Town Board announces GROW Greece program

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Supervisor Bill Reilich and the Greece Town Board announce GROW Greece, a program providing federal funds to local retail and service businesses.

For years, the Greece Residential Improvement Program has helped local homeowners through grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The town has assisted 2,200 homes with $6 million in funding support since its inception.

“Today, we turn our efforts toward our small businesses,” Supervisor Bill Reilich said. “As a former small business owner myself, I have been imagining how devastating this COVID-19 shutdown would have affected my business and my former employees. As your Greece town supervisor, I have seen firsthand the devastation many of our small businesses are experiencing. We have certainly been doing all we can to assist wherever possible.”

Reilich and the Greece Town Board recently announced the GROW Greece program. GROW is an acronym for Grant support for business, Retain jobs in Greece, Opportunities provided and Working together to move small business forward.

The program will be funded initially with a supplement to the community development block grant funds. It will have $100,000 available immediately.

The first stage of GROW Greece will consist of up to $5,000 as a business grant to qualifying businesses. Retail or service businesses must be located in the town of Greece for at least one year and have 5-50 employees, be able to document economic loss as a direct result of the COVID-19 health crisis, be in compliance with applicable codes, and not have any outstanding taxes.

After Phase I, the town will evaluate before making a decision to add additional funding toward this program. The long-term plan will offer revolving small business loans.

The main goal is to assist small businesses that are struggling, but will continue to exist with an overall purpose of assisting small business growth and attracting small businesses wanting to set up shop and grow their business in Greece.

“I have formed a group of management individuals who I am charging with reviewing the applications, verifying the information provided by the business and selecting the recipients,” Reilich said. “These individuals will be certain the funding is being used wisely and also ensuring it has a positive effect on the community. I am excited to launch this new program, in particular at this point in time as we are starting to celebrate in a small way our phased opening and the path to what I would like to coin as ‘a better normal.’”