BEDFORD A $650,000 federal grant will help jumpstart a business building expansion this year, officials announced Tuesday.
The Community Trade Adjustment Assistance grant to the Bedford County Development Association, along with a $252,000 low-interest state loan received in January, will aid in the estimated $1.1 million needed for the expansion of the Bedford Township business center's multi-tenant entrepreneurial-aimed building, association Executive Director Bette Slayton told county commissioners.
"We've always had on our back burner that we'd like to expand," Slayton said.
The 24,000-square-foot building only has about 3,000 feet of space left for development, Slayton said.
Bedford County was invited to participate in the competitive application of the grant through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Slayton said.
The county will have no liability for the project, with BCDA handling everything from maintenance to insurance, Slayton said, holding up a 6-inch thick binder filled with grant requirements.
Commissioner Steve Howsare said the facility expansion helps guarantee consideration by all types of companies looking to build or move.
"If we don't have it, they just go on to someone else," Howsare said. "We already have our hands tied when it comes to competing with some of these urban areas."
The business center, which opened in 2002, currently holds several small- and medium-sized businesses in its 24,000 square feet. This expansion would be aimed at small start-up companies and entrepreneurial opportunities, Slayton said.
Slayton said her organization continues to work hard to offer large and small lots and big and little buildings for all types of businesses.
"We're turning every rock over that we can," she said.
Construction is expected to begin in the spring.
Mirror Staff Writer Wendy Zook is at 946-7520.