Dutchess County to Assist Small Business Community Left Behind by Federal Programs

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro announced today the creation of two programs to help small local businesses left behind in the wake by the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flawed roll-out of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Payroll Protection Program (PPP).

Dutchess County businesses became eligible for the EIDL under the State of Connecticut’s disaster declaration on March 18, 2020; days before the rest of New York State counties were eligible under New York State’s disaster declaration, yet many businesses struggle to get through the system and others were offered far less than what they needed.

New York became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been impacted far greater than any other state in the nation. The Hudson Valley has more reported deaths than the entire state of Texas.

Molinaro said, “The second wave of aid under the CARES Act should have been prioritized to the most affected states and the small business community; instead the second wave essentially became another free-for-all.”

With half the banks in Dutchess County reporting, more than $250 million in Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance has been processed for Dutchess County businesses. However, businesses in New York State, particularly small businesses, the hardest-hit state from this epidemic, have been essentially locked out of a fair share of federal assistance.

Based on a survey of Dutchess County’s business community, 65% of affected business have five or less full-time employees, and 76% employ part-time workers. The majority estimated losses between 75% and 100%.

“Our small local businesses that have been unable to secure assistance from the feds or the SBA need help now, or they may not survive or reopen,” noted Molinaro. “To support them, the County has developed a two-part plan, in partnership with our Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, that will help our most affected small businesses.”

Dutchess County Small Local Business Express Loan Program

At its next board meeting, the Dutchess County Local Development Corporation (LDC) is expected to vote on establishing a COVID-19 small business express loan program in partnership Community Capital New York (CCNY) that will help the smallest affected businesses in Dutchess County that have been unable to secure SBA assistance.

The zero interest* loan program is intended exclusively for small independent businesses located in Dutchess County that have not been able to secure SBA, PPP, or EIDL or any other COVID related aid and comes with an optional deferred payment plan and loan amounts up to $10,000.

Dutchess County COVID-19 Sales and Use Tax Relief Program

The Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) will vote to establish a no-fee, fast tracked, COVID-19 Sales and Use Tax Relief Program to help local manufacturers expand capacity and produce much needed personal protection equipment. This pandemic has highlighted the nation’s extraordinary dependency on global supply chains from drugs and food, to technology and life safety equipment. This program will help attract and expand manufacturing opportunities in the local community and help end the chokehold nations like China have on the U.S. economy.

Frank Castella, Jr. President and CEO of Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce said, “These programs are critical to narrow the gap our federal and state governments have left our small businesses in, and I applaud the County’s efforts to change the focus to not just think local, but make and buy local; reducing our dependency on other countries.”

Tim Dean, Chairman of the Dutchess County IDA and LDC said, “Our two public authorities have provided significant support to the not-for-profit community and private sector for many years, attracting billions in investment and retaining and creating thousands of jobs. Our programs and services have always adjusted to meet the needs of the county’s business community and we are proud to bring these two programs to the board for consideration.”

“We have been leading efforts to support our small businesses and family farms. I am grateful to Assistant County Executive Ron Hicks, the Industrial Development Agency and the Local Development Corporation for their big thinking, bold initiatives and tireless commitment to our employers and small business community,” concluded County Executive Molinaro.

The Dutchess County IDA and LDC will meet on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. to consider resolutions on both programs.