County Executive Robert P. Astorino today announced that Westchester’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and Local Development Corporation (LDC) have approved a series of incentives for a not-for-profit that provides guide dogs to people with vision problems and a supermarket that is the largest employer in Pound Ridge.
In refinancing a $3.6 million bond for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the Local Development Corporation is enabling the Yorktown-based not-for-profit to save roughly $120,000 in interest payments per year for the life of the bond. The organization had initially borrowed $3.6 million in 2004 to undertake significant renovations to its Training Center. The Scott’s Corner Market expects to save $130,000 from sales tax exemptions on its $2.5 million renovation project, which will enable the company to hire additional employees and expand its offerings.
“Small businesses and not-for-profits are vital to Westchester,” said Astorino. “The incentives that our IDA and LDC provide translate into good-paying jobs and expanded services that contribute to Westchester County overall excellent quality of life.”
Guiding Eyes for the Blind
Guiding Eyes for the Blind is refinancing a $3.6 million bond that it borrowed in 2004 to undertake a major renovation project at the training facilities. The refinancing enables the not-for-profit to save between $120,000 and $130,000 per year for the life of the bond. Guiding Eyes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides superbly bred and trained guide dogs to men and women who are blind or visually impaired. Dogs not suited for guide work may become service dogs for children on the autism spectrum. All services are offered free of charge to people who are blind or visually impaired and to families with children with autism. Guiding Eyes is an accredited member of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF), the organization establishing worldwide standards for the breeding and training of guide dogs.
Its headquarters and Training Center are located in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Since its costs roughly $45,000 to train each dog, the savings generated with this LDC approval will help cover the expense of training three service dogs, said Phillipe Cotennec, vice president for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
“We’re going to use those savings and put it back into services,” said Cotennec. “It’s great that Westchester County’s LDC is able to help an organization like ours.”
Scott’s Corner Market
Scotts Corner Market is a full service produce market offering a large selection of organics, bakery, deli, floral, choice meat and poultry, fish and seafood, dairy, frozen foods, grocery and gourmet items. In existence since 1953 (at current location since 1979), it was last renovated in 1998. The $2.5 million Scott’s Corner renovation project includes remodeling 30,000 square feet of space and adding energy efficient upgrades including new LED lighting, refrigeration and HVAC. The savings, estimated to be $130,000, will immediately help create 10 jobs with more expected down the road. Scotts Corner, the largest employer in Pound Ridge, currently has 75 full-and-part-time employees.
“That’s a lot of money for a small business,” Billy J. Fortin, president of Scotts Corner Market, said of the sales tax exemption. “With the remodeling, we’re going to have a state-of-the-art supermarket, which will enable us to offer more products, increase our sales and add to our work force. We appreciate the assistance of the IDA in our efforts to expand and modernize our market.”
About the IDA
The IDA is a public benefit corporation created in 1976 for promoting and encouraging economic development in the county primarily through assisting in the creation or retention of jobs. The IDA is also empowered to issue taxable and tax-exempt bonds for organizations meeting federal and state guidelines. There is no financial risk to the county or to county taxpayers. The obligation for repaying the debt rests solely with the organizations.
Any corporation or small company looking to access the low-cost and tax-exempt project financing made available through the IDA or LDC should contact Bill Mooney, director of the Office of Economic Development, at (914) 995-2943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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