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Eight small businesses to benefit from grants

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth is dispensing state Microenterprise Grant Program funding to eight local small businesses, county officials learned recently.

“We got eight out,” CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters told the Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development and Environment Committee.

Peters said the CRG received 2019-20 Microenterprise Grant Program funding for the following, and are in various stages of dispensing funding: Royal Mountain Inn, Peck’s Flowers, Frank’s Gun & Tackle Shop, Great Sacandaga Brewing Co., Austin’s Glass, Broadalbin Hotel, MamaBe’s, and Upstate Coffee.

The CRG is looking forward to the grand opening of the Great Sacandaga Brewing Co. in Mayfield.

“Hopefully, they’ll be opening fairly soon,” Peters said.

He said the CRG received a six-month termination letter from the state, as the Microenterprise program ends Dec. 31. But he said the CRG hopes the state will have another Consolidated Funding Application round, where the CRG can apply for more funding.

Peters explained a little about the program to county legislators. He said grants can be obtained from $5,000 to $35,000 although the average CRG grant is in the $21,000 to $22,000 range. He said the program involves training for the businesses.

“It’s a very intense, hand-holding program,” Peters said.

During the rest of his report, Peters mentioned current activities including working with a 15-person company that is looking to move to Fulton County. He said more should be known within 35-45 days.

“That’s going to happen,” he said. “That’s going fine.”

Peters said the CRG is working with two companies each looking for 30,000 square feet of existing space.

“They’re hard to find,” he said of such buildings.

He said the CRG is also working with a company looking to set up a small distribution operation. He said developers are eyeing 10,000 to 15,000 square feet of space.

Peters said the CRG continues to promote the Tryon Technology Park in Perth. He said a marketing piece developed by the CRG – “Tryon Technology Park is Waiting for You” – went out to almost 500 recipients. Another titled, “New Construction & Development Opportunities,” went out to 2,300 real estate brokers and sales persons.

Peters noted a CRG building project at its headquarters at 34 W. Fulton St., Gloversville, started. The project includes a new roof, repair of the front facade, and demolition of the back garage to increase parking. He said the CRG put together construction financing with the Community Loan Fund in Albany.

The CRG has been working on a source for working capital for local businesses, Peters said. He said more will be known in two to three weeks.

“That has become an essential need we have to fill,” Peters said.

The agency is also in the process of putting together a CFA list for if and when the state opens up the CFA process, he said. The CRG has had a “couple good leads in the last 30 days,” Peters said.

In questions from county officials, Peters said he hears that local small businesses and restaurants are doing “pretty well’ calling employees back during the pandemic.

“I think we’re holding our own,” Peters said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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