QDC ups amount for business grants

By Larry Tucker
Posted 11/19/20

Quitman Development Corporation (QDC) board members discussed and acted on a grant application review for local businesses to help in signage, front facade and sidewalk improvements.

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QDC ups amount for business grants


Quitman Development Corporation (QDC) board members discussed and acted on a grant application review for local businesses to help in signage, front facade and sidewalk improvements. 

Jolene Wallace came before the board representing the Quitman Chamber of Commerce seeking a 75% to 25% ratio instead of a 50%-50% split. Wallace had suggestions for the grants.

“Since we have so many small businesses hurting for cash instead of being a 50-50 split, I would like to ask you to think about 75% from the QDC and 25% from the business owners,” Wallace said. “I am now a board member of the chamber so I’m more connected with a lot of businesses and they are hurting for cash, but they want to do the face lifts to their buildings. It would give them the clean look we are looking for, but the small businesses do need a little help.”

City Administrator and Interim QDC Executive Director Rodney Kieke studied grant applications from other city EDCs.

“To this point we just have money set aside in the budget and it’s a lump sum. Most of the grants I found were 50-50 grants. That is not something set in stone; it is something for you guys to decide,” Kieke said.

Board member and city alderman Brad Medlin made a motion to adopt guidelines of the QDC facade grant program with adjustments to sidewalk improvements with a match of 75% to 25%. The recommendation passed unanimously.

During citizen’s comments, Christy Floyd and DeeAnna Henry sought the QDC’s help in acquiring a Christmas tree for the downtown courthouse square. Speakeasy Coffeehouse owner and chamber of commerce board director Kelly Kieke is seeking GoFundMe funds to purchase a 25-foot Christmas tree and decorations for downtown. The cost of the tree is $7,500. Floyd and Henry want the community to get involved in the process so Quitman can have their own “Hallmark” Christmas and hopefully begin a tradition for years to come.

“I saw Kelly’s thing about the tree and got excited,” Henry said. “The Christmas spirit with Christmas lights and all makes everybody happy. We know it’s kind of a last minute thing and we know things need to get done. Other groups need to be spoken to also. Maybe you could even match what they raise or just anything to help. You know with our square and the businesses downtown, we could become one of those little awesome ‘Hallmark’ towns at some point. We can start off with the basic Christmas tree and some basic things we can work through with the chamber and other organizations.”

Floyd added, “So many small towns outdo the bigger cities at Christmas and we could be one of those small towns. It’s something we would really love to bring to Quitman.”

The board discussed the opportunity, possibly matching some of the Christmas tree funding. The board decided to wait and see how much money was needed to complete the purchase of the tree. They will call a special meeting if necessary to add to the fund to purchase the tree.

“We need to tell other businesses that QDC is ready and they need to get on the train too,” David Dobbs said.

In the president’s comments Martha Scroggins said, “We now have a full board of directors. Again, I would just like to thank this board for all the hard work that continues every month. We are all volunteers and don’t get paid to do this, but we certainly want this community to grow. Thank you all for everything you do.”

New board member Alice Bower was unanimously elected as the secretary.

Activity continues to grow at the business park where Texas Timberworks has been working on their building and have completed most of the work in the front of the building. Stitchin’ Heaven’s retreat center has been moving along at a brisk pace, and the business will soon begin work toward their manufacturing plant.

In citizen’s comments, Mike and David Gonyea spoke briefly about their new business in the north side of the square next to Coventry’s. Minuteman Ordnance Company is waiting on the mail to return necessary documents so they can start stocking and selling guns. They already have ammunition and other items such as knives and apparel. The brothers also plan on having classes in gun safety and self-protection.