Orange County Partnership - News

County Executive Pushes for IDA Small Business Coronavirus Loan Program

GOSHEN— Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has requested the Orange County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) implement a program to offer much-needed loans to small businesses in Orange County impacted by the Novel Coronavirus.


The County Executive issued the request in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 24 and suggested the small business IDA loans be provided up to $10,000 at a 0% interest rate to help these entities weather the economic storm caused by COVID-19.


“Small businesses are the backbone of Orange County’s economy and we are here to do everything that we can to assist them,” Neuhaus said. “The men and women who run these businesses are our friends and neighbors, and when they thrive, our communities’ benefit. We hope that this initiative helps businesses that need it right now, as other assistance from state and federal sources become available.”


Under the program proposed by Neuhaus, the emergency funding could be used for working capital needs, and the normal application and securitization requirements would be relaxed. The no-interest loans would be for up to $10,000 to qualified small businesses throughout Orange County. To facilitate the loan program, the IDA must receive a waiver from Governor Cuomo.


“IDAs across the state should be asking state permission to release their capital and benefit small businesses which can demonstrate that they can eventually pay the loan back,” he added.


Orange County Partnership President and CEO Maureen Halahan said, “The County Executive is being as creative as possible in uncovering sorely needed funds that can be tapped to prop-up small businesses during this time of crisis.”


“We are all grateful for County Executive Neuhaus’ commitment to the business community and his continued support during this unprecedented time,” added Lynn Allen Cione, President and CEO of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. “The small business community has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 virus and we appreciate that he is thinking outside of the box to assist them.”


In response to the County Executive’s request, the Orange County IDA announced on March 27 its intent to establish a $500,000 economic recovery program to help revitalize local businesses in Orange County impacted by COVID-19.


The announcement of the new IDA loan program came several days after Orange County Executive Neuhaus requested the IDA launch a program to assist Orange County businesses impacted by the restrictions imposed by state, county and municipal governments to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.


Through the recovery program, the Orange County IDA will immediately assist businesses that were forced to shutter:


• To train, rehire and recruit employees;

• To identify and solve supply chain and inventory shortfalls to enable companies to continue their production and services undeterred;
•  To clean and disinfect facilities and spaces believed to be exposed to the virus;
•  To provide business rehabilitation guidance and strategic counsel; and
•  To help fill out and apply for federal and local grant/loan applications.


IDA officials stated that in the next few weeks, through the Orange County Funding Corporation, businesses will be able to apply for loans to help pay rent, purchase supplies and make critical utility payments.


“Our goal has always been to empower local businesses. It is our main priority now to support Orange County businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Our economic recovery program will give Orange County businesses the tools they need to get a head start once the economy begins to reopen,” said Laurie Villasuso, Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Industrial Development Agency.