EDC funds local businesses for marketing program, opens second round of applications
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Friday, some Copperas Cove business owners learned that they were the recipients of $1,000, $3,000, or $5,000 as part of a marketing partnership with the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation.
The EDC’s Program, the CCEDC Cares for local businesses, was launched by the EDC nearly two weeks ago, for which EDC allocated $110,000 of its budget for local business marketing.
The EDC received 41 applications during the application time period, which went from May 1-6, after which an EDC committee reviewed the applications and approved the businesses for their respective grants.
Businesses who did not apply will now have another chance to do so. There is some funding leftover, which the EDC would still like to distribute, between $15,000 and $10,000.
Jonas Titas, the EDC’s Executive Director, explained why the funding has such a range.
“We had several applicants on the first go around where we requested additional information,” Titas said. “The committee continues to vote on a case by case basis via email as we are getting more information and that is adjusting the figures.”
The next application time period has a short window, Tuesday, May 12 at noon and ending at 5 p.m. Then on Wednesday afternoon, the committee will meet to review this next round of applications.
Eligible businesses must be located within the city limits of Copperas Cove and have been in business as of January 1, 2020.
Businesses are not eligible if they continued to operate during the stay at home order, other than providing curbside service; if they are a home-based business; if they are a national chain or franchise associated with a parent company; or if they are a retail business with more than 50 employees.
So far, Titas is pleased with the rollout of the new program.
“It has been very rewarding to speak to the extremely gracious business community. Several conversations got emotional on both their end and ours. It is very moving to hear the first hand impacts of a full stop of the economy to confront a public health crisis,” Titas said. “We are grateful we were able to create this program that will provide some relief. We are now busy getting the agreements signed, money to the businesses and ensuring they are complying with the marketing requirements.”
One local business received marketing funds through the program, GymKix. The dance, cheer and gymnastics studio has already released a video on social media, that promotes its free online sports classes. The facility has been closed for classes, having an impact on its programs and staff.
The marketing program is to help promote Copperas Cove businesses as well as help fund businesses, like GymKix, to replace losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We hope this program provides the intended relief for the business community and helps them remain in business as conditions get closer back to normal. We have been saying that the local business community has been dug into a hole by circumstances beyond their control. As conditions get back to normal, that may stop them from digging themselves deeper, but they remain in a hole,” Titas said. “Hopefully, this partnership with the EDC will allow them to begin to climb out. We know that $110,000 spread throughout the local business community will not erase the impacts of the economic shutdown, but we do think spreading it out as best we can to those that need it the most, will help.”
If selected to receive funds from the CCEDC Care for Business program, businesses must complete two out of four marketing requirements, with a minimum amount set for spending of the marketing funds. The remainder can be spent by the business owner as needed, whether that be to help with payroll, overhead, or other business operations.
The first choice is to either purchase sponsored social media posts on the business’ page for 14 days that must mention that the post is in partnership with the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, or purchase an approved ad from a local Copperas Cove publication that must state “this ad is paid by the Copperas Cove EDC, a 4A Corporation.”
The second choice of marketing is either to purchase a 12”x 18” poster to be displayed in the storefront for a duration of 90 days, with the poster’s artwork provided by or approved by CCEDC staff; or to purchase an outdoor sign to be displayed on the property of the business that has a message of “CCEDC Supports Local Business”, “CCEDC Cares for Community Businesses”, or “YOUR COMPANY Cares for Community Businesses” from a printing establishment located in Copperas Cove (the artwork of the sign will be provided or approved by the CCEDC staff);.
All posters and/or signs and newspaper advertising must be purchased from a company based within the Copperas Cove city limits or that has distribution within the city limits. Applications are scored, and if an applicant has applied for and received aid from one of the small business federal programs such as the payroll protection program or the emergency business loan, that will be taken into consideration during application scoring. Those businesses which have not received either of those funding sources will score higher than those who have received assistance.
Businesses receiving funding as part of the marketing program will have 14 business days to fulfill the marketing requirements once the agreement is executed.
More information for business owners plus an application form is located at www.coveedc.com/site/cares. The application will go live on Tuesday at noon.