Saturday, March 18, 2017

New Craft Beverage Trail Set for Livingston County Area

From the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo:

Livingston County in Western New York has been awarded $185,000 for the development of a new craft beverage trail.

The money was awarded by New York state through the Finger Lakes Economic Development Council and the region's Finger Lakes Forward economic development initiative, which is driving revitalization efforts throughout the region. 

The money will help establish a Brewing Microenterprise Program, beginning with four local businesses that will create 16 full-time jobs and leverage $400,000 in additional resources from across the region.
New York is now home to nearly 1,000 licensed wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. The number of farm wineries in New York has increased by more than 65 percent, from 195 in 2010 to 322 today. 

The number of farm distilleries grew from just 10 in 2010 to 110 today, while micro-breweries have increased four-fold, from 40 to 163. New York is also home to 150 farm breweries and 28 farm cideries, new licenses created in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Seventy-five individuals originally expressed interest in the Brew IN Livingston competition through completion of a survey. Ultimately 35 semifinalists were invited to submit video pitches, and 15 finalists went through Business Boot Camp – a five week course focused on formation of a business and the nuances and liabilities associated with owning a brewery.
Four equal prize packages were awarded to three startups and one existing Livingston County business for expansion, including: Battle Street Brewery in Dansville, Mortalis Brewing Co. in Avon, Quiet Storm Brewing Co. in Geneseo and Original Stump Blower Ciderworks in Lakeville. 

Each will receive:
  • $35,000 microenterprise grant for furniture, fixtures, and equipment (Community Development Block Grant funding from New York State Homes and Community Renewal);
  • Loan of up to $100,000 at 1 percent through the Livingston County Development Corporation’s Revolving Loan Fund;
  • One year membership to the New York State Brewers Association; and
  • Complimentary CPA tax assistance from accounting firm EFPR Group.
Alternate funding sources are being pursued for three additional winners, including: Amber Lantern Brewing Co. in Geneseo, Dublin Corners Farm Brewery in York, and Horns & Halos Craft Brewing in Caledonia.
Additionally, all seven winners will receive the following services from local businesses:  Technical and marketing assistance through Livingston County Development, the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center;
  • Discounted payroll and administrative services from Complete Payroll;
  • Complimentary headshot session with the purchase of a small business package from Hudson Street Studios;
  • Complimentary award-winning logo design with branding package purchase from Novus Be Known;
  • One trademark clearance search for one mark from Tracy Jong Law Firm; and
  • One-year free subscription from Tracy Jong Law Firm to Boot Legger Journals.
"By cutting red tape, lowering costs, and providing more opportunities for businesses to grow, New York has helped foster a booming craft beverage industry that is creating jobs, boosting tourism and supporting our local farms, along with producing some of the world's best beer, wine, cider and spirits," Cuomo said.  

"Our investments continue to spur economic development in communities across the state, and with the creation of a new craft beverage trail, the Finger Lakes will attract even more visitors to experience all that the region has to offer," he said.

Winners were selected with input from Livingston County Economic Development, the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center, and Business Coaches Jeff and Mike Fitch who facilitated the Business Boot Camp course.

 A recommendation was ultimately approved by the Board of Directors of the Livingston County Development Corp.

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