New loan money is being made available to help spur small businesses in and around the growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
First Niagara is providing $500,000 for new business development. The bank is distributing the funding to five organizations that will oversee small business loans with a goal of assisting in setting up new businesses in the Fruit Belt and nearby Allentown and West Side neighborhoods.
First Niagara market executive Buford Sears says small businesses such as a dry cleaners or oil change services are needed near the campus.
"They would love to be able to have many of their employees walk to work, and to in order to do that, you need to have some of these basic services available in the immediate neighborhood. Hopefully this will help move the needle and be able to make the BNMC and the surrounding neighborhoods more attractive places, not only to work, but also to live," Sears said Wednesday.
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Buffalo Urban League, Westminster Economic Development Initiative, and UB's Office of Economic Development are all receiving $100,000. One-more not-for-profit will be selected for the final $100,000 installment.
"This is going to be a period of incredible growth over the next three years," said Rep. Brian Higgins.
There are 7,000 thousand people already working at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, with more anticipated as the campus continues to grow.