News Column

North Country low-interest-loan fund established

August 28, 2014

By Dan Heath, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Aug. 28--PLATTSBURGH -- New York has established a $10 million low-interest-loan fund for North Country businesses that plan to expand, create or retain jobs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the North Country Economic Development Fund on Thursday.

"This fund will give local businesses access to the capital they need to invest in land, equipment and technology that will enable them to remain competitive in the 21st century," he said in a press release.

"Supporting these efforts will, in turn, help strengthen the region's economy and create jobs in the North Country."

The program applies to businesses looking to expand in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis or St. Lawrence counties. Expanding businesses within the New York portion of the Akwesasne Mohawk territory are also eligible.


Businesses can apply for up to 30 percent of the proposed cost of their expansion, with a cap of $300,000.

They must create or retain at least one job for every $25,000 of the loan.

The fund results from a long-term power contract between the New York Power Authority and Alcoa. It will be administered by the Development Authority of the North Country.


Loans are available to manufacturers, agri-business, clean and green bio-technology, assemblers and wholesale distributors for land acquisition, building construction and rehabilitation and the purchase of machinery or equipment.

Funding is also available for business improvement districts and nonprofit entities eligible to apply for community revitalization projects.

Retail and market applicants may also be eligible but must meet special criteria to be considered for a loan.

Applications will be reviewed by the North Country Economic Development Fund Board, made up of representatives from the New York Power Authority, the Development Authority of the North Country, the North Country Alliance and Empire State Development.


North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas welcomed the launch of the regional funding initiative, saying the money will provide another significant tool for the start-up and expansion of job-creating businesses.

"It will directly support the aims of our regional economic development plan, and it directly reflects the spirit of partnership and collaboration now in place across the North Country," he said in a statement.

"Alternative loan funds such as these can often fill the funding gaps that need to be filled for ventures to succeed, with local decision making that is attuned to our region's needs and opportunities."

North Country Alliance Director Patrick Kelly said the fund will be another tool to promote economic growth in the region, while Development Authority of the North Country Executive Director James Wright said it will help provide investment capital.

Empire State Development President and CEO Kenneth Adams said it is a new resource to help businesses across the North Country expand their operations and create jobs, referring to it as an "innovative strategy."

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Source: Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, NY)

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