Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region will Expand its Commercial Incubator Space for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses
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Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the groundbreaking for the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region’s $4 million Albany Center for Economic Success (ACES) Incubator expansion project. The new facility will be built at 255 Orange Street – adjacent to its existing location – and will feature a co-working space, a room for client training and technical assistance, and a day care center. The project is being supported by an $800,000 ESD capital grant, recommended by the Capital Region Economic Development Council through the REDC initiative.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "At the heart of this project is a mission to provide vital services to small business owners in communities that need it most. Empire State Development is proud to support this new incubator which will only strengthen and grow this community moving forward."
Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region Executive Director Linda MacFarlane said, "As the Community Loan Fund approaches our historic 1,000th loan, it is fitting that we are breaking ground on a project that will revolutionize how we assist local entrepreneurs. Everyday issues such as lack of childcare facilities and affordable office space should not serve as a barrier to those aspiring business owners. We are confident that this project will combat those issues and allow even more Capital Region residents to access our services."
The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region is a nonprofit community development financial institution serving the Capital Region of New York which exists to promote sustainable community development efforts for economically underserved people and communities in the region. Since 1985, the Community Loan Fund has loaned more than $61 million – and leveraged more than $215 million – for economic development in the Capital Region. The Loan Fund has financed more than 925 community projects, including 322 minority- and women-owned businesses.
The incubator expansion is part of a larger effort to revitalize Albany’s Clinton Avenue area, which includes the redevelopment of four historic rowhouses including 13 units, the former Public School Number 7 to create 13 units, and the new construction mixed-use building including 36 units and 1,400 square feet of commercial space to create a total 62 affordable homes. Clinton Avenue Apartments II is currently under construction and is supported by an allocation of $1,609,752 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits and subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "This revitalization effort not only represents new opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Capital Region but will ultimately mean a brighter future for 62 households who will benefit from an affordable home in the heart of Albany. HCR is committed to working with our partners like ESD and Home Leasing on projects that build up entire communities, and the work beginning today with the ACES Incubator will do just that for Arbor Hill. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her focus on revitalizing neighborhoods and creating new economic opportunities across New York."
CREDC Co-Chairs Ruth Mahoney, Executive Vice President, President of Wealth Management and Regional President at NBT Bank, and Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, University at Albany President, said, "Small businesses are the cornerstone of our neighborhoods and the new ACES Incubator will provide much needed support and services to our most distressed communities and strengthen the City of Albany in the process. We look forward to welcoming this new addition to the Sheridan Hollow neighborhood."
Senator Neil Breslin said, "This ACES incubator program will help spur entrepreneurship for minority and women owned business and diversify our regional economy here in Albany."
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our state and local economy. The Albany Center for Economic Success Incubator expansion will facilitate even more women and minority-owned businesses here in Albany and the Capital Region, while supporting aspiring entrepreneurs with the resources and services necessary to thrive. Investments like this uplift our entire community and City, and I couldn’t be more proud to see this project come to fruition thanks to the collaboration of Empire State Development, the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region, Capital Region Regional Economic Development Council, and more.”
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "When we support minority- and women-owned enterprises, Albany County’s economy benefits as a whole. This is especially true after the COVID pandemic has had disproportionate impacts on our underserved neighborhoods. The Community Loan Fund’s ACES Incubator has proven to be a tremendous resource for start-ups and small businesses around the Capital Region, and I’m thrilled to see that their footprint in the community is growing with this expansion. I want to thank Governor Hochul and Empire State Development for this strategic $800,000 investment in this project that will surely pay dividends further down the road."
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "The ACES Incubator has become a place for minority- and women-owned businesses to grow into a sustainable enterprise, and I am excited to break ground on this $4 million expansion. Not only will entrepreneurs have additional opportunities to succeed, but this project will provide much-needed day care services and technical support to help ensure businesses thrive. Thank you to Governor Hochul and Empire State Development for making this significant investment in Albany's Sheridan Hollow neighborhood and supporting the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region and our local MWBEs."
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State's iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.