Prosperity Consulting SBA http://prosperityconsultingsba.com Just another WordPress site Fri, 26 Jul 2013 18:51:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 MidWeek Motivation – Path to Prosperity http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/midweek-motivatio-path-to-prosperity/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/midweek-motivatio-path-to-prosperity/#comments Sat, 20 Apr 2013 23:56:10 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=524 Path to Prosperity? Follow the Yellow Brick Road! Follow the Yellow Brick Road! Follow Follow, Follow…. Read Now

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Path to Prosperity?

Follow the Yellow Brick Road! Follow the Yellow Brick Road! Follow Follow, Follow….

Read Now

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REAP Countdown – 14 Days http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/reap-countdown-14-days/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/reap-countdown-14-days/#comments Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:42:46 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=520 Read How To Apply

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Read How To Apply

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3/20/13 Midweek Motivation http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/32013-midweek-motivation/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/32013-midweek-motivation/#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2013 17:53:06 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=479 How many times have you been faced with a touchy issue in your family, business or corporate life? Talking about succession planning for business, particularly small businesses and family-owned concerns, is one of the most important planning efforts any company can undertake. This prickly issue is often pushed under the rug until it becomes an [...]

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How many times have you been faced with a touchy issue in your family, business or corporate life? Talking about succession planning for business, particularly small businesses and family-owned concerns, is one of the most important planning efforts any company can undertake. This prickly issue is often pushed under the rug until it becomes an emergency. If you’re presenting something touchy to a client, how do you open the conversation?

A great strategy to employ is the use of story. A story engages and fosters a feeling of shared identity and mutual experience. A story creates a warmer opener when people are worried. In the video below, I used a story to help open up dialog with my audience - many who were not yet ready to talk about succession planning. When you share a similar experience, you are more connected, helping the conversation begin from a better place!

Read Now

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March Newsletter http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/march-newsletter/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/march-newsletter/#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2013 17:52:17 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=477 Process. What is the meaning of this word? We use the word to describe the act of creating or building something. We use the word sometimes in a derogatory way saying, “Well, it’s a process going through that or working with them…”. But what does the word “process” indicate? For me and the Prosperity team, [...]

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Process. What is the meaning of this word? We use the word to describe the act of creating or building something. We use the word sometimes in a derogatory way saying, “Well, it’s a process going through that or working with them…”. But what does the word “process” indicate? For me and the Prosperity team, process is a term we use for something that works. Early in my grant business, I realized that I had a set of steps that when regularly repeated made grant funding more efficient. That, turned out to be a process. The more I built the business, the more process oriented I became and the more efficient I became securing funding.

Process is very important when you are on a deadline. Most grant funding revolves around deadlines. So, that is why we developed the 30-day “start to finish” process for securing grants and building a grant preparation team. Take a look at the new graphic below to see an illustrative version.

Read Now

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BioMass Magazine: USDA Repowering Assistance Program: Underutilized Pot of Gold? (April 25, 2012) http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/biomass-magazine-usda-repowering-assistance-program-underutilized-pot-of-gold-april-25-2012/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/biomass-magazine-usda-repowering-assistance-program-underutilized-pot-of-gold-april-25-2012/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 03:39:57 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=207 USDA Repowering Assistance Program: Underutilized Pot of Gold? Even biorefinery-focused programs can offer funding for biomass projects By Sarah Beth Aubrey | April 25, 2012  http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/6300/usda-repowering-assistance-program-underutilized-pot-of-gold Grant writers for agriculture and renewable energy projects are often very popular at cocktail parties. Perhaps not the type of parties with ball gowns and tuxedos, but certainly at [...]

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USDA Repowering Assistance Program: Underutilized Pot of Gold?
Even biorefinery-focused programs can offer funding for biomass projects
By Sarah Beth Aubrey | April 25, 2012

