Jamestown Gazette

CCIDA Awarded $10.5 Million in Federal Funding to Establish New Low-Interest Revolving Loan Fund

Loans to be Made Available to Businesses & Non-Profits to Aid in Economic Recovery as a Result of COVID-19

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) officially announced on September 9th that the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) has been selected as the recipient of a $10.5 million grant through the CARES Act, which will enable the agency to establish a new Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). The RLF will provide capital in the form of low-interest loans to both businesses and non-profit organizations as a means to respond to economic injury resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This award is very exciting news because it will enable access to desperately needed capital to numerous businesses and non-profits throughout the County, thereby enabling them to stay open or move forward with resource expenditures that they were planning before the onset of the pandemic,” said Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel. “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 will have another economic development tool to spur investment and job creation in this County for years to come as a result of the pandemic. I am very grateful to the CCIDA and the County’s Economic Development team for their continued hard work and proactive approach to bringing this program to fruition.”

As part of EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance, the EDA invited select current recipients of existing EDA-funded Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) awards, including the CCIDA, to apply for a supplemental RLF award to help respond to the unusual and compelling urgency of the coronavirus pandemic. EDA had determined that the CCIDA, by virtue of its longstanding and substantial investment in making credit available to small businesses, possessed unique abilities to support the CARES Act Recovery Assistance initiative and that it was therefore in the public’s best interest to make this award available on a non-competitive basis.

Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and the CCIDA’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “This award is a game-changer for Chautauqua County and speaks to the EDA’s confidence in this agency to immediately deploy necessary capital within our County to retain and create a significant number of jobs and to expedite the economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19. I want to thank our team, especially Rich Dixon and Nate Aldrich, for working so hard to secure this funding on behalf of the county. We are committed to employing an allocation strategy that is systematic, inclusive, and equitable so we can have maximum impact with this generous award.”

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCIDA, with the approval of EDA, established a $250,000 Emergency Working Capital Loan Program with most of the remaining available balance of its Al Tech Trust RLF capital. This program provided twenty-five (25) $10,000 working capital loans to businesses faced with hardships at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program was extremely successful, with 25 loan closings within four weeks of the program being created; however, this nearly depleted the Al-Tech Loan Fund and excluded several other businesses from participating. This, coupled with the fact that the CCIDA granted temporary deferments on principal payments to a significant number of existing loan clients, significantly limited the agency’s ability to make new loans.

“We were proud to support this grant because we care about all the businesses, non-profits, and entrepreneurs who have been severely impacted by the economic and public health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23). “By deploying the federal capital employers need to weather this crisis, we can ensure our local economy will rebound stronger than ever. Congratulations to CCIDA and the Chautauqua County team on their work to help the community and preserve local jobs.”

The CCIDA team, at the invitation of the EDA, responded immediately with required documentation to apply for the funding. As part of the application process, CCIDA Staff created a detailed plan for responsibly and prudently deploying the funds in a way that provides flexibility for recipients as well as timeliness in deploying the funding in order to accelerate economic recovery within the County. The newly-established RLF Program will be available to a wide-range of industry sectors, including professional services, non-profits, and other sectors

that have previously been excluded from receiving CCIDA loan funds. As currently established, the RLF will provide loans of no less than $25,000 and not to exceed $1 Million, and working capital loans of up to $250,000, with an interest rate of 2.44% (the lowest allowed).

“The CCIDA-administered AL Tech Trust RLF has resulted in significant private investment in Chautauqua County for many years, and has helped create and retain thousands of jobs,” said Rich Dixon, the CCIDA’s Chief Financial Officer. “Now that we have this additional tool, I’m confident that our revolving loan funds, coupled with the continued support of our partners, will make an even greater impact on the County.”

Geise stated that the application and program details are currently available, and urges anyone interested in applying to contact the CCIDA office at 716-661-8900.

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