Skip to main content

Building Business Fund

About the Opportunity

investing in growth

Are you lacking tools to grow your business in Lewis County? The Naturally Lewis Building Business Fund will provide matching funds to businesses looking to scale-up their business operations through various “tools”. Funds can be used for literal tools (equipment/machinery) or figurative tools (business services/professional services) to assist business growth. Businesses must demonstrate how the “tools” will contribute to a thriving economy and positively impact the local community.

Fast Facts

  • Communities Served: Lewis County 
  • Eligible: Businesses
  • Focus areas: Projects that build business must demonstrate expansion or diversification of a product or service. Project must show overall benefit to the community and promote economic development through growing business. 
  • Grant Awards: $10,000 to $50,000 per grant
  • Applications Open: July 1, 2024
  • Deadline: September 26, 2024

Inspiration Board

picture this...

  • New Machinery

  • Workforce Development

  • New Equipment

  • Professional Services

  • Community Revitalization

  • New Product or Service Development

  • Expansion into New Markets

Eligibility & Criteria

for 2024

Eligible Projects

  • Applicants must be a new or existing for-profit business located in Lewis County, NY. 
  • Applicants must demonstrate plans to significantly expand or diversify products/services. 
  • Applicants must demonstrate overall benefit to the community and promote economic development through growing business. 
    • Projects must demonstrate at least one of the following economic impacts: 
      • Job creation 
      • Create a new product or service. 
      • Increased revenue to business or community through tax base (sales tax or property tax) 
    • Projects must demonstrate at least one of the following community benefits: 
      • Job retention and/or creation 
      • Have an educational component. 
      • Incorporate environmentally friendly practices. 
      • Enhance cultural or recreational opportunities. 
  • Eligible project costs include equipment, machinery, working capital, training, and workforce development. 
  • Building Business Funds cannot be used for construction or capital improvements. However, construction and capital improvements may be demonstrated as part of the total project cost.  
  • Funding cannot be rewarded for retroactive projects or projects that have already started.

Evaluation Criteria

The Community Economic Development Program Committee will evaluate the Building Business Fund Applications based on the following criteria: 

  • The applicant must be a for-profit business located in Lewis County, NY. 
  • Project must demonstrate a clear plan to significantly expand or diversify products/services. 
  • Project request clearly identifies project costs with third party estimates for justification.  
  • Project outcomes clearly identify one or more economic impacts listed above. 
  • Project outcomes clearly identify one or more community benefits listed above. 
  • Project demonstrates readiness and timeline supports 12-month completion. Project has not started. 
  • Project demonstrates a financial need for Building Business Funds and demonstrates 50% match of the total project cost with cash on hand or other secured financing. 
  • Project demonstrates feasibility and sustainability. 

Funding

  • The Community Economic Development Program has made $100,000 available in 2024 for the Building Business Fund. 
  • For-profit Businesses are eligible to apply for a one-time forgivable loan funding 50% of selected project costs. 
  • Building Business Fund applicants can request $10,000 to $50,000, in increments of $10,000, and must demonstrate 50% match of their total project cost. 
  • Funding cannot be rewarded for retroactive projects or projects that have already started. 
  • Grant Funding is awarded up-front as a forgivable loan with 0% Interest for 12 months. Recipients have up to two years to complete the project with agreed upon milestones. Once the project is complete and milestones met, the loan is forgiven and becomes a grant. If a project is not complete within the one-year timeframe, the Building Business Fund recipients are responsible to begin paying principal and interest payments until the project is complete.   
  • An independent Community Economic Development Programs Committee reviews the Building Business Fund applications and makes a recommendation to the Lewis County Development Corporation for final approval. 

    Timeline

    for 2024

    July 1

    Application Opens

    September 26

    Application Deadline

    October

    Committee Review & Board Approval

    November 8

    Award Recipients Notified

    Past Recipients

    of funding

    Funding Disclaimer

    community economic development program

    Building Business Funds are made available through the Community Economic Development Program.