The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. has added some extra funds to an economic incentive program that had used its 2021 allotment.
Going into the year, the JSDC had budgeted $250,000 for the local share for the Flex Pace program. The program provides a local loan of up to about $85,000 which is combined with a grant of up to $200,000 from the Bank of North Dakota to reduce the interest of loans to 1%. for new, expanding or newly purchased businesses.
As of the beginning of June, the JSDC had committed the entire $250,000 to projects and asked for an additional $30,000 in order to give one of the approved projects full funding.
Without authorizing additional money, the program could not be offered for the rest of 2021.
"It is a good problem to have," said Cory Shevlin, business development manager for the JSDC. "We have enough projects that we have to seek funding."
The JSDC Board of Directors approved three actions Monday at its regular meeting regarding the Flex Pace program. The board approved $720,000 in funding for 2021 to bring the total authorization for this year to $1 million in local loans. This opens the door for up to about $2.5 million in grant money from the Bank of North Dakota to those local businesses.
The board also restricted applicants for the Flex Pace incentive to those who do not currently have a Flex Pace loan and required confirmation of the loan from a bank. That motion passed on a 7-3 vote with some JSDC board members saying that sometimes the same person may own multiple expanding businesses.
The JSDC Board of Directors did unanimously approve a cap of $500,000 for the Flex Pace program for 2022.
"This year was an anomaly with a high demand for Flex Pace," Shevlin said.
In other business, the JSDC Board of Directors deobligated about $500,000 in funds initially planned for the Jamestown Airport Industrial Park. The project came in under budget. By deobligating the funds the money is available for other economic incentive projects in Stutsman County.
Connie Ova, CEO of the JSDC, announced that officials with ADM will meet with members of the JSDC on Wednesday, June 16. It will be the first meeting between the JSDC Board of Directors and the leadership of ADM since the announcement of the planned $350 million soybean crushing plant at Spiritwood last month.