Dutchess County Announces Stabilization Grants for Small Businesses

Office of the County Executive

22 Market Street ¨ Poughkeepsie, NY  12601

Phone:  (845) 486-2000 ¨ Fax:  (845) 486-2021

 

Date:  September 9, 2020

 

For Further Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, Communications Director

(845) 486-2000

 

Molinaro Announces Stabilization Grants for Microenterprise Businesses Negatively Affected by COVID

 

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced today Dutchess County has made $430,000 in grants available to assist microenterprise businesses negatively affected by COVID-19, through a program administered by Community Capital New York (CCNY). A microenterprise is defined as a business with five or fewer employees, including the owner. The program provides grants of up to $10,000 to stabilize microenterprises and preserve low- and moderate-income jobs. Eligible businesses can apply online at https://communitycapitalny.org/the-dutchess-county-microenterprise-stabilization-grant-program/

 

County Executive Molinaro said, “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and this pandemic has forced many to close, with many more struggling to remain open. These grants will help these businesses stay afloat – keeping our neighbors employed and communities vibrant.”

The funding for the program comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant COVID/CARES Act (CDBG-CV) which was provided to the County’s Urban County CDBG Consortium.  Eligible businesses must be in a municipality which is a member of the Consortium. The Consortium includes all Dutchess County municipalities, except the City of Poughkeepsie, which received its own CDBG-CV funds; the city is expected to announce a similar program using its CDBG-CV funds by in the near future.

City of Beacon is also committing $150,000 towards this program, specifically for business located in the City of Beacon.  Funding for this program is from the City’s Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) funds; its applications will be accepted via the same application and follow the same guidelines, and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Eligible businesses must meet the following standards, established by the federal government:

  • Five or fewer employees, including the owner
  • Located in the Dutchess County Urban County CDBG Consortium
  • Retain, rehire or create at least one low- and moderate-income job for six months
  • For-profit business (non-profits are ineligible)
  • Operate outside of a residential property
  • In operation prior to March 15, 2017
  • Not be one of the following business types: adult book, video and entertainment facilities, check cashing facilities, gambling facilities, gun shops, liquor stores, non-therapeutic massage parlors, medical marijuana production /distribution, pawn shops, tanning salons or tattoo parlors
  • Must document that funds are not duplicating other financial assistance provided via the CARES Act.

The low and moderate job standard can be met several ways:

  • Retain, rehire, or create at least one full-time position for a person whose full-time annual salary is below $54,950 . For retention, the position must be at imminent risk of job loss without the funding; or
  • The business is located within a Low- and Moderate-Income Area (LMA) http://www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/Planning/docs/2020-CDBG-Low-Mod-Map.pdf and primarily serves local residents; or

The following are the federal established low- and moderate-income limits:

Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Income Limit $54,950 $62,800 $70,650 $78,500 $84,800 $91,100 $97,350 $103,650

 

Eligible uses of funds include:

  • Rent
  • Working capital
  • Technical training
  • Machinery and equipment, including personal protective equipment for employees
  • Certain other costs associated with stabilizing a small business

Ineligible Uses:

  • Relocation of business operations
  • Renovations
  • Paying off existing debt
  • Reimbursement for costs incurred before aid

Applications are available on at https://communitycapitalny.org/the-dutchess-county-microenterprise-stabilization-grant-program/ and will be accepted until all the funds are expended.  CCNY will also provide technical assistance to potentially eligible businesses.

The Dutchess County Urban County CDBG Consortium includes 20 towns​, eight villages and the City of Beacon.  For the purpose of ​administering this program, the villages ​will be considered in conjunction with their respective town.  For the first four weeks of the application process, CCNY will award grants based on an equitable distribution among the 20 towns and the City of Beacon.  After October 7, 2020, applications will be approved on a first-come, first-serve​d basis.

 

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Colleen T. Pillus

Communications Director

Dutchess County Executive Office

22 Market Street

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Phone: (845) 486-2000  Fax: (845) 486-2021

email: cpillus@dutchessny.gov

www.dutchessny.gov

Think Dutchess Small Business Relief Fund Now Accepting Applications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 19, 2020

Contact: Rachel Welch 

rachel@thinkdutchess.com

Think Dutchess Small Business Relief Fund Now Open

Applications are being accepted immediately.

