Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

Suffolk County is launching a pilot program to provide financial assistance to small business owners for hooking up to county sewer systems. 

The program will provide grants of up the $15,000 to qualified owners of small business properties, and the county will work with Dime Bank to provide low-interest loans to finance the remainder of the cost of connection over time, to minimize the out-of-pocket costs, according to a county statement. 

While the county continues its sewer expansion and ongoing efforts to replace outdated septic systems and cesspools with sewers, commercial and business properties are still responsible for the costs to connect to county sewer facilities. 

“Just as we have worked to make the replacement of outdated septic systems and cesspools with the latest technologies affordable to homeowners, we need to ensure it is affordable for our small business owners who are still recovering from the pandemic to be able to hook up to local sewer systems,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in the statement. “Not only will this pilot program cover at least half of the cost of hookup, but it also affords business owners with competitive interest rates to finance the rest.” 

The pilot program will allocate $1 million for grants from the county’s Water Quality Protection and Restoration Program Fund and will begin accepting applications this fall. It’s expected to assist around 65 small business owners with 25 or fewer employees on the Mastic Shirley Peninsula, while construction progresses on the expansion of the Forge River Sewer project. 

“As a chamber of commerce, our main goal is to advocate for all of our small businesses in the community and this pilot program is a huge step forward in helping out our local businesses obtain some sort of financial assistance for the hookups to the coming sewer project,” Frank Montanez Jr., president of the Chamber of Commerce of The Mastics & Shirley said in the statement. “These are difficult times for many of our small businesses, with high inflation, higher product costs, difficulty in finding and maintaining employees and any help to offset these costs of doing business is welcome. We look forward to this financial help and to the finalization of the sewer project to bring much needed economic development to our area.” 


By Editor

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