El Centro, Calif. – Imperial Valley business owners are enjoying the benefits of a financial grant that paves the way for new jobs, retains employees and even gives a chance for expansion.
Business owner Ray Armenta of Fiesta Mexican Foods, Inc., says funding by the Imperial County Irrigation District made it possible to buy new, vital equipment in order to get the job done.
“We received an IID grant through the fallowing program. It’s been a great benefit for us. It’s enabled us to purchase equipment we probably would not have purchased in the past,” Armenta said.
This has made it possible for him to retain employees and create new jobs.
“By being able to get the grant, it’s enabled us to buy that equipment and to continue to manufacture, to continue to be efficient in what we’re doing,” he added.
Gabriel Rebollar of Brownie’s Diner was also awarded grant funding and is now constructing a patio area to entice more customers.
“It’s going to help me out with my sales, and for the city of Brawley – it’s a sales tax increase. It’s going to be nice for people to sit outside and eat during the nice cool weather,” he said.
According to Angelita Alvarado, Interim Department Analyst with IID, and now head of Local Entity, 90 businesses, along with non-profit organizations have taken part in this grant funding program.
The Local Entity is the program that oversees and monitors the awarding of grant funding.
The money used to help local businesses and non-profits comes from a program that pays landowners to not water their fields in order to transfer that water to other markets. In order to offset some of the impact this has on local business, almost 50 million dollars was made available to boost the local economy.
“Nearly 200 jobs have been created through the 2010 and 2012 competitive program. And we have impacted through non-profit organizations nearly 3000 residents,” Alvarado said.
Armenta appreciates the grant’s impact on his business and he hopes that the source for funding continues.
“I communicated our satisfaction with the program and the possibility of having the grant continue to stay around for future companies to apply,” Armenta concluded.