Dutchess County Nonprofit Social Enterprise, Unshattered, Lands Collaboration with Southwest Airlines

Unshattered’s Latest Partnership with Southwest Airlines® Gives Plane Seats New Wings

Unshattered X Southwest Airlines Collaboration. Photo of three Unshattered employees modeling new line of upcycled bags at Dutchess County's Hudson Valley Regional Airport

Unshattered is a nonprofit social enterprise based in Hopewell Junction, NY.  Founded in 2016, by CEO Kelly Lyndgaard, the company fosters long-term recovery for women winning their battle against drug and alcohol dependency by providing pathways to economic independence. Unshattered’s employees are provided with employment, personal development training, community, and a second chance at life after addiction. To date, Unshattered has worked with more than 100 women in various stages of overcoming addiction, homelessness, and criminal behavior.

In addition to supporting sustained sobriety, Unshattered also supports a sustainable fashion footprint using upcycled material to manufacture the handbags the Unshattered women design and create. Each Unshattered bag is handcrafted and sewn by a team of professionally trained female artisans using repurposed fabric from Broadway sets, military uniforms, reclaimed manufacturing scraps, and personal items for custom designs. 

Unshattered’s unique business model has proven immensely successful. As the team expands into a larger location, the company is taking off in other directions,  including new partnerships. Most recently, Unshattered and Southwest Airlines® teamed up to support women in recovery through upcycling. The airline is adding Unshattered to its Repurpose with Purpose program, a global sustainability initiative that upcycles items such as leather seat coverings and transforms them into new products. Southwest is donating used aircraft seat leather from its aircraft to Unshattered which will be cleaned and prepared for use in the 501c3 non-profit’s new line of travel bags and accessories.

2022 Unshattered X Southwest Airlines products photographed on airplane stairs in Dutchess County, NY

“At Southwest Airlines we believe in living responsibly, respecting our resources, and sharing our heart with others,” said Laurie Barnett, Vice President Communications & Outreach at Southwest Airlines. “One of the many ways we do this is through our Repurpose with Purpose program. We’re honored to welcome Unshattered as a partner and support their work; generating social and economic opportunities for communities all over.”

The new “Possibilities Take Flight” collection with Southwest includes exclusive handbag and accessory styles unavailable in any other Unshattered fabrics. The line has been available both at Unshattered’s flagship store and on the organization’s website www.unshattered.org since February 21st.

Read the full Unshattered x SW Airlines Press Release

Unshattered earned the 2018 Nonprofit of the Year at the Think Dutchess Business Excellence Awards. Since then, the team has not only become part of our thriving business community as ambassadors of the possibility they represent but also as Think Dutchess Digital Ambassadors. As a Digital Ambassador, Unshattered CEO, Kelly Lyndgaard, shared why she chose Dutchess County to start and grow this non-profit social enterprise and what she loves about Dutchess County.

“There are so many incredibly talented people doing incredibly amazing things all hidden in plain sight.”

Kelly Lyndgaard

Think Dutchess continues to support the women of Unshattered and the many different types of talents and employers that exist here in Dutchess.

Looking for more information about starting or growing your business in Dutchess?

Reach out to Renee Richard, Director of Business Retention & Expansion with questions.


COVID-19 Grants and Funding Resources

We are committed to continuing the safe reopening of our economy and progressing towards long-term recovery while also reducing the risk of COVID-19. We maintain our commitment to the Dutchess County business community as a credible resource as we navigate these uncertain times. As we continue to collaborate with our partners and local, regional and national government towards economic recovery and resiliency, supporting our local business community and workforce is our main priority.

We want to ensure you are prepared for business disruption, including accessing government resources to mitigate potential impacts to your business and employees. We’ve compiled this list below of the most resources available:


COVID-19 Relief Programs and Resources


Small Business Recovery Grant Program

Small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations with fewer than 100 employees that are currently viable and have begun operation on or before March 1, 2019, and continue to be in operation as of the date of application (maybe shuttered due to Covid-19 restrictions).

