ERDA awards grants to boost small businesses | News

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ENID, Okla. — Receiving a Microenterprise Grant from Enid Regional Development Alliance is “a prayer answered” for small business owner Sarah Foster.

Foster received one of two Microenterprise Grants awarded by ERDA’s Board of Directors on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023 — $9,000 to help her business, Foster Carpentry and Creations LLC.

“I’m thrilled,” Foster said. “I’m going to be able to upgrade some of my equipment to be safer and able to do more.”

Her business is a carpentry, custom cabinetry and finish work business currently housde in the Strate Center for Business Development at Autry Technology Center.

The Strate Center provides entrepreneurs with business support services and resources that help accelerate the establishment of permanent businesses in the region. It includes a business incubator, coworking space, business startup training, small business assistance, agribusiness, government bid assistance and a contractor plan room.

Foster is the sole employee of her business, but receives help from her husband at times.

“I’ll be able to do this all by myself now,” she said of the new equipment she will be able to get with the grant. “I’m pretty excited to be able to do some upgrading.”

The other business receiving a Microenterprise Grant — this one for $6,000 — is TLC Patterns LLC owned by Cynthia Luckett. It is a high-quality fabric store that specializes in quilting fabric and supplies. The business also provides long-arm quilting services along with sewing lessons. TLC Patterns is located at 809 Overland Trail. It previously had received support from the Strate Center.

ERDA’s Microenterprise Grants are funded through the Community Development Block Grant program, an arm of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with the assistance of city of Enid’s CDBG coordinator Laura Girty.

Grant recipients are required to use grant funds for business expenses as outlined by CDBG. After scoring applications, two eligible small businesses were chosen to receive an award.

“We are fortunate to have CDBG Microenterprise Grants available to help small businesses grow,” Marcie Mack, ERDA executive director, said. “It was enthusiastic entrepreneurs that helped develop Enid many years ago and supporting these recipients allows for that pioneering spirit to continue.”

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