If you are looking for assistance with starting or expanding your small business, and willing to jump through a few hoops, the City of Amsterdam’s micro-enterprise grant program may be worth looking into. The program is funded by an initial $200,000 New York State grant awarded to the city in December 2016, and will allow the city will distribute smaller grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to as many as 18 small businesses.
As with most state grants, there are several conditions and requirements in order to qualify. Some of the most important ones are listed below. You can download the application form with all the details in .pdf format here. There is also an informational meeting on May 23rd at 6pm at the Fulton-Montgomery Chamber of Commerce office in the Riverfront Center.
- First, your business must be based in the City of Amsterdam, or you must have a plan to locate within the city. Many businesses have found that they can cut costs by locating to the city and taking advantage of low property prices and inexpensive rental space, while still taking advantage of the central location and access to the thruway. You can read examples here, here, and here.
- Startups may especially benefit from a co-working environment that is in the works at the Clock Tower building.
- In addition, the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge is beginning to spur economic development in the city’s South Side and momentum is also building in the city’s Main Street downtown area. All this contributes to a growing buzz that could benefit all businesses in the city by bringing increased attention and visibility to the area for years to come.
- Only businesses with five or less employees, including owners, will be considered.
- Owners must be able to fund 20% of their proposed project, the grant will cover 80%. Additionally, it’s important to understand that grant reimburses your expenses and you only get two draws. So you have to make sure you have the necessary funding in place beforehand.
- You must be willing to go participate in four training sessions which will be held on June 6,13,20, and 27. The courses will cover businesses basics such as legal structures, accounting, record-keeping, taxes, marketing, and business plan development. The cost for taking these courses is $100. Taking the courses is a requirement for obtaining the grant, but it does not guarantee you will get the grant.
- Your proposal must include creating at least one job for a “low to middle income” (LMI) person or the owner must qualify as LMI. The table below shows the income limits according to HUD:
|Family members||Yearly income limit|
Those are the major requirements, but there are other details, such as what the money can be spent on, and other requirements such as submitting a business and marketing plan. There are other factors, such as locating within certain economic development zones, which will help you score higher in the application process.
To signup for the courses, contact Terry Swierzowski at the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (518) 725-0641.
If you want more details or have additional questions, you can download and read the full application, attend the informational meeting on May 23, or contact the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency at (518) 842-5011 or email@example.com.