 

Dutchess County, NY— In order to mitigate the impact the global pandemic has had on our small business community, the Think Dutchess Small Business Relief Fund is accepting applications. The loan fund offers a 36 month, zero percent loan up to $10,000 for small businesses in Dutchess County impacted by COVID-19. By promptly providing small loans to qualified Dutchess County businesses that have been unable to secure assistance from other relief programs.

The loan fund allows eligible businesses access to much-needed capital to retain jobs and reopen successfully. Business interested in applying must be located in Dutchess County, have ten or fewer full-time equivalent employees, and have not received other forms of relief including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), local emergency or similar loan programs.

“Dutchess County small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as the after effects of mandated closures and capacity limits begin to prove their impact. Even as things return to normal, the impact of the coronavirus has placed many small businesses dangerously close to closing” said Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess Alliance for Business. “Despite remaining innovative and resilient, this loan fund allows us to provide our small businesses with the additional support they need to stay open and keep our friends and neighbors employed.”

Applications for the loan will be originated by Think Dutchess’ Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Community Capital New York. For questions, please contact Marilyn Yerks, CFO, at marilyn@thinkdutchess.com.

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About the Emergency Loans

Small Businesses in Dutchess County can apply for a Small Business Emergency Loan of up to $10,000, at a 0% interest rate with a 36-month repayment period. The loan can cover any emergency need that will help the organization stay solvent including salaries, rent, and other operating costs. Read more about the application requirements below.

 

How to Apply

Eligible small businesses can apply at https://thinkdutchess.com/dutchess-county-small-business-relief-loan/ where you will be redirected to our CDFI partner, Community Capital New York to complete the application. For more information about eligibility requirements download the Small Business Express Loan Fact Sheet HERE, or visit Community Capital New York at: https://communitycapitalny.org/dutchess-county-loan-program/.

 

About Think Dutchess

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 www.thinkdutchess.com

 

About Community Capital New York

A nonprofit lender for more than 30 years, Community Capital New York works to create a thriving, inclusive and equitable economy where all people have access to build wealth and prosperity for themselves, their families, and communities. As one of the only nonprofit, community-based lender exclusively serving Westchester and the Hudson Valley, they drive capital and resources to start-ups and small business owners typically excluded from current systems and to affordable housing development. Community Capital New York is an SBA-lender and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To learn more visit: https://communitycapitalny.org/

Past Winners of the Think Dutchess Business Excellence Awards

Over the past 20 years, the Business Excellence Awards have honored the outstanding businesses that contribute to the immense growth and innovation happening in Dutchess County.  We realize that the more that local companies come together, the better it is for all industries- as it results in a thriving business community.

Nominations for the 2020 Awards are now open!

We encourage you to nominate the businesses you feel are creating a lasting impact on the Dutchess County economy. Entering the awards is a great way to raise your company’s profile and credibility, and often leads to new business opportunities and growth potential.  Just ask these past winners.

 

2019

 

2018

 

2017

2016

  • Barton Orchards- Agricultural Business of the Year
  • Taylor Manufacturing- Manufacturer of the Year
  • Hudson Valley House of Hope- Nonprofit of the Year
  • Hudson Cadillac, Buick, GMC- Small Business of the Year
  • Indoor Organic Gardens Poughkeepsie, Brud Hodgkins- Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Hudson Valley Tech Meetup- Innovator of the Year

2015

  • Dennis Murray, Marist College- Special Service Award
  • The Bardavon- Non Profit of the Year
  • NERAK Systems- Manufacturer of the Year
  • Sabellicos Greenhouse- Agricultural Business of the Year
  • Gus Serroukas- Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Tinkleman Architecture- Small Business of the Year

 

Self-nominations are encouraged! Winners within the last five years are eligible to apply or can be nominated in a different category other than their previous award. To enter, select the category that best represents the business. You may submit an application in more than one category as long as the criteria for entry are met.  Download, complete and save the fillable pdf for the nomination category and return to Rachel@thinkdutchess.com by August 24, 2020.

