Grand County Utah’s Economic Development Department recently created three grants for local businesses: two of those grants are open for applications until July 31, and the third will open this fall. 

The Marketing Our Awesome Businesses! (MOAB!) Tourism Grant and Sustainable and Resilient (STAR) Business Grant are both accepting applications.

Ben Alter, an economic development specialist with the Economic Development Department, said so far, interest in the grants is high. He recently changed the application process to make it significantly easier, he said: now, applications exist on a Google Form. 

The EDD is also offering open hours to offer technical assistance to applicants—during those hours, applicants will “not only have the opportunity to discuss their applications with EDD and Utah’s Small Business Development Center but will also have access to a laptop with which they may complete and submit their applications,” according to a press release. The grant applications can only be submitted digitally—paper applications won’t be accepted. 

The open hours and access to the laptops are free. The next open hour period will be on Tuesday, July 26 from 12 to 7 p.m. at the Small Business Development Center, located at the Utah State University Moab campus (1850 South Aggie Boulevard off Highway 191). Applicants can register for an appointment during open hours at ususparcscheduling.as.me/grandcountygrants

The MOAB! Tourism Grant is for businesses that want to expand their marketing to visitors and residents already in the Moab area—example projects include funding items for giveaways; working with local artists to create new branding or design materials for the business; or creating promo codes or coupons to move products. Applicants can apply for any amount of money, but the EDD intends to distribute about 11 awards of $5,000. Awards from this grant require a 10% match. 

The STAR Business Grant will be awarded to businesses that use the money to “fund organizations, programs, and projects to shorten the gap between wages and the cost of living for local residents while addressing the need for an increasingly resilient and diverse economy,” according to the website; example projects include offsetting housing costs for employees; or training workers in new skills and raising their wages as a result. Applicants can apply for up to $100,000—awards of $5,000 or more require a 20% match; awards for less than $5,000 require a 10% match. 

The EDD is also reopening its Special Events Grant: a total of $18,300 is available to be used for “events that encourage out-of-area visitation to Grand County, primarily during low visitation periods of the year,” according to a press release. The Special Events Grant requires a 100% match and applicants must already have an event approved for a Grand County or City of Moab Special Event Permit. Applications are due before 8 a.m. on August 1. 

More information on the grants and applications is available on Grand County’s website, grandcountyutah.net/1155/Local-Business-Grants/grants.