L. Michael Treadwell
‘As we look to the future, we must remain flexible in how we do business. It will not be business as usual. However, with creativity, perseverance and commitment to our community, we will support Oswego County businesses at the same level we always have.’
Operation Oswego County (OOC) has been focused over the last several weeks on assisting the small businesses of Oswego County that are struggling due to COVID-19.
On March 23, OOC, with funding from the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency (COIDA), and support from the County of Oswego Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, launched the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program.
This program is an emergency loan fund of $500,000 to provide zero-interest, 180-day loans to small businesses (50 employees or less) with a maximum loan amount of $10,000 to support operations and employment directly impacted by COVID-19. There is no cost to apply. There are no closing costs, no filing fees and no attorney fees (if you hire an attorney you are responsible for that cost).
After six rounds, as of May 12, OOC had approved 41 loans totaling $358,300 to businesses throughout Oswego County and 36 loans had been funded. One business was waiting a bit before being funded and the four recently approved loans were scheduled for closing and funding. It is anticipated that the entire loan fund of $500,000 will have been lent by early June.
To date, businesses across 19 municipalities in Oswego County were approved for funding representing both cities as well as towns and villages. Not only do these businesses span the breadth of the county, the services they provide are also quite diverse. Industries that have participated in the program cross all spectrums of the economy from manufacturing to retail, professional services to tourism and hospitality, and agriculture to health care. A portion of the businesses assisted include: JP Jewelers in the city of Oswego, Green Light Courier in the town of Schroeppel, Amedio’s Auto Repair in the town of Scriba, Mental Health Counseling of Oswego County in the city of Fulton, Salmon River Pines in the town of Albion, Take Charge Strength Studio in the village of Mexico, Focused Fiscal Force in the city of Fulton, Pople Ridge Farm in the town of Mexico, CME Electrical Supply in the town of Hannibal, EDM Tool Repair in the town of Granby, Greene Point Marina in the village of Sandy Creek, All-Source Fire Supply in the town of Parish and Port Lodge Motel in the town of Richland.
Additionally, in response to the hardship faced by businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, COIDA and OOC have deferred existing loan payments at the request of their clients.
Twenty-four loans through the COIDA, from four different loan programs, have been deferred. The businesses benefiting from the deferrals are located in the towns of Williamstown, Scriba, Oswego, Hastings, Hannibal and Volney, the village of Mexico, as well as the cities of Fulton and Oswego.
Two loans through OOC have been deferred. The businesses benefiting from these deferrals are in the town of Hastings and the city of Fulton.
These 26 loans have a cumulative outstanding balance of over $2.1 million and represent a deferral of over $33,000 in monthly payments.
OOC is also a certified development corporation for the U.S. Small Business Administration and administers SBA 504 loans for its clients. These clients have been notified that the SBA will be paying their loan payments for them from April through September. The businesses benefitting from having their loan payments covered by the SBA are located in the towns of Sandy Creek, Palermo, Albion, Schroeppel, Williamstown, Hastings and Granby, the villages of Central Square, Mexico and Pulaski, as well as the cities of Fulton and Oswego.
For these 25 businesses, the SBA is paying over $55,000 monthly to cover their loan payments.
Like many others, the staff of OOC has been working from home. Despite that, the staff and legal counsel have worked collaboratively to provide outreach for these programs, collect the necessary documentation, and scheduled closings to get these loans funded quickly for our small businesses.
As we look to the future, we must remain flexible in how we do business. It will not be business as usual. However, with creativity, perseverance and commitment to our community, we will support Oswego County businesses at the same level we always have.
L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD, is executive director of Operation Oswego County based in Oswego. To contact him call 315-343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org.