Equity Fund

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The purpose of the Equity Fund is to provide a program of financial assistance that includes grants, loans and any other forms of assistance authorized by (O.C.G.A.50-34-1 et seq.) to finance activities that will assist applicants in promoting the health, welfare, safety, and economic security of the citizens of the state through the development and retention of employment opportunities in areas of greater need as defined by the Georgia Business Expansion and Support Act of 1994, as amended (O.C.G.A.48-7-40).

Eligible Applicants

Eligible recipients of grant and loan funds include general-purpose local governments (municipalities and counties), local government authorities and joint or multi-county development authorities in rural counties suffering from high poverty rates. Sub-recipients may be a for-profit entity or non-profit. Financial underwriting of a sub-recipient company is required. All applicants are urged to consider using Equity Fund monies only when other funding is not available or not sufficient to address project needs. OneGeorgia Equity should be viewed as funding of last resort when no other public or private funding is available.  Click for the official eligibility map.

Grant and Loan Amounts

Award limits are based on the number of counties supporting a particular project:

  • One County – Maximum of $200,000 per project
  • Two Counties – Maximum of $300,000 per project
  • Three or more – Maximum of $500,000 per project

Eligible Use

Projects relating to water and sewer infrastructure, road, rail and airport improvements, industrial parks, workforce, technology, and tourism.

Grants

Funds for public activities require local investment and must demonstrate potential return on investment impact.

Loan Terms

Funds for business growth are made at 3% interest at 5-7 years for Machinery and Equipment and 20 years for Real Estate. Loan funds for speculative buildings are made at zero percent interest with a five year deferment; however, a marketing plan and local investment are required.

Documents

Announcements

  • The OneGeorgia Authority hereby notifies interested applicants of the availability of funds in the Equity Program in the form of grants, loans and any other forms of assistance authorized by (O.C.G.A. 50-34-1 et seq.). The Equity Fund is designed as a flexible community and economic development tool which provides funding for projects relating to public water and sewer infrastructure; road, rail and airport improvements; capacity building for industrial/business sites; workforce and tourism.  

    In general, OneGeorgia Equity seeks to fund projects which increase capacity and enhance the competiveness of rural Georgia.  However, the Equity Fund should not be used for projects when other state or federal programs could be used or when local funds would be sufficient to accomplish community and economic development goals.  

    Award limits will be based on the number of counties supporting a particular project.

    • One County – Maximum of $200,000 per project; Two Counties – Maximum of $300,000 per project; Three or more – Maximum of $500,000 per project

    Award limits set at $1,000,000 per project where the project: (a) evidences support by a multi-county development authority where at least one of the participating counties is a directly eligible county; and (b) a revenue/cost sharing agreement or other intergovernmental agreement between two or more counties is executed; and (c) where the project will result in regional impact and economic benefits for at least one directly eligible county. For a better understanding of what constitutes a multi-county project, please refer to Regional Bonus described under 413-1.09(6).

    Due to the specialized nature of the program and the limited resources available, we encourage potential applicants to contact their local Community Services Regional Representative to discuss any projects.

    The application procedure for the Equity Program includes an optional Initial Project Assessment / Pre-application phase and an Application phase. The purpose of the Initial Project Assessment is to provide: A) a determination of a proposed activity or activities eligibility for Equity Fund financing; B) a determination on whether the proposed activity or activities and broader project can meet the basic Equity Program thresholds and be competitive under the rating and review system as outlined in Section 413-1.09; and C) an opportunity to obtain Pre-Agreement Cost Approval (PACA) from the Authority so that projects may obtain interim financing and proceed with certain identified project activities prior to receipt of an actual Grant or Loan Agreement.

    Eligible applicants may submit Initial Project Assessments and/or Applications for consideration at any time. The OneGeorgia Authority strongly encourages potential applicants to contact the Authority or DCA to arrange an Initial Project Assessment review prior to submitting an Application.  Pre-application is strongly encouraged and application forms are available at:

    http://www.onegeorgia.org/programs/equity/applications.

    Applications under the OneGeorgia Authority Equity Fund NOFA will be accepted beginning immediately. Applications must arrive at DCA by 4:00 PM on the 2nd Friday of January, April, July and October of each year. No applications will be accepted after the specified date and time. Postmarked applications will not be accepted under this NOFA. Applications under this NOFA must be addressed to:

    Georgia Department of Community Affairs
    OneGeorgia Equity Fund Program
    c/o Office of Economic Development
    60 Executive Park South, N.E.
    Atlanta, Georgia 30329-2231

    Frequently asked questions may be viewed at http://www.onegeorgia.org/programs/equity/faq or by emailing Anna.Hensley@dca.ga.gov.

    This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is issued by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), as the administrator of the programs of the OneGeorgia Authority.  Regulations for the Equity fund regulations may be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Equity funds be used for grant preparation and management?

No. If consultants or grant writers were employed to write and/or manage Equity grants, we would expect the applicant to provide the funds outside the actual grant award as part of its contribution/match to the project. There may be rare instances, however, when overwhelming justification and documentation submitted by the applicant might be sufficient to justify granting an exception. Please note that engineering, architectural and inspection costs are considered to be part of construction costs, and as such, are clearly eligible.

Can Equity funds be used to capitalize revolving loan funds?

No, the capitalization of local or regional revolving loan funds is not eligible. The Authority itself will have a revolving loan fund, and repaid loan money will be used to fund additional community and economic development projects.

Can Equity money be used to fund salaries?

Equity Funds are not intended to fund what should be routine, on-going community and economic development efforts at the local or regional level, such as the staffing of various development authority offices. One time technical assistance efforts, on the other hand, are eligible and may be competitive if well justified, and if the application demonstrates the local commitment to use the results of the technical assistance and fully implement its recommendations.

Can multi-year commitments be made under the Equity fund?

It is highly likely that most projects will take longer than one year to implement, and if funded, the award from the OneGeorgia Authority may be carried forward for longer than a one-year period. On the other hand, certain projects may be too large and/or complex as to need to be implemented in phases. In such cases, the OneGeorgia Authority's commitment will be only for one phase at a time. That will not prevent the applicant from submitting subsequent applications for the latter phases but a commitment of funding for one phase will not bind the Authority to automatically funding subsequent phases.

If an applicant is not successful in an Equity application, can they compete again?

Absolutely. We hope that applicants will definitely apply again if they are not successful the first time. Counseling will be provided to help determine how the project can be made more competitive.

What are examples of eligible uses of Equity Funds?

Projects relating to water and sewer infrastructure, road, rail and airport improvements, industrial parks, workforce, technology, and tourism.