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11 Lockport businesses receive grants from city development agency

LOCKPORT – The city’s development agency voted Thursday to award state-funded grants to 11 small businesses, seven of which are startups.

Greater Lockport Development Corp. approved a total of $132,500 in grants from the Microenterprise Assistance Program, and one grant of $25,000 to $28,000 from the New York Main Street Program.

The seven new businesses receiving grants were:

• Next Level Plastics, a recycling firm in Harrison Place, and 80 Main St., a catering and banquet facility, $20,000 each.

• Steamworks, a coffee roaster and cafe on Canal Street, $15,000.

• Big Willie’s, a Walnut Street clothing store, $12,000.

• Payback Incentives, on West Main Street, a professional services business that helps companies provide incentives to workers, and Imago Dei Cuts, a barbershop on Walnut Street, $10,000 each.

• Apple of My Eye, a commercial kitchen and food dehydration company at Harrison Place, $6,000.

Grants to existing businesses included:

• Benson Custom, a Vine Street business that makes electric guitar accessories, $20,000

• $14,500 to Flight of Five Winery on Pine Street

• $5,000 to Julie Muscato Interiors on Main Street.

A total of 12 new jobs are to be created by the 10 businesses.

In addition, the New York Main Street grant of $25,000 to $28,000, depending on the balance in the fund, will go to the owners of 45 East Ave. for exterior and structural improvements. Current tenants include Pulp 716, a comic book, tea and coffee store, and 12 Grain, a graphic design studio.

Thursday’s awards exhausted the money available in the funds, according to Brian M. Smith, city planning and development director.

Counting previous awards, the city has handed out $380,000 of the state’s money to Lockport businesses in the last two years, Smith said. The development corporation intends to apply for another helping of state money next summer.

The grants may cover no more than 75 percent of a project’s costs, with the business owner required to come up with the rest.


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