Central Hudson Back to Business Program

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. has launched its Back to Business funding program, committing up to $1 million in economic development support to provide local small businesses with grants to help pay down new working capital loans taken with participating local banks.

Verizon Small Business Relief Grant

LISC is providing grants to small businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of Covid-19. Learn more about Verizon’s Small Business Relief Grants

The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF)

NYFLF eased requirements for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) borrowers. Effective immediately, small businesses and non-profits that received a PPP loan of $500,000 or less or EIDL loans of $150,000 or less can be eligible for an NYFLF loan. Visit the New York Forward Loan Fund for more information and eligibility requirements.

New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)

Guidelines and applications for organizations and artists within New York’s nonprofit creative sector available at NYSCA FY2022 Funding Opportunities.

Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit Program

The $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit Program provides an incentive to COVID-impacted restaurants to bring restaurant staff back-to-work, and to increase hiring at NYS restaurants. Qualifying businesses are eligible for a tax credit of $5,000 per new worker hired, up-to $50,000 per business. The Program is open to eligible restaurants located in New York City, or in an area outside of New York City that was designated an Orange or Red Zone for at least thirty consecutive days.

EDA American Rescue Plan Programs

See all of the EDA American Rescue Plan Programs HERE 

Good Jobs Challenge

$500 million for Industry-led training programs, designed to provide skills for and connect unemployed or underemployed workers to existing and emerging job opportunities. Three project types: System Development, Program Design and Program Implementation. Deadline: January 26, 2022

Economic Adjustment Assistance

$500 million available through EDA’s most flexible program. Wide range of technical, planning, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and public works and infrastructure projects are eligible for funding under this program. Deadline: March 15, 2022 (suggested; applications reviewed on a rolling basis). Eligibility: State & local governments, higher education institutions, not-for-profit organizations

Helpful links:

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL):

To inquire about the process and understand what to expect next, contact the Office of Disaster Assistance 24/7 Customer Service line at 800-659-2955.


Department of Labor – Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Assistance Information

SBA PPP Program

PPP Frequently Asked Questions

NY State of Health

NYS DOL Shared Work Program

Report COVID-19 SCAMS 

Report any suspected fraud to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline at 800-767-0385 or online at: OIG Online Complaint Submission


Please contact Renee Richard for additional information and resources.

2021 Business Excellence Awards

The 2021 Business Excellence Awards

While our signature event was moved to a virtual event premiering on November 18, 2021, Think Dutchess still wanted to celebrate with 2020 and the 2021 winners safely.

At an intimate event on Tuesday, November 16, this year and last year’s winners gathered for a small celebration to be presented their awards and preview the video that premiered November 18 at 5:30 pm. The video premiere can be viewed HERE.

Take a peek at the winner’s event at Shadows on the Hudson below.

Thank You To Our Sponsors


Visionary Sponsor:

Central Hudson


Partner Sponsor:

Rose & Kiernan


Advocate Sponsors:

Ashworth Creative

Global Foundries

Guardian Self-Storage

Hudson Valley Credit Union

Tompkins Mahopac Bank

Ulster Saving Bank

United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region


Think Dutchess Wins Two Awards As Economic Development Leader

October 12, 2021

Over the last few weeks, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business earned awards from both the New York State Economic Development Council and the International Economic Development Council. These awards are a testament to the high standards Think Dutchess holds itself to regarding innovation and excellence in the field of economic development, and in its commitment to the community.


On September 23, 2021, in Cooperstown, N.Y.,  Think Dutchess Alliance for Business was awarded the Economic Developer of the Year Award from the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC). The Developer of the Year is awarded to an economic developer who has achieved outstanding performance in developing and administering an economic development program. Additionally, the award-winner has demonstrated commitment to economic education and training and provided significant support and leadership to one’s community and the NYSEDC.

“The last year has been filled with unique challenges faced by all economic developers. They handed out PPE, provided guidance to essential businesses, helped with unemployment insurance, assisted with loans and grants to keep a small business open, among many other things during the pandemic,” said NYSEDC President, Ryan Silva. “The NYSEDC was proud to honor and recognize all our members as economic developers of the year. We congratulate Think Dutchess and thank Sarah Lee for her leadership in moving the New York State economy forward.”

