“Growing the Agriculture Industry Now” Applications Now Available
Program Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative Blueprint to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new $3 million revolving loan program to assist the agricultural industry in the Finger Lakes region is now available. The “Growing the Agriculture Industry Now” Revolving Loan Program initiative provides loans to capitalize on local agricultural businesses utilizing new technologies and expanding operations. This new program fills a gap where new businesses who do not meet traditional financing organizations’ underwriting standards will be now be able to get started. The first advance of $1.2 million has been released to the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, which in coordination with local development corporations, represents the nine county regions managing the loan program.
“Farming in the Finger Lakes region is an important industry and a key driver of the regional economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “By encouraging the use of innovative technologies and creating more opportunities for farmers, this new loan program will help shape the future of the region’s agricultural industry and ensure its vitality for years to come.”
“G/FLRPC is proud to introduce and lead this program in the Finger Lakes region,” said Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council Chairman and Ontario County Board of Supervisors Chair Jack Marren. “Encouraging agriculture and agri-business is one of the G/FLRPC’s economic goals for the district and GAIN will help us with that goal by providing loans that support the capital needs of agriculture and food processing companies.”
GAIN is a Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council priority project. The $3 million in state support provided by Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, will leverage an additional $300,000 plus in local investment. The total investment fund of more than $3,300,000 million will provide loans to qualifying businesses in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties, all of which are in the top ten agricultural counties in New York State. It is anticipated that the fund will create 150 direct jobs and 450 indirect jobs in the agriculture and good processing industry.
“Growing our agriculture and food processing industry is one of the utmost priorities of the FLREDC as it represents a crucial part of the region’s economy,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman. “GAIN’s revolving loan pool to support the capital needs of agriculture and food processing companies, including new technology, diversification and expansion, will further advance the needs of the industry.”
The GAIN revolving loan program will give priority to agricultural and related business projects, including food processing and operating farms, which support job creation and job retention, as well as farm diversification (i.e., participate in farm-based retail and wholesale markets). The program will also support businesses that invest in new technology, including renewable energy projects and new processing equipment, as well as ones that demonstrate growth in net revenue for agriculture enterprises; leverage other sources of funding; and provide secondary economic multipliers such as business expansions.
Loans can be up to $200,000 at an interest rate of one percent.
Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council Executive Director David Zorn said, “The GAIN loan fund is part of our priority regional economic development goal and plan of action to support agriculture and agri-business.”
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said, “The continued growth and success of agribusiness remains one of the essential keys to our region’s economic success. The GAIN Loan Program will support programs and initiatives that make essential investments our agriculture industry, ultimately creating new jobs and securing a brighter future of the Finger Lakes region.”
Senator Joe Robach said, “The success and growth of the agriculture industry in the Genesee/Finger Lakes region is critically important to the overall success of our local economy and job growth. The GAIN program will help local agricultural businesses continue to build off their success with the support of low interest rate loans for important business and capital improvements. It is certainly exciting to see these resources and programs coming to the agriculture industry in the Finger Lakes region.”
Those interested in learning more about the application process and the program can contact David Zorn at Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, 50 West Main Street, Suite 8107, Rochester, NY 14614; 585-454-0190 x14; or at [email protected].
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agricultureý and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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