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The Erie County Industrial Development Agency Selects Six Local Businesses to Receive Minority Entrepreneur Funding

 April 7, 2010 - Buffalo, NY - The Erie County Industrial Development Agency today announced six local companies have qualified for its innovative Minority Entrepreneurs Grant and Loan Program. The businesses - five existing firms and one start-up - will get a total of $139,000 in low-interest loans and grants through the Buffalo and Erie County Regional Development Corporation, the affiliated lending corporation of the ECIDA.

"These companies were selected from an initial field of 89 applications.  After much scrutiny we determined these six businesses showed the greatest potential for success and we are delighted to welcome them into the Minority Entrepreneurs program," said Karen Fiala, ECIDA Tax Incentive Manager.

The recipients are:

  1. Integrated Thermal Solutions, a wood treatment company, located at 2600 Hamburg Turnpike, Lackawanna; $50,000;
  2. Bubblle's Q-Sauce, a barbeque sauce manufacturer, 380 E. Ferry Street, Buffalo; $50,000;
  3. The Ink Spot, an office supply store, 1440 Jefferson Ave., Buffalo; $16,500;
  4. Appaloosa Productions, a video production company, 108 Leonard St., Buffalo; $12,500;
  5. Olivers Cleaning Service, a commercial and office cleaning firm, 29 Stevens Ave., Buffalo; $5,000;
  6. Jovino Property and Financial Management Co., a real estate and mortgage brokerage firm, 2344 Seneca St., Buffalo; $5,000.

"This program by its very definition exists to assist businesses that don't tend to qualify for traditional bank financing.  We challenged them to demonstrate to us they are in a position to use the funds to grow and prosper, and these companies stepped up to the challenge," said Brenda W. McDuffie, Chairman and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League, and ECIDA Minority Loan Committee member.

The ECIDA announced last fall it would make available as much as $500,000 in loans and grants to high-risk minority-owned businesses through its Minority Entrepreneurs program.  The agency received 89 initial applications, with 32 companies following through with detailed funding documents, which included business plans.

Following extensive analysis, multiple credit checks, and lien and judgment searches, the field was trimmed to the final six awardees.

In 2008, 70 companies applied for the specialized loans and grants, with 10 businesses eventually receiving nearly $400,000. Nine of those firms - ranging from a gourmet catering/restaurant firm to a bowling center to a demolition company - remain in operation and support 23 new local jobs.

"We had hoped to award more money to more companies, but it came down to picking the entrepreneurs our review committee determined had the strongest business plans and credit standing," Fiala said.  "So at this time the assistance packages total $139,000.  In addition, loan recipients are eligible to receive a grant for educational purposes to enhance their business skills.

The 10-year, low interest loans, are funded through a U.S. Department of Commerce economic development program with favorable repayment terms.    

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