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The Agency launches new small-business lending program

The Agency
FIVE South College Drive is a newly constructed economic and business development center that is home to the new Southern Tier office of ABC Creative Group. The building also houses The Agency (Broome County IDA/LDC), the Alliance for Manufacturing and Technology, the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, the National Development Council, the New York Business Development Corporation, and Visions Federal Credit Union. (Photo by Adam Rombel/ BJNN)

BR+E is short for business retention and expansion

The Agency, located at FIVE South College Drive in Dickinson, is the entity that governs the Broome County Industrial Development Agency and the Broome County Local Development Corporation.


About the fund


The BR+E fund is “primarily” designed to assist start-up and existing businesses in Broome County by offering low interest financial support for the purchase of fixed capital assets or working capital.

Eligible businesses may finance up to 90 percent of a project’s cost not to exceed $50,000. The BR+E fund will also provide for refinancing, which is not available in the Agency’s other existing loan programs.

Credit availability is “one of the major problems” in local business development, and a “significant contributing factor to local economic distress,” the Agency contends.

Even when available, the cost and terms of the credit may prevent businesses from expanding or continuing operations. The result may be a community’s loss of jobs, tax revenues and private investment, the Agency said.

While the BR+E fund is “not a substitute” for conventional financing, it can “fill in the gaps” in existing local financial markets and attract additional capital, which would otherwise not be available for economic development.

“Growing our existing businesses is critical to growing our economy,” Kevin McLaughlin, executive director of the Agency, said in the news release. “This program will provide more flexible financing options for small businesses and start-ups that are looking to expand and grow here in Broome.”

“It is so important to me to provide as much support as possible to our small businesses in Broome County,” Jason Garnar, Broome County Executive, said in the Agency’s news release. “I meet with business owners throughout the county every single week and they need help. That’s why I pushed hard for this program and made it a priority in my 2018 budget.”

The Agency is the lead economic-development organization for Broome County. It provides assistance through property-tax abatement programs for expansions or “significant” renovation projects; revolving loan programs; bond issuance for large-scale manufacturing and nonprofit projects; and information on federal and state financing resources.


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