$200K grant would fund some startup costs, business expenses for MAP grads

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 March 2021 at 8:13 am

ALBION – A $200,000 grant for the Microenterprise Assistance Program would offer funding for graduates of the small business class run by the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

An article last week on the Orleans Hub said the $200,000 grant would be to extend the program another two years to 2023.

But the Orleans EDA isn’t seeking the grant for the costs of operating the MAP class. Instead, the grant would allow the EDA to make grants available to graduates of MAP, ranging from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $35,000, said Diane Blanchard, manager of MAP.

That funding would be available to graduates of the spring and fall classes this year and in 2022. The grants to the small business owners would be for working capital, advertising, marketing and needed equipment.

More than 500 people have graduated from the Microenterprise Assistance Program since it started in 1999. The 10-week program is offered in the spring and fall and gives small business owners tips in marketing, handling stress, computers, legal issues, bookkeeping and taxes – all factors that are key to running successful businesses. They also must complete a business plan.

The spring class that starts April 6 is already full. The class sessions are held at the Arnold Gregory Office Complex in Albion.

The Orleans County Legislature is applying for the grant on behalf of the Orleans Economic Development Agency from the New York State Community Development Block Grant Program.