Grant writers for agriculture and renewable energy projects are often very popular at cocktail parties. Perhaps not the type of parties with ball gowns and tuxedos, but certainly at the after-the-session-free-cocktails-and-snacks sort of events common to trade show functions across the country. Yes, being the person who assists with finding and securing “free” funds tends to make grant professionals oft-engaged in conversation, if not necessarily the life of the post-session mixer.
It should be realized, though, that grant writing for biomass projects has its rewards and disappointments. Consultants are certainly rainmakers for many clients when they help secure hundreds of thousands of much needed dollars. But grant professionals can be heartbreakers when they advise against applying for the big federal money because their client’s project doesn’t meet the guidelines well enough to get an award. No one enjoys that conversation, but it is an essential part of the funding search process.
It seems everyone is aware of the major grants for biomass projects and can name them easily. Anyone who worked through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program tight grant deadline for 2012 is fully aware of just how many developers and technology providers have been browsing www.grants.gov. That being said, are there really any hidden gems left out there? Or are all of the good grants—the supposed secret pots of money—all used up?
Not Secret, But Underutilized
There may not be any secrets, but there is one grant that could be considered at least underutilized: USDA’s Repowering Assistance Payments to Eligible Biorefineries, commonly called the Repowering Assistance Grant.
This program, accepting applications now through June 1, has up to $25 million available for eligible entities. Authorized as part of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2009, this year’s allotment includes carryover funds from 2011. Individual awards can be up to $10 million and a 50 percent match is required.
This funding is not exactly for biomass projects, unless you are working with an existing biorefinery. The payments will actually go to the biorefinery, similar to the way BCAP doesn’t pay the project developer directly. Sometimes having an order placed by a buyer with guaranteed funds is a grant in and of itself.
According to Chris Cassidy, national renewable energy coordinator for USDA Rural Development, biomass could be eligible in a variety of ways. “Combined-heat-and-power using biomass is an obvious example where a plant could convert to electricity or gas to run the plant,” Cassidy says. He also mentioned that anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, and gasification when using biomass are all technologies that could potentially fit. In reviewing the regulation, one will find that anything besides  “feedstocks for repowering that are feed grain commodities that received benefits under Title 1 of the Food  Conservation and Energy Act of 2009” are suitable feedstock sources. Cassidy says hybrid projects could qualify, too, meaning combinations of wind, solar, or geothermal resources with biomass feedstocks could work. “The aim is to move to second- and third-generation technologies to power these biorefineries,” Cassidy says.
He adds that the definition of biorefinery is often called into question. Apparently, the definition is intended to mean existing facilities that create liquid transportation fuels using biobased feedstocks such as ethanol and biodiesel plants. Another hang-up for some potential applicants is the word existing. USDA has parameters around this, too. To be eligible for the payments, the biorefinery where the improvements are being installed must have been in operation on or before June 18, 2008.
Eligible costs for the program are fairly broad and can include just about any capital costs associated with upgrading the existing facility so that it may be repowered with less dependence on fossil fuels. “Anyone considering an energy efficiency upgrade to a facility (could) be a good candidate for this program,” Cassidy advises, saying he looks forward to good quality, well-researched applications prepared with an eye toward understanding USDA’s specific needs for complete application packages.
Accurate Applications
Besides the regulations and a partnership with a facility that has been in business long enough, there are certain hurdles to overcome in the application process. First, good grant writers will advise allowing plenty of time to document and provide the correct detail. The Repowering Assistance Program also requires that an independent feasibility study (consistent with USDA’s published feasibility study guidelines) accompany the complete application package. Third-party feasibility documentation, especially the technical component, is critical to approval. Cassidy commonly sees compliance with feasibility study requirements, especially providing the level of detail and sophistication needed for a grant award, as an issue.
Emphasis on reducing fossil fuel use in liquid transportation fuels production appears to be the original intent of the program. The more fossil fuel the feasibility study indicates can be offset, the higher scoring the application. The guidelines even require a 40 percent reduction to get the minimum score in that category.
The Repowering Assistance Program may not be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but if your organization’s technology can be used by an existing biorefinery, here is a program short on quality applications with $25 million to spend for the right projects. “It’s rare when we have funds available in these programs and this one has not historically used up its money in any given year,” Cassidy says.
This may be a wide-open door for the right project and technology. When thinking of grants, always have a creative angle in mind and don’t overlook partnering with businesses outside your immediate energy focus. For application information, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_RepoweringAssistance.html.

Author: Sarah Beth Aubrey
Certified Grant Administrator, Prosperity Ag & Energy Resources
(317) 996-2777
sarah@prosperityagenergy.com.

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Sarah Beth Aubrey’s Books Now Digitally Available (July 9, 2012) http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/sarah-beth-aubreys-books-now-digitally-available-july-9-2012/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/sarah-beth-aubreys-books-now-digitally-available-july-9-2012/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 03:38:37 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=205 Author Sarah Beth Aubrey’s non-fiction books Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm Business and The Profitable Hobby Farm, How to Build a Sustainable Local Foods Business are now digitally available. Aubrey’s how-to books on small farm entrepreneurship blend strategy, marketing, and money management to build and maintain a successful small farm and local foods [...]