Nominate a business HERE

 

Software Company, DocuWare, Breaks Ground in Beacon, NY

Software Company, DocuWare, Hosts Official Groundbreaking with Small, Socially Distant Celebration

Local government and business leaders joined to celebrate business relocation and continued growth in Beacon.

Socially distant groundbreaking ceremony for tech company DocuWare in Beacon, NY

 

German company, DocuWare, has a new home in the City of Beacon, NY.  The company broke ground on Thursday, July 9, 2020, with a small socially-distant groundbreaking ceremony at the former Beacon City Highway Garage which will be home to the company’s US headquarters. The tech company provides digital document management that helps automate business processes to more than 600,00 users across 90 countries.

 

DocuWare, with current facilities near Stewart Airport, will bring with them their 63 current employees and hire another 87 two years after the move. Beacon’s prime location was a critical factor in the company’s decision to relocate. Increased housing and highly sought after quality of life of factors, combined with Beacon’s proximity to transport provides “additional opportunities to attract new tech talent,” noted DocuWare president, Jim Roberts. Employees will be able to live and reside locally as the property will be home to a two-story office building for the company, eight residential units and green space for employees and residents along the Fishkill Creek.

The economic benefits to Beacon and southern Dutchess go beyond just the employees, said company co-founder and Thomas Schneck.  “We have a requirement that everybody must come for certification to our location and be trained there in a week-long training course, which creates about 800 to 1,000 overnight hotel requirements and these people need to go out to dinner and go shopping,” he said. “It is going to be hundreds and hundreds of people going there every year to get recertified.”

Think Dutchess provided site selection and technical support for DocuWare. CEO, Sarah Lee says she is “excited to welcome DocuWare to Dutchess County.” “DocuWare will further support Beacon’s growing business community and highlight Dutchess County’s unique quality of life amenities. Additionally, the company will help attract top tech talent as more businesses recognize Dutchess County’s strong infrastructure and growing residential opportunities.”

 


 

SBA Re-Opens Economic Injury Disaster Loans

NEWS RELEASE

PRESS OFFICE

 

Release Date: June 15, 2020                                Contact: Press_Office@sba.gov, (202) 205-7036

Release Number: 20-47                                         Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs & Instagram

 

 

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Reopened to All Eligible Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic

 

WASHINGTON – To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.

 

“The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact.  With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Since EIDL assistance due to the pandemic first became available to small businesses located in every state and territory, SBA has worked to provide the greatest amount of emergency economic relief possible.  To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.”

 

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit.  These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue.  EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.  Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

 

SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance

  • The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.
  • These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses.  The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
  • In addition, small businesses and non-profits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000. The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.  This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.
  • SBA’s EIDL and EIDL Advance are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response.
  • The SBA is also assisting small businesses and non-profits with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently accepting applications until June 30, 2020.

 

For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.

 

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. 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 www.sba.gov

 


Think Dutchess Digital Ambassador- Kelly Lyndgaard

Kelly Lyndgaard- Unshattered

Profession: Founder and CEO of Unshattered

What attracted you to Dutchess?  Close enough to NYC to enjoy it but still rural enough to live in nature and be outdoors!

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role?  I moved here as an executive with a worldwide corporation and ended up resigning from my career to begin a small nonprofit and invest in my community. 

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity? Hiking

Favorite Dutchess County eatery? Tomas Tapas

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? How rural we are yet how close we are to many big cities and events. 

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? You won’t find a better mix of city mindset but country life. There are so many incredibly talented people doing incredibly amazing things all hidden in plain sight. You don’t have the hustle normally associated with high achievers but you still have the great businesses and resources that high achievers create. 

