Glenville loan program a savior for businesses during COVID

Cassie Walker, owner of Thistle Be Perfect Artisan Boutique in Glenville, is pictured Thursday.

Cassie Walker, owner of Thistle Be Perfect Artisan Boutique in Glenville, is pictured Thursday.

GLENVILLE – Two employees of Storied Coffee worked diligently behind the cafe’s counter Thursday, baking and frosting treats to sell as customers flowed in and out of the business. 

Like many other businesses, COVID hit them hard early in the pandemic, forcing them to close their doors for three months and lay off employees, said Rich Sarnacki, who owns the cafe with his wife, Christine. 

However, a $15,000 loan from a revolving loan program Glenville set up helped them keep the lights on. 

“They really went above and beyond for businesses in Scotia and Glenville,” Sarnacki said.

In 2013 Glenville created a Local Development Corporation with $550,000 in federal funding to oversee a revolving loan fund that businesses in town could apply for and then pay back in a year. When COVID hit they extended the loan process to businesses in Scotia as well, said Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle. 

“We could not have planned for COVID but it was the perfect tool to help us,” he said.

Koetzle said his executive order to allow any established business within the town to apply also made the application process easier and waived the interest on the loans for a year.

During the pandemic 14 of businesses got loans amounting to $172,400 and another over $149,600 was given to other businesses pre-COVID. 

Sarnacki said they used their loan to pay rent, utilities and secure their Union Street location. However, while the cafe was closed between mid-March 2020 and mid-June 2020 it laid off the three employees it had, but because the loan was able to help with other expenses the owners were able to bring back all three of its employees when business returned. 

“It certainly gave us a sense of security,” Sarnacki said. “I’m not certain what we would’ve seen without it.”

Saranacki said the town recently extended the period to pay back the loan another six months. 

Cassie Walker, owner of Thistle Be Perfect Artisan Boutique, received $6,000 from the program. She used the money to pay rent and other overhead expenses. The fund helped immensely, she said. 

“It was a life saver,” she said. “Glenville takes care of their small businesses – and their big businesses too.”

Waker said while business isn’t like it was pre-COVID it is starting to pick up a little more. 

“I see people coming out more,” she said. 

Amanda Gonzales-Barrone, the owner of Girl Fight Fitness, was happy to learn about the loan program because she couldn’t really apply for the other federal relief programs since she didn’t have many full-time employees at the gym. 

She received $400. She said some was used for rent, but her landlord gave them some relief and she was able to put some of the money toward expanding the business to include outside training. She said the town helped push forward the approvals for them to host classes outside, which enabled the gym to have the capacity it had pre-COVID with 6-foot social distancing in place. 

“They made it so easy for us to try new things,” she said. 

Koetzle said around $50,000 to $60,000 in loans are still available for businesses and anyone looking to apply should contact the town Planning Department at 518-688-1200 Ext. 7, which can connect people to the Local Development Corporation. Koetzle said as long as businesses pay back the loans they will keep the program going and more businesses can apply. 

Businesses that got loans during COVID 

  • $15,000-Carbone’s Carpet Cleaning
  • $15,000- Electrolysis by Beth
  • $15,000- Exit Realty Capital’s Choice LLC
  • $15,000- Gallant Management Services, Inc. 
  • $400- Girl Fight Fitness
  • $12,000- J.K. Mulligarls Inc. 
  • $10,000- Joe Mulone Photography
  • $15,000- Landry Construction & Drywall LLC
  • $15,000- River Stone Manor LLC
  • $15,000- Sarnacki Holding; Storied Coffee
  • $12,000- Serenity Massage LLC 
  • $12,000- Sherri Paul’s Salon & Spa
  • $15,000- SMK Restaurant Group; Mohawk Tap Room 
  • $6,000- Thistle Be Perfect LLC

Categories: Business, News, Schenectady County

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