New Economic Development Non-Profit Formed

News Date: 
01/29/2010

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y., January 29, 2010 — The Ontario County Economic Development Corp. (OCEDC), a new not-for-profit corporation that will in time manage and operate the County’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), was formed this week.

The move is in response to a New York State push affecting municipalities that have loan funds seeded with monies received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The state’s urging has a direct impact on the County’s RLF because the fund disburses monies originating from the block grant program.

Under this program, the County has provided detailed reports to the State and HUD on all of the RLF’s “first-generation” loans. As payments and interest on loans came back to the County, the original $6 million in first-generation monies have been re-loaned in the form of second-, third- and now fourth-generation loans totaling more than $25.8 million.

“This is an impressive track record of success,” said Joe Bridgeford, Chair of the County’s Revolving Loan Fund Committee. “We have every reason to be proud of our stewardship of these funds, which have assisted businesses to create jobs throughout Ontario County.”

In recent months, the Revolving Loan Fund has assisted projects as diverse as Jill-e, a designer and manufacturer of equipment bags serving professional women photographers, to Red Jacket Orchards, for its new fruit juicing facility.

Recent clarification on the need for detailed reporting on all loans using CDBG monies, not just first-generation loans, would create a substantial reporting burden at the State and County level. In response, the State is strongly urging municipalities to “defederalize,” or disconnect from their government sponsors and become freestanding entities.

“If municipalities do not defederalize, the State could reclaim the monies,” said Mike Manikowski, Economic Developer, Ontario County Economic Development Corp., which works directly with the RLF.

“In a nutshell, these HUD requirements and the subsequent state push to defederalize threatened to put an end to Ontario County’s Revolving Loan Fund and others like it around the state,” Manikowski said. “The only way to avoid that was to follow the state’s urging and create a new not-for-profit corporation, the OCEDC.”

The OCEDC board will be comprised of 11 directors, including the nine current committee members of the RLF. The 10th board member will be a representative of the County (for a total of three County-appointed representatives) and the 11th board member will be an independent member of the community.

The RLF Committee and the OCEDC board will need to operate concurrently for the short-term while the OCEDC formally organizes its operations and procedures. The OCEDC will, however, eventually operate the RLF to ensure the County is abiding by the state push to defederalize.

For more information about the RLF and OCEDC, please contact the County’s Office of Economic Development at 585-396-4460 or visit http://www.ontariocountydev.org"