Read the official press release HERE

On October 5, 2021, in Nashville, TN, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business won a Gold Rank for its Think Dutchess 2020 Annual Report, a project in the category of Annual Report of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).  The honor was presented Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference.

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. 25 award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.

Read the official press release HERE



Think Dutchess Alliance for Business Announces 2021 Virtual Business Excellence Awards Winners

 Four businesses recognized for their ability to thrive, expand, innovate and strengthen the Dutchess County workforce and community post-pandemic.

September 28, 2021


Think Dutchess Alliance for Business is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Business Excellence Awards. Although originally scheduled as in-person event, out of an abundance of caution the event is going virtual with a video premiere on the Think Dutchess YouTube channel on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

The second virtual event will honor the following Dutchess County businesses:

“After a year that challenged our entire business community, our Business Excellence Awards winners proved that no matter the challenge, innovation, resilience and success are possible when businesses remain committed to their community roots,” says Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess. “Despite navigating an ever-changing business climate, these four businesses never lost sight of providing services far beyond their traditional product and service offerings. Their commitment to growth, consistent employment, development and better futures for our residents and Dutchess County are inspirational– and we are honored to celebrate them.”

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available. Visit www.thinkdutchess.com to find out more.


About Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

Think Dutchess Alliance for Business is the one-stop-shop for business development needs and activities in Dutchess County, New York. A business-led, nationally recognized economic development corporation, Think Dutchess’ mission is to attract, retain, and expand for-profit and not-for-profit businesses in Dutchess County. Think Dutchess’ organizational structure includes programs in business retention, expansion and attraction; financial counseling and deal structuring; zoning and permitting; commercial real estate; innovation and technology; strategic marketing and municipal advocacy. For more information about Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, visit www.thinkdutchess.com


Economic Development Administration Announce American Recovery Plan Programs

Read the Economic Development Administration’s official press release below.




WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will implement a series of programs, collectively called Investing in America’s Communities, to equitably invest the $3 billion it received from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to help communities across the country build back better. The EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades.

Later today, Secretary Raimondo will address the White House Briefing Room to further lay out the Biden Administration’s vision for how this historic investment will help every community not only rebuild their local economy but also reimagine it for the future.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan delivered direct relief to the American people and was the first step to energizing the American economy following the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary Raimondo. “Now, its medium-term investments will allow communities around the country not only rebuild but reimagine their economy for the future.”

“With an emphasis on equity, EDA’s investments made possible by the American Rescue Plan will directly benefit communities that have been denied full access to economic prosperity and who have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” Secretary Raimondo continued. “We will work with local communities across the country on innovative new approaches to ensure that we can increase American competitiveness by strengthening our workforce, businesses, and communities and build back better in regions across the country.”

Investing in America’s Communities, was launched today with six Notices of Funding Opportunity:

As part of the six programs, the Department of Commerce and EDA, working with President Biden’s Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities, is making a Coal Communities Commitment, which allocates $300 million in American Rescue Plan funds to coal communities. This investment will ensure that they have the resources to recover from the pandemic and will help create new jobs and opportunities, including through the development or expansion of a new industry sector.

The American Rescue Plan funding empowers EDA to build upon its greatest strength—flexible funding to support community-led economic development—and provide larger, more transformational investments across the nation. Under the American Rescue Plan, EDA will make grants to state and local governmental entities, institutions of higher education, not-for-profit entities, unions, and Tribes. EDA is not authorized to provide grants to individuals or for-profit entities.

FACT SHEET: For more information about how EDA is investing in America’s communities, CLICK HERE.

EDA’s Investment Priorities, the first of which is equity, were announced by the Biden Administration on April 14. They provide an overarching framework for all of the EDA’s grants, including the investments that will be made under the American Rescue Plan.

