Microenterprise Grant Program Loan Awarded

Cosmetics firm nails new loan

By MICHAEL ANICH, Originally printed in the Leader Herald, reprinted with permission

CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters today indicated the company receiving only the second loan through the CRG program is SW Skin Care & Cosmetics, Inc. of 86 Briggs St. He said the closing on the grant was Friday.

The CRG on Friday morning had declined to name the company at its board of directors meeting at Crossroads Business Park.

SW Skin Care & Cosmetics offers services such as facials, waxing, massage, makeup and nails. It was formed by Sherry Wieszchowski to provide the “best possible skin care and make-up services in the region,” its website says. The small company has attracted clients from all over New York, as well as from Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, Florida and Canada, the site says.

CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters said the Microenterprise Grant Program, funded by the state, is administered by the CRG. He said it has been successful so far, although awards have been slow in closing.

“That program’s going good,” he stated. “It takes time.”

Offered is federal Community Development Block Grant funding filtered through the state Office of Community Renewal to be administered to local businesses in the county.

The CRG previously awarded a $25,000 check to L&L Embroidery of Johnstown through the Microenterprise Grant Program. The program is helpful for small start-up businesses and young companies, providing seed money to grow. A microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer full-time employees, one or more of which owns the enterprise at the time of application.

“The state wants to move the process up,” Peters said. “We’re told our program is real successful.”

Peters also reported the county had 21 Consolidated Funding Applications seeking funding go into the state this year. He said that hopefully some of the applications will be successful and assist further development of the Tryon Technology Park in Perth.

“I’m excited about it,” Peters said of the CFA process. “I think we’re going to hit a home run.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

Historic Johnstown Downtown Getting Facelift

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Seven storefronts in Johnstown’s historic downtown will benefit from shares of a $200,000 funding pool from the NY Main Street Grant Program, which provides financial resources and technical assistance to improve traditional main streets and neighborhoods. City leaders have been working with citizens and architects on details of what should be encouraged and allowed with facade renovations to preserve the historical charm of the city.

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Linda S. Joseph Inc., doing business as Vintage Cafe at 21 West Main Street, will receive $16,125 from the grant program toward a facade revitalization estimated to cost $26,500. Pending Planning Board review expected in March, the work would replace broken and missing bricks; remove plywood and curved details over the front door; replace the flashing at the top of the storefront’s cornice; replace a residence door and the front-entrance storm door; replace, paint and coat interior and exterior woodwork, galvanized metal masonry; and improve the lighting.

In February, the city Planning Board approved a renovation for 18 West Main Street proposed by downtown property owner and former city councilman at large Bryan Marcucci. He plans to turn the property into a  restaurant and microbrewery called Black Tie Pub N Brew. Marcucci’s project has been awarded $31,850 through the NY Main Street Grant Program.

main st johnstown 2Jeff and Nick Kollar have submitted plans for a $33,000 remodel of first-floor storefronts at 1-5 W. Main St.,  $24,375 of which would be covered by a grant, subject to Planning Board review. Nick and Jeff Kollar own the building and Nick works for C.T. Male, one of the tenants. The other tenants are Ferguson & Foss Surveyors, Osborne Computers and C.W. Hair Design.

Helmut Philipp, an attorney with Brenner Group, LLC of Delmar, Albany County, received approval in February to transform 17 W. Main St. into apartments and a retail storefront. That project will receive $34,900 through the NY Main Street Grant Program. The finished building will have an 8-foot-wide, 7-foot-tall center window, a new cedar roof and freshly stained brick. Recessed lighting may be installed over the windows and doors.

Arthur Schrum and Douglas Town, will received $15,000 toward repairing, priming, painting and repointing the front facade of 128 W. Main St. as well as replacing and repairing the cellar entrance.

Laura Casamento will receive $15,000 to help fund a new entry door/trim; window repairs, exterior paint, and installation of three gas meters at On The Way Up.

Theresa Cook was granted $12,750 toward front and rear facade renovation, the installation of a rear fire escape, and the replacement of windows and electric wiring throughout 32 W. Main St.

The grant program is administered by the Office of Community Renewal with funds from the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC) to units of local government, business improvement districts, and other not-for-profit organizations. The money is earmarked for revitalizing historic downtowns, mixed-use neighborhood commercial districts and village centers.