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Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of Agriculture Loan Fund Program

Feb 7, 2018

$10 Million in Funding Will Be Available Through Third Party Lenders

$10 Million in Funding Will Be Available Through Third Party Lenders

​Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York Job Development Authority will launch an Agriculture Loan Fund Program to address and help alleviate the economic barriers faced by many New York State small agribusiness owners. JDA has provided $10 million in funding, which will be distributed as low interest loans by third party lenders.

"Agriculture continues to be a major part of New York's economy, and with this funding we are providing the resources necessary to strengthen and grow this industry," Governor Cuomo said. "This program will knock down barriers and give new agribusiness owners the support they need to thrive, and grow in New York."

"New York is committed to continuing to support and grow its agriculture industry. This program will help the tens of thousands of small business owners who feed New York families every day," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "The State is proud to promote its hard working farmers through Taste NY and new marketing programs to increase sales and expand resources available to our small agribusiness owners."

Through the Agriculture Loan Fund Program, eight participating lenders will loan between $50,000 and $200,000 to eligible businesses. Qualified businesses include, but are not limited to, value-added processors, food distribution companies, food aggregators, craft beverage producers, and Food Hub participants. The projects may include the acquisition of and/or improvements to land or buildings, the purchase of machinery and equipment, and working capital used in support of the New York State agricultural industry.

ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Small businesses are central to the New York State economy and they employ more than half of New York's private sector workforce. This new loan program will support projects that are designed to help small agribusinesses grow and expand their operations while creating and retaining jobs in New York."

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, "We have so many talented small business owners driving an agricultural renaissance in New York with their incredible and innovative products. We've been proud to promote their hard work and boost sales of more than 1,100 local companies through our Taste NY marketing program. Now, with this new loan fund, those companies have an additional resource to help take their businesses to the next level, further supporting economic growth and job creation across the State."


Approved lenders include:


New York Business Development Corporation

Western New York

Southern Tier Enterprise Development Organization, Inc. 

Finger Lakes

Pathstone Enterprise Development Corporation 

Southern Tier

Delaware County Local Development Corporation 

REDEC Relending Corporation 


Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation 

Mohawk Valley

Mohawk Valley Rehabilitation Corporation

North Country

Development Authority of the North Country 

Applicants should contact lenders directly. To find out more about the JDA Agriculture Loan Program, call 212-803-3219.

Michelle Capone, Director of Regional Development, Development Authority of the North Country said, "The Development Authority of the North Country recognized the economic importance of agribusinesses in the North Country and is committed to growing the industry in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. We look forward to working with JDA and New York State on this new initiative."

Patrick MacKrell, CEO, New York Business Development Corporation said, "Participating in the Agricultural Loan Fund will allow us to deepen our support of agribusinesses in New York State. We are excited to participate in this new fund to better serve these businesses—which include wineries, breweries, distribution companies and more—as they work to create jobs and economic opportunity where they operate."


Hubert Van Tol, President, Pathstone Enterprise Center said, "We appreciate Empire State Development making this very flexible loan money available to Pathstone Enterprise Center as we work to help the small agricultural related businesses that are having trouble getting affordable loans elsewhere."

Richard Zink, Administrator, Southern Tier Enterprise Development Organization said, "For the last 30+ years, the Southern Tier Enterprise Development Organization, Inc. has assisted small business owners in western New York with the necessary funding to grow and sustain their businesses. The JDA Agribusiness Loan Fund will provide another resource to support agricultural enterprises as they seek to expand their business.  STEDO is grateful for the opportunity to partner with JDA and New York State on this new funding initiative."

Senator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Agriculture Committee, said, "Our hardworking farmers and agribusiness owners have tremendous ideas, but they often lack the funding to put them to work in ways that can help grow their businesses and strengthen our agriculture economy. With this program, New York State is committing to allowing those ideas to come to life. It will encourage value-added agriculture, job creation and boost business--and our economy--in a way that ensures success for generations to come." 


Assemblyman William Magee, Chair of Agriculture Committee, said, "Low interest loans to agricultural entrepreneurs are going to bring job growth to the industry and put start-ups on a path to success; I appreciate that this help is going out in the direction of farm related businesses."

The JDA Agriculture Loan Program builds on New York State's continued effort to grow and support the agricultural industry. ESD, in coordination with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, administers the New Farmer Grant Fund, which has provided $2.5 million to more than 65 farms across the State since its launch in 2014 to assist new and early-stage farmers. ESD also recently launched the New York State Veterans Farmer Grant Fund to support farms owned and operated by military veterans interested in pursuing agriculture as a second career. In addition, the Department of Agriculture and Market's Taste NY and NYS Grown & Certified programs promote the State's growers, producers and food and beverage businesses and help connect them to new markets. The Taste NY program specifically has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods and has also helped the farms and companies to reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business. 

About ESD's Division of Small Business

Empire State Development's Division of Small Business and Technology Development directs a wide array of programs and initiatives to support small business growth and to help entrepreneurs maximize their opportunities for success. Small businesses - of up to 100 employees - make up 98 percent of all businesses in New York State. The Division supports small businesses by providing and implementing: access to capital, through partnerships with financial institutions, alternative lenders, direct lending and financial assistance programs; training and technical assistance that incentivize businesses to launch, grow and innovate; and access to information and resources, including industry-university partnerships through which businesses can develop and commercialize promising new products and technologies. 

About the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

The Department, through its various divisions and programs, promotes New York agriculture and its high-quality and diverse products, fosters agricultural environmental stewardship, and safeguards the State's food supply, land and livestock to ensure the viability and growth of New York's agriculture industries. The Department's Land and Water Division works to protect New York's land and water resources through farmland protection, farmland conservation, and proactive environmental stewardship.

The Department operates the Great New York State Fair, and administers the Taste NY initiative, the FreshConnect and New York State Grown and Certified programs. Follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


Source:  Governor Cuomo website

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