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North Dakota Sees Fewer Dollars for Entrepreneurial Programs
Post Date: Jun 19 2017

The Bismarck Tribune
With less money in their budgets, the entrepreneurial programs run by the North Dakota Department of Commerce are making tough adjustments to their operations.

For some, the cuts resulting from a state budget shortage are hard to swallow when they hit programs meant to reduce the situation that caused the funding shortfall — a heavy reliance on raw agriculture and oil products, The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/2rFBy92 ) reported.

Agricultural Products Utilization Commission Program Director John Schneider said the commission is considering fewer rounds of grant funding for proposed projects aimed at adding value to the agricultural products grown in North Dakota.

The program typically hands out $2 million to $2.5 million every other year, but will only have an expected $900,000 this year from North Dakota State Mill and Elevator profits.

One solution being considered is increasing the required matching funds needed to receive a grant. Grant recipients currently must match 25 percent. Some lawmakers have suggested the board look for a 1:1 match, increasing the chance of return on investment because a project has more financial backing.Advertisement (1 of 1): 0:06The program is highly utilized as the board picks from a pool of 15 maximum applicants each quarter. All 15 applicant slots have been filled for a July 26 meeting, beating the July 1 deadline by over a month. Schneider said a lot of applicants, particularly North Dakota State University researchers, are looking for research dollars.

Schneider said most participants understand cuts had to be made to programs statewide.

"When they hear how much the dollar (amount) is lowered, reality sets in," Schneider said.

Posted as, "North Dakota Sees Fewer Dollars for Entrepreneurial Programs - The Bismarck Tribune"
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