GAIA passionate about Garrison and its residents

Submitted Photos Garrison Area Improvement Association has facilitated the startup of many businesses in town, which recently includes a shop that specializes in locally made goods and a dog grooming business.

The Garrison Area Improvement Association is fervently passionate about the city of Garrison and its residents. We realize that small business is the heart of a healthy small town, and wish to see our residents succeed in their local business ventures as it only strengthens the community. We are striving to keep Garrison as the thriving, bustling, wonderful small town that it is, and to only further its growth with our business start-up and expansion assistance services. The GAIA holds Garrison dear, and we want to keep it as a jewel of the prairie! We’re hooked on Garrison!

The Garrison Area Improvement Association was created by the for-profit corporation known as the Garrison Industrial Development Corporation in January of 1992. The Garrison Industrial Development Corporation saw the potential value of Garrison creating a non-profit organization to focus on economic & community development, and thus the GAIA was formed.

As our mission states: “The mission of the Garrison Area Improvement Association is to create an environment that will aid the retention and expansion of existing businesses within the community and encourage the development and success of all area business. GAIA is a non-profit economic development corporation dedicated to the progressive growth of Garrison and the surrounding area while maintaining an excellent quality of life.”

In summary, one of our primary functions is to provide business assistance to startups, expansions, and re-locations to the Garrison Area. GAIA directly provides:

– Low Interest Loans

– Marketing Grants

– Business Improvement Grants

– Community Betterment Grants

– Student Loan Repayment Grants

– Employee Recruitment and Retention Assistance

Currently the GAIA continues to maintain the business revolving loan fund with a total of five loans. Additionally, GAIA, along with Sales & Use funding, continues to support seven projects under the Flex PACE loan program.

This year is the second year that GAIA is offering two competitive grant programs for the purpose of providing incentive and cost assistance for local businesses improvement and expansion, as well as for community group or non-profit construction or improvement to facilities that will improve the quality of services, recreation facilities, or other public use facilities in the Garrison area.

In addition to these two programs, we also continue to offer assistance with tuition, housing, and student loans for essential service workers in the Garrison area.

In 2018 alone GAIA has provided in excess of $40,000 in grant funding for business and community improvement in Garrison and the surrounding area. Recently, GAIA has aided with the improvement of Wilderness Park in the City of Garrison, created a small business incubator location in town, and provided funding for Fort Stevenson State Park to add winter recreation equipment. Additionally GAIA has facilitated the startup of many businesses in town which recently includes a shop that specializes in locally made goods, and a dog grooming business.

GAIA functions for the benefit of our community. Community is the heart of Garrison and the heart of the GAIA. The GAIA would not exist if our Board of Directors didn’t care deeply for the people of Garrison, and the people are what make up this amazing community. And by encouraging a progressive business-supporting environment, we only benefit the people of the community of Garrison. Healthy local business equates to a healthy community.