CELORON – Chautauqua County has received over 10 million dollars in COVID-19 relief funding.
Officials with the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the news on Wednesday during an event at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron.
Specifically, $10.5 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act, will go to the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, CCIDA, to support local COVID-19 recovery efforts.
The CCIDA says they will use the money to establish a new Revolving Loan Fund to provide capital in the form of low-interest loans to both businesses and non-profit organizations.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCIDA established a $250,000 Emergency Working Capital Loan Program with most of the remaining available balance of its Al Tech Trust RLF capital.
This program provided 25 $10,000 working capital loans to businesses faced with hardships at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The newly-established local loan program will be available to a wide-range of industry sectors, including professional services, non-profits, and other sectors that have previously been excluded from receiving CCIDA loan funds.
As currently established, the RLF will provide loans of no less than $25,000 and not to exceed $1 Million, and working capital loans of up to $250,000, with an interest rate of 2.44% (the lowest allowed).
Those looking to apply are asked to contact the CCIDA office at 716-661-8900.
Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel says at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCIDA pushed to have funding to support businesses struggling due to the virus’ economic impacts.
“I can tell you right now, that $10.5 million will be leveraged and utilized,” said Wendel. “Businesses here will be able to prosper.”
The CCIDA’s mission is to facilitate development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses in Chautauqua County.
Assistance is generally provided in the forms of incentives, such as tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing, enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention by local businesses.
Congress doled out $150 billion in state and local aid in March aimed at keeping smaller towns and municipalities afloat. Many localities, like Chautauqua County, are now starting to receive funding made available by Washington.