West Virginia Department of Commerce F.A.Q. - Local Economic Development Grant Program

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F.A.Q. - Local Economic Development Grant Program

Local Economic Development Grant Program
(Frequently asked questions)

Can more than one organization be designated as the lead economic development entity for the county? No. The county commission designates one lead economic development entity. Only this organization is eligible to apply for the LED grant.

What is the maximum grant amount? The maximum grant is $34,000. The grant amount actually awarded is based upon the local organization's cash.

Why should a county consider a multi-county or regional economic development approach? The regional level has been found to strike the right balance between state and local assets as resources within a region surpass any individual jurisdiction. On a practical level, applicants representing multi-county or regional economic development organizations must have cash to match half the amount of the grant, i.e., a development authority representing two counties could receive a $68,000 grant with a $34,000 cash match. (Applicants representing a single county must have a cash match equal to the amount of the grant, i.e., a $34,000 grant request must be matched by $34,000 in cash.)

What are the cash match requirements? In-kind donations are not acceptable, and the cash match may not be comprised of any state funds, including proceeds from the synfuels tax. Unexpended LED grant funds from previous fiscal years cannot be considered as a local cash match. The local development organization must control the funds used for the match, which must used for economic development activities.

When are applications due to the West Virginia Development Office? The program is administered according to the state fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30. Applications may be submitted anytime after July 1. For funding consideration, all applications must be postmarked no later than April 30.

Where do I find information regarding the 30-hour professional development requirement? Thirty hours of professional development must be obtained during the fiscal year. The executive director, board members or staff may earn credit for attendance. Verification of course registration and proof of attendance is required. There are three options for fulfilling the training obligations:

  • Professional development: up to 30 hours of credit may be awarded. Courses that have been approved to meet this requirement can be accessed through the WVDO web page at www.wvdo.org/media/calendar.html. If a professional training course that you are interested in taking is not listed, please contact our office for approval and credit hours prior to course enrollment.
  • Board of directors: up to 30 hours of credit may be awarded. To be eligible, three-quarters of the board must attend all training sessions. The development organization will be responsible for securing the training. The curriculum and topics to be covered must be approved by the WVDO prior to obtaining the board of directors training. At a minimum, the training should consist of sessions covering an overview of the principles of community development; an overview of the principles of economic development; economic diversification including industrial, entrepreneurial, technology and tourism development, and the roles, responsibilities and functions of the board of directors.
  • Technology training: up to 15 hours of the 30-hour training requirement may be earned for technology training. To be awarded credit, the training agenda and a description of the benefit the organization expects to gain from such training must be submitted. The curriculum and topics to be covered must be approved by the WVDO prior to obtaining technology training. Some examples include but are not limited to geographic information systems, website design and maintenance, accounting software, etc.
Can a county participate in the LED program if it is not participating in the Certified Development Community (CDC) program? No. Grant awards are made only to development organizations that commit to following the guidelines established through the CDC program and that also meet the LED grant program criteria. First-year LED applicants are also required to submit a CDC application committing the applicant to completion of the CDC program. Each successive LED application should demonstrate increasing completion of the five main CDC program criteria. After the fourth year in the LED program, applicants that have not become CDC certified due to lack of a fully served, locally controlled industrial site must continue to work toward development of a site. Annual progress reports are to be submitted with the LED application and should include the potential site name, size, accessibility, topographical characteristics, flood plain data, zoning requirements (if applicable), status of ownership (own, option to purchase, right of first refusal, price agreement), maintenance plan, environmental issues and utilities including sewer, water, gas, electric and telecommunications.