For years, the GRIP (Greece Residential Improvement Program) has assisted homeowners in Greece with providing grant funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. To date, the town has successfully assisted 2,200 homes in providing $6,000,000 in funding support since its inception.
“Today, we turn our efforts toward our small businesses. As a former small business owner myself, I have been imagining how devastating this COVID-19 shutdown would have affected my business and my former employees. As your Greece Town Supervisor, I have seen first-hand the devastation many of our small businesses are experiencing. We have certainly been doing all we can to assist wherever possible” said Supervisor Bill Reilich.
Small business are the backbone to every community. During these difficult and challenging times, they have countless worries that extend beyond the fear of losing their business altogether. They bare a heavy responsibility to their employees and their families and also to the community.
This morning, Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich and the Greece Town Board were thrilled to announce the introduction of the GROW Greece Program.
GROW is an acronym for:
G - Grant Support for Businesses
R - Retain Jobs in Greece
O - Opportunities Provided
W - Working Together to Move Small Business Forward
Supervisor Reilich and the Greece Town Board made the decision to launch a program which will initially be funded with a supplement to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds. This fund will initially have $100,000 immediately available. There is already a plan in motion to increase potential funding for Phase I and further enhancements to the program for Phase 2, which will offer small business loans.
The first stage of GROW Greece will consist of up to $5,000 as a business grant to qualifying businesses. The criteria for applying for the grant are:
- Business must be located in the Town of Greece
- Must be a retail or service business with between 5 to 50 employees
- Be an established business in the Town of Greece for at least one year
- Be able to document economic loss as a direct result of the COVID-19 health crisis
- Be in compliance with applicable codes
- Not have any outstanding taxes
After this initial funding of Phase I, the town will evaluate before making a decision to add additional funding toward this grant program. The long term plan that is being put in place will offer revolving small business loans. After analyzing this program, an announcement will be made with more details for what we will call Phase II.
Initially, the main goal is to put forth an effort to assist small businesses that are struggling, but as we rally past the ill effects of this Pandemic, this program will continue to exist with an overall purpose of assisting small business growth and attracting small businesses eager to set up shop and GROW their business in Greece.
“I have formed a group of management individuals who I am charging with reviewing the applications, verifying the information provided by the business and selecting the recipients. These individuals will be certain the funding is being used wisely and also ensuring it has a positive effect on the community” said Supervisor Reilich. “I am excited to launch this new program, in particular at this point in time as we are starting to celebrate in a small way our phased opening and the path to what I would like to coin as “A better normal”.