A confidential update from the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership

The following is an update on The Saratoga Partnership's activities to continue to provide operational transparency.

PARIS Report Submitted to Authorities Budget Office
On March 31, thanks to the diligence of Michele Battle, I submitted the Saratoga Partnership's PARIS report to the New York State Authority Budget office. This reporting was due on April 1, and we were able to do this because the board approved our 2019 audit on time. Thank you. All of this information is available on our new website under About Us - Public Files, ensuring that we are in compliance with public transparency.

Second Quarter Voucher for Saratoga County Funding
On March 16, prior to the Shelter in Place, I delivered our second quarter voucher of $125,000 to Saratoga County. On Thursday, April 2, I was informed that our check has been cut and should be delivered to the Partnership within days.

Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Application Submitted
On Friday, April 3, I submitted our Payroll Protection Program SBA Loan application to our lender, Adirondack Trust. The amount that we qualified for was roughly $81K and the use will be for payroll and qualified benefits, rent, and qualifying utilities. As Chairman Hedley stated in an email sent to the board on April 2, applying for the funding does not obligate us to take it if approved. Furthermore, we will bring all related loan possibilities to the board for discussion and a vote. The amount of PPP funds is finite and will be disbursed on a first come first basis, so we started the process as soon as the SBA Lenders were ready to process applications. We have also been diligent about ensuring that our local business community was prepared to do the same. The justification for our request is the anticipated shortfall of room occupancy tax collected by Saratoga County, to which will are legally entitled to half. As you are aware, based on our current budget, we have $50K less anticipated revenue, which will only be exacerbated by the shortfall of occupancy tax revenue. Besides the PPP application, we continue our work to recast the current budget and diversify our sources of revenue.

New Website Launched
On March 18, the Saratoga Partnership team launched a new website in order to effectively communicate to the community and ensure we were in compliance with the ABO as a public authority. The old site was functionally obsolete and our public files were difficult to find and navigate, putting us at risk of being contacted by the ABO for non-compliance. We are slowly building out our site map and there are many portions that need work but the critical components (Like our new COVID-19 Resource Page) is up and is being updated almost daily to ensure that the business community has the resources needed to navigate this crisis. We will continue to work with our developer to build out the rest of the site.

USDA Grant
We are currently working on a grant application to USDA to support our Next Wave Communities and Business Retention + Expansion programming. The application is due on April 15. We will send more details of the application when available.

Assistance to Support Medical Providers, Community Agencies + Support PPE Donations
The Saratoga Partnership team has been actively working to help our business community donate product and PPE to our hospital, first responders, community centers that are providing critical community services. HVCC TEC SMART donated cases of gloves and clean room suits to Saratoga Hospital, thanks to Penny Hill. Death Wish Coffee donated large amounts of coffee to Saratoga Hospital, Saratoga County Emergency Services. Esperanto donated cases of Oboys to Saratoga Hospital, Mechanicville Community Center. We are actively working with Applied Materials to secure donations of PPE - protective eyeware, masks, and cleanroom suits to Saratoga Hospital. As we had mentioned in the last 8@8, we are also working to connect Microsoft to medical providers and our impact sector to donate software and laptops to those in need.

Business Retention + Expansion (BRE)

Collaboration with our Partners
The Saratoga Partnership has been collaborating with elected officials, public agencies, community partners, and local entities across Saratoga County and beyond to determine what actions we can take to help businesses and community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have actively been communicating with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, SEDC, The Saratoga Convention + Tourism Bureau, Saratoga Springs City Center, to ensure we are delivering a consistent message to business owners. We have also been actively in contact with Saratoga County Supervisors to ensure they have current information to deliver to businesses within their community. Our business community is in crisis and we are working hard to ensure we are connecting businesses with information and critical State and Federal resources to retain employees and secure cash flow.

Assisting Small Businesses in Saratoga County
We continue to receive phone calls and emails from businesses across Saratoga County asking for our assistance with funding opportunities, business planning help, and other resources.

$349 Billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
We sent out an email providing the details of the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. Following President Trump's signing of the historic Coronavirus Act, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need. The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Application Resources
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. We sent out an email to about 11,000 people which provided the following resources:

SBDC Information Sessions
The Small Business Development Center hosted several information sessions focused on the CARES Act. Here is a slide deck of the presentation and a recording of one of the information sessions that was recorded by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

Essential Business Assistance
The Saratoga Partnership team has been working with businesses throughout Saratoga County to secure essential business designation or help the business pivot to produce PPE, make sanitizer and cleaning products, etc.

Saratoga County COVID-19 Business Survey
The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, in collaboration with our local, state, and federal community and business partners, is conducting a survey to identify Saratoga County businesses in need of assistance, how the Saratoga County economy has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), and what resources are needed to ensure business continuity. We sent out the survey late in the day on March 18,  and as of April 3, there were 300 responses to the survey. The survey results provide valuable information on businesses who have been adversely affected by COVID-19, but also provides information on company's that are still hiring and are considered an Essential Business.

