The San Juan County Economic Development (CED) Board finalized their recommendation for Rural County Grant Program (RCGP) awards. The San Juan County Commission approved the CED board’s recommendation at the December 1st County Commission meeting.
The San Juan County Rural County Grant Program (RCGP) was created to provide a way for businesses and non-profits investing in San Juan County to apply for incentives that promote economic growth and business expansion. The funding came from a grant applied for by the San Juan County Economic Development and Visitor Services (EDVS) Office. A total of $95,833 was awarded to the office. A set aside of $10,000 was reserved for business training efforts.
A total of $85,833 of funding was reserved and available for the county’s RCGP. Twelve San Juan County businesses applied for funding intended to support business development and/or expansion in varying industries. The board finalized an award to five businesses supporting the healthcare and manufacturing industries. Recipients included:
Blue Mountain Hospital for the purchase of a peritoneal dialysis machine
Taylor Made for the purchase of a CNC machine
Mountain West Medical Supply for an Oxygen Generator
Deeter Custom Saddlery for a Band Knife Splitter
Brandt Services for an upgrade to their sawmill
Blue Mountain Hospital in Blanding will be able to create home service for dialysis patients with their approved funding. Patients will be able to stay home and receive their treatments instead of traveling to the hospital. The hospital anticipates new hires to serve those patients.
Increased construction need in San Juan County was the inspiration for Wendy Brandt of Brandt Services to request funding to upgrade the sawmill her family runs east of Monticello. The family started out supplying firewood but last year purchased a sawmill. Business was so good part time help had to be brought in for operation of the sawmill as it stands currently. So good in fact that the family business now has a 3 month backlog on orders. The upgrades Brandt Services is planning will allow a month's worth of orders to be filled in one week.
Shane Deeter of Deeter Custom Saddlery when contacted about the award said this about his success in getting the grant. “I want to express my extreme gratitude to the board and San Juan County Economic Development for their work in making this possible. I recently hired another person to help me keep up with the demand I have. The machinery this will allow me to buy is much needed to be able fill the contracts I have for saddles. I am really appreciative of the board for helping me make this purchase.”
Taylor Made Wooden Heritage of Blanding’s Josh Palmer was equally enthusiastic about not just his funding but the entire grant. “We’re super excited about it,” says Josh. “This will allow us to get the point where we are producing cabinetry parts not just for our orders but for other cabinet makers in the area.”
The machinery Taylor Made will use the grant to pay for allows them to first create for a customer a 3 dimensional rendering of the product, then cut the parts necessary to make the cabinets.
Britt Barton CED chair remarked during the interview process that automation normally results in less jobs. Palmer's response was that the long slow process of cutting out the pieces will be speeded up to the point where assembly of the parts will require more personnel. This also will allow for him to sell parts to other cabinet makers in San Juan County. Currently the nearest machinery of this type is Grand Junction Colorado.
For Taylor Made, Palmer says the grant will create the need to hire at least one person immediately to keep up with the assembly pace the purchase will provide for.
Mountain West Medical Supply’s Eric Acton also pointed to Grand Junction as the only supplier of oxygen to San Juan County hospital and medical supply companies. Mountain West, who does supply portable oxygen to customers wants to be able to produce their own oxygen for sale to their customers. They will not be providing oxygen to the hospitals but only for portable applications such as home use. The equipment they intend to purchase will allow for a 400% increase in their customer base and ensure that should the supply line from Grand Junction go down, home oxygen users in the area will still be able to get what they need, from right here in San Juan County.
San Juan County EDVS anticipates being able to apply for additional funding that would allow the CED board to re-open the program late Spring or early Summer of 2021. The CED board encourages San Juan County businesses to consider applying for funding if they are considering business expansion and or further investment in San Juan County.
For more information on the CED board as well as the RCGP please visit www.utahscanyoncountry.com/ced