ANCA awarded almost $1.3M for small business aid

SARANAC LAKE — The Adirondack North Country Association has received a combined grant award of more than $1.26 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and Mastercard to develop and implement small business assistance programs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 economic crisis.

ANCA, a nonprofit corporation based in Saranac Lake, will leverage the $1 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to implement a new Center for Pandemic Response, which will provide technical support services that help small businesses across northern New York diversify income streams and decrease overhead costs. The Mastercard Impact Fund, administered by The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, will provide $250,000 to support the project.

“This initiative will have lasting economic impact for the North Country,” Danielle Delaini, ANCA’s business transition program coordinator, said in a press release. “With individually tailored planning that focuses on diversification and cost savings, our region’s small businesses will spur economic investment in their communities by creating and sustaining local jobs and supporting neighboring businesses. The plans they develop through CPR will help them better withstand future economic crises that come their way.”

Dalaini said ANCA will work with regional economic development partners to implement the project, which they anticipate will support 305 businesses across New York’s 11-county Adirondack North Country region in developing resilience plans. Over the next two years, the project will help retain approximately 1,425 jobs, create 210 jobs and preserve millions of dollars in wages.

“In these trying and unprecedented times, the federal government should continue doing everything in its power to support our small businesses and put local economies on track to recovery. That is why I insisted Economic Development Administration funding for communities and businesses be included in the CARES Act that Congress passed to respond to COVID-19,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

“Rebuilding our regional economies is dependent on organizations like the Adirondack North Country Association, and this funding will help them create hundreds of jobs and opportunities in northern New York,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

In a press release announcing the award, Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, said, “The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities across the nation implement strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. These EDA investments assist businesses in the Adirondack North Country region with developing long-term recovery and resiliency plans.”

“With these grants, small businesses will be able to better digitize their operations and contribute to the post-COVID economic recovery of communities across northern New York,” said Sandy Fernandez, Vice President for North America of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.

The funding will allow ANCA to expand and integrate its existing focus areas of clean energy, food systems and the entrepreneurial economy to provide a cohesive, individualized service for regional businesses. Participating business owners will develop strategic plans to help them access new markets, expand e-commerce functionality, reduce supply chain inefficiencies, decrease energy costs and create succession plans.

Project partners include the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation, CITEC Business Solutions and the Cooperative Development Institute. ANCA will invite other organizations to collaborate through a RFP (request for proposals) process later this year.


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