WAAY 31 learned more about the grant five Marshall County businesses received from the United States Department of Agriculture.
The grant money helps the businesses purchase solar panels to help cut down on their energy consumption.
WAAY 31 talked to two business owners who told us how the grant has helped their businesses.
"My last two months I've saved over $800 each month off of my power bill," business owner Jim Gann told us. The owner of Douglas Discount Pharmacy has saved over $1,600 since the solar planes were installed at his store. Gann received a $20,000 grant from the USDA through a solar company. "Ace solar took care of all of that paperwork for us so I didn't have to do anything except pretty much just tell them 'yeah, I applied for it'."
In order to apply for the grant, each company had to be a small business open for a couple of years, file taxes, and have a major source of their income come from where the solar panels would be placed. The owner of Paragon Picture Gallery told me they applied with their customers in mind. "Our customers very much like companies that are taking initiatives to do renewable and sustainable projects."
The businesses had to put in 75% of the cost of the solar panels and the grant covered the rest. The businesses also received tax credits from the grant. "That allows us to recoup some tax savings as well. But it will probably pay off in about five to seven years." Glassco told us as their energy bills decrease they will be able to lower the costs of their products. He said he hopes the business will be able to use the savings to offer incentives to employees and possibly expand in the future.
The other Marshall county businesses to receive the grant are: Propac Images and CS Hill Grocery.