ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - State officials say more than $17 million has been awarded to businesses along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to help them recover from flooding and to help protect them from flooding in the future.
The money was awarded to 140 businesses from the Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program. REDI was established in response to devastating flooding along shoreline communities in 2017 and 2019.
Jefferson County was the big winner as more than 60 businesses received approximately $8.2 million.
In St. Lawrence County, about $600,000 in funds were awarded to 9 businesses.
The names of the businesses and the dollar amount of the awards are listed at the bottom of this story.
Jefferson County Legislature Chair Scott Gray says there's a catch: businesses have to match the grants dollar for dollar.
"They're being required to come up with that 50 percent in a not too flush time, right? So, that money will be difficult, I assume for the majority of businesses to come up with that 50 percent," he said.
On the other hand, Gray hopes banks and maybe economic development agencies will be willing to work with businesses and, he says, a COVID-slowed year is a good time to get projects done in hopes of a more normal year next year.
The grants were awarded to affected businesses in the eight-county area that surrounds Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River as part of the Governor’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).
The multi-agency REDI Commission has been studying ways to strengthen infrastructure along Lake Ontario’s waterfront while bolstering the region’s local economies, many of which suffered from a drop in tourism.
“We know that climate change is real and there’s no such thing as a ‘hundred-year flood’ - it’s the new normal and we need to be prepared for anything Mother Nature sends our way,” Governor Cuomo said in a news release. “The Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program is providing critical help to businesses to repair the damage from repeated flooding while strengthening their resiliency efforts as they build back better than before.”
Here’s the breakdown of awards by county:
- Jefferson: $8.2 million
- St. Lawrence: $600,000
- Oswego: $760,000
- Monroe: $3.1 million
- Niagara: $1.2 million
- Wayne: $2 million
- Cayuga: $700,000
- Orleans: $700,000
See the list of businesses below: