Do the businesses and nonprofit agencies on Kaua‘i receive their fair share of loans and grants offered each year? “I don’t think that we even come close,” said Glenn Hontz, a business instructor at Kaua‘i Community College and the chairperson of the Kauai Food Industry Forum, a community-based planning and action organization.
“There are many reasons that our island falls short of getting its fair share of the available funding,” he says.
“We have an inadequate supply of trained grant-writers and a poor system for informing candidates about the loans and grants that are available.” The cumulative result, Hontz believes, is that many businesses fail to seek the financing they need to become more profitable, and many social-service agencies are not obtaining the additional funding they need to expand their services to clients.
This problem has been discussed at recent public meetings of the Kauai Food Industry Forum, and plans are being shaped to establish an assistance program on Kaua‘i that will offer training and technical support to a wide range of businesses, individuals and community agencies.
As an immediate first step, Hontz, along with members of a planning and development group, are recruiting a core of individuals and organizations to launch a program at the college this summer that will provide training in the skills required to apply for grants and loans, methods for designing comprehensive and sustainable fund-raising programs, and the basics of managing funding programs.
Representatives from government and private funding sources will participate as instructors.
A review of current, upcoming and on-going funding sources will be provided to participants as the basis for designing improved methods of informing prospective candidates about the availability of funding sources suitable to their needs.
“Our intention,” says Hontz “is to start the process of increasing financial support to Kaua‘i’s businesses and community agencies. We believe that increased profitability and human services will improve the island’s economy and quality of life.
“These are fundamental needs which when served effectively will bring benefits to us all.” The program is “Creative Financing for Your Organization: Grants, Loans and Fund-Raising.” It will begin on May 23, and run until June 22, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Enrollment is limited to 15 candidates.
Inquiries and applications are now being accepted. For more information, contact Hontz, 246-4859.