After the hopes of gambling and fracking in the Southern Tier were shot down last month, many Broome County residents are desperate for a way to revive the economy. The Industrial Development Agency and the National Development Council have presented a new program for small businesses, that many are confident can help. It's called the 'Grow Broome Fund.'
"We believe that we have to take care of our businesses that are existing in Broome County and this is another way that we can do that," Broome County IDA executive director Kevin McLaughlin.
Broome County Executive Debbie Preston says the key to turning this economy around is by stimulating business and job growth.
"Our partners at the IDA have provided the opportunity to do just that through the Grow Broome Fund. We need to provide our local homegrown businesses with the tools to succeed not only locally, but on a global level," said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.
This new fund is affiliated with the NDC's Grow America Fund. It supports businesses in underserved areas, as well as minority and women-owned businesses. NDC Director Bob Sweet says this program is unique because it will provide larger loans with lower down payments and interest rates, and longer terms.
"Our focus has always been on trying to get the cheapest capital to companies because our focus is on helping companies expand and grow," said National Development Council director Bob Sweet.
Sweet said this fund will help small businesses that are struggling to get what they need to survive. "It allows you to lend money to companies that couldn't otherwise get capital in a strict market situation," he said.
This program is open to businesses in operation for at least three years with between two and 500 employees and revenue between $500,000 and $20 million. Some companies have already expressed interest, according to the IDA.
Through this partnership, the fund will use a $250,000 commitment from the IDA to make up to two million dollars available for lending.