 

Think Dutchess checked in with our Ambassadors during the NY State Pause from the COVID-19 pandemic. As the county moved 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 Digital Ambassador- Dana Jones

Dana Jones- Accessadoor

Profession: Founder and CEO of Accessadoor, LLC

What attracted you to Dutchess? I was born and raised in Dutchess County. After being able to experience the area as a resident first I knew it was the exact environment I needed to be in to start my company.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? After growing up here and having a solid foundation of family and friends, it has allowed me to explore different interests and passions which eventually led me to becoming an entrepreneur. With all of the available resources available to small businesses and those just starting their entrepreneurial journey I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity? One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to explore all the new restaurants and breweries in the area. It is a great way to spend time with friends and find new places to visit.

Favorite Dutchess County eatery? My favorite eatery in Dutchess County is Lola’s

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? Well growing up in the area I think the one thing that has surprised me over the years is its ability to attract large corporations in addition to its constant ability to evolve and improve the area for people of all ages and interests.

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? For anyone looking to do business in the area, reach out to other business owners. Everyone is extremely helpful and willing to help each other. It is a really tight-knit community and we all want to see each other succeed so don’t be afraid to ask around and get first-hand feedback.

 

Think Dutchess checked in with our Ambassadors during the NY State Pause from the COVID-19 pandemic. As the county moved 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.

 

 


Guidelines for Reopening Dutchess County

On Friday, May 22, Governor Cuomo approved the Mid-Hudson Region to begin Phase 1 of reopening contingent upon adequate numbers of contact tracers.  Beginning Tuesday, May, 26 Dutchess County is ready to move forward and begin the reopening plan. Information on reopening safely can be found in the links below.
Additionally, the Governor also announced the state would begin a loan program for small businesses and nonprofits with less than 20 full-time equivalent employees. Small landlords who have seen a loss of rental income also qualify for the program. This program would provide a low-interest loan to be paid off over 5 years. Pre-application for these funds will be opened on May 26. For more information on the program, click HERE.
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New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool

Businesses in each region will be able to re-open in phases. Re-opening refers to non-essential businesses and business activities. Essential businesses and business activities that are open, will be able to remain open.

This tool will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which your business must comply. The guidelines accessible via the tool below apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open, and essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open. Eligibility for reopening will be determined by health metrics for each region.

New York Forward Safety Plan Template

Each business including those that have been designated as essential under Empire State Development’s Essential Business Guidance, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must bemade available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. Business owners should refer to the State’s industry-specific guidance for more information on how to safely operate. For a list of regions and sectors that are authorized to re-open, as well as detailed guidance for each sector, please visit: forward.ny.gov.

If your industry is not included in the posted guidance but your business has been operating as essential, please refer to ESD’s Essential Business Guidance and adhere to the guidelines within this Safety Plan.

Business Affirmation Form

OSHA Returning to Work Resources

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided general information and guidance for businesses as they reopen. The guidelines are broken down by industry and the website offers additional resources to reopen safely. 

Returning to Work Resources

CDC Reopening Guidance For Workplaces

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released additional guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes while preparing to reopen. Additional resources to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are also available.

CDC Reopening Guidance

NY Department of Labor FAQs for Employers

NYS DOL has provided additional information regarding frequently asked questions for employers.

NYS DOL FAQS

Additional Information

Regional Monitoring Dashboard

Reopening Metrics Explanation

Industry Reopening Guidelines

 


Economic Development Agencies Create COVID-19 Business Assistance Programs to Support Small Businesses

Think Dutchess Alliance for Business: Sponsor of the HVFBS

Dutchess County Economic Development Agencies Create COVID-19 Business Assistance Programs to Support Small Businesses

In effort to aid businesses unable to secure assistance, The Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency and The Dutchess County Local Development Corporation approved programs to increase financing opportunities for Dutchess County small business.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAY, 13, 2020

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y —

 

To support and encourage local businesses in the production, supplies and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other COVID-19 recovery products to address increased demand, the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency (DCIDA) met to approve a special Sales and Use Tax Relief Program. The fast tracked, no-fee package helps local manufacturers expand capacity and produce much needed personal protection equipment.

