**This is an official release from Tom Knipe, deputy director for economic development for the city of Ithaca. Tompkins Weekly did not write this article.
(Ithaca, NY – May 6, 2020) In mid-April, a consortium of local economic development agencies and community partners announced the Ithaca Tompkins County COVID-19 Small Business Resilience Fund (SBRF). The purpose of the fund was to provide forgivable loans of up to $5,000 for working capital to micro-enterprises and small businesses in Ithaca and Tompkins County experiencing hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 160 local small businesses applied within 48 hours, and the fund was quickly closed to new applications due to tremendous demand.
96 loans have now been recommended for funding. A review committee made up of representatives of partner organizations used the funding priorities established in the program guidelines to make their recommendations. The committee had a difficult task, and many eligible applicants were unable to be funded. Priority was given to ground-floor storefront businesses open to the general public and businesses in established commercial districts. Other priorities included businesses that provide the owner with their primary source of income, businesses owned by persons of color and/or women, and businesses for whom resources will help them stay in business.
Loans carry a zero-interest rate, an 18-month term, and will be forgiven for businesses open and in operation on December 1, 2020 that have complied with the program rules.
Alternatives Federal Credit Union (AFCU) is managing the application process and disbursing approved loans.
Funding came from the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency (IURA), Tompkins County Development Corporation (TCDC), Cornell University, Community Foundation of Tompkins County, and individual donors; and loans were made available to businesses across Tompkins County. Other partners included the City of Ithaca, Downtown Ithaca Alliance, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, and Tompkins County Area Development.
Loan recipients will use the funds in a variety of ways to help recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. Comments from businesses receiving SBRF funding included the following:
For me, this means my transition into a more efficient space is not compromised, my new employee who I just hired right before all of this has a promised job to come back to on the call date of her furlough.– Adrina Graham, Adrina Dietra Luxury Lingerie And Apothecary Goods
This loan significantly impacts our capacity to continue to serve our mission. Although we are not able to provide circus education in the conventional sense, we still have a strong community to care for, cultivate, and connect with. The loan supports our ability to pay our rent, along with support from our landlord, as well as contribute to staff costs during a time when income does not cover them, as well as modest capital improvements that will allow us to modify our space for use in the "normal" we anticipate once we can re-open.– Amy Cohen, Circus Culture
This loan means survival. The inn is at $0 revenue, but fixed costs remain. This loan will keep the inn afloat while we await the new ‘normal’. We are so grateful.– Eileen Stout, Rogues Harbor Inn
This loan is an important piece of the puzzle in getting Benjamin Peters up and running successfully in the near future. I also see it as a good faith agreement between a local business, local government and other interested local parties to invest in the future of Ithaca.– Peter Parkes, Benjamin Peters
I'm pivoting most of my business efforts to online sales. In addition to using the money for payroll, I've hired a local photographer to photograph some new products to enhance our website. Artists and independent contractors are especially vulnerable during this crisis, so I'm glad that I can help a bit.– Lesli Sagan, Avital's Apiaries
Each day into each week gets tougher. But with programs like the SBRF, it keeps us going, it helps keep employees, and it gives us hope. All of the funders and partner organizations coming together to create this fund really exemplify the uniqueness of Ithaca and Tompkins County and how much of a supportive community we are. For that, I am grateful.– Chuck Dong, Shortstop Deli
For individual donors interested in supporting local small businesses during COVID-19, Alternatives Impact, the 501(c)3 affiliate of AFCU which raises funds to support community programs and create economic opportunity for underserved people and communities, is also now taking donations for the COVID-19 Economic Crisis Response Fund: https://www.givegab.com/campaigns/covid-19-economic-crisis-response-fund. Additional funds received will increase capacity for direct technical assistance to local small businesses.
Additional information about the SBRF program is located on the City of Ithaca’s website for COVID-19 business resources - bit.ly.coicovid.
SBRF loan recipients are listed below:
Adrina DietraAlkeme SalonAllechantAngelhearts DinerArjan MakarAspen Grove IthacaAttuned Life MassageAurora Shoe RepairAutomotive ConsultantsAutumn Leaves Used BooksAvital's ApiariesBalance Acupuncture & MassageBa-Li CravingsBarber Shop at Narrative SpaceBarton ChiropracticBenjamin PetersBreathe IthacaBusiness is BloomingCafé DewittCafé PacificCaterpillar Early CareCayuga Nail SpaCayuga Ski & CycleryCenter HaircuttersChanges Cutting StudioChiropractic Associates of IthacaCircus Culture, LLCComics For Collectors IncCorners GalleryDanby GatheryDiane Farnham Physical Therapy & MassageDiscoveriesEast Hill AntiquesEdible ArrangementsElizabeth Herman - Deeply Devoted MassageFLX Fit ClubFontana's ShoesFound in Ithaca LLCFresch ThreadzGuidi's Collision ServiceHair Color ArtHairy CanaryHare & BristleHazelnut KitchenHome Green HomeHomegrown BoardshopIthaca Community AcupunctureIthaca PressIthaca SheepskinJamie Love PhotographyJazzercise Ithaca Fitness CenterJillian's DrawersJulie Kitson Construction Management
Klein's Archery & Outdoor Store CoMehak CuisineMighty YogaMockingbird PaperieNail StudioNewfield ConvenienceNo Barks About ItNothing NowhereOdyssey WellnessOne Ring DonutsOne World Market IthacaOver the Moon IthacaPetrunePorts of New YorkRogue's Harbor InnSammy's PizzeriaSatori SalonShortstop DeliSnabbSunny Days of IthacaSweet Melissa's Ice CreamTerra RosaThe BloomwellThe Brain ShoppeThe BrambleThe Frame ShopThe GymThe Inn & Spa at Gothic EvesThe JewelboxThe Metal SmitheryThe Pilates Room & Antigravity StudioThe Rhine HouseThe RookThee Amish StructuresTre Bella's Dance StudioTrue Dat BarbershopTrumansburg Main Street MarketUpstate CollisionUrban BlendzV's Hair SalonWaffle FrolicYour CBD StoreYumi Asakura, Siatsu & Massage Studio
Recommended for you