The Leader Staff

CORNING - The Regional Economic Development and Energy Corporation recently received a $250,000 ceremonial check from U.S. Small Business Administration District Director Bernard Paprocki to lend funds to local startup and growing businesses.

The check, presented in late December at Cugini’s Italian Market and Café’, 16 West Market St., represents the fifth “microloan” made to REDEC from the SBA since 2007, for a total of $1.7 million.

George Miner, president of REDEC, the SBA funds are lent to small businesses in Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler and Tioga Counties.

“Cugini’s Italian Market and Café was selected for the event because it was a recent recipient of a REDEC SBA Loan, used to establish the businesses in Corning’s Gaffer District,” Minor said.

REDEC, established in 1993, has lent over $7 million to businesses in the region, helping them to create over 2,500 jobs.

Other Gaffer District recipients of SBA funding are Heels and Hobos, Little Boomer’s Burrito Bar Fringe Hairdressers, and The Source in Corning’s Gaffer District, as well as Keuka Lake Vineyards in Hammondsport, and Restaurant 209 in Bath.

Chemung County loans include The Tropical Fish Outlet in Elmira, Independence Sealcoating ion Horseheads, ,and Papa John’s in Elmira heights, Minor said. Schuyler County loans include the Village bakery in Montour Falls, and Sustainable Viticulture Systems in Hector.

“Access to capital is the most critical need of small businesses in the Southern Tier and across the country”, Miner said. “REDEC works in conjunction with commercial lenders to fill financing gaps at rates and terms that are business friendly. There is nothing small about the impact small business have on our economy.”

Minor said over 60 percent of working Americans work in a small business and small businesses are a primary source of sales tax generation.

“Women and minority owned businesses are the fastest growing market in the national economy,” Minor said.

REDEC works closely with Corning Community College’s Small Business Development Center to provide guidance and technical assistance to entrepreneurs seeking to start a business and current small business owners looking to grow.

“Our goal is to get these much needed loan funds into the hands of small businesses as soon as possible, to help jumpstart our local economy, which has been pretty stagnate for the past decade,” Minor said.

For information on REDEC, and small business loans contact REDEC at 607-962- 3021 or go to www.REDEC.us