The Industrial Development Agency has more than $10 million available for county companies in a special low-interest loan fund to help them produce more and expand business opportunities.
The Al Tech Revolving Loan Fund in 2007 was responsible for more than $5 million in loans, leading to more than $24 million in project investments, which retained 891 jobs and created 218 new jobs.
As of July 1, 2006, the IDA began administering the Al Tech Revolving Loan Fund, which had a total pot of $11,106,641 to loan to county businesses at a 5 percent fixed rate.
The origination of the loan fund came from a federal grant to facilitate the buy-out of the former Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation facilities in Dunkirk and Colonie. The original loan/grant for $10 million was made in 1976. As the loan was paid back from the company the proceeds were fed into a revolving loan fund to be used to create additional job growth and retention in Chautauqua and Albany counties.
The loan fund was administered by the the New York Job Development Authority through August 2006, when control of the fund was given to the individual counties with 60 percent going to the county’s IDA.
‘‘Last year we broke away from Albany County and we (the IDA) run it now,’’ said Bill Daly, IDA executive director. ‘‘The Al Tech loan fund is controlled by the IDA through its board.’’
Daly said the loan applications are brought to the IDA’s staff, which helps county businesses prepare loans for the loan committee. The loan committee is made up of two IDA board members and five loan officers from five different county banks. Once the company has received the OK from the loan committee, the IDA board than has to approve the loan.
‘‘Once it gets to the IDA board, they usually approve it. It goes through the necessary scrutiny when the loan committee approves the loan,’’ Daly said.
General criteria for the loan allows a variety of businesses to apply for the loan as long as the business provides detailed information on the project to be financed, business history and management, product marketing and financial information. Also, the business must be located or proposing to be located in Chautauqua County.
Priority businesses to be loaned money include those involved in information and communication technologies, tourism-related activities, commercial development, helping existing industries, agriculture-related activities and industrial park development or brownfieldf site remediation and redevelopment.
No more than 10 percent of the total fund can be loaned to one company and individual working-capital loans can not exceed $100,000.
‘‘It’s very satisfying to be able to help local businesses,’’ Daly said. ‘‘It’s great that we have this wonderful economic development tool.’’