Notices of Funding Opportunity for each program will be released shortly. Please visit www.eda.gov/ARPA for the latest news and announcements about EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


Nominations Open for the 2021 Business Excellence Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Business Excellence Awards

Every year, Think Dutchess recognizes the most successful businesses in Dutchess County at the Business Excellence Awards. We are very excited to announce Dutchess County’s favorite executive-level event, The Business Excellence Awards will return — in-person!  We hope you will join us Thursday, October 28th to celebrate the achievements of the top businesses in Dutchess County.

Nominations (including self-nominations) are now open. Businesses and nonprofit organizations that exemplify excellence, innovation, collaboration, service and resilience are encouraged to apply by August 15, 2021. 

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are now open as well.


  • Select the category that best represents the business.
  • Complete the appropriate nomination form with as much detailed information about the business as possible.
  • Submit your nomination by Sunday, August 15, 2021, to be considered by our Awards Committee.



Think Dutchess Nonprofit of the year award logo
Nonprofit of the Year

Nonprofit of the Year

Criteria for Entry:

The Nonprofit of the Year Award recognizes a community agency for its efforts in making Dutchess County a better place to live and work. The award is open to any Dutchess County-based 501(c)(3), irrespective of size and budget, which encourages economic activity in local communities, provides employment opportunities and demonstrates superior performance, quality and consistency in pursuit of its mission.

Judging Criteria:

• Impact on population served
• Enrichment of company mission through innovative approaches
• Community involvement and outreach
• Commitment to staff and volunteers


Think DUtchess Innovator of the Year logoInnovator of the Year

Criteria for Entry:

The Innovator of the Year Award recognizes the organizations and people who bring new ideas to life. The award is open to any Dutchess County organization, public or private, irrespective of size or industry sector The Innovator of the Year uses technology to bring to market a unique product or service which advances and adds value to the local job market, industry and society as a whole.

Judging Criteria:
• Innovation Process
• Value to industry/society
• Demonstrated growth process
• Potential for growth


Think Dutchess Small Business of the Year logoSmall Business of the Year

Criteria for Entry:

The Small Business of the Year Award is open to any Dutchess County Business with 5-49 employees (including an owner which is involved in day-to-day operations).

Judging Criteria:

• Current business performance
• Business growth over the last 24 month period
• Future growth potential
• Demonstrated ability to overcome and respond to changes in market or extraordinary circumstance
• Key differentiation factors and competitive analysis


  Large Business of the Year

The Large Business of the Year Awards is open to any Dutchess County Business with more than 50 employees.

Judging Criteria:

• Business growth and potential
• Competitive analysis and understanding of market
• Clear vision and strategic objectives for future growth
• Demonstrated ability to overcome and respond to changes in market or extraordinary circumstance
• Commitment to the local community including local job creation


If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to rachel@thinkdutchess.com.



Food & Wine Magazine Ranks Dutchess County Ice Cream Shop Top in NY State

Tivoli’s Fortunes Ice Cream Named Best Ice Cream in NY State by Food & Wine Magazine

Dutchess County residents are spoiled with the number of culinary options available. Dozens of top companies produce iconic food and beverage products in Dutchess County. Our food & beverage industry ranges from dozens of large manufacturers like Efco, Sloop Brewing and Crepini to the many small businesses and niche restaurants that are local favorites. Much of this luck is driven by a combination of factors that make Dutchess County a great place to live, work and play.

While residents know and love our hidden gems, it’s always exciting to see major publications give our small businesses the recognition they deserve. Tivoli’s Fortunes Ice Cream recently earned a prestigious nod from Food & Wine Magazine earning the title of Best Ice Cream in NY. Congratulations, Fortunes Ice Cream!

So what’s the secret recipe? Equal parts education and location. Fortunes owners, Brian Ackley and Lisa Farjam are the real-life recipe for success. The Bard College grads made the decision to relocate from Brooklyn to start this venture. Add just a sprinkle of the creativity you can find throughout the region, it’s no wonder, they have found success.


