Adirondack Foundation, ESD, AEDC partner to establish Adirondack Small Business Opportunity Fund

SARANAC LAKE — A new fund will help increase equitable access to small business financing in the Adirondack region.

Officials from Adirondack Foundation, the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and Empire State Development (ESD) announced the establishment of the Adirondack Small Business Opportunity Fund at a press conference in Saranac Lake on Monday, Aug. 7. The fund will provide low barrier financing for small businesses in the Adirondack North Country Region and leverage a dollar-for-dollar match with public funding from ESD.

The Small Business Opportunity Fund includes $1 million in investment from Adirondack Foundation, the Cloudsplitter Foundation, and the Weatherup Family Trust; ESD is matching these funds with $1 million in public investment. More private investors are expected to come to the table to further the fund. The fund will help grow businesses in the Adirondack region including Clinton, Franklin, Essex and Hamilton counties and parts of St. Lawrence, Warren, Herkimer and Washington counties by increasing the ability of AEDC to make loans to small businesses with greater flexibility. AEDC pairs this work with short and long-term counseling services at no cost to the businesses.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “When our small businesses succeed, our communities succeed. The Adirondack Small Business Opportunity Fund, part of the State’s Small Business Revolving Loan Fund 2 will support our small businesses by providing capital to help businesses thrive, create jobs  and grow New York’s economy, now and for the future.”

“AEDC is grateful to New York State Empire State Development for providing a powerful 1 million dollar loan through its Revolving Loan Fund program,” said Victoria Duley, executive director of the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation. “This capital will match our equal private investment from generous investors to fully leverage $2 million for the North Country. This ‘Opportunity Fund’ will indeed provide tremendous opportunity for investment in our region, serving small business start-up and providing gap financing for critical projects. AEDC will serve the economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs through these funds for whom access to capital is often a substantial barrier. We are thrilled to be part of knocking down these barriers with long-term technical assistance and through provision of these low interest funds.”

“Small businesses are the foundation of our rural regional economy; they create vibrancy in our communities, provide necessary services, offer hubs for innovation, and employ our neighbors,” said Cali Brooks, president and CEO of Adirondack Foundation. “We can all support our small businesses by shopping locally, but to grow our economy we need to invest locally as well. This new fund opens the door to business ownership and expansion through low-barrier loans and technical assistance to our region’s entrepreneurs. The Foundation is pleased to be able to partner with Adirondack Economic Development Corporation and Empire State Development to support the people and businesses that make up our local economy.”

“The Cloudsplitter Foundation is in business to support the environment, economies and people of the Adirondacks in innovative ways, using leverage whenever possible,” said Ernest E. (Lee) Keet, chair of Cloudsplitter’s Board of Trustees. “We are supporting this project because it hits all those marks. It leverages funds and talent to help create jobs, to grow and sustain businesses, and to improve the lives of our fellow citizens.”

“As full-time residents of the Adirondacks, we are committed to seeing our neighbors and their communities prosper,” said Craig Weatherup, of the Weatherup Family Trust. “Our region’s critical lack of young families to support our school systems and our volunteer services can only be addressed by creating good jobs and career opportunities.”

Small businesses looking to learn more or apply for a loan should contact AEDC’s office directly by calling (518) 891-5523 or sending an inquiry at

About Empire State Development

The mission of Empire State Development (ESD) is to promote a vigorous and growing state economy, encourage business investment and job creation, and support diverse, prosperous local economies across New York State through the efficient use of loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing and other forms of assistance. To learn more, visit

About Adirondack Economic Development Corporation

Adirondack Economic Development Corp. (AEDC) is a 501c3 nonprofit economic development organization and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in Saranac Lake, NY. Since 1976, AEDC has provided business training, lending and technical assistance to underserved populations and to new and existing businesses throughout Northern New York State. To learn more, visit

About Adirondack Foundation

Adirondack Foundation’s mission is to strengthen community through philanthropy. Our vision for a thriving Adirondacks is that our communities are strong, just and inclusive, families have access to quality healthcare and education, environmental resources are protected, and economic and cultural opportunities abound. As the community foundation serving the Adirondack region of northern New York, Adirondack Foundation awards $3 million in grants annually and works with generous people from all walks of life to give back to the things that matter to them. For more information, visit


Lisa Bramen, Adirondack Foundation,

Adam Ostrowski, Empire State Development,

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