Financial Aid: 22 Genesee County businesses to receive CARES funding as pandemic recedes | Featured story

BATAVIA – The 22 Genesee County businesses that will receive a share of the $875,000 in grants from the Genesee CARES Business Recovery Fund have some capital to work with as they continue to rebound from COVID.

Prices, announced Thursday, range from $10,000 for Rivers Performance to $75,000 for Copperhead Creek Bar, both in Batavia. For-profit businesses with 25 or fewer employees that suffered negative economic impacts due to the COVID pandemic were eligible to receive funding. The money will support investments related to job restoration, hiring, outdoor dining development, working capital and business resilience. The program was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

“I was privileged to be a part of it and to have gotten the grant,” said Sandy Chappius, owner of Chap’s Elba Diner, 5 South Main St., whose business is receiving $50,000 in funding. “When the grant application came in, they just told us to fill in what our needs were and how COVID has affected us. They asked what our intentions were if we were to receive it. They asked us to put a plan in place and how much we needed (funds).

Chappius said she asked for $50,000 to $75,000 when she applied.

“What I needed was to definitely hire more help. That was one of my main uses of the funds, to keep the staff I have and to hire additional staff,” a- she declared.

The money will also benefit a healthy meal service offered by Chappius, called Paradise Fit Meal Prep.

“I prepare healthy meals to order. When we started this new business in November…we cooked these meals. We started selling 20 to 30 a week. Now we are at 250-300 a week,” she said. “We will use these funds for this side of the business and hire additional staff.”

Information about Paradise Fit can be found at www.macyparadisefit/meals and is offered in conjunction with Chap’s Catering, Chappius said.

“It was a big part of my growth in the restaurant. I put that in the grant that I was going to use those funds for that,” she said of Paradise Fit.

There are 18 to 20 employees on staff at Chap’s, its owner said.

“In the summer we would like to expand to 25. With this new business (Paradise Fit) we need a few more cooks and servers,” Chappius said. “To make these meals, you have to weigh everything…and wrap everything. They order it on Friday, we prepare it on Friday and Saturday and they pick it up on Sunday. »

Mike Zimmerman of Harrison Studio in Lockport, a consulting firm helping to administer the CARES program, helped her when she needed help with the funding application.

“Filling out the form was very easy. Mr. Zimmerman guided me,” she said. “I emailed him and the same day he answered my questions. There was also a webinar when he first came out and I was able to ask questions there as well. I had a few questions to find out what the grant could be used for.

At Craft Cannery in Alabama, owner and CEO Paul Guglielmo said his company was thrilled with the $60,000 it had been awarded.

“It was exactly what we asked for. Basically, this particular grant is for hiring new employees,” he said Thursday. created is a QA person We probably would have hired a QA person eventually, however, this made it happen right away, we have a very good candidate who, the time has come (to hire).

The other position the helper will help Craft Cannery hire for is a maintenance and sanitation worker.

“It was about hiring and creating a few badly needed positions, which other people are doing now. says Guglielmo. “Having somebody who owns that (job responsibility) and that’s their whole thing, that changes everything. I consider them permanent…the intent is absolutely that they’re permanent jobs that will lead nowhere once the grant is paid.

Guglielmo said he did not know how the funding would be allocated.

“On Monday they’re doing a webinar where they’re going to walk us through how this is all going to work,” he said.

CARES funding was on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The COVID pandemic has taken a toll on our small businesses and funding from the Genesee CARES program will help many begin the process of recovery,” County Executive Matt Landers said. “With most warrants lifted and warmer weather on the way, we urge county residents to get out and support our small business community.”

County Legislative Speaker Rochelle Stein said she was pleased to see that 22 applications were approved and funded under the CARES initiative.

“It’s obvious that our local small businesses have responded well to the opportunity and will invest in their businesses quickly,” she said. “Genesee County recognizes the value of local small businesses and the reinvestment of dollars spent in Genesee County in business-to-business transactions. We are so pleased that this funding can offset losses due to the pandemic and provide a springboard for a much stronger 2022 earnings year. We all look forward to supporting our local businesses as they are the foundation of our local business districts. Their vitality forms the basis of a strong economy in the county.

Businesses in the restaurant, hospitality and construction sectors have applied for and received funding from the CARES program. They are located in the city of Batavia and the cities of Batavia, Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Alabama, Elba and Oakfield. The program received 43 applications, of which 29 were deemed applicable.

Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Director of Marketing and Communications Jim Krencik said county lawmakers have an important role to play in securing the funding.

“Companies can start their projects. They qualified based on the negative impact they experienced in 2020 and 2021. Companies that had subsidies tied to hiring, expanding, or retaining low-to-moderate income workers, those these can start. If they had equipment or a project related to the purchase, they can start those. They would work with Harrison Studio to secure a grant agreement.

The grant recipients are:

not First Wave Technology, Batavia, $25,000;

not Sweet Betty’s, LeRoy, $20,000;

not Professional Construction, Bergen, $25,000;

not Red Roof Inn, Batavia, $25,000;

not Terry Hills Restaurant, Batavia $75,000;

not La Quinta, Batavia, $25,000;

not Hodgins engraving $60,000;

not Performance Rivers, Batavia, $10,000;

not Chaps Elba Diner, Elba $50,000;

notSikes Enterprises $25,000;

not Caryville Inn, Oakfield, $25,000;

not Center Street Smokehouse, Batavia, $25,000;

not Smokin Eagle, Le Roy, BBQ $50,000;

not John’s Service, Batavia, $25,000;

not Alleghany Services, Alabama, $60,000;

not Copperhead Creek Bar $75,000;

not Byron Hotel & Trailhouse, Byron, $50,000;

not Empire Hemp, Batavia, $15,000;

not Fava Brothers Lawn Care, Byron, $60,000;

not The Artemis Spa, Batavia, $65,000.

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