By JIMMY LAWTON
POTSDAM -- Potsdam's director of planning and development says the department is looking for applicants for its Micro-Enterprise Revolving Loan and Growth Funds.
Potsdam Planning and Development Director Frederick J. Hanss said the revolving fund has helped at least 80 businesses get started, expand or retain jobs since its inception in 1995.
"It's very beneficial to area businesses," he said
The Micro-Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund is intended to provide small businesses with access to the financing that they may require to start-up or expand a small business located within the Town of Potsdam, the Village of Potsdam and those areas of the Village of Norwood located within the Town of Potsdam.
Hans said loans can be used to finance real estate development, to purchase equipment and inventory, for working capital and other valid business purposes.
He said borrowers must pledge to create or retain employment opportunities for persons of low or moderate income.
He said the loans can also be leveraged with private commercial loans or financing provided by another public sector lender such as the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency.
Hanss said the planning department is currently reaching out to applicants, with hopes of expanding the job market, rather than sitting in the bank,
"We have a website and we are going to be doing some advertising and marketing. We are making a special effort to get the word out there," he said.
Loans of $25,000 are available at an interest rate of 5 percent on a five-year repayment term.
He said applicants must also demonstrate that they are unable to secure financing for start-up or expansion through the private sector.
The Potsdam Growth Fund offers loans as high as $125,000.
Interested applicants should visit www.vi.potsdam.ny.us or contact Hanss at 265-1670.