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Columbia County announces initiative for small businesses

Jul 06, 2022 1:00 am

Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia County Board of Supervisors has announced a $500,000 initiative to aid small businesses. The board launched Columbia Forward, designed to strengthen the business community as it emerges from the pandemic and encourage local economic development activities. Under Columbia Forward, the Columbia Economic Development Corporation and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce will partner to implement and manage a three-year, $450,000 program intended to assist county-based small business and local economic development committees, Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt Murell said. The county will give the CEDC an additional $50,000 in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to support a new small business grant program to which the corporation has committed $500,000 in new loan funds. Loans up to $25,000 will be made available to credit-eligible borrowers. There are approximately 1,750 businesses in Columbia County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with more than 78 percent employing 10 or fewer people. The program will target these small businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, including businesses in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries, Murell said. The program will also focus on Main Street retail, small manufacturing, and service businesses. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.

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