By JASON SUBIK
The city Common Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday as part of a $25,000 grant application for a new Italian-inspired cafe business.
Amanda Bearcroft, Amsterdam’s community and economic development director, presented the grant application idea to the council on Aug. 18. She said the state Office of Homes and Community Renewal’s federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Small Business Program offers grants of up to 40 percent of the cost of a business start-up project or a business expansion, provided the owner commits to creating at least 1 full-time job per $25,000 in grant money awarded. She said the grant program is capped at a maximum of $100,000, and also has income eligibility requirements that keep it geared toward smaller businesses.
She said the grant applicant is Everett Flint, the owner of the Everett Kendall Barber Parlor, located at 51 Market St., which she said has been in business for about two years.
“They rented out the space and totally retrofitted where the barber shop is, and they’ve had great success with that, and now two spots down from that they’re renting out this now empty space next to Dominos,” she said.
Bearcroft said Flint came to the Amsterdam Planning Commission for site plan approval in May for the new cafe, Joe’s Family Inc. She said his plans call for a 33 feet by 17 feet location, with about 530 square feet for the sit-down eating location.
“He and his dad are going to be the owners, and they’re actually hiring five full-time employees,” she said.
Bearcroft said Flint’s project cost includes his match of $37,500 plus the $25,000 grant tied to the creation of 1 job, if the state approves the grant application.
Bearcoft said Flint proved himself a good community partner with the city when his barber parlor business was involved in a charity event on July 26 in Kirk Douglas Park where they gave away free haircuts starting at 8 a.m. until sunset. The charity event included a fundraising campaign and a gofundme.com page. According to the Everett Kendall Barber Parlor Facebook page $2,300 were raised from donations, and also the sale of $10 Joe’s Family Inc. cups of pasta. The money was split 50-50 between the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region in Albany and the city Tourism, Marketing and Recreation Department.
Mayor Michael Cinquanti said he fully supports the grant application for Flint and for other new businesses that want to start in the city.
“Just to point this out, there have been a number of restaurants opening and about to open here in the city,” he said. “You’ve got Creek Stone (in downtown), and on the south side you have places opening up. A whole new generation of restaurateurs are giving some new flavors to our city, and I think it’s outstanding, and I’m really excited about this new one Joe’s Family Inc. on Market Street.”
Bearcroft said her office is available to help any business start-ups or expansions that want to go after the CDBG money.
“This is something that we do, and it’s available to businesses that are expanding and start-ups, because it is tied to job-creation you do have to hire a full time person though,” she said. “If a business is interested they can always reach out to me, and we can have a more in depth conversation about what the project is and whether this grant or others is applicable to them, and this particular grant is open-ended, so you can apply at any time.”
The council is set to meet Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.