Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the New York Job Development Authority (JDA) will launch an Agriculture Loan Fund Program to address and help alleviate the economic barriers faced by many New York State small agribusiness owners. JDA has provided $10 million in funding, which will be distributed as low interest loans by third party lenders.
"Agriculture continues to be a major part of New York's economy, and with this funding we are providing the resources necessary to strengthen and grow this industry," Governor Cuomo said." This program will knock down barriers and give new agribusiness owners the support they need to thrive, and grow in New York."
Through the Agriculture Loan Fund Program, eight participating lenders will loan 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 State agricultural industry.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, "We have so many talented small business owners driving an agricultural renaissance in New York with their incredible and innovative products. We've been proud to promote their hard work and boost sales of more than 1,100 local companies through our Taste NY marketing program. Now, with this new loan fund, those companies have an additional resource to help take their businesses to the next level, further supporting economic growth and job creation across the State."
Approved lenders include the New York State Business Development Corporation and Southern Tier Enterprise Development Organization. The Small Business Development Center can help you develop your business plan and pursue funding options.
The JDA Agriculture Loan Program builds on New York State's continued effort to grow and support the agricultural industry. ESD, in coordination with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, administers the New Farmer Grant Fund, which has provided $2.5 million to more than 65 farms across the State since its launch in 2014 to assist new and early-stage farmers. ESD also recently launched the New York State Veterans Farmer Grant Fund to support farms owned and operated by military veterans interested in pursuing agriculture as a second career. In addition, the Department of Agriculture and Market's Taste NY and NYS Grown & Certified programs promote the State's growers, producers and food and beverage businesses and help connect them to new markets. The Taste NY program specifically has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods and has also helped the farms and companies to reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business.
For more information on the Agriculture Loan Fund Program or assistance applying, please contact Beth Reed, Senior Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College. Phone: 716-338-1351 or firstname.lastname@example.org