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New York launches agriculture loan-fund program

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

The New York Job Development Authority (JDA) announced it has started an agriculture loan-fund program to “address and help alleviate the economic barriers faced by many New York small-agribusiness owners.” 

JDA has provided $10 million in funding, which will be distributed as low-interest loans by third-party lenders, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release.

The JDA is part of Empire State Development (ESD), New York’s primary economic-development agency.

Through the agriculture loan-fund program, eight participating lenders will lend between $50,000 and $200,000 to eligible businesses. 

Qualified businesses include, but are not limited to, value-added processors, food-distribution companies, food aggregators, craft-beverage producers, and food-hub participants. 

The projects may include the acquisition of and/or improvements to land or buildings; the purchase of machinery and equipment; and working capital used in support of the New York agricultural industry.

The approved lenders for the program include the New York Business Development Corporation. In addition, the Development Authority of the North Country will consider applications in the North Country; Mohawk Valley Rehabilitation Corporation is the approved lender in the Mohawk Valley; and the Delaware County Local Development Corporation and REDEC Relending Corporation (RRC) have been approved as lenders in the Southern Tier. 

REDEC/RRC of Corning is “the Southern Tier’s primary revolving loan fund, providing financial and technical assistance for startup and expanding businesses located in Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, and Tioga counties,” according to its website.

Applicants should contact lenders directly, Cuomo’s office said.

“The Development Authority of the North Country recognized the economic importance of agribusinesses in the North Country and is committed to growing the industry in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties,” Michelle Capone, director of regional development at the Development Authority of the North Country, said in the release. “We look forward to working with JDA and New York State on this new initiative.”

New York’s farmers and agribusiness owners have “tremendous” ideas, but they often lack the funding to put them to work in ways that can help grow their businesses and strengthen the agriculture economy, New York State Senator Patty Ritchie (R–Heuvelton) said. 

“With this program, New York State is committing to allowing those ideas to come to life. It will encourage value-added agriculture, job creation and boost business and our economy in a way that ensures success for generations to come,” said Ritchie, who chairs the New York Senate’s Agriculture Committee.               

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