LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Nine Lewis County business have received funding that can be used to help them grow and expand.

The funding was provided throughout the Launch Lewis County business competition grant program administered by the Lewis County Industrial Development Agency, on behalf of Lewis County that Launch Lewis County awarded $180,000 in grant awards to nine Lewis County microenterprise businesses. The grant was broken down into two $30,000 awards, five $20,000 awards, and two $10,000 awards.

In order to qualify applicants had to be a for-profit microenterprise with five or fewer employees that enhances experiences for locals and tourists. Additionally, applicants had to be considered to have a low to moderate income or create a job to be made available to low to moderate income individuals.

Applicants were also advised that grant funds can only cover up to 90% of the total project cost and the owner must contribute 10% of the project cost with their own funds. Naturally Lewis also stated that the grant can only be used for equipment, machinery, furniture, fixtures, and inventory.

Launch Lewis County stated that they received interest from 21 businesses at the start of the program in March 2022. All 21 businesses then completed a mandatory Entrepreneurial Training Course hosted by the Small Business Development Center.

Twelve of the businesses submitted final applications for Launch Lewis County funding and after review by the Grant Committee and final approval by the Lewis County IDA Board, nine applications were determined to have met all local and NYS Community Development Block Grant requirements. A full breakdown of the funding is listed below.

  • $30,000 | Sterling Valley Maple, LLC (Croghan, NY)
  • $30,000 | The Tack Shack (Glenfield, NY)
  • $20,000 | Munch. (Lowville, NY)
  • $20,000 | Simmons Tree Farm (Copenhagen, NY)
  • $20,000 | Turin Highland Lodge (Turin, NY)
  • $20,000 | Vanilla Bean Bake Shop (Lowville, NY)
  • $20,000 | World’s Famous Osceola Hotel (Osceola, NY)
  • $10,000 | Cogumelo Mushrooms (Natural Bridge, NY)
  • $10,000 | Grassroot Meats (Lowville, NY)

Executive Director of the Lewis County IDA Brittany Davis highlighted the importance of supporting local businesses in a press release.

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs often have a difficult time accessing capital in small amounts to
purchase the equipment they need,” Davis said. “Our partnership with Lewis County to administer the Launch Lewis County program has allowed small businesses and entrepreneurs to start and expand products and services, which in turn creates and retains jobs, creates unique experiences for residents and tourists, and ultimately enhances the tax base of Lewis County.”

All of the CDBG funds will be disbursed by May 2023 to the awarded projects. Grant recipients will also receive ongoing technical assistance through Naturally Lewis’s DBA Lewis County Program, a professional photoshoot, a logo, and branding package, a grand opening or expansion promotion, and access to a low-interest loan fund if they qualify. The Naturally Lewis team plans on working with all of the businesses that showed initial interest in the grant to discuss opportunities and provide additional resources. More information can be found here.