Enlisting the community for support is perhaps most critical in obtaining state funding, according to Ellen Heinz, director, Norwalk Economic Development Corp., Norwalk, OH. Ms. Heinz, along with the former mayor of Norwalk and Huron County officials, provided letters of support for New Horizons’ and Genesis Baking’s expansion projects.

Ms. Heinz also joined the company’s executives in Columbus, the state’s capital, when they spoke in front of the state commission that awarded the $1 million grant for the new proofer and oven equipment with a heat recovery system. “The business applies for the grant dollars, but you also need your local administration and local economic developer to make calls and write letters saying, ‘This project is important to us,’ ” she said.