“Time is of the essence,” said Chairman of the DCIDA Board, Tim Dean on Wednesday. “It’s important to get this funding to the business community quickly to help our businesses in any and every way possible. This combination of relief and the expedited handling of the application helps us to support our businesses and the community as a whole.”

The program is open to all businesses in the Dutchess County that are currently engaged in or are beginning to manufacture, supply and/or distribute products for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Up to $100,000 in sales tax support will be granted to manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of these products.

These products may be used by health care and medical providers, first responders, home health aides, COVID-19 patients, and for residents’ personal use.  PPE may include medical and hospital equipment, disinfectants, sterilizers and sanitizer equipment, products and chemicals, as well as, medicine, pharmaceutical products and over the counter drugs to be used in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

“As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the demand for Personal Protective Equipment and related healthcare equipment and sanitizing supplies has dramatically increased and is expected to remain in high demand,” said Think Dutchess CEO, Sarah Lee. “As the state will require hospitals and healthcare centers to have a sufficient supply of equipment and PPE supplies on hand in case of a second wave of COVID-19, the program allows local businesses to expand operations, support supply chains and drive the regional economy.”

More information will be shared via Think Dutchess Alliance for Business social media channels and at https://thinkdutchess.com/covid-19-business-resource-page/. For additional questions please contact: Think Dutchess CEO, Sarah Lee, at sarah@thinkdutchess.com.

Additionally, on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, the Dutchess County Local Development Corporation (DCLDC) Board of Directors also approved a proposal to create a Small Business Express Loan Program.

“Businesses, especially small businesses, have been hit hard. It needs to be acknowledged that from every corner of the county, the business community has done everything possible to protect public health, even if it has meant they making among the greatest sacrifices,” shared Think Dutchess CEO, Sarah Lee. “We are proud to offer Dutchess-based businesses that have suffered economic setbacks due to the current COVID-19 crisis have a new source of financial assistance. The program will provide a financial bridge to help businesses through these turbulent times.”

The small business express loan offers local businesses access to capital in a nimble and quick manner due to the economic challenges from COVID-19. The program will offer 0% interest loans up to $10,000 with a 36-month repayment term. More details on the program will be released soon.  In the meantime, please contact, Think Dutchess CEO, Sarah Lee, for more information at sarah@thinkdutchess.com.

 

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About the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency

Industrial Development Agencies (“IDAs” are formed under Article 18-A of New York State General Municipal Law, as public benefit corporations.  IDAs were created to actively promote, encourage, attract and develop job and recreational opportunities and economically-sound commerce and industry in cities, towns, villages and counties throughout New York State (the “State”).  IDAs are empowered to provide financial assistance to private entities through tax incentives in order to promote the economic welfare, prosperity and recreational opportunities for residents of a municipality (“Benefited Municipality”). The Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency [DCIDA] was created to further economic development in Dutchess County by providing financial assistance to private entities through tax incentives including the issuance of bonds to facilitate the building of capital projects with the resultant construction jobs and permanent follow on employment. For more information about the DCIDA visit: https://thinkdutchess.com/ida/

 

About the Dutchess County Local Development Corporation

The Dutchess County Local Development Corporation (DCLDC) is a Not-For-Profit Corporation created by the Dutchess County government under the New York Not-For-Profit Corporation Law 2010 to promote economic development and job creation in Dutchess County.  The DCLDC induces companies to invest capital in projects that create jobs and increase the county’s tax base, thereby improving the quality of life for Dutchess County residents. Its mission is to reduce underemployment and increase employment; provide assistance and financial incentives for the formation, retention, expansion, and attraction of not for profit and for profit business to improve the economic vitality of the County. For more information about the DCLDC visit: https://thinkdutchess.com/ldc/

 

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 www.thinkdutchess.com

 


Dutchess County’s Walkway Over the Hudson Honors Frontline Workers

Walkway Over the Hudson Logo

 

 

CONTACT:  Geoff Brault

610.585.5743

gbrault@walkway.org

 

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park Illuminated with 202-foot-long ‘THANK YOU!’ to Honor Frontline Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

 

The Friends of the Walkway nonprofit organization and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation partnered to create this striking display on the World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge

Walkway Over the Hudson Night Shot of 200 foot long illuminates thank you sign to honor COVID-19 frontline workers

 

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (April 30, 2020) –  To honor those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park was illuminated by more than 1,300 luminaries coming together to spell out ‘THANK YOU!’, transforming the Hudson Valley’s most iconic landmark into the community’s largest display of gratitude.  In total, the display of light spanned more than 200 feet.  The project salutes everyone going to exceptional lengths to keep people healthy and society functioning in the Hudson Valley and across the nation.

