County opens application process for $5.25M in federal funds

— Photo from Albany County Executive’s Office

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy, at lectern in center, surrounded by county leaders at a press conference on Wednesday, announced the launch of an application process for federal funds. With him are Comptroller Susan Rizzo; Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce; Minority Leader Frank Mauriello; legislators Bob Beston, Paul Burgdorf, and Carolyn McLaughlin; Deputy County Executive Daniel Lynch; Management and Budget Commissioner David Reilly; County Economic Development Coordinator Lucas Rogers; Brian Williams from Capital Region Workforce Development Board; and Walt Brady from Community Loan Fund.

ALBANY COUNTY — On Wednesday, Albany County opened the window for applicants to seek federal pandemic funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The first $5.25 million round of grants are to focus on economic recovery. Funds are available for small-business support, workforce development and job training, industrial and commercial property revitalization, and arts and tourism organizations.

“We developed this spending plan and application process through two surveys, multiple public meetings and community stakeholder input that helped us identify those hardest hit by the COVID pandemic,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy in a Tuesday release announcing the launch.

A county flier lists these categories for applicants:

— Arts, culture, and tourism promotion: Funds for new or expanded programs that promote Albany County with grants up to $100,000; applications due by June 30;

— Arts, culture, and tourism recovery: Funds to support not-for-profits that lost revenue during COVID-19; grants up to $50,000; applications due by June 30;

— Workforce development: Funds to create or expand job training for unemployed or underemployed people; grants of at least $50,000; rolling application deadline;

— Industrial or commercial property revitalization: Funds to develop vacant or abandoned commercial properties, such as brownfields in disadvantaged communities; grants of at least $50,000; rolling application deadline;

— Small-business recovery: Funds for businesses with fewer than 500 employees that were hurt by COVID-19; grant amounts to be determined; and

— On-the-job training: Matching funds to encourage businesses to train new or new or current workers; grants of $10,000 per employee.

A partnership with the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region is coming up with $1 million for the small-business grants while another $1.5 million for workforce development grants will train unemployed and underemployed county residents.

Additionally, $1 million is available to encourage businesses to train new and existing employees through a collaboration with the Capital Region Workforce Development Board.

Applicants should visit the Albany County ARPA web portal at AlbanyCountyARPA.org for additional information and to apply. Economic growth and recovery grant applications are due on June 30, unless otherwise noted. Physical copies need to be signed and submitted to the Office of the Albany County Executive, 112 State Street, Albany, NY 12207.

Grant awardees for the first round of economic development applications will be announced this summer.

Immediately after, a request for applications focused on community-development and public-health projects will be issued. This second application round will include grants supporting behavioral health, substance abuse and telehealth, affordable housing and housing support, youth and senior services, and food access.

In total, the release said, Albany County will invest more than $15 million in ARPA funds directly into the community this year. That will be combined with another $12 million invested into county projects to improve the delivery of Albany County programs and services and the quality of life of residents.

ARPA funds must be obligated no later than Dec. 31, 2024, and fully expended by Dec. 31, 2026. Funds that are not fully spent by the end of 2026 are required to be returned to the United States Treasury.

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