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Development grant deadline looms

Spokane-area governments, business groups, universities and nonprofit organizations have until July 9 to seek federal economic development money that has helped fund projects like construction of the Sirti Technology Center and planning for the University District.

The Economic Development Administration has awarded almost $15 million to initiatives that fit a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy drafted in 2002 and updated every year since.

Robin Toth, director of business development for Greater Spokane Incorporated, said the EDA, a U.S. Department of Commerce component, favors infrastructure improvements that will support new business.

In 2007, for example, $1.4 million was granted to the Cheney Research and Industrial Park, which plans changes that will allow All Pak Container to expand, she said.

That project has been on the list for CEDS funding for several years, Toth noted.

Even if a proposal does not qualify for that program, she added, the rejects have a leg up on funding from other sources because they have already received community backing.

The CEDS plan was extensively revised last year and needs only minor updating, Toth said.


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