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Author Sarah Beth Aubrey’s non-fiction books Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm Business and The Profitable Hobby Farm, How to Build a Sustainable Local Foods Business are now digitally available. Aubrey’s how-to books on small farm entrepreneurship blend strategy, marketing, and money management to build and maintain a successful small farm and local foods business. Aubrey is currently working on her third book, a guide to grant writing, and will be published as an eBook this year.
Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm Business (Storey Publishing, LLC 2007) is Aubrey’s first publication and helps niche farmers position themselves for the opportunities afforded by today’s market. The eBook version is now available for sale at twenty (20) of the publisher’s sales and search partners and can be found at the following eBook stores:
3M, Amazon Kindle, Apple (iTunes Bookstore), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Baker & Taylor (BLIO), Bookish, Ebooks Corporation, EBSCO, Google Play, Shortcovers (KOBO), Overdrive, Sony, Scribd, Zinio

Aubrey’s second book, The Profitable Hobby Farm, How to Build a Sustainable Local Foods Business (Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2010), is a down-to-earth guide with information on how to start a local foods business. The book is currently in ePDF version by the publisher and will be digitally available in ePub and eMobi formats through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Apple iBookstore on August 28, 2012.

A full time entrepreneur since 2004, Aubrey created and sold a direct marketing business, Aubrey’s Natural Meats, LLC, and is the owner of Prosperity Ag and Energy Resources. Aubrey’s current company is a full service, funding opportunities firm that aids entrepreneurs, communities, and institutions of higher education in securing grants and loans in the areas of agriculture, energy, environment, and food. She also provides professional speaking services focusing on entrepreneurship and small business development strategies, including grant training workshops and seminars. She is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT: Northeast SARE Research and Education Grant http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/funding-opportunity-announcement-northeast-sare-research-and-education-grant/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/funding-opportunity-announcement-northeast-sare-research-and-education-grant/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 03:37:53 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=202 FUNDING OPPORTUNITY SYNOPSIS Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is seeking pre-proposals for research, education, and on-farm demonstration projects. The emphasis is on outcome-based projects offering research, education, and demonstration projects that benefit farmers and explore new sustainable farm practices. Projects should be directed toward research results that will translate quickly into farmer benefit, [...]

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITY SYNOPSIS

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is seeking pre-proposals for research, education, and on-farm demonstration projects. The emphasis is on outcome-based projects offering research, education, and demonstration projects that benefit farmers and explore new sustainable farm practices. Projects should be directed toward research results that will translate quickly into farmer benefit, and the farmers, extension staff, and other stakeholders should be involved in planning project content. Pre-proposals are due July 31, 2012. Invited full proposals due November 1, 2012.

Anyone can apply, but applicants should have a firm grasp of current barriers and issues in sustainable agriculture and experience doing ag research, preferably in cooperation with commercial farmers and applied research. Awards are typically $30,000 to $200,000 and run three years, including the time required for verification of project results. Four years is the maximum time allowed. Projects must take place within the Northeast SARE region, which is made up of CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WV, and DC. The SARE program is a decentralized competitive grants and education program run by four regions North Central, Northeast, South, and West. The North Central SARE Research and Education grant program plans to open in late August of 2012. Please follow up directly to express your specific interest that may fit this program. Click here for more information on program.

ABOUT PROSPERITY AG & ENERGY RESOURCES

Our mission is to be the best in the business at seeking funding for clients. We endeavor to strengthen communities, empower entrepreneurs and foster growth for farms and businesses by providing resources, knowledge and by writing successful proposals that enhance cash flow, create jobs, and nurture the rural environment.

Prosperity, a full-service funding opportunities development firm, aids clients in networking with state and federal agencies and trade groups to foster all areas of project development. Since 2007, Prosperity has achieved over 400 successful grants among 33 states; funding for these awards has yielded nearly $50 million.

PROSPERITY GRANT SPECIALIST TEAM

Sarah Aubrey, Principal
Ms. Aubrey is the owner of Prosperity Ag & Energy Resources, a Prosperity Ag, LLC company and a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise. She is an author in entrepreneurship with over 40,000 books sold and has written over 400 successful grants for clients among 33 states. Ms. Aubrey is a Certified Grant Administrator, a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and presents widely on the topic of funding options for bio energy projects.

Stacy Fitzsimmons, MBA
Ms. Fitzsimmons holds significant experience in proposal writing, project management, and organizational strategy. Her strengths in stakeholder interaction and strategy development have been employed in multiple program development initiatives; most recently at the Indiana Department of Health. She is a certified Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) administrator and has written many successful grant proposals, including major Department of Labor submissions.

Erin Smith, Project Manager
Since 2010, Ms. Smith has assisted with over 90 grant submissions, across 15 states, totaling over $5 million in funding requests for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and recycling projects. She assists with grant administration of applications and is responsible for client and agency follow up post-submission and post-award.

