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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 6, 2009

Runion proposes IDA loans to upgrade business facades

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — A new proposal from Supervisor Kenneth Runion could give business owners the chance to revamp the outside of their buildings.

The town will work with the Industrial Development Agency to secure a fund of at least $50,000, at which point it will begin lending local businesses up to $5,000 for “façade enhancements and other improvements designed to increase the curb appeal of their facilities,” said Runion.

The IDA collects fees from private developers doing projects in the town, and that money often sits in the bank, said Runion.

“I think we should turn that money back to the community, and use it to make Guilderland a better place,” he said.

Runion’s opponent in the fall election, Peter Golden, who is running on the Republican ticket, said he thinks part of the motivation for the proposal came from his idea that new businesses should be brought in to the town where vacant buildings stand, some of them boarded up.

According to Runion, the idea for the loans has been floating around for months, but he needed to talk to the IDA and work out the details before he drew up the proposal, which will need to go before the town board for approval.

“We have the beautification awards, and we’re taking it one step further,” Runion said.

If the proposal is approved by the town board, businesses will be eligible to receive a loan of up to $5,000, which will be repayable over a term of up to five years. Loan applications will be approved by a committee made up of Chamber of Commerce members, and members of the business community.

“This loan program will help our local businesses to make improvements, and I look forward to working with the town to improve our business community any way we can,” said Kathy Burbank, executive director of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce.

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