Enterprise Minnesota’s Growth Acceleration Program (GAP) received a shot in the arm when Governor Tim Pawlenty signed into law the legislature’s appropriation of $1 million for the program.
GAP is a matching grant that enables small manufacturers to access business improvement services. First funded in 2007, GAP has helped more than 80 Minnesota manufacturers realize a $15 return for every $1 spent by GAP. Some companies realized as much as a $40 to $1 return on GAP.
The newly funded GAP program includes a three-to-one match for companies with fewer than 50 employees, a one-to-one match for those with 50 to 100 employees and a one-to-three match for companies with more than 100 but fewer than 250 employees.
The bill was authored by State Senator David Tomassoni (Chisholm) and State Representative Tim Mahoney (St. Paul) and allocates one-time funding for GAP to be administered by Enterprise Minnesota.
The program works as follows:
1. GAP helps qualified companies including manufacturing and related industries that employ 250 full-time employees or fewer. Qualified companies include:
- A company with fewer than 50 employees must match $1 for every three dollars of GAP investment.
- A company with 50 to 100 employees must match $1 for every $1 of GAP investment.
- A company with 101 to 250 employees must match three dollars for every one dollar of GAP investment.
2. Award funds are not to exceed 75% of the total cost of a planned project, and may not exceed $25,000 during any one year period. Any individual company may not receive more than $50,000 from the GAP funds a one year period.
3. Companies can use these funds to implement their business improvement needs, leading to job retention, job creation and job growth potential.
4. Enterprise Minnesota and/or its authorized agents will execute all service work on behalf of GAP funded companies.
Enterprise Minnesota, the state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) affiliate, works with small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies to help them compete and thrive. Its services help clients improve their efficiencies, contain their costs and achieve real growth in sales revenue and earnings.