Contact:

Sarah Aubrey, Principal
Prosperity Ag, LLC
6680 North Baltimore Road, Monrovia, Indiana 46157 Phone: (317)996-2777 sarah@prosperityagenergy.com www.prosperityagenergy.com

 

 

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Sarah Aubrey Guest on 25x’25 Blog (June 6, 2012) http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/sarah-aubrey-guest-on-25x25-blog-june-6-2012/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/sarah-aubrey-guest-on-25x25-blog-june-6-2012/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 03:36:21 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=200 Sarah Aubrey, Principal of Prosperity Ag & Energy Resources appeared as a guest on the 25x’25 blog this morning. Thank you 25x’25 and Brent Bailey for inviting Sarah to share her comments.

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Sarah Aubrey, Principal of Prosperity Ag & Energy Resources appeared as a guest on the 25x’25 blog this morning. Thank you 25x’25 and Brent Bailey for inviting Sarah to share her comments.

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Prosperity Welcomes New Summer Intern, Sarah Thomas (May 10, 2012) http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/prosperity-welcomes-new-summer-intern-sarah-thomas-may-10-2012/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/prosperity-welcomes-new-summer-intern-sarah-thomas-may-10-2012/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 03:35:01 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=196 Sarah Thomas has joined the Prosperity Ag and Energy Resources team as a summer intern on May 7, 2012. Working full-time with Prosperity through August, Thomas will gain experience in the workplace by interacting with live clients, implementing social media messaging, writing Prosperity’s blog, and working to help owner Sarah Aubrey launch a new eBook. [...]

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Sarah Thomas has joined the Prosperity Ag and Energy Resources team as a summer intern on May 7, 2012. Working full-time with Prosperity through August, Thomas will gain experience in the workplace by interacting with live clients, implementing social media messaging, writing Prosperity’s blog, and working to help owner Sarah Aubrey launch a new eBook. She will assist with the development of communication material for distribution to Prosperity’s ag and energy network.

Thomas has completed her junior year at IUPUI, majoring in Elementary Education. Growing up on a grain farm near Paragon, Ind., she is an advocate for agriculture and is active in Marion County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer group. She also participates in Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Program. Thomas will use her social media skills and agriculture knowledge to support Prosperity’s efforts in aiding ag and energy projects with their funding needs.

Prosperity Ag and Energy Resources began in 2007 and is a full-service funding opportunities development firm. Prosperity focuses on grant writing, guaranteed loans and general grant administration, working closely with state and federal contacts to strengthen communities, empower entrepreneurs, and foster growth of farms and businesses. Information on Prosperity Ag and Energy Resources can be found at www.prosperityagenergy.com.

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Prosperity Principal Sarah Aubrey to Headline Upcoming Biomass Conferences (May 4, 2013) http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/prosperity-principal-sarah-aubrey-to-headline-upcoming-biomass-conferences-may-4-2013/ http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/prosperity-principal-sarah-aubrey-to-headline-upcoming-biomass-conferences-may-4-2013/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 03:32:54 +0000 admin http://prosperityconsultingsba.com/?p=192 Sarah Aubrey, Principal of Prosperity Ag and Energy Resources, will speak on “Local Public Relations for Biomass Projects: How to Start the Process to Keep Your Project Progressing” at the upcoming Biomass Supply Chain and Logistics Conference on May 11, 2012 at 9:45 A.M. EST in Stone Mountain, Ga. The following month, Aubrey will travel [...]

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Sarah Aubrey, Principal of Prosperity Ag and Energy Resources, will speak on “Local Public Relations for Biomass Projects: How to Start the Process to Keep Your Project Progressing” at the upcoming Biomass Supply Chain and Logistics Conference on May 11, 2012 at 9:45 A.M. EST in Stone Mountain, Ga. The following month, Aubrey will travel to Philadelphia, Pa. to share tips on “Navigating the Federal Agency Funding Process” at the Waste Conversion Congress East Coast on June 12, 2012 after the networking lunch break.

The Biomass Supply Chain and Logistics Conference will bring together biomass suppliers, pellet producers, rail companies, barges, supply chain consultants, and many other groups who help to develop a reliable and efficient biomass supply chain. This year’s focus will be on woody biomass for residential and industrial pellet producers. Held at the Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, the event will take place Thursday, May 10 through Friday, May 11, 2012. Register online at http://www.biomasssupplychain.com/index.html or contact Pete Cook, Bioenergy Institute, at (888)906-9898 or pcook@bioenergyinstitute.com with questions.

From June 12 – 13, 2012 at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel, the Waste Conversion Congress East Coast is a two day forum to facilitate personal meetings with investors, technology developers, waste management executives, and local and state officials. The forum will feature key decision makers on regulations, practical information on structuring financing of waste conversion projects, how to maximize value of your feedstock, and more. Visit http://www.renewable-waste.com/waste- conversion-east/index.php to register or contact Oliver Saunders, Renewable Waste Intelligence, at (207)375-7185 or by e-mail at osaunders@fcbusinessintelligence.com.

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