Higgins and Poloncarz announce $1.3 million in federal investments in local small businesses through the Erie County Microbusiness Loan/Grant Program

Thu, November 3, 2022 9:25 AM

Funding provided through the CARES Act has been awarded to businesses with 5 or fewer employees; Stack Burger in Lackawanna was one of 65 small businesses to receive help

√ Limited funding still available

Congressman Brian Higgins and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz visited Stack Burger in Lackawanna on Wednesday to highlight efforts to boost small businesses in Erie County through the Loan/Grant Program to microenterprises. The initiative offers small businesses with five or fewer employees loan/grant funding of up to $35,000 through resources made available through the federal CARES Act.

“For the smallest of small businesses, the grueling work of customer acquisition and day-to-day operations limits the time and resources available to make long-term investments that can help owner-operated businesses move forward. “, said Higgins. “Through this federal investment and this Erie County-led initiative, entrepreneurs have an extra boost to help increase inventory, purchase equipment or improve technology.”

Poloncarz said, “The Micro Business Loan/Grant Program is another way we are working to help small businesses in Erie County, by providing a small amount of Community Development Block Grant funding that can be used to anything the business needs, including working capital, start-up funds or equipment. This way, small start-ups can gain a foothold in the local market and begin to grow. Small businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and Erie County, ECIDA and the Business Task Force are teaming up to offer assistance where possible. We all succeed when small businesses succeed, and this program is available for micro businesses looking for ways to grow in Erie County.

Stack Burger owner Joe Maurino added, “I really appreciate the Erie County micro-loan/grant program, which helped my business during the pandemic when we saw a drop in revenue. This program provided a much-needed financial boost.

The Erie County Community Development Consortium received $4,326,655 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in 2020 from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. The consortium used the funding to help neighborhood food pantries, invest in parks and playgrounds, make improvements to seniors and community centers and provide this relief to small businesses.

The Microenterprise Loan/Grant Program for Small Businesses, an effort led by the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning in conjunction with the Erie County Business Task Force, is a program of 50/50 loan/grant which can be as low as $5,000 or as high as $35,000, with the administration portion of the loans handled by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. Recipients have a six-month grace period before beginning to repay.

Since December 2020, 65 small businesses have received microloans and grants totaling $1,318,706.

There is still $450,000 in federal CDBG funds available for this program. Companies located within the Erie County CDBG Consortium are eligible to apply (Cities of Lackawanna and Tonawanda; Cities of Alden, Aurora, Boston, Brant, Clarence, Colden, Collins, Concord, Eden, Elma, Evans , Grand Island, Holland, Lancaster, Marilla, Newstead, North Collins, Orchard Park, Sardinia, Wales; and West Seneca, and the villages of Akron, Angola, Depew, East Aurora, Farnham, Gowanda, Lancaster, North Collins , Orchard Park and Springville). For more information, visit: https://www3.erie.gov/economicdevelopment/community-development-block-grant-programs.

The consortium is made up of 34 municipalities that receive formula-based federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the CDBG, HOME Investment Partnerships Grant, and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) programs to assist low-income residents. . Municipalities in Erie County with populations greater than 50,000, including the cities of Amherst, Tonawanda, Cheektowaga, and Hamburg, as well as the City of Buffalo, receive funding directly from HUD.

Comments are closed.