December 3, 2004

Schenectady, N.Y., December 3, 2004 – Metroplex today announced  that 14 companies have been approved for funding totaling $140,000 from the Streetscape Relief Fund.  The relief fund was established by Metroplex to help companies impacted by the State Street Streetscape Project.  The goal is to help these companies retain jobs and expand their business now that the work is nearly complete.

“The Streetscape Project has been a long road for all hard-working State Street merchants.  The end is now in sight, and we appreciate the fact that these businesses are planning to stay and grow in the new Schenectady,” said Mayor Brian U. Stratton.

Gary Hughes, Chair of the Economic Development and Planning Committee of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “Small business is vital to Schenectady’s future.   The Streetscape Program was launched by the previous City Administration without giving nearly enough consideration to the effect on merchants especially small companies.  With our unified approach to economic development, we were able to step in and offer these companies assistance so that they can enjoy the benefits of a resurgent downtown economy.”

The Schenectady Local Development Corporation administered by the City’s Development Office worked closely with Metroplex to administer the new loan fund. Metroplex also worked closely with the Chamber of Schenectady County and the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation to implement the Loan Program.

The fourteen companies slated to receive loans include:

  1. Victoria Veronica Ltd, 124 State Street for working capital
  2. Nico’s Pizzeria, 441 State Street for working capital/marketing
  3. Majestic Salon 145-147 State Street for building improvements
  4. Hermie’s Music Store, 727 State Street for working capital/marketing
  5. Europa School of Cosmetology, 1333 State Street for marketing
  6. R&K Convenience Store, 445 State Street for building improvements
  7. Nail Perfect II, 1481 State Street for working capital/building repairs
  8. Shamrock Tavern, 157 Clinton Street for working capital
  9. Living Image, 177 Jay Street for working capital/building improvements
  10. Paisa Miser, 163 Jay Street for building improvements/marketing
  11. Pizza King, 469 State Street for working capital/marketing
  12. Visible Expressions, 512 State Street for building improvements/equipment
  13. NexGen Wireless, 433 State Street for building improvements
  14. Corelli’s Italian Kitchen, 1487 State Street for building improvements

“This loan couldn’t have come at a better time.  I plan to use the funds to enhance my equipment as well as marketing to existing and new customers,” said Ame Martin, Owner of Visible Expressions located at 512 State Street.

“I am extremely thankful for the loan and excited by all the new development projects downtown.  I think the new street looks beautiful,” said Mohammad Bhatti, owner of RK Convenience Store located at 457 State Street.

Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair said, “The end is in sight for streetscape and we look forward to a renewed confidence in downtown.  We thank these companies for their patience and for their perseverance.  As our unified City/County/Metroplex economic development team continues to attract new investors and major projects to our community, we will continue to support the long standing small businesses that are the backbone of our economy.”

To qualify for the loan funds, companies must have been in business for two years and be able to demonstrate that their business was negatively impacted by the streetscape project.  Loan proceeds may be used for building improvements, working capital, façade improvements, equipment or marketing.  Loans have terms of up to 5 years at 0% interest.  Applications will continue to be accepted through April 30, 2005 and are available at City Hall.

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