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 for the latest news and announcements about EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
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



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:

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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,, 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 (, 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


Amazon Approved to Begin $135 Million Investment in Dutchess County, NY

Amazon Approved to Redevelop Former IBM Property in Dutchess County, NY

Amazon’s $135 million private investment in East Fishkill will add 500 new jobs to Dutchess County

Adobe stock photo (Gorodenkoff) of boxes in logistics center representative of the soon to come to Dutchess County facility in East Fishkill, NY

On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, Amazon announced its plans to expand its operation in Dutchess County at the 631,000-square-foot site on Route 52 in East Fishkill. The project is expected to create more than 500 full-time jobs and hundreds of part-time jobs. The project is Amazon’s first in Dutchess County and third in New York State.

“We are proud to continue our growth and investment in New York with a new fulfillment center in Dutchess County that will serve our customers across the state,” Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s Vice President of Global Customer Fulfillment said in a statement. “The Empire State and its incredible workforce have been vital to our ability to provide great selection, competitive prices, and the Prime services we know our customers love.  We are excited to create hundreds of new job opportunities – with great pay and great benefits – and remain committed to driving a positive economic impact in the community.”

In 2018, Think Dutchess identified a developer who would be interested in redeveloping the former IBM West Campus, which had laid dormant for over 20 years. Negotiations continued in 2020 for the site which remained a priority for the County. The greatest milestone was the commitment to be made by Services LLC in 2020 allowing USEF Tioranda LLC to move forward with the purchase of the site. The project is a testament to the advantages of doing business in Dutchess County. Its strategic location with easy access to the I-84 corridor makes it well-positioned to succeed and support our distribution and logistics industry sector.

“The vision of the County Executive, Marcus Molinaro and Assistant County Executive Ron Hick and coordination with community leaders including Nicholas D’Alessandro, Supervisor of Town of East Fishkill we have overcome many obstacles to market and attract suitable users to the site,” said Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess.  “While Think Dutchess worked to market the site and attract a user, the work of our government leaders and the DCIDA shepherded this project to reality.”

“This project is the largest redevelopment project in the history of East Fishkill,” said town supervisor Nicholas D’Alessandro in a recent press release. “This type of redevelopment is exactly what the town needs, repurposing older industrial sites into new projects that will bring more jobs, tax dollars, and stability to our community,” he said. “This project is not only beneficial economically to East Fishkill but Dutchess County and the whole Hudson Valley.”

“This investment and the expected creation of 500 jobs is a result of a proactive and targeted economic development strategy to redevelop commercial properties in Dutchess County for their highest and best use,” Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said. “What has been a largely vacant and blighted site will be transformed into a state-of-the-art logistics facility, create hundreds of jobs, and significantly improve the traffic flow and appearance of the Route 52 corridor.”

For more information about relocating your business to Dutchess County contact:

Chris Glancy

Director of Business Attraction



New Guidance Issued on SBA/Treasury Paycheck Protection Program




PRESS OFFICE                  


Release Date: January 8, 2021      ; 202-270-3876

Release Number: 21-02                           Follow us on: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs & Instagram



SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13.  The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.

This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

“The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”

“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19.  We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”

Key PPP updates include:

  • PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
  • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
  • The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
  • The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:

  • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
  • Has no more than 300 employees; and
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.


The new guidance released includes:


For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit or





About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit


Think Dutchess Ambassador- Jeff Haight

Jeff Haight- Hudson Valley Cold Pressed Oils

Profession- Owner, Hudson Valley Cold Pressed Oils

What Attracted You to Dutchess? Why do you Think Dutchess for business and life?

I’m a lifelong resident and CIA graduate. From historic mansions and scenic views to the food offerings and strong community atmosphere, there is no other place quite like Dutchess County. Dutchess County has always been both an agricultural and tourist hub, we are thrilled to be able to fit into both categories.

Tell us about Hudson Valley Cold Pressed Oils. Why is it unique?

Hudson Valley Cold Pressed Oils is a family-owned and operated sunflower-based company in Pleasant Valley, NY. We produce products from the flowers we grow on our farm. The oil we produce is cold-pressed, which ensures the highest quality, best tasting, and healthiest oil possible. We also make a sunflower flour that is high in protein and gluten-free. This makes us a nearly zero waste facility. We are probably best known for our beautiful fields which we open to the public to enjoy when the flowers are in bloom.

What innovative methods and practices have you leveraged to grow and scale the business?

We have taken the highly nutritious solids that remain after our pressing process to create our flour and have since formulated gluten-free sunflower based baking mixes. We are one of the few companies in the US that produce Sunflower flour.

