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MASSENA — The town of Massena has received $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding that can be used to assist local business owners.

The Massena Town Council passed a resolution recently that allows Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy to sign the grant agreement.

“This is the microenterprise grant we received in December. It’s for assisting small businesses that want to start or expand, or businesses that employ five people or less, including the owner,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said.

Town officials applied for the grant in July and, now that they’ve received it, can provide grants of up to $35,000 to local business owners.

“Jim Murphy from the (Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena) will be coordinating all of that. He will hold public meetings to discuss it,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said.

Eligible businesses must be owned by a low- or moderate-income person, or create or pledge to create one full-time job for a low- to moderate-income income individual. Grant funds can be used to purchase inventory, machinery, furniture, fixtures and equipment and for working capital, including marketing. They cannot be used to repay existing debt or for building improvements. Mr. Murphy has called it a “grant program that helps mom-and-pop businesses.”

Businesses will be required to provide a minimum of 10 percent owner equity contribution in the form of cash for the project. For example, a $20,000 grant would require the owner to pay $2,000. The maximum amount of grant funding is $35,000.

Town Council member Samuel D. Carbone Jr. said anyone who was interested was asked to fill out a “town of Massena Microenterprise Program Letter of Interest” about six to eight months ago. But that was not an official application, and anyone who wants to be considered for funding will need to fill out a formal application.

“There will be a separate board that we’ll have to appoint that will rank the applications and prioritize them as far as handing them out. So it’s still several months out,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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