Microenterprise Programs

Microenterprise Loan Fund and Grant Program

The St. Lawrence County Local Development Corporation was established in 1977.  Through its Microenterprise Grant and Loan programs, the Corporation provides financing assistance to low-moderate income persons in St. Lawrence County to start or expand their microenterprise businesses (i.e. businesses with five or fewer employees, one of whom is the owner).


Loan Program


Grant Program

Current Availability:







Firms with 5 or fewer employees, at least one of whom is the owner.  All business types are eligible with the exception of restaurants, bars, taverns or similar establishments.




Financing Amount

Between $1,000 and $20,000


Between $5,000 and $35,000




Use of Funds

Machinery, equipment, property improvements and rehabilitation, and some working capital


Machinery, equipment, and some working capital.




Rates and Terms

Interest rate determined on a case-by-case basis.  Terms will generally be 3 years for working capital, 5 years for machinery and equipment, and 10 years for property improvements.






Equity Participation

Equity requirements are determined on a project-by-project basis.  Loans over $8,000 require a 50% contribution from the applicant in the form of equity, loans, 3rd party investments, or other sources.


A minimum of 10% owner equity is required.




Bank Participation

Lending from conventional lending institutions is encouraged.  When other lenders do participate, the Corporation loan may be subordinated to the interests of other lenders.


Lending from conventional lending institutions is encouraged.  The program can also be used in conjunction with the Corporation’s Loan Program.





Completion of entrepreneurial training or program assistance through the NYS Small Business Development Center.


Applicants are required to complete, at a minimum, the My Small Business 101 course offered by the Entrepreneurship Center at Clarkson University. (Contact the Entrepreneurship Center directly)




Application Considerations

The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance to low-moderate income persons in St. Lawrence County to start or expand microenterprise businesses.  As such, the primary goal of the program is to stimulate the inception and growth of private-sector businesses owned and operated by low-moderate income persons, or that create new jobs for such persons.





There is no application fee, but the applicant is responsible to pay all closing costs.




Review Process

The review process should take no longer than 8 weeks are submission of the completed application.




IDA staff can provide prospective applicants with assistance on program eligibility screening, application information and appropriate referral for business plan development.


Microenterprise Program Mission

Board Members

Officers and Staff

Microenterprise Meetings Information

Bylaws and Policies




May 7, 2019 Expand to US Workshop

This full-day event will introduce Canadian companies to expansion opportunities in St.