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SCKEDD can write grants for free

Staff writer

County business owners need not pay to have their grants written in certain cases, county economic development director Theresa Huffman said.

Huffman introduced Marion county commissioners to Abdul Arif, executive director of the South Central Kansas Economic Development District.

“I’ve tried since I’ve been here to make sure that the communities out there were aware that when they want a CDBG grant, they can go through SCKEDD, not hire Rosemary Saunders, who’s a wonderful person, known her for many years, but why pay her $2,000, $2,500, when SCKEDD does it for no extra cost?” Huffman said.

SCKEDD, an organization designed to help further economic development in the region, could be better utilized by local communities, Arif said.

“You’re already paying us through a small portion of your budget,” Arif said. “The purpose of my visit is to really get you your money’s worth for your residents. But before I get to that point, I really need to know what I can do to help.

“I hope to spur a lot of economic growth in our 14 counties.”

One way SCKEDD can help is by providing free Community Development Block Grant write-ups.

“And with us, you don’t lose out if you don’t get the grant,” Arif said. “With a paid writer, if you don’t get the grant, the money’s gone.”

Arif has been an attorney, which is what he was doing until he was hired by SCKEDD.

“We feel that that skill really helps because of all the contracts come in to SCKEDD,” Huffman said.

“I’m a huge believer in increasing the pie, rather than slicing the pie,” Arif said. “There’s only so much you can slice the pie, the real answer is increasing it.”

Last modified Sept. 24, 2014

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