County businesses get micro enterprise funds

The Delaware County Department of Economic Development recently announced the approval of 10 projects for the first round of funding through the Micro Enterprise Program Start-up and Expansion Grant.‚ÄÇ
Through the start-up and expansion grant, new or expanding micro enterprise businesses are eligible to apply for a working capital grant of up to $5,000. The funds may be used for most business related start-up or expansion costs, and require a minimum of a 50/50 match.
The 10 projects that were approved during the first funding round will result in the creation of 35 new jobs, and the retention of 47 existing jobs.‚ÄÇ Two of the businesses that have received assistance through this program are new enterprises; the remaining eight will undertake expansions enabling the businesses to increase the variety of goods and services available at their location.‚ÄÇ All told, these projects represent over $1 million of new private sector investment in Delaware County, the majority located within the main street districts of our villages and hamlets. ‚ÄÇ Following is a short summary of several of the approved projects;
Cornerstone Health & Fitness, previously located on Main Street in Margaretville, applied for a grant to aid in the relocation, and subsequent re-establishment, of this business at 43263 state highway 28 in Arkville.‚ÄÇ The new location offers the owners, Joan and Roger Cogan, the opportunity to expand the services and variety of exercise and recreation classes (Silver Sneakers Senior Fitness Classes, Pre-Adolescent Hip Hop Dance, Pilates Core Training, Latin Fitness Dance and Kick Boxing) they offer to the community without interfering in the routine use of the exercise facility.‚ÄÇ
Dig-in, located in Margaretville, offers a huge assortment of designer and brand name clothing for men, women, and children at a discounted price.‚ÄÇ With the assistance of the start-up and expansion grant, the owner of Dig-in, Mercedes Gonzalez, will be able to increase the number of display racks, and update their inventory tracking system.
In Roxbury, the Public Lounge was previously known as a bar with limited food service.‚ÄÇ Jill Healy, owner of the Public Lounge will expand the business with a commercial kitchen and additional seating, transforming the business into a restaurant/lounge, offering an expanded menu and additional weekend hours.
Additionally, low-interest loans of up to $35,000, presently at five percent interest, are also being made available to new and existing businesses throughout the county.‚ÄÇ The loan funds may be used for the acquisition or renovation of buildings, the purchase of machinery and equipment, and/or working capital.‚ÄÇ Applicants are required to demonstrate job creation or retention through the use of the loan proceeds.‚ÄÇ To date, two businesses have been approved for loans under this program.‚ÄÇ
Cassie Grabowski, formerly of Cassie’s Kitchen in Andes, will open Cassie’s Cafe, a new diner/restaurant in the building, which formerly housed Taste Buds.  Cassie’s Café will serve breakfast and lunch, providing the same good food and service, and health driven menu for which Cassie’s Kitchen was known.  With the assistance of a $35,000 loan through this program, the building, located at 53535 Main Street in Roxbury will be renovated to accommodate the new business, and the loan proceeds will be used to purchase equipment.
For further information on this and other programs available to local businesses please visit the department’s new website at www.dcecodev.com or contact:  The Delaware County Department of Economic Development, One Gallant Avenue, Suite 2; Delhi, NY 13753; 607 746-8595.