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Building Up Iraq From a Local Level

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1 Building Up Iraq From a Local Level on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:28 am

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Building Up Iraq From a Local Level

135th
Mobile Public Affairs Detachment


Courtesy Story
Date:
01.17.2010
Posted: 01.17.2010
06:48

DIYALA, IRAQ – Entrepreneurship is on the rise, especially for new business
owners receiving the first installment of their micro-grant payment.

2nd Lt. Tyrell W. Denton, a fire support officer with 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, spoke with and handed out 23 micro grants to business oriented citizens at the Dali Abbos town hall.

The micro grants provide financial support for local businesses to purchase resources so that they can upgrade their business. These can be used to
buy shelves, refrigerators, display cases, or other materials they may need. If these store owners can upgrade their shops, they can also strengthen their
business.

Denton issued out the equivalent of $49,000 in Dinar, with individual grants ranging from $750 to $5,000 in Dinar, depending on their needs. The types of businesses also varied, from grocery stores to cattle farms.

The money Denton issued out today was not the full awarded grants. Only 50 percent was given to them to start their improvements. In approximately two weeks, Soldiers from 1/23 Inf. will conduct assessments on these businesses to ensure that they are purchasing the items they claimed they needed to enhance their place of business.

This money is not just handed out; there is a lengthy application process. It took two months to review the 35 applications from Dali Abbos and only 23 of these were accepted. The applications asked how much money was needed and what these funds would be used to purchase. If these entrepreneurs do not follow through with what they promised to do, they will be held accountable by not receiving the second half of the grant. After the applications were turned in, they underwent background checks.

They were screened through the Biometric Automated Toolset System, before being approved by the brigade, said Denton.

"We've already inspected and photographed
their shops," said Denton. "I'll know if they've made improvements just by walking into their stores again."

Helping with the process is the local government and councilmen, who were present when the grants were issued out. They will also be visiting the shops to see how business is growing.

"The goal is to provide economic stimulus to the community," said Cpt. Klint Kuhlman, the Comanche company commander, 1/23 Inf.

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