The Town of Ballston has received a $200,000 Microenterprise Grant targeted to small business start-ups, agribusinesses and commercial enterprises with five or fewer employees.
The money comes from the state Community Development Block Grant program. Approved businesses may be eligible for a minimum $5,000 to maximum $35,000 award, according to Ballston Town Board member and program liaison Kelly Stewart.
Each microenterprise business must be either owned by a person of low to moderate income or the project must result in the creation of at least one full-time equivalent position to benefit a low-to-moderate income person. The grant can fund up to 90 percent of the total project cost.
“The micro-enterprise grant program is an excellent opportunity for small businesses in Ballston,” said Stewart. “We look forward to helping entrepreneurs start up or expand their businesses in our town.”
The LA Group in Saratoga Springs is assisting the town in the administration of the grant application process. The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County will provide the necessary entrepreneurial training for recipients of the award.
“The training component of the program that the Chamber will provide is mandatory and is a crucial component to the enduring success of the entrepreneurs who participate in the program,” said Jim Martin, senior planner and economic development specialist for the LA Group.
“The Chamber is proud to work alongside the Town of Ballston and our community development partners at the LA Group to bring this important opportunity to local entrepreneurs,” said Pete Bardunias, president/CEO of the Chamber. “Now more than ever, small businesses need all the available tools to help them succeed, and this collaborative partnership between local government, businesses and the Chamber of Commerce will ensure that we can really make a positive difference in their bottom line. I especially appreciate the emphasis on the smallest businesses, including farms and agriculture-related enterprises.”
The funds are a grant, not a loan, thus no repayment is required. Both micro-enterprises and ag-microenterprises are eligible. Applications may include activities conducted on a farm and offered to the public, or to invited groups, to promote the sale of agricultural products and enhance the public’s awareness, understanding, and enjoyment of farming and farm life, for the purpose of education, recreation or active involvement in the farm operation.
Officials said an Agri-tourism activity may be secondary to the primary farm use on a property. Agri-tourism activities may be conducted in an accessory building or structure.
Those with an interest in the program can contact Martin at The LA Group at 518-587-8100.