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Empire State Development’s board of directors Thursday approved grants that will support the economy on the Southern Tier – one that will enhance future development in Olean and another that will keep a company from leaving Silver Creek.

A grant of up to $500,000 will help the City of Olean with the costs of the East State Street reconstruction project. The project, completed in June, rebuilt half a mile of the downtown street, including water and sewer lines. A developer recently purchased an eight-acre property on the street for a new family recreation and entertainment complex.

A grant of up to $150,000 will assist S. Howes Inc., a family-owned manufacturer of custom-made industrial machinery, to purchase new equipment as part of a $1.2 million expansion project at its Silver Creek plant. The expansion will result in the creation of eight new jobs. Without the grant, the company planned to move operations to Erie, Pa.

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