Binghamton, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York’s first member of the Senate Agriculture Committee in four decades, announced a $60,000 federal grant for the Binghamton Local Development Corporation (BLDC). Senator Gillibrand pushed for funds, which would establish a specialized revolving-loan program in the City of Binghamton to create green jobs in the contracting industry. Federal funding is allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Business Enterprise Grant program (RBEG).
“This federal funding is so important for the Binghamton Local Development Corporation,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It is critical that we provide small businesses with the resources they need to create green jobs, foster entrepreneurship and innovation, and develop a more sustainable local economy.”
“I am pleased that the BLDC has been able to secure this funding to further the goals of the City’s climate action plan,” said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan. “It is a sign of the agency’s forward thinking leadership and commitment to sustainable development.”
“I am proud that the BLDC was successful in this very competitive round of federal funding,” said Merry Harris, BLDC Executive Director. “The grant and BLDC match will increase employment in the city and leverage the Green Jobs Green NY investment.”
The RBEG revolving loan program will assist the City of Binghamton in achieving the goals set out under its Energy and Climate Action Plan, under which energy efficiency is a key strategy for achieving a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 from the City’s 2006 levels.
BLDC, a non-profit subsidiary of the City of Binghamton which provides opportunities for sustainable practices in economic development, seeks to assist contractors in growing their business to meet the burgeoning demand for energy efficient retrofits in Binghamton and the surrounding area. Local small businesses face challenges of accessing critical start-up capital that will allow them to affordably invest in equipment and technologies to meet increasing demand. By administrating funds through low-interest revolving loans, BLDC aims to support and grow established businesses, attract new businesses, and foster entrepreneurship and innovation.
Full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack below:
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
I write in support of the application submitted by the Binghamton Local Development Corporation (BLDC) for funding from the Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This funding will support the development of a commercial energy-efficiency revolving loan fund.
BLDC is an important part of the business community and provides opportunities for sustainable practices in economic development. The corporation seeks to assist contractors in growing their business to meet the burgeoning demand for energy efficient retrofits in Binghamton and the surrounding area. It is their intention to create full-time employment opportunities that will have a positive impact on the local economy.
The requested funding will be used to support the development of a commercial energy-efficient revolving loan fund. This funding will provide contractors with the financing needed to be able to expand their operations to meet the growing demand for energy efficiency retrofits. By administering funds through low-interest revolving loans, BLDC aims to attract new businesses, retain and grow established businesses, and foster entrepreneurship and innovation. This program is critical to the growth of the region by providing alternative resources for improving economic development, creating jobs, improving city infrastructure, and developing a more sustainable local economy.
I ask that you please give this application your full consideration.