Micro Grants Program
Micro Grants Program
PURPOSE: Encourage the implementation of activities that can enhance the economic viability of farm and forest businesses in the NYC West of Hudson Watershed.
ELIGIBILITY: Any farm/agricultural business, forest business/logger, food/beverage business, and/or landowner with farm/forest business property inside the NYC West of Hudson Watershed, preference will be given to WAC participants. Non-farming businesses looking to apply must source 51% NYC West of Hudson Watershed farm/forest products to be considered. Municipalities are not eligible. Refer to our NYC Watershed Map in pdf format for more details, or use our interactive GIS map to type in your address and see if you’re in the West of Hudson Watershed.
REQUEST FOR APPLICANTS (RFA): A Request for Applications was issued via existing WAC social media and local publications. The application deadline for this round was August 31, 2020. Awards are made a month after the deadline.
*NOTE: The Watershed Agricultural Council has ended its August 2020 grant round.
If you need assistance with please contact Kristan Morley at [email protected]
1. Eligible applicants must submit a complete grant application by the application deadline listed in the RFA in order to be eligible for review.
2. Applicants may only apply for one activity in one of the micro grant categories in each grant cycle.
3. The application deadline for this round was August 31, 2020. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated against scoring criteria included in these instructions. A minimum score of 70 must be met. Applicants will be notified of the approved/denied status a month after the deadline.
4. Grant applications will be awarded based on availability of program funding and evaluation using evaluation criteria included in this application.
5. These are reimbursable grants. Closeout packages must provide necessary documentation per each category before reimbursement is issued. All closeout packages, materials, bills and/or invoices provided as proof of completion must be submitted to WAC by the date provided in approval letter in order to receive reimbursement.
6. Payment will not be issued to participants who are not in good standing with WAC.
7. In order to receive the grant award, applicants must submit W9, receipts, invoices and other proper documentation following requirements described for each grant category.
8. Applicants may apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding. There is a $5,000 cap per applicant per fiscal year.
9. Approved applications are subject to cancellation after six months. Staff may grant extensions upon request pending approval by the WAC’s Economic Viability Committee.
Prior to issuing payment, WAC will review the Closeout Package to ensure conformity with the approved application and EV guidelines. After this review WAC will submit payment directly to the applicant in accordance with the criteria in each category. These are reimbursable grants. Closeout packages must provide necessary documentation per each category before reimbursement is issued. All materials, bills and/or invoices provided as proof of completion of the project must be submitted to WAC by the date provided in approval letter.
The Economic Viability Micro Grants Program is funded by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the City and its residents. Consumers of City water are the beneficiaries of the measures to be implemented under the grants program because of its effect on the NYC Watershed. The Council is funded by the NYC DEP, USDA, U.S. Forest Service and other sources. EOE/EOP © 2020
Grant recipients agree that a copy of any and all materials and documents, written or otherwise, which has been funded by this grant, may be available to WAC upon request to confirm project completion.
One of the benefits of the Economic Viability Program is its ability to explore innovative methods for enhancing economic viability in the Watershed. To maximize this benefit the WAC Economic Viability Committee encourages a creative atmosphere that is receptive to new grant categories consistent with funding requirements.
ECONOMIC VIABILITY MICRO GRANTS PROGRAM CATEGORIES
To encourage continuing education intended to enhance the economic viability profitability and sustainability of eligible applicant’s businesses by providing grant funding to help applicants offset the cost of online courses, workshops, seminars, conferences and college courses.
1. Only training opportunities that occur after the approval date will be eligible for funding.
2. An overview of the training including: web links, an agenda or syllabus, and other supporting documents must be included with the application prior to approval.
3. Demonstration of projected impact the training will have on diversification, continuing education, profitability and/or sustainability of your business.
4. Prior to payment the applicant must complete and submit a Training Reimbursement Closeout Package. The Closeout Package includes proof of training attendance, an invoice identifying total cost of the training, a completed W9 and a completed EV Micro Grants Application. The payment will be based on the training invoice.
5. To be eligible for funding the training must occur within six months of the approval date.
To encourage branding, advertising and communications related to the marketing of products and services provided by eligible applicants.
1. Eligible Marketing activities are: farm signs, product labels or packaging, logo development, webpage development, advertisement design and placement.
2. Applicants must submit a project timeline and overview for completion based off of cost quotes.
3. Applicants must submit two cost quotes (qualified consultants, online web links, etc.) Both quotes must be comparable and identify the same needs. All estimates of cost must be provided by qualified web links, businesses, or professional. In addition, we ask that the applicant state which quote/consultant they prefer to use and why. If you do not submit two comparable cost quotes, your application will be denied.
4. Only marketing activities that occur after the application approval date are eligible for reimbursement.
5. Prior to payment the applicant must complete and submit a Marketing Reimbursement Closeout Package. The Closeout Package includes .pdf, .eps and/or .jpg design files for logos, digital copies of advertisements, final web link, a completed W9 and a completed EV Micro Grants Application.
To enhance the economic viability of farm and forest businesses by off-setting the cost of attending new events, fairs, farmers’ markets and/or transporting products to new markets or venues through mileage reimbursement and/or vendor fees reimbursement. Funding will be considered for applicants that demonstrate new events are assisting in the expansion of their market reach. This is a one time, offset reimbursement not intended to be used for continual attendance.
1. WAC will reimburse applicants at the current federal mileage reimbursement rate. Google map directions should be submitted round trip.
2. WAC will reimburse applicants for the cost of attending an event/fair/new market located in New York State.
3. Applicants must submit an application prior to travel that identifies the eligible market, event, or new venue desired to attend, the date and the distance. All mileage will be calculated using the applicant’s business address.
4. Prior to payment the applicant must complete and submit an Event/Mileage Reimbursement Form provided by the Watershed Agricultural Council when accepted and receipts from event confirming attendance. The Closeout Package includes the travel starting point (the business location), destination, pictures, financial impact, a completed W9 and a completed EV Micro Grants Application.
Staffing Reimbursement: To enhance profitability, productivity and/or assist with business expansion.
1. Applicants must submit a business/operation overview identifying how funding for a new staffing position will support business/operation expansion, increased viability and/or productivity.
2. Applicants must provide specific expansion information including list and description of new market(s) if applicable, and metrics for measuring success.
3. Applicants must submit a job description clearly identifying the role of the new position, how the new position will assist in operation expansion, increased profitability and/or productivity.
4. Applicants must submit a timeline including pay rate (at least minimum wage), length of position(s), hours per week, and how they plan to track those hours (pay stubs and mileage will be requested for the closeout package.) Only positions hired after the application approval date are eligible for reimbursement.
5. WAC is not responsible for the work, direction, IRS reporting, or personal conduct of the proposed staff. The applicant accepts full responsibility for the proposed staff, this position (if approved) is not an employee of WAC.
6. One-time payment per business. Businesses cannot reapply to fill position if seasonal.
7. Prior to payment the applicant must complete and submit a Staffing Reimbursement Closeout Package. The Closeout Package includes pay stubs, mileage if attending markets/events, a signed sheet from the employee and employer that they were paid the correct rate, metrics of increased sales, a completed W9 and a completed EV Micro Grants Application.