Back in 2019 when we were still known only known as GALA, we applied for and were successfully awarded $275,000 in business tax credits from the NH Community Development Finance Authority (NH CDFA). GALA’s makerspace project was selected after a competitive and rigorous review process because of its alignment with state economic development goals, and because it met the criteria of including a high degree of community support, building partnerships, and leveraging other resources.
Unlike a traditional grant where the grantee simply receives a check, turning these tax credits into cash for the makerspace project required substantial legwork and trust that businesses would participate. All that legwork and trust paid off and today Makers Mill is celebrating that the entire allocation of tax credits has been purchased or pledged by area businesses, effectively allowing our building renovation project to proceed.
The participating businesses understand that a driving goal of GALA’s Makers Mill is to help close the workforce skills-gap, allowing for business growth, job creation and regional economic development. Businesses also see the CDFA tax credit program as a great way to stretch the impact of their giving and invest locally.
Green Mountain Communications stands out as the largest investor, contributing $142,400 in tax credits over the last two years toward the project. “Green Mountain Communications is very excited to participate in the GALA Makers Mill project. Developing new skills will benefit local business and will create career growth opportunities,” shares Catherine Drouin, Vice President of Green Mountain Communications. Additional participating businesses include Meredith Village Savings Bank, Keller Williams Coastal Realty, Stanley Elevator Company, Milestone Engineering & Construction, Wolfeboro Family Dental, Bradley’s Hardware, Spider Web Gardens, Branch & Bloom Floral Boutique, The Hearing Aid Shop, Carroll County Landscape, Mill Street Meat Market, Made On Earth, PSI Molded Plastics, and Healing Frontiers.
Makers Mill Executive Director, Josh Arnold noted, “This is just the latest milestone, albeit a big one, in the evolution of Makers Mill. Selling these tax credits was critical to us staying on track with our project timeline of breaking ground this spring and opening our doors by the end of the year. The biggest challenge was communicating to businesses how the program worked, but once they understood the huge benefits of essentially stretching the impact of their gift by 75-90% and getting to choose where their tax dollars were invested, they saw it as a win-win.”
Makers Mill Community Makerspace and Vocation Hub will be a place where people come together to share tools and resources to create and advance personal, professional and community goals. It will have spaces for woodwork, fabric arts, metalwork, jewelry, crafts, fabrication and rapid prototyping, and lots more. The makerspace will also support career goals, business incubation, workforce training, and learning and engagement opportunities for all ages. People will be able to work independently or collaboratively.
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