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Supervisors to Decide on $2-Million Grant

Supervisors on Tuesday will consider applying for a $2-million federal economic-development grant aimed at attracting more business to Ventura County.

The decision will culminate a yearlong effort by Supervisor Frank Schillo to establish a public-private partnership to administer the federal Department of Commerce grant money.

But receiving the grant requires $667,000 in matching funds, making a total economic-development budget of $2.67 million. The matching funds can be made up of cash and in-kind contributions.

“We’ll have conceptual commitments that it will be funded within the next 60 days,” Schillo said. “People don’t have to have the money right now, we just have to have a commitment.”

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The idea is to launch programs aimed at attracting new business to the county or helping local companies expand.

Another aspect would focus on helping defense industry-related companies convert to manufacturing products for the private sector.

A 23-member panel appointed by county supervisors would administer the grant money.

Except for Fillmore, each city and several business groups have expressed an interest, although several cities, including Oxnard and Simi Valley, have questioned their share of the matching funds.

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