CLIFTON PARK -- The Clifton Park Industrial Development Agency is setting aside $100,000 from its fund balance to help small businesses located in the town pay for personal protective equipment or other measures to reduce spread of the novel coronavirus.
Grants of up to $7,000 will be awarded to small businesses from the fund, made up of money from fees that businesses have paid when receiving IDA financing for relocation or expansion plans.
The qualifying expenses include purchases of PPE, disinfectant, plexiglass shielding, space reconfiguration, and air-handling system upgrades, town officials said.
IDA officials said the move recognizes the severe financial hardships small businesses have faced because of the pandemic and is an effort to help. Any business located in Clifton Park which has 50 or fewer employees -- small retailers, restaurants, hospitality businesses and others -- can qualify. To receive aid, they must have been financially viable prior to the pandemic.
"Simple, easy-to-apply-for financial relief for our small business community is a priority for the IDA," said IDA Chairman Jonathan Schopf. "These grants are easy to apply for, 100 percent forgiveable, come with no strings attached, and will be locally distributed and administered to support our business community."
Earlier this year, the IDA used part of its fund balance to acquire disposable face masks and distribute them to local businesses free of charge.
For many years, IDAs weren't allowed to give away money from their fund balances. However, earlier this year, the state adopted legislation that allows the practice if the spending supports economic development.
The IDA's core mission is to promote prosperity by supporting a healthy business climate, and creation or retention of jobs.