With more than 20,000 students enrolled full-time across our five universities and colleges, students coming to Dutchess County schools facilities are given an opportunity to learn everything from trade-specific skills in culinary arts to the business knowledge needed to scale.


Just 90 minutes from NYC, with easy access to major air, rail and road corridors, Dutchess County’s strategic location puts businesses within reach of 68 million U.S. and Canadian customers. More than that, our superior quality of life that combines bucolic scenery with city-like amenities makes our affordable and welcoming communities a desirable place to live and raise a family.

If you’re looking for some more spots to cool down with a sweet treat this summer check out these write-ups as well!

Dutchess Tourism- Must-Try Ice Cream Shops In Dutchess County

Hudson Valley Magazine: Cool Down at Three of the Hudson Valley’s Freshest Ice Cream Stands


And if you’re ready to start your business here in Dutchess County reach out to:

Chris Glancy, Director of Business Attraction




4 Ways Economic Development Helps The Community

It’s Economic Development Week!

Economic development is a complex field that involves strong partnerships between the public and private sectors. It encompasses a variety of industries, tools and activities that build a healthy and sustainable economy. It works to attract, retain and create new businesses that increase the tax base and ultimately create a better community for us to live, work and enjoy. It’s why the companies here Think Dutchess for business, and why residents Think Dutchess for life.

Looking to understand more about what we do and who we are? Download the pdf below to learn how economic development helps the community and share your support for Economic Development Week using #EDW2021!

4 Ways Economic Development Helps The Community

Economic development initiatives enhance a community’s economic and social prospects. Our goal at Think Dutchess is to support and create programs that will have a lasting impact on the County. We do that by leveraging our assets like education, location and talent pool to attract new businesses. We also use data to identify supply chain partners and help identify issues to form programs that help existing businesses grow and expand. Additionally, we capitalize on the history, culture and potential of our community to attract new visitors and residents to build a strong and resilient economy.

These strategies help us make an impact on the community today and in many years to come.


SBA Opens Portal to Begin Accepting Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Applications

** Please note, as of April 9, 2021 the SBA has closed this portal due to technical difficulties. Applicants can continue to register for a new account and will be informed of the reopening datae with advanced notice to ensure equitable access and preparation time. For more information visit our COVID-19 Resource Page.**





Release Date: March 19, 2021           Contact: press_office@sba.gov

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SBA Launches Portal to Begin Accepting

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Applications on April 8

National informational webinar to review application process on March 30


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a splash page for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal today in anticipation of opening applications for the much-anticipated critical economic relief program on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

“Help is here for venue operators hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA has worked diligently to build the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program from the ground up to assist and address the diverse eligibility requirements of each type of applicant and we will open for applications on April 8,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said. “The SBA knows these venues are critical to America’s economy and understands how hard they’ve been impacted, as they were among the first to shutter. This vital economic aid will provide a much-needed lifeline for live venues, museums, movie theatres and many more.”

Prior to the official SVOG application opening, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 to 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Those interested in participating can register here.

The SVOG program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which appropriated $15 billion for it. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, appropriated an additional $1.25 billion, bringing the program funding to a total of $16.25 billion, with more than $16 billion allocated for grants.

To ensure eligible venues do not miss a window to receive assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, the American Rescue Plan Act also amended the SVOG program so entities that apply for a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, can also apply for an SVOG, with the eligible entity’s SVOG to be reduced by the PPP loan amount. The PPP loan applications have been updated to reflect this.

As the SBA builds and prepares to open the program, the dedicated SBA website, www.sba.gov/svogrant, which includes frequently asked questions, video tutorials and other SVOG details, is the best source for information for those looking to apply for a grant. To prepare in advance of the SVOG application portal opening on April 8, potential applicants should get registered in the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM.gov), as this is required for an entity to receive an SVOG, and reference the preliminary application checklist and eligibility requirements.




Matt Coleman

U.S. Small Business Administration




A premier business-led organization, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business brings together 10 agency partners creating a one-stop shop for your site selection, financing, incentives, permitting and advocacy, strategic planning and counseling, marketing and networking needs.