Individual Development Accounts
Could IDA Match Grants Help You Realize Your Dream?
If you want to grow your career or start and/or expand a home-based or other small business an Individual Development Account (IDA) may help. IDAs are bank accounts for those eligible to save their earned income for post-secondary education or small business start-up and/or expansion. The incentive is that the income saved in an IDA is matched by a grant when the IDA is used to fund approved education or business purchases.
And, the Building Businesses & Entrepreneurs (BBE) course can help you turn your idea and savings into a business to create wealth for you, your family, and your community..
Match Grant Saving Incentive
Coconino County Health & Human Services Department Office of Community and Career Services (CCHHS-CCS) match saving grant amount varies depending on available funding and the match rate for the type of IDA asset purchase pursued. For post-secondary education for an accredited certificate or degree program, a participant can save up to $1,000, for a $3,000 grant providing a total of $4,000 for tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc. For business start-up and/or expansion a participant can save up to $2,000 and be matched up to $4,000 for a total of $6,000 available for equipment, tools, inventory, advertising, etc.
Participants receive not only match grant incentives to fund their approved education or business asset purchases, but also gain financial literacy and develop good saving habits. All of this prepares them to successfully reach their career or business development goals. Past participants have opened an IDA to fund post-secondary education in business, Administration of Justice, Pre-Health, Construction Technology, and General Studies prior to pursuing further study at a university. Others have funded small businesses start-up/expansion providing child care, pet care, landscaping, housecleaning, specialty desserts & catering, art & music, outdoor adventure, and much more.
Research by Dr. Michael Sherraden, Distinguished Professor of Social Development at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), now called Prosperity Now, a national nonprofit based in Washington, DC, has shown that lower-income individuals and families are more likely to escape poverty if they are able to acquire key long-term assets. Attainment of post-secondary education and/or ownership of a small business are assets which empower financial self-sufficiency, and contributes to stronger, more stable communities. CCHHS-CCS' IDA match grant saving incentives empower acquisition of either of these two approved assets.
IDA match saving grant participant eligibility requirements include:
- Proof of Coconino County Residency,
- Government-issued photo identification,
- Two-month of recent paystubs and bank statements, plus most recent federal tax return.
- Current credit report (only for Business IDAs),
- Earned Income to save (SSDI, SSI, and unemployment are not earned income),
- Household net-worth (owned assets minus owed liabilities) less than $10,000 (home and primary vehicle excluded), and
- Household annual adjusted gross income, not exceeding 200 percent of the federal poverty level. [Note: For a household of one the maximum eligible income is $25,760. For larger households add $9,080 for each additional household member.]
Note: Those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) typically qualify for this program.
IDA Application Process
Note: To submit any of the following linked forms, first download them to your computer, then complete and click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the fillable PDF. (DO NOT complete forms within your browser, they will not submit properly).
- Complete and submit Pre-Screening Tool.
- Read and sign page 11 of the IDA Guidelines.
- Complete and submit the IDA Application.
- Per our IDA Checklist provide supporting documentation, including proof of Coconino County residency, photo identification, last 2-months of pay stubs and bank statements, most recent federal tax return, and our completed, initialed, and signed IDA Agreements.
- IDA staff will contact participant within two weeks to request any missing documentation or schedule an appointment. At the appointment IDA staff will work with participants to complete all program agreements.
Once You Are Accepted
Once all documents are accepted and agreements are signed, IDA participants will be issued letters authorizing them to open an IDA bank account. They qualify for match grant funds only after they make at least the minimum monthly deposits from their wage income for a minimum of six months, complete a financial empowerment workshop, and get their target asset purchase list approved. If saving for a business, assets must be listed in an approved business plan.
Claiming Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
In past years, the IRS has reported unclaimed EITC credits in Coconino County. Participants may deposit part or all of their tax return, including EITC. By depositing a tax return, an IDA participant can more quickly reach his or her saving goal. To assist you with EITC claims, CCHHS-CCS is part of a network which offers FREE Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.
The Coconino County IDA Program has been supported/funded in part by:
- Alliance Bank of Arizona
- National Bank of Arizona
- U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
- A New Leaf, MesaCAN - Assets for Independence
- Goodwill of Northern Arizona
- Arizona Community Foundation of Flagstaff & Partners
- Dougherty Foundation
- UNS Energy Corp.
- For a downloadable IDA flyer, click IDA match saving grant flyer.
- For information about our separate but related Building Businesses & Entrepreneurs (BBE) business plan development training, click BBE Webpage, or downloadable BBE flyer.