State funds totaling $250,000 will soon be available to growing Orleans County businesses.
Jim Whipple, new director of operations for the Orleans EconomicDevelopment Agency/Industrial Development Agency, told county legislators Wednesday that the new funds will be loaned to businesses wishing to make equipment or facility improvements.
Whipple said the money will be used for businesses throughout the county, but especially in the villages of Medina and Albion. The villages in recent years have also been the benefactors of extensive state road projects meant to improve downtown areas for economic development.
Businesses will be allowed to pay back loans from the grant in a revolving fund overseen by a board of county community leaders made up of bankers and county residents. The specific amount of money to be loaned to each individual business making a grant request has not yet been announced.
Lawmakers posed some questions about the funding. Marcia Tuohey, Legislature chairwoman, asked if the county had this type of loan funding before. Whipple said it did and added the county still has $150,000 remaining for businesses wanting to grow from existing funds.
"It has been very successful," Whipple said.
He told Charles Nesbitt Jr., county chief administrative officer,that all but two businesses have been on time in making loan payments.
County legislators still have to give the IDA approval to take over the funding from the Legislature, but no official action was taken Wednesday.