An additional 30 businesses have been approved to be recipients of a $10.5 million grant through the CARES Act, which enabled the agency to establish a new Revolving Loan Fund at the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.
The intent of the fund is to provide capital, in the form of low-interest loans, to both businesses and nonprofit organizations as a means to respond to economic injury resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those most recently approved for funding include: Merritt Estate Winery; The Original Crunch Roll; Pucci Carpet; Excelco/Newbrook; Artone; International Ordnance; Kimbert Manufacturing; Heritage Ministries; Uhl Ventures (Servpro); Ark Wholesale; SKB Auto Sales; Brigiottas; Billicki Law Firm; Advanced Production Group; Skate Shop; Corvus Bus & Charter; Webb’s Candies/Motel; Falconer Hotel; La Quinta/Holiday Inn/Hampton Inn; Big Inlet Brewing; Ivory Acres Weddings; Shawbucks; Cockaigne; Pace’s Pizzeria; Webb’s Harbor Restaurant and Bowling Lanes; Blackstone Advanced Technologies; The Resource Center; Meeder’s Restaurant; Lisciandro’s Restaurant; Bailey Manufacturing, and many others.
This is the third time the county has issued CARES Act funding. This round’s funding totaled around $2 million. In January the IDA approved $2.6 million and awarded $5.7 million last fall. Each funding round was divided up for different types of businesses.
“We have a pretty good split here when it comes to manufacturing, not-for-profit, agriculture, small business, and of course tourism and hospitality,” said Rich Dixon, CCIDA chief financial officer.
Some of the specific uses of the money varied. Some funds were for renovations while others needed funds to help cover their bills.
Blackstone Technologies requested an equipment loan to for electric work.
Lancaster Foods was awarded a working capital and equipment loan.
“The Broadway Market was their largest source of revenue. That didn’t happen last year. They lost between $60,000 and $80,000 in revenue,” said Dixon.
Bailey Manufacturing is getting a loan for machinery. It was affected by the lack of computer chips for vehicles.
The Resource Center was awarded funds to convert some space into distance conference space.
Jim Turner Sales, which handles farm equipment, was awarded a working capital loan.
Jamestown Rental Properties was awarded a working capital loan because some of the tenants are not yet paying rent. “It’s quite a dilemma for landlords who have a lot of property, both residential and commercial,” said Dixon.
Majestic Woods, a wedding venue in Clymer, is getting a working capital loan to do some renovations. “They have 37 events booked for 2021 and 27 for ’22 so it looks like they’re back on the road to recovery,” said Dixon.
Meeders Restaurant in Ripley is going to do some renovations. “They realized very quickly, in order to survive, they needed to change their whole menu, the whole inside. They’re going to have some takeout, have some more outside, redo their kitchen so they can get ready for more of that takeout,” said Dixon.
Lisciandro’s Restaurant in Jamestown is changing ownership. The new owners want to make some changes so they were awarded funds.
Boatworks Marina is getting assistance so they can buy more equipment for rentals. “(The owner) said the summer looks good, but he’s going to need boats to lease,” said Dixon.
While the original allocation of over $10 million has been fully committed, Dixon noted the loan fund will continue to be replenished as loan payments are made, thereby allowing the CCIDA to continue to loan this funding out into perpetuity.
In total, the IDA board approved funding for 50 businesses and non-profit entities in the following sectors: manufacturing/warehousing; not-for-profits; retail/commercial/agriculture; small business; and tourism/hospitality. All said, $10.4 million in funding was approved by the CCIDA Board of Directors after a thorough review by the Loan Committee, which will, in addition to retaining more than 2,000 jobs, create upwards of 130 new jobs.
Mark Geise, deputy county executive for Economic Development and the CCIDA’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are elated that we could deploy all of the funding allocated to us in September of 2020 in less than 9 months, and in the process help more than four dozen businesses and not-for-profits to not only endure, but create jobs. Our extraordinary team at the CCIDA has worked very diligently to get this money out working in the community as quickly as possible, while ensuring that we are responsible, impartial, and address the EDA’s guidelines.”
County Executive PJ Wendel also applauded the loans issued. “It is a testament to the CCIDA that they were able to deploy over $10 million awarded by the EDA in less than 9 months, while the EDA has given them two years to do so,” he said. “It is also very encouraging to see that they have distributed the funding among many sectors, and more than 130 jobs will be created in the process. As I’ve said all along, our comeback will be greater than our setback, and this funding is proof positive that we will not only recover, we have another economic development tool to spur investment and job creation in this county for years to come as a result of the pandemic.”