By Isaac Groves Times-News
Oct 16, 2017 at 6:27 PM
Impact Alamance made a $100,000 grant to the Cooperative in Graham, which it is intended to distribute through smaller grants for downtown and community revitalization projects around the county.
Formed by Cone Health, Impact Alamance writes $2 million in grants every year to projects advancing what it calls healthy change. President Tracey Grayzer said this grant was a one-year pilot project and an example of the organization’s big-picture view of public health.
“We’ve always said that we look at health in the broadest possible terms,” Grayzer said. “The stronger the economy you have, the healthier the community is.”
The grant went to the Cooperative in late August, according to an Impact Alamance news release, and the Cooperative started taking applications for its Community Innovation Fund in September. The fund writes $5,000 to $20,000 grants, according to the Cooperative’s website, thecooperative.co.
According to the release, the Innovation fund treats community development like business startups, combining “idea incubation” and seed money.
The fund is dedicated to downtown and community revitalization. The Cooperative’s founder, Jason Cox, has invested heavily in downtown Graham in the past few years, buying the old Opera House that houses the Cooperative and several other buildings on North Main Street, and opening the popular crepe and coffee shop the Press and a bar called Fitzgerald & Faulkner.
The Cooperative, according to its website, is an entrepreneurial organization aimed at getting people and groups to work together to spur innovation. It also has a co-working space.
According to its website, the Cooperative will be a partner in all the grant-funded projects. Those projects will have to bring “concrete and tangible” benefits to people in Alamance County, and the fund will not support projects that benefit just one organization. They should be designed to expand or be repeated if successful.
While it’s similar to the start-up process, start-up companies and for-profit businesses are not eligible for grants, and neither are individuals or religious or political organizations.
The grant application is intended to be a simple, up-to-three-page explanation of the project, with financial requirements, submitted on the Cooperative’s website at www.thecooperative.co/innovation/.
Grayzer said she and several others from Impact Alamance would be on the committee reviewing applications.
Reporter Isaac Groves can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-506-3045. Follow him on Twitter at @tnigroves.