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Grants give small businesses a boost

"We know sometimes it's tough, and we appreciate them sticking it through and investing in our community," said Santabarbara. "This program is something new. It's one of the first of its kind in Rotterdam, and it shows that we're trying to help [small businesses]."

Rotterdam Supervisor Steve Tommasone praised the IDA for working to improve the town.

"They've done a phenomenal job. They've been outstanding so far," said Tommasone. "You're able to do a matching grant situation where you can get some money to improve your property. [The Rotterdam IDA] is actually creating an engine for small businesses to benefit -- it improves the quality of life for the town. You can't overstate its importance."

The owners of Kathleen's Therapeutic Massage and Day Spa, Kathleen and Kevin Carroll, said they are happy with the support they have received from the IDA and the town. They said they plan to use the money to add more lighting to their business, which is new. They just finished renovating a house.

"We could have built our business anywhere, but we chose Rotterdam because we live here, and we love it and we wanted to give back to our community," said Kathleen Carroll.

They were attracted to the town of Rotterdam, and specifically Hamburg Street, because of the revitalization efforts that have been made to attract businesses there.

"Rotterdam is a hidden gem," said Kevin Carroll.

"It's nice to have a little help and to show these businesses that the community cares and to say, 'Hey, we're here and we care about you and we're glad that you've invested here in our community," said Santabarbara. "[The grant] gives you a little bit of a spark. If you're thinking of doing a project, it's not an enormous amount of money, but for a small business it helps."

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