What are some of your favorite local businesses or organizations in Dutchess?

Some of our favorite local businesses include Locust Hill Market in Millbrook and Fishkill Farms. Our Sunflower oil has really taken off in the skincare world. Several local skin care companies use our oil in their products.  Hudson Valley Skin Care uses the oil in most of their lotions and creams. Hummingbird Ranch makes a Propolis Skin Cream with it. Smellz Good has our sunflower oil in their soaps, lip balms, bath balms and salves. Also, a new skincare company, Take Time Out for Beauty is using it in their skincare line.

How has the pandemic impacted your business? What shifts have you made to maintain success? 

As the pandemic hit, we lost almost all of our restaurant sales and we weren’t comfortable attending many of the farmer’s markets we had been attending. We then shifted to selling online and to our small local farm stands that saw tremendous growth.

What do you anticipate for 2021?

At this point, it is hard to say what will be coming in the new year, but we can only hope that we can return to life before covid in the new year.

Why are you excited to be an Ambassador?

We are excited to be an Ambassador by sharing our story and experiences with the local community as we all can help each other to push forward and strive for success.

Think Dutchess has checked in with our Ambassadors throughout the pandemic. As the county moves forward, learn how these leaders adapted to change, championed local business and remained a critical part of keeping our county businesses working, and our friends and neighbors positive about the effects and outcomes the pandemic created.

Think Dutchess CEO, Sarah Lee, Featured on Medium’s Authority Magazine

The COVID pandemic has exposed a number of weaknesses and strengths across every industry. Leaders in all fields have been required to adapt and adjust to changing environments and community needs. The best leaders have been able to unite teams and create immediate and future impact on the industries they serve.

Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess was recently spotlighted as one of those leaders in Medium’s Authority Magazine. She has led the organization on impactful work, including recognition from the International Economic Development Council for their entrepreneurship program and marketing efforts. As CEO of Think Dutchess, she has facilitated over $2.5 billion in private investment in Dutchess County.

To learn more about Sarah’s achievements and goals to move Dutchess County forward in a post-pandemic environment, click on the photo below.

Think DUtchess CEO Sarah Lee
Think Dutchess CEO, Sarah Lee


Amazon Eyeing Dutchess County, Potentially Bringing 500 Jobs


Sarah Lee
Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

Dutchess County Attracting Amazon and 500 New Jobs

Global e-retailer considering New York over other locations; $135 Million Investment in East Fishkill location

Dutchess County, NY—

     Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is considering locating a logistics center in East Fishkill, NY which will create up to 500 new jobs over the next 3 years. Amazon is still considering other locations across the United States for its expansion project, but Dutchess County remains the frontrunner for the company’s relocation and $135 million investment.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Amazon’s proposed investment in the former IBM West Campus site in East Fishkill – and with 500 new jobs – will help our county recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Job creation and growing the economy is a top priority, and a significant investment by Amazon in Dutchess County will strengthen and secure the logistics industry cluster in the Hudson Valley, while creating hundreds of jobs in the county. Despite uncertainty in the economy, this expansion will provide an important economic boost for the community and job opportunities for our residents and we’re proud that Amazon has recognized the great strides we have taken over the last nine years to make Dutchess County so attractive for business.”

The Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency is negotiating a Payment in Lieu of Tax agreement, sales tax exemption and mortgage tax exemption as well as employee training assistance. These agreements are performance-based and tied directly to job creation and investment commitments.
“The Town developed specialized zoning to attract new investment to the former IBM West Campus site that has remained fallow for over 20 years,” said Town of East Fishkill Supervisor Nicholas D’Alessandro. “Amazon is a world leader in the e-retail industry and its commitment to locate a distribution center here in Dutchess County underscores the impact of the work our team has done to improve the local business climate. The creation of 500 new jobs will provide a tremendous boost to our local economy and we look forward to a long and successful partnership in the community.”

Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess said, “It is rewarding to work on this project and to collaborate with the Town of East Fishkill to develop an attractive incentive package to encourage the company to make an investment in Dutchess County. The significant increase in employment will help re-invigorate the county’s economy and have a positive impact on local business.”
“We are very happy to be a member of the team who is putting together a financial incentive package that will bring significant new capital investment and jobs to Dutchess County,” said Tim Dean, Chairman of the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency. “Amazon’s $135 million investment in Dutchess County is a strong example of making smart investments in companies that want to locate in our community.”


About Think Dutchess Alliance for Business
Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, formerly Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, 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




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.