“We hope that through this grand display across the Walkway frontline workers know just how much we appreciate their tremendous efforts,” said Elizabeth Waldstein, Executive Director, Friends of the Walkway. “That includes our partners at New York State Parks and the Walkway park management team, all of whom have gone above-and-beyond to ensure the bridge can remain open for those needing an outdoor respite.”

In the coming days, photo prints of the temporary light installation will be presented to key agencies in the community – places like emergency rooms, grocery stores, police stations, fire departments, and the like.  Beginning on Saturday, May 2 – I Love My Park Day – the public will be able to help extend the gratitude far and wide by purchasing prints and note cards at walkway.org to recognize those that have made a difference in their lives during the pandemic.

“The Walkway is one of the icons of the Hudson Valley, and there is no more fitting location to serve as the backdrop for this impressive gesture of thanks,” said John Storyk, Chairman, Friends of the Walkway Board of Directors. “In addition to a big thank you to frontline workers, I want to also extend thanks to everyone that lent their time and talents to create this spectacle.”

Friends of the Walkway board members, volunteers, and staff worked side-by-side with New York State Parks personnel to facilitate the creation of this display, the largest of its kind in the history of the bridge. Board member Kathy Smith developed the logistical plan and led the buildout of the light display. Board member Bob Kaminsky led production design. Scott Snell of SDI Imaging donated his aerial photography services to capture the scene. Walkway volunteer Irving Solero took on-the-ground stills.

At all times, everyone involved in the project followed New York State Department of Health best practices for being outdoors by wearing face coverings and working in shifts to avoid gathering.  Each of the 1,300 bags was marked with ‘Honor. Remember. Celebrate.” The New York State Bridge Authority lit the nearby Mid-Hudson Bridge in blue and white on the evening of the photoshoot. Two boats from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office provided uplighting on the Walkway superstructure.

“When the bridge first opened in the 1890s, it was known as The Great Connector, and I think it lived up to that nickname here,” said Linda Cooper, Regional Director Taconic Region, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. “We’re proud of the role that Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park plays in our community and that the bridge is able to be open at this time for people to get fresh air and exercise while taking in remarkable views.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo has designated that New York State Parks, including Walkway Over the Hudson, remain open and accessible to the extent possible at this time. To read the health and safety guidelines patrons are asked to follow before visiting the Walkway, visit parks.ny.gov/covid19.

For more information about the creation of this special project, including behind-the-scenes photos and video, plus a detailed account of how it all came together, visit walkway.org.

About Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
Connecting the City of Poughkeepsie and the Hamlet of Highland in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is a renowned tourism and recreation destination visited by 600,000 people each year. Standing 212 feet above the river’s surface and more than 6,700 feet (1.28 miles) long, the Walkway is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. The park provides unique access to the Hudson River’s breathtaking landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. until sunset, weather permitting. For more information, visit walkway.org.

About Friends of the Walkway Over the Hudson
Supported by a diverse coalition of members, donors, and corporate sponsors, the Friends of the Walkway organization is responsible for raising funds to enhance the Walkway experience, support capital improvements, and deliver innovative events that engage Hudson Valley residents and visitors, all contributing to the vitality of the region. Additional programs and activities supported by the Friends of the Walkway include the volunteer Ambassador program, Walkway tours and interpretative signage in the park, providing accurate and important information to visitors via the Walkway’s website and social media channels, the Walkway’s membership and merchandise programs, and much more. To learn more about how your support can improve the Walkway Over the Hudson and support the Hudson Valley, visit walkway.org.

 

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