Ramsey County Small Businesses Can Access Funds to Reduce Air Emissions

  • October 12, 2020
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  • Christina Vang

Back in March when our lives changed as a result of COVID-19, Environmental Initiative launched the Business Pollution Prevention Program (BPP) with Ramsey County and Ramsey/Washington Recycling and Energy (R&E). We’ve been working on this partnership for months and weren’t going to let a pandemic hold us back because we know many small business owners need support to reduce air emissions.

This program was developed to help make Ramsey County businesses healthier for their employees and neighbors by reducing the use of harmful chemicals, such as perchloroethylene (PERC) or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Businesses that may be eligible for BPP are dry cleaners, auto body shops, industrial painters, and printers. Businesses receive free technical assistance and financial support for up to $50,000 to help them transition to safer, more sustainable chemicals and high efficiency equipment.

As we continue business outreach, we are receiving interest, but with hesitation. Small businesses continue to face financial hardships from a decline in customers and the hard decision of reducing hours down to only a couple days per week. As we developed the Business Pollution Prevention Program, we knew we had to adapt because of the pandemic. After some consideration from Ramsey County, R&E implemented the Pandemic Relief Incentive, increasing BPP’s funding support from 50% to 75% of project costs up to $50,000. This increase in financial assistance has received positive feedback from partners and Ramsey County business owners. We encourage eligible Ramsey County business owners to start the process today. This great opportunity extends into 2021.

To learn more about the Business Pollution Prevention Program, or if you’re an interested business owner, you can email me at cvang@en-in.org or give me a call at 651-315-2826. Environmental Initiative is here to help from start to finish, to make sure you don’t have to go through this process alone, and to help you find additional funding sources for your project.