GEM AIR AWARDED GRANT 9-28-15 LMS
The third time proved to be the charm for Gem Air and a Small Community Air Service Development Grant.
Jo Schroeder and David Schroeder told the Lemhi County Commissioners September 28 that Gem Air has been awarded a federal grant of $150,000 over a three year period. The Small Community Air Service Development Grant is awarded on a national basis and is therefore very competitive. This year’s application submitted by Lemhi County as the sponsoring agency was the third attempt to secure the funding.
Documenting local support for an air carrier is a big factor in whether or not the grants are awarded. With every application the county has pledged $10,000 a year for three years to Gem Air if the grant were to be awarded. The Gem Air LLC has also committed to a $10,000 per year funding level. The Gem Air goal is to restore regularly scheduled year-around flight service to this area.
Jo Schroeder said the purpose of the grant is to limit the company’s economic losses while sustainability is being established and a revenue guarantee constitutes the majority of the funding. She explained that in instances where the commuter flight service between Salmon and Boise only has one-way passengers the money can be used to offset the expenses of an empty return flight. Another aspect of the funding will be devoted to advertising and marketing to expand awareness of the fact the commuter service exists.
The office encourages their clients to prolong their stay in Salmon and works closely with outfitters who bring many visitors to the area.
In answer to a question from Commissioner Ken Miner, David Schroeder said Gem Air will be glad to work with the county for employee discounts as a thank you for all the support. He also explained that the revenue guarantee portion of the grant is flexible and can pretty much be used as the company sees fit. The goal is to stretch the funds for as long as possible.
Gem Air will be submitting a detailed plan to the county that outlines how the company intends to use the funding.
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