Four Chautauqua County businesses are receiving loans to help them recover from COVID-19.
At the recent county Industrial Development Agency meeting, board members approved the issuance of Federal Economic Development Administration revolving loan funds to Merritt Estate Winery Inc., Artone LLC, Heritage Ministries and Labyrinth Press Company Inc. The money was left over from previous loans issued.
IDA project manager Kristine Moribato explained that Forestville-based Merritt Estate Winery previously applied for an $82,000 working capital loan from the federal CARES Act, which was designed to help small businesses. businesses to recover from the pandemic. However, IDA had reduced the loan by 50% due to the number of companies applying.
“They still had a need” said Moribato. “They couldn’t buy all the grapes they needed for processing and making wine.”
County IDA agreed to another $41,000 loan with a seven-year repayment plan with an interest rate of 2.44%. Board member Kevin Muldowney abstained from voting due to Merritt Winery being one of his tenants.
For Artone LLC, IDA project manager Carol Rasmussen explained that the Jamestown company originally requested a working capital loan of $250,000. This amount has been reduced to $125,000.
“They had 100 employees and they were down to 50,” she says. “They have now regrouped. They have new demands that are increasing, so this working capital is needed for new employees, for payroll and for training. »
Rasmussen said the hospitality furniture business had up to 99 employees. Their newly approved $125,000 loan will be for seven years with an interest rate of 2.44%.
For heritage ministries, Rasmussen said he requested a working capital loan of $250,000, which was reduced by 50%. “They provide safe and serene housing for seniors, but COVID-19 has really put a strain on them, especially with testing supplies. It really weighed on their cash flow,” she says.
Rasmussen added that Heritage Ministries had a mandate to purchase new equipment. This time, Heritage applied for a $100,000 loan, which the IDA board approved. It will be for seven years at 2.44% interest.
Labyrinth Press Company, a cafe and restaurant on Fourth Street in Jamestown, applied for an EDA loan from the county IDA. They asked for a loan of $100,000 over seven years at 2.44% interest. Unlike the other three companies, they had not received a loan before due to COVID-19.
According to Rasmussen, Labyrinth recently purchased Maurice’s beauty salon, located downstairs from their restaurant. “They bought this because they need to expand their kitchen”, she says.
When COVID hit, the company had to reduce its workforce from 21 people to 11. Since then, the company has been able to regroup and increase its workforce. Rasmussen said the money will be used for their new hires, including training expenses.
The county IDA unanimously backed the remaining three loans.