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Cohoes offers grants to help small businesses re-open

Kumi Tucker
Updated: July 01, 2020 07:22 PM
Created: July 01, 2020 06:38 PM

COHOES - Babe's Cafe is doing takeout and customers can eat at the outdoor tables, but they miss seeing a full dining room. 

"A lot of our customers are scared," said Phil and Paula Phillips. "A lot of people are upset that we're not open fully, but we're just going to keep everybody safe."

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Cohoes Bowl is a longtime family-owned business. It's still shutdown and waiting for guidance. 

"We get a lot of phone calls: when are you going to be open? We miss you. And it's pretty sad," said Tom Walsh of Walsh's Bowling Centers. 

Both businesses are applying for new Re-open Cohoes COVID relief grants of up to $5,000. The grants were created by the Cohoes Local Development Corporation. 

"This will make a huge difference," said Cohoes Local Development Corporation's Debbie Jacques. "It's not a lot of money to some, but for some it makes the difference whether they're going to open their door, or whether they've got to close up their shop." 

Many small businesses have seen bills piling up. They're still paying for overhead, but with no customers, or doing just a fraction of their business. 

The cost of re-opening could be too much, so the city is trying to give them a boost. The money could be used for everything from inventory to changes needed to re-open. 

"These businesses have been through so much already, we're trying to make it simple, fast and fair," said Jacques. 

"Any money you can get will be useful to us," said Phil Phillips. "We've got some back bills that we can pay. Obviously with the pandemic, food prices went up, hamburger went up, beef went up, so all that stuff that people don't realize. All the takeouts that I use."

"It's going to help us out, the city of Cohoes is going to help us, but it's just a small portion of what we need to re-open, and we don't even know exactly what we have to do to open, and we don't know when we can open," said Walsh.  

This is an initial round and the application period closes on Monday.

MORE INFORMATION: Link to application | Cohoes Local Development Corporation


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