Microenterprise $ gives bakery a hand

Microenterprise $ gives bakery a hand

Seven businesses throughout the county are in the process of receiving funding through the Schoharie County Microenterprise Grant Program (SCMGP). Schoharie County was awarded $200,000 though the 2015 Consolidated Funding Application - New York State Community Development Block Grant Microenterprise Program. The grant application was submitted by the County Planning Agency and is being administered by County Planning and the County Industrial Development Agency (IDA). Assistance is provided by staff at the New York State Office of Community Renewal. One of the new businesses receiving funds is the soon-to-be opened Brick House Bakery, also known as The Cheesecake Connection, located in the Village of Cobleskill at 503 West Main Street. Owned by Vincent Zaba, the new bakery plans to open before the holidays. Cheesecakes will be available at the bakery, as will fresh-baked breads, bagels, cookies, cakes and more. Wedding cakes, birthday cakes and other offerings for special occasions will also be available. Children's birthday parties and cooking classes are also in the works. Shane Nickle of the County Planning Office explained, "Many people, including staff at the County Planning Office, County IDA, and Village of Cobleskill officials, are thrilled with this endeavor and wish Vince success. "Vince is a nice guy and it is truly rewarding to see him renovate and utilize a once vacant building on Main Street. We hope some assistance will help to make this bakery successful and create some new jobs." The objective of the SCMGP is to fuel the expansion of existing microenterprises (small businesses with five or fewer employees including all owners) and assist in the development of new microenterprises within the county. The county received more applications than it could fund and hopes to continue the program in the future. Awarded businesses requested from $5,000-$35,000 in funding. Funds must be utilized for working capital, inventory, and machinery/equipment. Interior/exterior renovation, construction, and acquisition of land are examples of ineligible uses of funding. Businesses awarded are required to contribute a minimum of a 10 percent cash match to the total project request, participate in and successfully complete an entrepreneurial training program provided by the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce, and be either owned by a low-to-moderate income person or agree to hire at least one full-time equivalent low-to-moderate income person. After lengthy discussions and a thorough review of all applications, the Schoharie County Microenterprise Grant Review Committee and County IDA awarded funds to four start-up businesses and three existing businesses. Ron Filmer Jr. of the Schoharie County IDA said "a focus was placed on businesses in and near villages and hamlets that we hope will help draw consumers to other area businesses."

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