Nearly 30 businesses in Chautauqua County affected by the coronavirus have received more than $ 5.7 million in loans to help them financially during this time.
Last month, the US Economic Development Administration officially announced that the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency had been selected as the recipient of a $ 10.5 million grant through the CARES Act, which enabled the agency to establish a new revolving loan fund. The goal of RFL is to provide capital, in the form of low-interest loans, to businesses and nonprofits to respond to the economic harms resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the intention of distributing funding among many sectors and doing so equitably, CCDI decided to set target budgets by sector and deploy funding in at least three rounds. The first round of funding was awarded at Tuesday’s board meeting, with subsequent funding rounds scheduled for January and April 2021 (and July 2021 if necessary).
On Tuesday, the CCIDA Board of Directors approved funding for 28 companies and non-profit entities in the following sectors: manufacturing / warehousing; non-profit ; retail / commercial / agriculture; small business; and tourism / hospitality. All told, funding of $ 5,736,293 was approved by the Board of Directors after extensive review by the Loans Committee, which in addition to retaining hundreds of jobs will create over 100 new jobs.
Mark Geise, Deputy County Director General for Economic Development and Director General of CCIDA, said: “We are delighted that we were able to deploy over 50% of the funding provided by EDA in just a few months and in doing so, help more than two dozen businesses not only to survive, but to create jobs. Our amazing CCIDA team have worked very hard to ensure that this money is used in the community as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that we are accountable, impartial and adhere to EDA guidelines.
At the board meeting, Geise admitted that he received more requests than money. “The idea was to distribute the wealth and do it in three rounds”, he said. “What we decided to do was basically reduce the working capital requests by 50% because in any case everyone asked for almost the entire amount.”
Entities approved for funding include: Luscombe Aircraft; Merritt Wine Estate; The original crunchy roll; Pucci rugs; Excelco / Newbrook; Artone; International ordinance; Kimbert manufacturing; Ministries of Heritage; Uhl Ventures (Servpro); Wholesale arch; SKB auto sales; Brigiottas; Billicki Law Firm; Advanced production group; Skate shop; Corvus Bus & Charter; Webb’s Bonbons / Motel; Falconer Hotel; La Quinta / Holiday Inn / Hampton Inn; Big Inlet Brewery; Weddings of ivory acres; Shawbucks; Cocagne; Pace Pizzeria; and Webb’s Harbor Restaurant and Bowling Lanes.
Money is used for various reasons. Richard Dixon, CFO of the IDA, briefly reviewed some of the applications.
Dixon noted that Luscombe is making improvements to the hangers. Merritt Estate Winery will use the money to purchase grape juice. Many others, including Crunch Roll Factory, Excelco / Newbrook, Artone, International Ordnance and many more, use the funds as a combination of working capital and to help purchase equipment. Ministries of Heritage must purchase new equipment now necessary due to the pandemic. Pucci Carpet is looking to expand its offer. SKB Auto Sales is looking to buy a Ford dealership from a local entity, which will help protect 28 jobs. Webb’s Motel plans to do renovations ahead of snowmobile season.
Part of the business, Dixon said, needed working capital “otherwise, they’re going to have to close their doors.”
After all three rounds were completed, Geise said that if there was any money left on some of those whose money was reduced, they might have the option to apply again, although he admitted that it was was unlikely. “I doubt that will happen, I think we will have fully engaged this by then”, he said.
Board member Mark Odell, who is also a Brocton County Republican lawmaker, praised the loan committee and others for their hard work. “Good job everyone. It’s easy to support ”, he said.
The loans have been fully approved by the IDA Board of Directors.
“It’s actually quite astonishing that CCIDA was able to deploy more than half of the funds granted by EDA in just under two months, while EDA gave them two years to do so.” Acting county manager PJ Wendel said in a press release. “It is also very encouraging to see that they have spread the funding across many sectors and that around 100 jobs will be created in the process. As I have always said, our return will be more important than our setback, and this funding is proof that not only will we recover, but we have another economic development tool to stimulate investment and job creation. in this county for years to come, as a consequence of the pandemic. “
As part of helping to reestablish EDA’s CARES Act, EDA has invited some current recipients of EDA-funded Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grants, including CCIDA, to apply for a additional RFL grant to help respond to the unusual and pressing emergency of the coronavirus pandemic. EDA had determined that CCIDA, because of its long-standing and substantial investment in providing credit to small businesses, had unique capacities to support the CARES Law Recovery Initiative and that It was therefore in the public interest to make this price available on a non-competitive basis.
“This award is a game-changer for Chautauqua County and a testament to EDA’s confidence in CCIDA to immediately deploy the necessary capital in our county to retain and create jobs, and accelerate economic recovery from COVID- 19. “ Geise said. “I express my sincere gratitude to our entire economic development team for working so hard to secure and deploy this funding on behalf of the county. We are committed to using an allocation strategy for this funding that is systematic, inclusive and equitable so that we can have maximum impact on businesses and the nonprofit community.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CCIDA, with the approval of the EDA, established an emergency loan program of $ 250,000 for working capital with most of the available balance of its capital. Al Tech Trust RLF. This program provided twenty-five working capital loans of $ 10,000 to businesses facing difficulties at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program has been very successful, with 25 loan closings within four weeks of the program’s inception; however, this nearly depleted the Al-Tech loan fund and excluded several other companies from participation. This, together with the fact that CCIDA granted temporary deferrals on principal payments to a significant number of existing loan clients, severely limited the agency’s ability to grant new loans.
The CCIDA team, at the invitation of EDA, responded immediately with the documentation required to apply for funding. As part of the application process, CCIDA staff created a detailed plan to deploy funds responsibly and prudently in a manner that provides flexibility to beneficiaries as well as rapid deployment of funds to accelerate recovery. economy in the county. The newly created CCIDA RFL program is accessible to a wide range of industrial sectors, including professional services, non-profit organizations and other sectors that were previously excluded from CCIDA loan funds through the Al-Tech loan. As currently established, the new RFL offers loans of at least $ 25,000 and not exceeding $ 1 million, and working capital loans of up to $ 250,000, with an interest rate 2.44% (the lowest allowed).
Geise said application and program details are currently available and urges anyone interested in applying to contact the CCIDA office at 716-661-8900.