In First Half of 2019, Delaware County Creates Jobs, Supports Economy
DELHI, NY—The Delaware County Department of Economic Development announced today that through the first half of 2019 it has provided 26 businesses with $1.58 million of financial assistance. These funds were utilized to stimulate $5.48 million of new private sector investment and will result in the creation of 96 full time jobs within the county.
“Our ultimate goal here is to create new job opportunities for people in Delaware County, while supporting the establishment and expansion of private business,” Said Mike Triolo, Chairman of the county’s Economic Development Committee. “We believe we have positively affected new business investment so far this year.”
Delaware County Department of Economic Development provides direct and conduit financial assistance to support projects being undertaken by local businesses and municipalities to support and expand the local economy. Funding which includes tourism grants, low interest loans, community development grants, and agri-business loans. Delaware County continues to make a concerted effort to focus on the agricultural and natural resource based industries in 2019. Tina Molé, Chairman of Delaware County Board of Supervisors said “The agricultural industry is a cornerstone of Delaware County’s economy. We want to support and nurture the current and future role of agriculture in our area.” Financial support, in the form of loans or grants, was provided to the following agricultural related businesses in 2019: Gravity Ciders, Catskill Food Company, Scotch Valley Ranch Hemp, Kimchee Harvest, Two Stones Farm, Chef Deanna, Skytop Springs Fish, Rock Valley Spirits, First Light Farm & Creamery and Una-Lam.
Gravity Ciders, the producer of Awestruck Cider, received a loan to help it maintain its fast growth. The funds will go to upgrading its production and packaging equipment. Gravity Ciders is the Sidney-based parent company of hard cider-maker Awestruck cider, which has experienced steady growth since opening in 2014. The project will assist Gravity Ciders in meeting its goal of tripling its production from 1,500 gallons to 4,000 gallons per week, as well as developing its co-packing services for other beverage makers in the area. Jim Thomson, Chair of Delaware County’s Industrial Development Association, expressed his excitement with Gravity Cider’s success. “In just five years, Gravity Ciders is one of Sidney’s fastest growing businesses and one of the area’s most recognized brands,” said Thomson, “We are happy to aid in more of its development. Gravity Ciders is the success story that we hope for, every time we assist area businesses.”
Another recipient of a low-interest loan was Scotch Valley Ranch Hemp. The Hobart-based ranch was approved to grow industrial hemp in March and received a loan for up-front cost and received $100,000 from DCED’s revolving loan fund.
Most of the DCED grant and loan programs are funded through state and federal sources, except for the tourism grants. This program is funded by Delaware County’s occupancy tax, which was introduced three years ago. Since then, DCED has awarded funds in three annual rounds. This year, DCED awarded a total of $104,831 to about 60 recipients for projects including tourism promotion, community celebrations, arts and culture and capital improvements.
Along with financial assistance, DCED has also sought to acquire underutilized or vacant property around the county, then leasing and selling them for redevelopment. This year, DCED agreed on a lease-to-buy contract with Shepherd Repair for a portion of a Delhi property on the corner of Meredith Street and Main Street, where R.H. Lewis and Son once operated. Some Delhi residents are happy about the development, including Delhi Village Mayor Richard Maxey. “I think we all look forward to seeing a functioning business on that corner,” said Maxey. “It visually enhances the corner from what it used to be and it is just one case of Delhi’s development and continuation of our community development efforts.”
DCED also plans on developing the rest of the property, which is something Thomson envisions as a new primary focus of the IDA. “If you are coming into Delhi from Rt 28, that property is the first thing you see,” Thomson said, “and right now, it is not very impressive. We hope to create a warmer welcome for visitors and local residents, while also enabling a local business to expand and create new jobs.” Thomson said. The remaining portion of this property will be available redevelopment proposals through an RFP process in the near future.
Local businesses are encouraged to explore the available loans and grants from DCED by contacting the department at (607)832-5123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.