Applicants sought for grant funds

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MASSENA — Existing and start-up businesses with five or fewer employers, including the owner, are invited to apply for up to $30,000 in grant funding to help their business and create job opportunities for low-to-moderate income households.

The program, which is being administered by the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena, has $200,000 available for the acquisition of machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, working capital, inventory and other valid businesses purposes Construction, renovations and the acquisition of real property are not eligible.

BDC Executive Director James Murphy said applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all the funds are expended.

“The biggest thing is the challenge of trying to hold a public hearing. Technically, we’re supposed to hold a public hearing to kick it off. We’ll figure out what our options are,” he told the Massena Town Council during their recent meeting.

Mr. Murphy said he didn’t want to delay the process.

“The grant money is there. We want to start getting that out,” he said.

He announced this week that grant applications can now be submitted for potential funding. A Grant Review Committee that has been designated by town of Massena officials will meet in late August to review the first round of applications, which should be submitted to the BDC by Aug. 21.

Any applications received after Aug. 21 will be reviewed and considered in September if funding remains. The committee will review applications on a monthly basis until funding is expended.

Business that are selected to receive funding must complete an eight-hour entrepreneurship training course and meet certain job creation requirements, Mr. Murphy said. They must also contribute 10 percent equity to the project.

“I encourage anyone interested in the program to contact me to talk about their plans before submitting an application,” he said. “We advise businesses not to spend any money for their project until they have been officially approved for the grant and have discussed their project with the Massena BDC to ensure that expenses are eligible for reimbursement.”

He also recommended that applicants apply only for an amount that fits the project, need and each individual budget rather than the maximum grant award.

Applications are available by contacting the Massena BDC at 315-769-8484 or via email at jamesmurphy52@me.com. Applications are also available at wdt.me/BDCloans.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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