Erie County Microenterprise Loan / Grant Program Helps Small Businesses

Wed April 7 2021 7:05 PM

The maximum assistance available to small business owners is $ 35,000; financing available for businesses with five or fewer employees

April is National County Government Month, highlighting how the county government is helping residents

The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, in conjunction with the Erie County Business Task Force, continues to boost Erie County small businesses with the loan / grant program microenterprises, providing microenterprises with five or fewer employees up to $ 35,000 in the form of a loan / grant. to build their business.

The Erie County Community Development Consortium, made up of 34 local municipalities of varying sizes, received $ 4,326,655 in block grant funds for community development in 2020 from the federal CARES Act to be used in part to help small businesses under this program.

“The Microenterprise Loan / Grants program is another way we are working to help small businesses in Erie County, providing them with a small amount of block grant for community development that can be used for anything the business needs, including working capital and start-up. funds or equipment. This way, small start-ups can gain a foothold in the local market and begin to grow, ”said Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Manager. “Small businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and Erie County, ECIDA and the Business Task Force are teaming up and providing assistance where possible. April is National County Government Month and this program is a great example of how the county government serves residents. “

The Microenterprise Loan / Grants Program, formerly a 2% Comprehensive Small Business Loan Program, is now a 50/50 loan / grant program that can cost as low as $ 5,000 or $ 35,000 with the administration portion loans managed by ECIDA. . Over $ 1.2 million in community development block grants under the federal CARES Act are made available to small businesses through this fund. Recipients of loans / grants have a six-month grace period before starting repayment.

Companies eligible for this funding include the towns of Lackawanna and Tonawanda; the towns of Alden, Aurora, Boston, Brant, Clarence, Colden, Collins, Concord, Eden, Elma, Evans, Grand Island, Holland, Lancaster, Marilla, Newstead, North Collins, Orchard Park, Sardinia, Wales; West Seneca; and the villages of Akron, Angola, Depew, East Aurora, Farnham, Gowanda, Lancaster, North Collins, Orchard Park and Springville. These municipalities are located within the CDBG Consortium of Erie County.

The consortium is made up of 34 municipalities that receive HUD funding through CDBG, HOME, and ESG grants to help low-income residents. The grants are awarded to Erie County because the population of the 34 municipalities in the consortium is over 200,000.

Funding for these community development grants is distributed directly by HUD to municipalities in Erie County with a population of over 50,000. In Erie County, the cities of Amherst, Tonawanda, Cheektowaga and Hamburg, as well as the city of Buffalo, receive these community development grants directly from HUD.

Erie County is one of more than 3,000 counties nationwide to join the National Association of Counties throughout the month to highlight and celebrate the role county governments play in the lives of residents. This year’s theme, “Counties Matter,” provides an opportunity to educate residents about programs, responsibilities and services, particularly with regard to the pandemic.

For more information on the Microenterprise Loans / Grants Program, click here.

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