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USDA Will Boost Delaware County LDC To Provide Low-Interest Loans To Underserved Businesses & Create Jobs In The Region  

Schumer: USDA Funding Will Strengthen The Recovery of Delaware County’s Small Businesses

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that the U.S. Department of the Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development has approved the Delaware County Local Development Corporation (LDC) for $750,000 in funding from the Intermediary Relending Program. This low-interest loan will allow Delaware County to establish a revolving loan fund to provided assistance to small businesses in rural parts of the county that lack access to sufficient financial support. This investment will also help increase lending opportunities for sectors still recovering from the economic impacts of the pandemic. Last year, Schumer wrote a letter directly to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack advocating for this funding, and now Delaware County will have the financial backing it needs to create new jobs and promote investment in the most rural and underserved parts of the county.

“Rural businesses across the Southern Tier and in Delaware County were among hardest hit by the pandemic, and revenue losses exasperated already existing problems like limited access to capital for many small businesses in the region. With this USDA investment, Delaware County will now be able to help fill this gap and provide our downtowns, mom & pop shops, and other entrepreneurs the targeted assistance they need to accelerate their economic recovery,” said Senator Schumer. “This federal funding will help Delaware County’s small businesses recover from the pandemic’s economic disruptions, and will ensure our rural areas have the tools they need grow and create good-paying jobs.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges to Delaware County, and businesses have had to reshape their strategies and services. These USDA funds will help the Delaware County Local Development Corporation fund an abundance of projects that will create jobs and enhance quality of life within the County,” said Glenn Nealis, Executive Director of Delaware County Local Development Corporation. “The Delaware County LDC would like to thank Senator Schumer for his assistance in obtaining these funds.”

The USDA Intermediary Relending Program provides 1 percent low-interest loans to local lenders or “intermediaries” like the Delaware County LDC that re-lend to businesses to improve economic conditions and create jobs in rural communities. Specifically, this $750,000 Rural Development investment will be used to establish a revolving loan fund for Delaware County. The Delaware County LDC has administered a wide variety of grant and loan programs within the county, providing direct financial assistance to small businesses. Since 2015, 96 loans exceeding $4.1 million resulted in private sector investment of $13.8 million, creating 239 jobs and retaining an additional 207 jobs. Funding  for this project also includes a $200,000 from the Delaware County LDC. The financial support from this program is expected to create or support over 50 jobs in Delaware County over the course of the program.

A copy of Schumer’s original letter to U.S. Department of the Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appears below:

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

I write on behalf of the Delaware County Local Development Corporation’s (LDC) application to the Intermediary Relending Program through the USDA Rural Development Office to maintain economic resiliency and support job creation in Delaware County. This funding is essential to providing access to capital for small businesses recovery and growth in this hard hit rural area of Upstate New York.

New York was among the first and one of the hardest hit states by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with rural communities and businesses like those in New York’s Southern Tier facing significant economic strain from losses of vital revenue streams like tourism and increased sales during the summer months. The Delaware County LDC has worked to provide targeted assistance to underserved businesses in the region throughout the pandemic, but has recognized a greater need for financial support than the LDC and local lending institutions are currently able to provide. Assistance through the USDA’s Intermediary Relending Program will enable the Delaware County LDC to fill this need brought on by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on providing support to small businesses seeking investment across this rural region of the state.

I applaud the Delaware County LDC and the role it continues to play in the economic development and recovery of the Southern Tier, and hope its application for funding meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration.