Get your grants at the MARK Project

Peg Ellsworth, the director of the Roxbury-based MARK Project, asked us to get the word out this week about several new grant programs for small businesses and commercial properties in Delaware County. Two press releases about the new programs as well as existing ones are below.

A few noteworthy items: There will be a meeting at the Roxbury Motel Conference Room on February 1 at 3pm to discuss funding for Roxbury to discuss grants for Roxbury-based building owners.

Also, the MARK Project is working on a "large grant" program for Middletown business owners, and expects to launch it at the end of January. The press releases ask that interested business owners contact the MARK Project directly with questions. (845-586-3500.)

Here are the full press releases:

Rental, Business Funding Programs Announced by MARK Project

Arkville, NY — The MARK Project is launching two new funding programs to assist owners of rental properties and commercial locations with property improvements. Last April MARK applied to the office of NYS Homes and Community Renewal for a rental rehabilitation program and phase II of the Roxbury Main Street program. The organization was notified of funding approval for both programs in late December.

The Central Catskills Rental Rehabilitation Program is available to owners of qualifying projects in the towns of Andes, Middletown and Roxbury, the villages of Margaretville and Fleischmanns and the hamlet of Pine Hill.

MARK has also been notified of its successful application for grant funding for Phase Two of the Roxbury Main Street Improvement Project.

In addition, the local economic development agency is continuing its Small Business Development Fund grant program for the Town of Middletown.

Rental Funding

The new Central Catskills Rental Rehabilitation Program will be available to owners of apartment properties. MARK received a $368,000 grant for this work. MARK will provide 65 percent of project funding for a variety of improvements to rental properties.

Grants of up to $20,000 per rental unit will be made available to owners of qualifying projects. Rental property funds can be utilized for the following types of work:

  • Energy efficiency upgrades
  • Creating housing opportunities or enhancing existing rental properties
  • Correcting building code violations
  • Enhancing living space

Roxbury Main Street program

Phase Two of the Roxbury Main Street Improvement Project has a slightly expanded target district that also includes Bridge Street. The funding for this program totals $320,000.

The program includes a 65 percent MARK contribution (maximum of $40,000 per project) and a 35 percent investment by the property owner.

Qualifying work includes:

  • Interior space renovations
  • Upgrades to improve health and safety
  • Building code violation corrections
  • Energy efficiency upgrades
  • Exterior aesthetic improvements
  • Streetscape enhancement
  • Tailoring business space for the develop for vacant storefronts

Middletown Business Grants

Last fall, MARK introduced its Small Business Development Fund program.

To date, 17 business owners have met application requirements and have received up to $5,000 each. The grants are used for construction, inventory, loss of business due to flooding, marketing or a combination of these items.

MARK Executive Director Peg Ellsworth explained that Small Business Development Funds are available for company owners throughout the Town of Middleton. Grants applications are reviewed and graded and awarded to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis, until funds are expended.

Applicants who are not selected to receive funds are encouraged to work with MARK to develop a more competitive application for reconsideration. “The Program is designed to help as many small businesses as possible while building a more sustainable economy.” adds Ellsworth

“There are also several successful business people on board to provide mentoring for those businesses struggling to recover.”

Ms. Ellsworth said that a larger round of grants for the Middletown Small Business Development Fund will be opening by late January. The review committee is currently working on guidelines and eligibility requirements. Anyone wishing to participate in any of these program is encouraged to contact MARK.

See related [press release] “Looking Back-Moving Forward” below for a list of additional grant and loan programs currently in place.

Looking Back and Moving Forward

In late August of 2011 the region was faced with the devastating effects of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The MARK Project, a thirty four year old community development organization stepped in to assist wherever the organization was needed most. Flanked by tremendous community volunteer efforts, first responders, churches and schools, FEMA and many State agencies, MARK found its place in the recovery and rebuilding process and has been working diligently to assist individuals, families, businesses and not for profits in their efforts to rebuild and recover.

To date MARK has assisted 52 displaced families in their search for housing. MARK also served as a conduit for monetary contributions and re-distribution of funds. With an application review process, trained staff and bookkeeping procedures in place, MARK provided reimbursements and contractor payments to help 37 households rebuild their homes and living spaces. Also recognizing the business community slipping through the cracks of other local, state and federal assistance programs MARK distributed emergency grant funds to 44 businesses and 6 not for profits to help with immediate relief and loss of business due to flooding. To date, MARK has collected and redistributed nearly $300,000 in flood relief funds to the community. In addition, after the mucking out of muddied basements was completed, MARK took a lead role in the sanitizing and mold remediation needed to create a healthy living environment in flood effected houses. Utilizing volunteers from the community MARK’s mold remediation teams have logged in over 9600 man hours. MARK also assisted an additional 6 households with major repair and renovation through MARK’s existing owner occupied home repair program.

Now as we look to turn the page and help revitalize our businesses and build a sustainable economy MARK is participating in numerous programs to benefit established businesses and encourage startup enterprises throughout its coverage area.

Moving Forward: MARK, also a local economic development agency, began implementing a Small Business Development Fund that, through the generosity of several part time residents, has provided and will continue to provide $5,000 grants for small business relief, expansion, or new business development. To date 17 local businesses have received funds and the program continues to accept and review applications monthly. MARK also administers a Business Revolving Loan Fund offering low interest loans for business start up and expansion and is now developing a larger grant fund based on job creation and business development. The larger grant program is expected to launch in late January.

Additional Repair and Rehab Programs include:

  • Delaware County Main Str eet Revitalization Pr ogr am. Funds are provided for construction projects on commercial or mixed-use buildings in the Town of Middletown affected by the August 28 flood. For information, call Delaware County Economic Development at: 607 746-8595.
  • Catskills Water shed Cor por ation Flood Repair Pr ogr am. Offering financial assistance for construction projects for flood-damaged commercial or mixed-use buildings in Middletown and Roxbury. These grants have a $30,000 cap for structural repairs. Applications available at MARK.
  • Fleischmanns Main Str eet Pr ogr am. For mixed-use or commercial buildings in the Village of Fleischmanns, 75 percent of project costs are provided, up to $30,000. Based on availability of funds. Applications and guidelines available at MARK.
  • Roxbury Main Street Program. For owners of mixed-use or commercial buildings in the hamlet of Roxbury. Grants are provided for 65 percent of project costs, up to $40,000. Based on availability of funds. Applications and guidelines will be available at the MARK Project by late January. There will be an informational meeting n February 1 at 3pm at the Roxbury Motel Conference Room to discuss program guidelines and eligibility requirements.
  • Rental Rehabilitation Program. For rehabilitation of rental properties and upper story units of mixed use commercial properties. Grants will fund 65 percent of project costs up, to $20,000 per rental unit. Awards are based on availability of funds and meeting some affordable housing guidelines is required. Applications and guidelines will be available at the MARK Project in early February.

For additional information on any of these programs, please call 845 586-3500 or visit: