News & Events

News & Events

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.

 

###

 

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- Richard Romano

Richard Romano- Screamin’ Onionz

Profession:

We own Aha! American Healthy Appetite and we make shelf-stable jarred food products produced with whole ingredients from the Hudson Valley. Our signature product is Screamin’ Onionz which are NY State onions slow-cooked in craft sauces. We use 4 whole ingredients, are gluten-free, all-natural and have no added sugar. They replace raw onions in recipes, so they save time in the kitchen.

What attracted you to Dutchess?

I grew up in Hopewell Junction, but came back with my family after 20 years in the hotel & restaurant profession in Manhattan. Dutchess County always felt like home to me and now its great to share it with my wife and kids.  

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role?

My Dad bought a restaurant when I was 13. I worked there every weekend, along with a paper route, and all summer long, until I graduated high school and left for culinary school. I also worked in the kitchen at IBM Poughkeepsie and helped to serve thousands of people a day. This prepared me as I headed off to Manhattan to become an Executive Chef, General Manager, Director of Operations and to eventually assist struggling restaurants with distressed property turnaround and later opening a bunch of restaurants for notable chefs and restaurateurs. Some of which ran the highest-grossing restaurants in the country. Dutchess County provided me with the base I needed to succeed.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?

We love to be outdoors for a nice walk, riding bikes along the rail trail and hiking, when we have time. I love watching the stars at night, identifying constellations, and looking at the moon with my children. I used to love doing that as a kid.  

Favorite Dutchess County eatery?

I really have to say that our favorite eateries are the ones that support our Screamin’ Onionz. They really helped us understand the versatility and ease of use of our product which led to creating them in gallons. This led to us approaching private and public schools. We thank them so much for their faith in us.

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? 

I would say they’d be surprised at all the farms, farm markets and specialty producers utilizing locally grown products for their creations.

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess?

I would let them know to look into the Dutchess County organizations supporting small business growth here. We didn’t realize the overwhelming amount of assistance and programs here geared towards propping up businesses.  For us, the Think Dutchess Pitch Competition led us to be a Think Dutchess Ambassador which led us to the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Corporation’s “Farm and Food Funding Accelerator.” The Think Dutchess pitch competition really prepared us to go in front of potential investors, to hopefully procure investment for the growth of our company within the next few months. 

 

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- 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 Statement Regarding National Dialogue on Racial Justice

These last few weeks have been difficult. We have struggled to find the words to express how saddened we are over the losses of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others because there are no words that make sense of re-occurring racism and unequal justice. We join our country in grieving these horrific events and stand with our black friends, neighbors, businesses and organizations, in Dutchess County and throughout the country, to fight for safety and equality for everyone.

We at Think Dutchess are proud to serve such a diverse community of business owners, nonprofits and residents. As an economic development organization, our mission is to improve the lives of our community. We are proud to partner and support our local organizations that have a shared mission and goals to educate, empower and support a diverse business environment.

Our country has responded to the collective calls of our communities to address issues of racism and social injustice. Peaceful protests on June 3, 2020, in the City of Poughkeepsie and throughout Dutchess County were a wonderful example of how our community can come together to listen and begin transformative conversations toward change. Think Dutchess stands in solidarity with organizations and partners like Community Matters 2, Nubian Directions, Northern Dutchess NAACP, The Youth One Stop, Middle Main and Hudson River Housing which are leading these conversations.

Think Dutchess is committed to facilitating an equitable economic recovery in Dutchess County for all people, businesses, and communities.  We are listening and willing to talk about the issues affecting your business and your community. You can count on Think Dutchess to support you through this time and to stand in solidarity to fight for equity and economic justice – today and always.

 


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.
image12

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

 


Think Dutchess Digital Ambassdor- Nicholas Mauro

Nicholas Mauro – Marist College

Profession: Manager of Recruitment and Workforce Development at Marist College.  Owner, YourCareerSpark LLC, an HR consulting and career services firm.

What attracted you to Dutchess?

I was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, and after college graduation I moved around the NYC area and New Jersey.  While away, I came to appreciate Dutchess County and looked for an opportunity to return.  I have called Dutchess County home again for the last 10 years.  During that time, I have found many opportunities personally, professionally and in volunteering in the community.  I will continue to call Dutchess County home for many years to come.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? 

Marist College is a leading higher education institution and I have been fortunate to be mentored by the College’s senior leadership.  Marist College is a special place to build a career.  There is also a strong business community in Dutchess County with a many talented, innovative, and ambitious leaders and entrepreneurs.   I was inspired by my participation in the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce program – Leadership Dutchess.  Leadership Dutchess is a unique opportunity to learn, grow and become involved in the community and the future of the region.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?

One of my favorite past-times is an early morning bike ride on the Dutchess County Rail Trail across the Walkway Over the Hudson.  In the spring, summer and fall, First Friday in Poughkeepsie is a great outdoors festival and celebration of local businesses and restaurants.

Favorite Dutchess County eatery?

There are too many great eateries to choose from in Dutchess County.  For Italian check out Rossi’s Deli.  Craft beer and cocktails its Melzingah’s in Beacon or Schatzi’s in Poughkeepsie.  A night out for dinner, its Terrapin in Rhinebeck, Trattoria Locanda in Fishkill, or one of the great restaurants at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? 

Dutchess County is a diverse community that is large enough to have something for everyone but small enough to have a strong sense of community.  Dutchess has some of everything that makes New York State great, all in one county.  We are a train ride to New York City, we have farms and great tourism to experience, world class restaurants, breweries & wineries, the arts, and a wide variety of cities, towns, and villages to explore, each with their own character.

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? 

Visit the towns and cities – head south and go north.  Meet the team at ThinkDutchess.  Have dinner at a restaurant with your favorite cuisine and talk to the owner.  Talk to the businesses in the county that compliment yours.  Give yourself plenty of time to explore Dutchess, there is much to see and experience.

Think Dutchess checked in with Nick, to see what his thoughts were on the effects of the COVID-19 on Dutchess County. Learn more about how Nick is getting involved and supporting the community.

 


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.

 

###

 

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

 


ONE UNIFIED VISION

A premier business-led organization, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business brings together 11 agency partners creating a one-stop shop for your site selection, financing, incentives, permitting and advocacy, strategic planning and counseling, marketing and networking needs.