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Utah Offers Small Businesses Grants to Hire More Employees

Utah Department of Workforce Services
Adding employees is one way to grow a small business, but hiring and training costs money. The state of Utah, Department of Workforce Services, has a grant program that can help with that. It's called the Small Business Bridge Grant Program, and it provides financial support to small businesses who hire new people.

The program started in 2012 and awards grants of $6,500 for hiring veterans and up to $4,500 for hiring non-veterans. Small companies with fewer than 100 employees may apply. Grant recipients must agree to pay the new employees at least 80 percent of the area's average wage. Temporary or seasonal hires are not included. New hires must be filling new jobs that will exist for one year or more.

The program is being funded by Utah's unemployment insurance fund, which currently has $3 million. Grants will only be awarded after companies have actually hired the new employees. So far, 184 companies have received Bridge grants. The grants will be available through February of 2014, or until the funds are gone.

The grants may be just what some small companies need to add more employees. By helping to pay for training and salaries, more small businesses are expected to take advantage of the program. As St. George Business Resource Center Jim Ellis stated, "This grant is the perfect vehicle to give them the little nudge that they need to hire those people."

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