OLEAN — Help is still available to businesses in need of funds for rent or mortgages.
The city of Olean Boost Business Grant Committee has added a new rolling application date to the Real Estate Program, with businesses seeking financial assistance with rent, mortgages or land contracts in the city having until Oct. 14 to apply for up to $5,000 in assistance.
“I am very pleased with the success of this program. It was initiated to share Olean’s allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act funds with our small businesses and it has been accomplished effectively and efficiently,” said Mayor Bill Aiello.“I appreciate the collaboration between the Small Business Development Center at JCC, the BBGP committee and the staff of Olean’s Community Development Office, together they have helped numerous local businesses.”
In March, the Common Council created the program with two funds — $100,000 for real estate assistance and $100,000 for marketing assistance. The funding comes from part of the city’s allocation of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The marketing fund has been expended with over 20 local businesses receiving grants. The Small Business Development Center handles applicant screening and assistance, with the Olean Common Council making the final up-or-down decision.
While some firms have publicly announced their awards under the program, city officials have not responded to requests for information on the recipients to date. The recipients have been identified only by application numbers when approved by the Common Council.
The real estate program offers up to 25% of the monthly payment for 24 months, for a maximum of $5,000. As originally planned, the program targets 12 blocks of Union Street.
For an application, visit https://cityofolean.org/plans-programs.
The full amount of funding for the marketing program — for expenses such as web design, logo design, advertising and branding — has been awarded, and applications are no longer being accepted.
ON TUESDAY, the Common Council amended the program, removing geographic barriers. Now, businesses — new or existing — anywhere in the city may apply. Previously, the program was limited to just commercial and industrial businesses between the 600 block of North Union Street to the 600 block of South Union Street, as well as West State and Wayne streets to their intersections with 12th Street.
Officials noted Tuesday that there is around $19,500 in aid left under the program, allowing for around three applicants to receive funds.