Small business grants available

FONDA — The Montgomery County Business Development Center and Montgomery County Soil and Water Department are administering a Montgomery County Agriculture Microenterprise Program that will provide grants to eligible agricultural entrepreneurs and business owners that want to establish or expand an existing business located within Montgomery County.

The applicants must be a new or existing commercial agriculture enterprise with five or less employees, one or more of which may be the principals and own the enterprise at time of the application. The applications are now available through: The MCBDC’s website at http://www.mcbdc.org/ or call (518) 853-8334; or MCSWCD by contacting Julicia Godbout at (518) 853-7013.

The total grant pool in this round of funding is $188,000; applicants must be able to fulfill the 10 percent owner cash equity contribution. The preference will be given to Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises-status and veteran-status business owners, to projects-businesses that result in job creation and projects-businesses that offer internships, job-shadowing or apprenticeship opportunities. The grants are intended as working-capital for equipment, furniture, fixtures, inventory and operation; not for construction, reimbursement of existing debt or purchase of real estate.

The applications will be reviewed by: The MCAMP Grant Committee (comprised of staff from the MCBDC and MCSWCD); members of the Montgomery County Legislature, the Agricultural Economic Development Advisory Committee and the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board of Directors.

The interested businesses-business owners are encouraged to attend the grant information session scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday (March 12) at the Montgomery County Annex, 20 Park St., Room 214. RSVP is requested by contacting Terry Swierzowski at the Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce at (518) 725-0641 or e-mail terrys@fultonmontgomeryny.org.

The Entrepreneurial Training Workshops, mandatory for grant applicants but can be taken by anyone, will be scheduled for mid-April-mid-May. The four courses cost is $100 or $25 per class. For successful grant applicants, this fee may be reimbursable. The class topics (instructors to be determined) are as follow: Business Basics; record keeping, Accounting, Taxes and Financing; Marketing and Advertising; and Business Plans. More information on these classes can be found after March 12, on the websites of FMRCC at www.fultonmontgomeryny.org or MCBDC.

For more information:

¯ Or a grant application, contact Amanda Bearcroft, MCBDC, 9 Park St., Fonda, abearcroft@co.montgomery.ny.us or call (518) 853-8334 or through MCSWD at www.montgomerycountyny-swcd.com, 4001 Route 5S, Fultonville.

¯ On the Entrepreneurial Workshops, contact Swierzowski at FMRCC at terrys@fultonmontgomeryny.org or call (518) 725-0641.

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