By Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)
Small businesses comprise 98 percent of all businesses in New York and employ more than half of New York’s private sector workforce. Since the recession took hold, many businesses have experienced trouble obtaining credit to expand. The good news is that the financial climate has begun to change and though credit is not as easy to obtain as it was two years ago, there are many state and federally funded programs available to help businesses stay afloat, retain employees and allow businesses to expand.
In September, the state compiled its resources and made it easier for businesses or aspiring entrepreneurs to obtain information regarding state financial assistance. The state has a new booklet that features descriptions of more than 100 state programs from various agencies aimed at helping New Yorkers start and grow their businesses. Technical assistance, funding incentives, industry-specific programs, workforce recruitment, government contracting and market expansion are some of the chapters the booklet covers.
About eight pages in the booklet are dedicated to funding opportunities. Fixed asset and working capital financing details are included and available for a wide variety of businesses. In addition, there are listings for specialized financing opportunities which include employer incentives, programs for environmental improvements, green product development/manufacturing, and programs for minority, women, and disadvantaged businesses. This helpful booklet can be found at http://www.empire.state.ny.us/SmallBusiness.html.
Specifically, one entity included within the booklet that provides financial assistance to small businesses is the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC). The NYBDC together with the Empire State Certified Development Corporation and Statewide Zone Capital Corporation of New York, act as a complement to banks in providing long-term working capital, equipment, and real estate loans to a variety of businesses located in the state. NYBDC loans are generally disbursed in amounts up to $1.5 million and are secured by borrowers’ assets and, in some instances, with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guarantees. A borrower’s creditworthiness is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with the amount of collateral required based upon management’s credit evaluation of the borrower. Interest rates are either fixed or variable, and maturities range up to 15 years, depending upon the purpose of the loan.
A number of loans have been awarded to both Oswego and Onondaga county-based businesses in recent months through the New York Business Development Corporation. Through the corporation’s Credit for Success program, businesses that were denied loans through their lenders were given a Ã¢â‚¬Å“second lookÃ¢â‚¬Â and some were awarded loans of up to $150,000. To find more information about this program, visit www.nyssbdc.org or call 1800-732-7232 to request an appointment for a free business counseling session.
For additional information on obtaining business loans, visit the United States Small Business Administration web site at http://www.sba.gov/financialassistance/borrowers/guaranteed/. While the SBA itself does not make loans, it does guarantee loans made to small businesses by private and other institutions.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding this or any other state matter, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list, contact me by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, 13069, by e-mail at [email protected], or by phone at (315) 598-5185.