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Idaho Commerce Department helps make connections

Robb Hicken

Robb Hicken

The federal government has tried to stimulate the economy through a number of programs and the infusion of billions of dollars into grants. The hope is that small businesses will take advantage of these grants and begin to use the money to make the right hire.

Idaho’s economic recovery has been pegged by more than one official to the heels of small business owners; the thought being that most of Idaho’s economy rest in the hands of small business. But, when it comes to applying for federal economic recovery grants and funds, many small business owners say it’s too much work for the return.

The Department of Commerce is working with small companies to help them win federal research grants.

Aiding small business can bring big returns, according to program director Mark Strait. He says the problem is not the application, but the preparation. If more small businesses would take an assessment of what they have before filling out the grant application there would be less red tape to go through.

He said many businesses are qualified for such research grants, but getting them to the point where they can receive the money isn’t that hard.

He suggests contacting the department early in the application process.

I had a chance to visit with Strait on the set of Business at its Best, at the KRTV Channel 12 studios. Here’s what he had to say.

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BB Newsmaker 43 from Idaho Business Review on Vimeo.

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