Assistance grants for small businesses to access sewer connections

Suffolk County has initiated a pilot program to extend financial assistance to small business owners for connecting to the county’s sewer system. Under this program, eligible owners of small business properties can get subsidies of up to $15,000, and the county will work with Dime Bank to offer low-interest rates to finance the remaining long-term connection costs. The county plans to provide loans and minimize unplanned connection costs. Suffolk County continues to expand its sewage system and replace outdated septic tanks and cesspools with sewers. However, the cost of connecting to the county’s sewage system still poses a significant challenge to commercial and business properties.

Steven Bellone, Suffolk County Commissioner, stated that the county is working to replace outdated septic tanks and cesspools with modern technology at an affordable price for homeowners. Similarly, the county aims to make such facilities accessible to small business owners who are still recovering from the pandemic. The pilot program will cover at least half of the connection costs and offer business owners a competitive interest rate to cover the remaining expenses.

The program has been allocated $1 million grant from the Restoration Program Fund. Applications for the program will be accepted starting this fall. As the Forge River Sewerage Project is progressing, it will support approximately 65 small business owners with 25 or fewer employees on the Mastic-Shirley Peninsula.

Frank Montanes Jr., President of the Mastic & Shirley Chamber of Commerce, stated that this program would be a great help to local businesses in the region. Many small businesses are struggling with high inflation, rising product costs, and difficulty attracting and retaining employees. Any financial assistance to offset these business costs would be most welcome. This support would also bring much-needed economic development to the region.

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