Tonawanda News

November 1, 2013

NT wins small business grant

By Michael Regan
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — North Tonawanda will receive a state grant worth $200,000 in the coming months that will be used as an incubator for small business. 

The New York State Office of Community Renewal informed the Lumber City Development Corporation, which runs the city’s community development arm, that it would award the grant through a microenterprise assistance program. 

The city was awarded the same grant in 2011, and was mainly geared toward businesses along Webster Street including the Webster Bistro and Yummy Thai restaurants, though businesses across the city with five employees or less are eligible to receive between $5,000 and $35,000.  

Michael Zimmerman, planning and development coordinator of the LCDC, said the funding parameters are largely liberal and often centered on purchasing new equipment and other practices otherwise tied to “the expectation that they’re going to grow their business and add jobs and workforce.”

“The only thing you can’t really do with the money is work on the building and facades,” he said. “It’s pretty wide open other than that. “It’s another opportunity for North Tonawanda to be on the map, where we can really support and help out small business.” 

Doug Taylor, chairman of LCDC and president of the North Tonawanda manufacturing company Taylor Devices, said the importance of the grant funding cannot be understated, as “nearly two-thirds of all new private sector jobs in the U.S. and most small businesses begin as microenterprise with less than five employees.” 

“We’ll be able to help numerous small business owners in the city turn their dreams into reality and bring new jobs to North Tonawanda,” he said. 

In August, the LCDC also applied for $900,000 through the New York State Consolidated Funding Application.

Those applications include $500,000 for the final phase of the city marina rehabilitation, $200,000 for facade improvements along Oliver Street, $50,000 for the extension of a bike path down Sweeney Street to Mayors Park as well as a public art exhibit. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in May he would release $760 million for competitive grant funding statewide, with December announcements expected through the state’s various Regional Economic Development councils. 

The city has pulled in roughly $5 million in federal and state grant funding since 2009, $2 million of which was designated for Remington Lofts and the marina. 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.