$3M investment for Buffalo’s business development services


Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) – More funding is on the way for small businesses to thrive in East Buffalo.

On Friday, The Exchange at Beverly Gray’s Executive Director, Derrick Parson, announced $3 million in funding coming to the Small Business Growth Initiative, a partnership project with The Foundry designed to create a dedicated support network for small businesses.

“Over the past year, The Exchange at Beverly Gray and The Foundry, in conjunction with key stakeholders, has been developing a new collaborative initiative to support BIOPIC entrepreneurs and business owners located here on the East Side of Buffalo. This initiative, slated to span over three years will directly target and address the root causes hindering the successful start, growth, scaling and sustainability of these dynamic entrepreneurs and their many businesses,” said Parson.

The funding is coming from the Regional Revitalization Partnership, a $300 million program that was developed in collaboration with New York State Governor Kathy Hochul and Empire State Development (ESD) and is supported and funded by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the Farash Foundation, ESL, KeyBank/First Niagara Foundation, M&T Bank and partners in the cities of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Rochester. $200 million of the $300 million comes via state funding.

“We’re assembling all of those necessary ingredients for a recipe for small business success,” said Megan McNally, executive director of The Foundry.

“In addition to building our own organizational capacity for us at The Foundry, it includes some expansion of our youth entrepreneurship programming, and additional product development support. In addition to that, The Exchange is looking at additional staffing and business support as well. We’re also engaging partners to provide legal clinics to offer a comprehensive marketing program and provide credit counseling.”

According to Western New York Regional Director Karen Utz with Empire State Development, this new small business growth initiative works in tandem with Governor Hochul’s East Buffalo Small Business working capital grants that has been helping local small businesses rebound from the social and economic impacts of the horrible TOPS massacre.

Additional programs that will be impacted by this funding also the Commercial Corridor Program, connecting small businesses with flexible, temporary and permanent commercial space, product development assistance to assist entrepreneurs to develop products and bring them to market; and place-based entrepreneurial growth support to build a comprehensive network of start-up support to grow maker- and place-based businesses.

You can hear the full announcement in the player above.



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