$750,000 in grants to North Country communities

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $750,000 in economic development grants to communities in the central Adirondacks region.

The funding is intended to help communities capitalize on the economic and recreational opportunities in the recently protected Boreas Ponds tract and surrounding forests.

The grants, supported by funding from The Nature Conservancy, will help local businesses and communities enhance access opportunities and services to attract new visitors to the region.

The grant funds come in two categories and are restricted to the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub communities of Indian Lake, Long Lake, Minerva, Newcomb, and North Hudson. Roughly $250,000 of the funds will aid municipal projects in the area while $500,000 is earmarked to help small businesses and non-profits in the communities.

The Department of Environmental Conservation partnered with the Nature Conservancy and National Heritage Trust to deliver the grant funding that will support municipal projects.

The Gateway to the Adirondacks makeover of the former Frontiertown site in North Hudson will receive $121,618 as part of this funding. Repairs to the Minerva Lake Dam will also receive $121,618 in aid.

$500,000 of the grant funding provided by The Nature Conservancy went to for-profit small businesses and nonprofit organizations via a separate competitive microenterprise grant program.

The microenterprise grant program is administered by the Essex County Industrial Development Agency and will fund business development and training as well as nonprofit projects advancing recreation and tourism-related objectives.

The 12 businesses and nonprofits receiving these microenterprise grants include Trailhead Resort, the Masten House Fine Lodging and Retreat Center, and Snoops Ice Cream all of Newcomb; Adirondack Growl and Grub, The Coner, the Adirondack Hotel, Raquette River Outfitters, and the ADK Trading Post, all of Long Lake; the Morningside Camps and Cottages in Minerva; Yogi-Bear’s Adirondack Jellystone Park in North Hudson; and the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Individual awards range from $99,443 for the Trailhead Resort to $8,913 for the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce.

“These funds will offer the Hub area communities and businesses an important financial foundation to encourage startups and growth and expansion for existing businesses to offer more goods and services for tourists as well as residents,” Carol Calabrese, co-executive director of the Essex County IDA said in a statement.