Funding program for businesses dries up

GLOVERSVILLE — A popular funding stream for small businesses in the county will dry up this year as the state denied a request by the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth to renew the program.

The Microenterprise Grant Program is funded through Community Development Block Grant applications to the state Office of Community Renewal.

The program provides grants from $5,000 to $25,000 to small businesses with no more than five employees.

The CRG administered the program, having twice been approved to offer grant funding to county businesses. Each application was approved for $200,000.

CRG President and CEO Ron Peters said Monday that an application by the CRG seeking to renew the program for a third year had been denied by the state.

Peters said that no explanation behind the denial was given, however, a lot of counties and municipalities apply for the grant program.

The CRG provided Microenterpirse Grants to nine businesses in 2016 and six businesses in 2017 with an application pending for a seventh. In all, the program led to the creation of about 32 jobs in Fulton County.

Grant recipients are required to provide at least 10 percent equity in the project and must attend a small business training program provided by the CRG.

Peters said that the CRG will reapply for the CDBG Microenterprise Grant Program in July.

Still, Peters offered a positive outlook for the year, noting ongoing projects for the CRG, including seven possible projects in the Johnstown Industrial Park and another downtown.

He said that he could not yet go into detail about the projects.

“This year, 2018, is shaping up to be a really good year for the CRG. We have a lot of projects that we’re working on and several that should be breaking ground in the spring,” Peters said.