Bridgewater IDA Approves Competition Rules, Criteria | Rockingham County

In eight days, town residents and business owners will be able to submit applications for Bridgewater’s Best Idea competition, which will provide $250,000 to an existing business seeking to expand or a new business to open in town.

On Wednesday, the Bridgewater Industrial Development Authority held a meeting to discuss the competition, as well as approve the competition’s rules and criteria.

Bridgewater IDA member Wesley Griffin was absent.

Assistant Town Manager Alex Wilmer said the town’s IDA passed a resolution adopting rules for the competition, which will go live on Aug. 1 and run through Sept. 30.

Bridgewater’s Best Idea competition will have three criteria: readiness, feasibility and the potential benefit to town residents.

The potential benefit to residents will make up 40{9141277137bc5453450963fdb680487676d6442ace802d3de9e3808585508df8} of the specified criteria. Applicants will need to explain how the product or service of expansion will benefit residents through the provision of services, improvement of property or generation of economic benefits, according to the rules.

There will be four eligibility requirements when applying for the competition.

Applicants are required to be available for an in-person public presentation to a panel of judges if selected as a finalist. Presentations will be limited to 30 minutes, according to the rules.

The judging committee will consist of three council members and two Industrial Development Authority members. Town staff will review submitted proposals and select the top three finalists.

Applicants seeking to start a business are required to have a physical location within town limits, or demonstrate a commitment to establishing a location within town limits.

According to the rules, town employees, elected officials or appointed officials of Bridgewater, as well as their immediate family members, are not eligible to participate in the competition.

If selected, finalists will be notified during the week of Oct. 18 in order to prepare for the public presentations, which will be held during the week of Nov. 15. According to the rules, a decision could be made by the committee following the conclusion of the presentations.

Rules and general information for the competition will be posted on Aug.1 on the town’s blog.

Bridgewater’s Best Idea is being funded by the $6.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds the town is expected to receive.

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