Eligibility, Criteria & Application Process

Eligible Projects

  • A project is considered eligible if it contributes to the growth and/or retention of the non-residential tax base for the Town of Wake Forest.

Geographic Location of Eligible Projects

  • Eligible projects must be located within the Town of Wake Forest corporate limits, or the applicant must apply for and be annexed into the corporate limits of the Town of Wake Forest. 

Criteria To Be Considered

  • The following criteria shall be considered in deciding whether or not to make a loan to the Futures Fund. If other factors are considered, they should be specifically identified by the committee in their review response. Retail and/or restaurants shall not be eligible for funding. The committee has discretion to waive informalities and consider any application.
    1. Type of business relative to the current tax base of the town (compatibility);
    2. Number and type (white collar/blue collar) and salary range of new jobs to be brought to Wake Forest by the applicant.
    3. Reputation and growth potential of the company.
    4. The amount of “new investment” brought by the applicant.  “New investment” shall be defined as improvements to real estate, machinery, equipment, and other business property.
    5. The commitment of the applicant to our community and project as demonstrated by an existing presence, other involvement in our area, a financial commitment to jobs and/or investment in the project.
    6. The location of the proposed project.
    7. Whether the project is owner occupied, build to suit, or speculative.
    8. The desired amount of the grant and how the grant funds will be used.
    9. Other possible locations under consideration for the project.

Use of the Fund and Amount of Grant

  • The fund shall be divided into the following categories:
    1. High Impact Economic Development – 80% of the fund  should  be used for the purpose of high impact economic development.  These awards are typically between 1% and 3% of the total project as it relates to an increase in the tax base. Awards from this category are replenished to the fund through the increase in the tax revenue from the project. The funding amount shall be based on the above criteria.
    2. Small Business Economic Development – 10% of the total fund in effect and in place should be used for the purpose of stimulating small business growth within the Town.  These awards will generally be between $1,000 and $10,000 based on the above criteria.  Small grants may be given over a period of time. 
    3. Reserve – 10% of the total fund in effect and in place should be maintained in the fund at all times.  At no time should the reserve fall below $200,000.  The reserve may be used for Economic Development by special action of the Town Board of Commissioners for projects of exceptional potential.
    4. The committee should in no way feel obligated to spend all of the funds.  The funds should be used in a prudent manner in accordance with the definition of economic development.

Default Provisions

  • In the event that the applicant fails to perform as set forth in its grant application, the Town may adjust the amount of the grant/loan,  withdraw the grant/loan entirely, and/or request a refund of any funds advanced to date.

Application Contents 

  • At a minimum, the Application for Funding shall include the following items: 
    • A comprehensive, externally-focused Business Plan, targeting goals that would be important to external stakeholders (investors and customers).
    • It is recommended that the Business Plan include information that specifically addresses the Review Criteria mentioned above.
    • Additional exhibits (photos, diagrams, maps, etc.) that might assist the Committee in understanding the Project are encouraged

Typical structure for a business plan:

  • Cover page and table of contents
  • Executive summary
  • Business or Project description * (see Paragraph B below)
  • Business environment analysis
  • SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  • Industry background
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operations plan
  • Management summary
  • Financial Plan
  • Source and Use chart of funding needs
  • Attachments
  • Milestones

Application Process 

  • The applicant shall submit 1 electronic version of the application in a PDF format. 
  • The application shall be submitted to the Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce to the attention of the Economic Development Committee. 
  • There is a nonrefundable $50 application processing fee payable to the Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee.
  • The Chamber of Commerce will distribute the application to the Futures Fund Committee.  The committee will review the application as soon as possible but no later than 60 days after receipt and inform the applicant whether the application has been  passed onto the Town Board of Commissioners with a recommendation for denial, approval, or returned with a request for more information. 
  • If the application is denied, the applicant may appeal directly to the Town Board of Commissioners.  The Board will decide whether to hear the appeal or deny it. 
  • Applications are considered confidential unless an award is made. 
  • A Grant or Loan Agreement (Contract) shall be executed between the Town of Wake Forest and the Applicant (aka the Recipient).  Contract terms shall include but are not limited to: amount of support, support payment schedule, project performance milestones, collateral, Recipient’s repayment schedule, and other details.

Grant / Loan Contract Compliance and Administration

  • It is foreseeable that there may be administrative costs associated with the operation and compliance of the Futures Fund, as well as data collection and statistical analysis.   Depending on the nature and size of the support, administrative costs may be assessed to the recipient or may come out of the fund. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • The recipient shall provide reports to the Economic Development Officer regarding its compliance with the contract on a quarterly basis.  The report should include items such as new investment, jobs created and other goals & milestones represented in the recipient’s original application and in the Contract. (Milestones to be spelled out in the final contract w/the town) 
  • Grants may be paid either all at once, over time, or upon completion or partial completion of the project.

Review Committee Structure

  • A committee shall be established to review and evaluate requests for funds.  It is suggested that this committee consist of the following types of individuals:
    1. Chamber of Commerce President
    2. Chair of the Chamber Economic Development Committee
    3. Developer or construction professional
    4. Banker (commercial lender)
    5. Attorney (commercial real estate)
    6. Citizen at large
    7. Town staff department head (ex officio)
  • The committee should make recommendations to the Commissioners  comprised of (3) members appointed by the Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee and (3) members appointed by the Town Board of Commissioners.  The committee should submit names of proposed replacements  members to the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners for its consideration.
  •  Committee members agree to and sign a confidentiality statement and a conflict of interest statement.

Futures Fund Perpetuity

  • The fund should be a revolving fund that has growth in principal.   The Futures Fund should provide economic development assistance now and in the future.
    • It is recommended that the Town adopt an ordinance allotting at least 1% of the Town’s tax revenue to the Futures Fund on an annual basis.