Sen. Gillibrand Visits Small Businesses in Corning

Written By: Asha McKenzie
Sen. Gillibrand Visits Small Businesses in Corning

CORNING (WENY) -- Roughly half a million dollars will be coming to small businesses in the Southern Tier this year.
     That's why Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was out and about in Corning today, talking to business owners on how to help them thrive in the region.
     "It's been a fantastic year. I'm excited, I love what I do, it doesn't feel like a job. It's been a great career choice for me," said Dee Reid.
     A little over a year ago, Dee Reid opened up Heels and Hobos on Market Street in Corning and since then she's seen an increase in profit.
     But before her store became a success, it was just an idea until she worked with the Small Business Administration to develop a business plan.
     "When you decide to do a business or business plan together to really think about your capital and how you're going to pay for things and get the business off the ground," said Reed. "And the SBA just helps with that."
     Like Heels and Hobos, other start up businesses throughout the Southern Tier have worked closely with the SBA and the Regional Economic Development and Energy Coporation of the Southern Tier (REDEC) to secure loans and help their existing businesses expand.
     "Small businesses are job generators," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "If you want to create economic growth, here in Corning or anywhere in the state, you're going to mostly do it through small businesses because they do create 2/3 of all the new jobs. They employ half our workforce."
     Today, Senator Gillibrand showed support by shopping at local businesses on Market Street, and hosting a roundtable discussion.
     There, businesses owners talked about the roadblocks they face, and how they can grow in their community.
     "Often times the banks reluctant to do the small loans and that's what the community needs today," said US Small Business Administrator Maria Contretras - Sweet. 'So, we teamed up with REDEC and we're going to supply for a grant."
     SBA teamed up with REDEC to provide a 10 year grant of roughly 4 1/2  thousands dollars to create more jobs through small businesses.