BY TARYN FITSIK
QUEENSBURY, N.Y.–Small businesses struggling to find credit will now get another chance at a loan, with the goals of expanding and creating jobs.
The program, spear-headed by Senator Chuck Schumer, is called “Credit for Success”, and establishes loan pools by local banks, to help businesses secure financing.
Today News 10 visited the first business in the state to take advantage of the program, to see how the money helped it expand dramatically.
“Money is tight,” says Dennis Lafontaine, the owner of Martha's Dandee Cream, located in Queensbury, across the street from Six Flags Great Escape. “I went to several banks to try and make something work, and they just couldn't do it.”
It took many tries for Dennis Lafontaine to expand his business, but the Credit for Success program became his jackpot.
Lafontaine was able to access a $70,000 loan, and in turn, increase the amount of business he is able to do.
“The wholesale side of the business is doing phenomenal, and we couldn't keep up with the present situation, the way we were set up,” says Lafontaine. “So we needed to expand, and I needed to get money to help me expand.”
In addition to running an ice cream stand, Martha's Dandee Cream makes ice cream cakes that are currently sold in Hannaford and Price Chopper, and is approved to sell in 15 more stores.
“We go right to the stores, put the product out ourselves, and merchandise it for them,” says Lafontaine.
Senator Chuck Schumer calls Lafontaine a great example for other small businesses.
“This will help them get the credit,” says Schumer. “And what does that mean to the average person? It means jobs–it means they'll hire people.”
“We're able to keep up with demand, and hopefully maybe develop other products to go further into the market,” says Lafontaine.
Martha's Dandee Cream's cakes sell for $20.00-$25.00 each.
Lafontaine is also looking to expand into selling the cakes in local restaurants as well.
The Credit for Success program is fully operational right now, and there are 10 banks in the Capital Region that are already participating.