The Delaware County Department of Economic Development is pleased to announce the acceptance of applications under the County’s 3rd-year Agricultural Microenterprise Program. Through the $200,000 federally-funded grant the County will continue to seek to aid in the expansion of existing, and encourage the development of new, agricultural micro enterprise businesses, including agriculturally-based tourism businesses within the County. Focusing on two primary components of business development: education and financial assistance, this program will make available matching grants of up to $30,000 to eligible ag-based microenterprise businesses. Applications for grant assistance under this program must be hand-delivered or postmarked by 5:00pm on Monday, April 10, 2017.
Grant funds will require a dollar for dollar match, and may be used to offset a portion of the working capital and machinery/equipment expenses of the businesses start-up or expansion project. In contrast to previous years of this program, acquisition, construction or renovation expenses will not be eligible for reimbursement or inclusion as matching expenses.
Additionally; the Office of Community Renewal requires that all recipients of these grant funds participate in small business training as component of the Agricultural Microenterprise Program. As a result, the Delaware County Department of Economic Development is utilizing the services of the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) to provide entrepreneurs with the required educational resources, including topics such as; local farming community/practices, developing your farm plan, a financial overview, and developing a sales and marketing strategy. Applicants who did not participate in the first round of classes held in late January and early February will have additional opportunities to meet the training requirement if selected for funding through this program.
Through the 1st year of this grant program 21 applications were received and $185,000 in funding was awarded to the following 13 businesses; Vulto Creamery, Township Valley Farm, Muddy River Hops, Berry Brook Farm, Unadilla Hops, Catskill Food Company, Roxbury Mountain Maple, Anderson’s Hillbilly Honey, Dirty Girl Farm, Catskill Cattle Company, Lucky Dog Local Food Hub, Byebrook Farm and Stamford Smokehouse. Last year, the second year of the program, an additional 22 applications were received and 13 more projects were selected to share in receipt of the $185,000. These 13 projects included; Home Grown Custom Meat Processing, East Brook Farm, The Green Shepherd Farm, Good Cheap Food, Treadlight Farm, Kerrs Creek Distillery, Carrs Creek Pastured Meats, Bovina Valley Farms, Wayside Cider, Creek-Crest Holsteins, Berried Treasures, Polar Bear & More, and Stony Creek Farmstead. Summaries for the projects each of these businesses are undertaking or have completed are available through the Economic Development website (www.DCEcoDev.com).
If you would like to receive information on this grant funding opportunity, please contact Lori Paulson by emailing LORI.PAULSON@CO.DELAWARE.NY.US or calling 607.832.5123. As this announcement is anticipated to result in a flurry of communication with the department, correspondence via email is preferred over phone calls. To ensure a prompt response, please us “Ag Micro Application” in the subject line of your email. Furthermore, to help answer questions applicants may have relating to the business and project expense eligibility the Department of Economic Development will hold an application workshop at 6:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Delaware County eCenter on Thursday, March 16, 2017.
To learn about this and other business initiatives, programs and funding opportunities available through Delaware County, please visit the Delaware County Economic Development website atwww.DCecodev.com or contact; Delaware County Economic Development, One Courthouse Square, Suite 4, Delhi, NY 13753, by phoning (607) 832-5123 or emailing info@DCecodev.com. To stay informed, please “LIKE” the departments page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DelawareCountyEconomicDevelopment/.