Initial Survey Results
Additionally, we have been contacted by Congresswoman Stefanik, Congressman Tonko, the City of Saratoga of Springs and other officials to use our survey results to help assess the impact and figure out how to best allocate resources to these affected businesses. Additionally, our survey has been duplicated and used in several other counties including Montgomery, Albany, Warren + Washington, and Oneida counties.

We sent out a COVID-19 8@8 this past week. We provided information on how to apply for SBA Recovery Loan Funds, the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, the SBA $25,000 Bridge Loan, a guide to navigating the CARES Act, the NYSDOL Shared Work Program, a recap of our Q+A with Congresswoman Stefanik, and an article about what GLOBALFOUNDRIES is doing during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

COVID-19 Artist Resources Webinar
Shelby Schneider was asked to join Arts Spark for a COVID-19 Artist Resource Webinar as a panelist on Tuesday, April 7 at 2 pm EDT. Shelby will join Alisa Forman, Education Coordinator at Saratoga Arts and Sarah Craig, Executive Director of Caffe Lena as they help artists (Sole Proprietors) navigate during these difficult times. Space is limited to 100 participants, but the session will be recorded and posted afterward. Register for the webinar here.

Schuylerville Small Business Association Zoom Meeting
The Saratoga Partnership was invited to attend the Schuylerville Small Business Association meeting to talk about small business funding resources and answer any questions that people had. There were over 30 people in attendance.

Information Session with Congresswoman Stefanik
Last week, we hosted in collaboration with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Saratoga Convention + Tourism Bureau and SEDC a Q&A Zoom webinar to discuss the business impact of COVID-19 and learn more about the Federal Stimulus package with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. If you missed the session, click here for the full audio recording .

Congresswoman Stefanik Paycheck Protection SBA + Lender Conference Call
The Saratoga Partnership was invited to participate in a conference call with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik regarding the Paycheck Protection Loans to Small Businesses Program authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Saratoga Partnership joined area SBA lenders to listen to the Congresswoman and other SBA Officials layout the parameters of the Program which went into effect on Friday, April 3.

G+G Lighting Approved for Start-Up New York
This week, we were notified that G+G Lighting in the Town of Halfmoon was approved for Start-Up, New York designation. In the coming weeks, we will work with our Attorney, Justin Miller, to draft a master lease between the Saratoga Partnership, Abele Builders (Landlord) and a sublease between the Saratoga Partnership and G+G Lighting (Tenant). The lease will require approval from the board. Details to follow.

Key Capture Energy (Luther Forest - Stillwater)Approved for Sales Tax Exemption Extension
The Mechanicville-Stillwater IDA approved Key Capture Energy's request to extend their sales tax exemption through the IDA so that the company can make new investment in equipment at the project site. They are not going above their original sales tax exemption projections, just extended the timeframe that they can claim the exemption on investments.

Quad To Work
We originally had a meeting scheduled with Quad Saratoga Springs Plant Manager, Quad Executive Director of Government of Affairs, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, and Todd Shimkus of the Saratoga County Chamber to discuss Quad's Commute to Careers program that was implemented in Wisconsin. The meeting has been postponed due to the COVID-19, but everyone involved is eager to continue to see this initiative move forward in the near future.

Anaerobic Digester
We recently had a meeting with a Saratoga County company that is looking to create an Anaerobic Digester to help with food waste production.


Saratoga County Economic Development Committee - Community Economic Development Fund
The Saratoga Partnership is actively collecting grant applications from Towns and Cities throughout Saratoga County for the $150K Economic Development Grant offered through the Saratoga County Economic Development Committee. Each community can apply for up to $7,400 and applications are due June 1. We have received applications from the Towns of Clifton Park, Malta, Ballston, Providence, Greenfield, Cities of Saratoga Springs and Mechanicville for a variety of projects and activities. Communities that miss this deadline will have a second opportunity to apply.

Next Wave Communities
We continue to move forward on our Next Wave Communities initiative. We had two different meetings with the Village of Ballston Spa. The first meeting was with the Steering Committee who reviewed the results of the Community survey and discussed the next steps moving forward. It was decided that a second round of Focus Groups was not necessary, but rather we will hold one big meeting for all Focus Group members to hear and comment on our draft report. The following week we were invited to participate in a Zoom meeting with Ballston Spa commercial property owners, Lisa Nagle from Elan Planning, and Michael N'Dolo from MRB Group. We presented to the group how our Next Wave Communities can help benefit the Village and the property owners. We also listened to Lisa explain the Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) program and how it will best position the Village for funding resources and future developments.

Town of Moreau COVID-19 updates, The Saratogian, 3.24.2020