'Micro' grants and loans start to spread across Tampa Bay, targeting smaller, do-able projects
Rosie Paulsen receives a "microloan" from Pasco Economic Development Council's Krista Hakes. Photo courtesy Pasco EDC.
Wake up and good morning. Microgrants and microloans seem to be gaining some momentum in the Tampa Bay area. It's all to the good as grants and loans focus on smaller, positive and often innovative projects and businesses. It's early to measure any groundswell just yet but kudos to the groups (and people) behind these efforts.
In St. Petersburg Thursday evening, the Awesome Tampa Bay group delivered its latest $1,000 microgrant to Tampa architect Ken Cowart (right), whose Bomb the Medians project calls for beautifying bare median strips along roadways in wildflowers. Read more about Cowart's plan and Awesome Tampa Bay in this Tampa Bay Times story. Want funding for a cool idea? It's competitive but the next application deadline is August 1.
Meanwhile, the Pasco Economic Development Council's embarked on a microlending (loans, not grants) awarded two microloans of between $10,000 to $20,000 apiece to two women this week. Victoria Forster was funded for her idea of producing a "Go Caddy" tote bag (left). Read more here. And Rosie Paulsen, an Ecuadorian who came here in 1988, also recently received a loan for her Good Fith Insurance Services that helps educate retiress on Medicare choices. Read more here. And here's more details behind the Pasco EDC's decision to start a microlending fund.
To be clear, the grants are gifts. The loans presumably must be paid back.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times