the end of the year.
RISE is a comprehensive resource hub that offers assistance across the entire business development continuum. The objective of RISE is to grow jobs and spearhead economic development by linking business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to regional service providers with expertise in business start-up, development and acceleration.
RISE is a program of the Erie County Economic Development Corporation (ECEDC) in partnership with Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and Norwalk Economic Development Corporation (NEDC). Since its inception in 2011, RISE has served over 240 local entrepreneurs across many stages of development and industries.
The top industries served by RISE are Food & Beverage, Retail, Consumer Services, and Tourism, Art & Entertainment. The expansion into Ottawa County is a first and has been spearheaded through the combined efforts of the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation and the Ottawa County Community Foundation.
The OCIC is currently in the planning stages of implementing the RISE Program and making it available to small businesses throughout Ottawa County. For more information about the RISE Small Business Innovation Grant, visit www.ocic.biz/rise-grant-program.