(PLATTSBURGH- Thursday September 14th, 2023) - The City of Plattsburgh is proposing to make available loans with zero payments for the first year and zero interest for the first two years to qualifying businesses that have been directly impacted by the Margaret Street Reconstruction Project. The Impacted Business Revolving Loan Fund (IBRLF), a subprogram of the City’s recently revived Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF), will offer loans of up to $30,000 to downtown businesses who were directly impacted by this summer’s Margaret Street Reconstruction project. Opening the IBRLF program will require Council approval.
The deadline for loan applications is October 27, 2023.
Justification for the IBRLF
The City of Plattsburgh recognizes the importance of its downtown business community and the critical role that community plays in the local economy. This is one of the reasons that completion of the full-depth road reconstruction project currently underway on Margaret, Court, and Brinkerhoff streets was made a high priority.
“When we started this construction project in September of 2021, nearly two years ago, we knew it was going to be one of the biggest disruptions our City has seen in the better part of 20 years. Part of our concern was for local businesses who would be directly impacted by the much needed infrastructure investment,” says City of Plattsburgh Mayor Christopher Rosenquest. “We’ve included downtown businesses and residents in every step of this process either through email, in person events, or door-to-door efforts.”
As with any road reconstruction project and despite the City’s best efforts, there exist ongoing detrimental impacts to businesses directly adjacent to the construction zone. In a recent survey which included responses from twenty downtown businesses, respondents listed the following as the top three impacts of the construction project on their business; loss of patronage, exterior facades being dirty due to construction, and interruptions to scheduled deliveries.
The City has received substantial feedback from the owners of downtown businesses and many requests for any financial assistance that can be made available. The conditions created by the Margaret Street Project justify such assistance because it meets an urgent need, retains businesses owned by community residents, and assists businesses that provide goods and services needed by low-to-moderate income residents.
For all the reasons above, the IBRLF can be made available to assist small businesses impacted by the project via the offering of loans, after a review of the loan applications. Sufficient collateral to cover all requested loan amounts must be provided by applicants in order to qualify for these loans.
Eligible businesses are those located in areas directly impacted by changes to pedestrian or vehicular traffic flow necessitated by the construction work. Those areas are as follows:
On Margaret St. between Broad St. and Cornelia St.
On Brinkerhoff St. between Margaret St. and Oak St.
On Court St. between Margaret St. and Oak St.
On Clinton St. between Margaret St. and Oak St.
On Marion St. between Brinkerhoff St. and Court St.
Businesses participating in the IBRLF which seek to have all interest accruals deferred during the first two years of their loans will need to submit to the City within one year after loan closing a complete business plan with both financial and marketing components detailed within. Assistance to create this plan will be provided by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). More information about how to qualify for the loan program can be found on the city’s website
“This revolving loan fund sat defunct for many years until I took office. Knowing the value of these programs, I made it a priority to get it reopened for applications. As it is now, businesses and homeowners have access to this program for growth opportunities,” added Rosenquest. “Now that we’ve been able to quantify what level of support impacted businesses need, we turned to this program and our partnership with the Small Business Development Center to help alleviate some of the stresses faced with this major construction project.”
IBRLF funds can be used towards working capital, improvements to commercial real estate including facade renovations, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, accounts receivable, and inventory. Results from a survey conducted by City staff this summer indicated that seventy percent (70%) of respondents affected by the construction project would apply for a loan to pay for overhead expenses. Other areas where assistance would be applied are maintaining inventory, marketing, cleaning and business expansion.
“This subprogram of the revolving loan fund was shaped and molded by the members of the downtown business community who responded to the surveys and who engaged in conversation. This program is a direct result from our community engagement efforts,” adds Rosenquest. “Although there have been Councilors who’ve voted against every measure pertaining to this construction project, my hope is that they will not turn their backs on our downtown business merchants by voting against this program. This shouldn’t be made into a political issue.”
The City of Plattsburgh Common Council is expected to vote on this item on Thursday, September 21. Upon approval, City staff will be conducting a door-to-door campaign to ensure all eligible businesses downtown are aware of the IBRLF. On October 3, an information session for interested businesses will be held at the Plattsburgh Public Library at 11:00AM. The meeting will also be recorded and made available to those who can’t attend in person. The deadline for all IBRLF applications will be October 27, 2023.
Where to Apply and More Information
All information about the CRLF can be found by visiting the City’s website (https://www.