Orange business owners invited to info session on forgivable loans

  • Downtown Orange, pictured in November. Orange business owners are invited to an online information session on Wednesday regarding forgivable loans. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 2/22/2021 5:50:57 PM

ORANGE — Franklin County Community Development Corporation (CDC) Executive Director John Waite says Orange businesses have not been well-represented in the Regional Microenterprise Assistance Program that aims to help businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. His organization hopes to change that.

The CDC partnered with Greenfield to implement the assistance program that opened on Oct. 1, 2020, and it has scheduled an online information session on Wednesday so Orange business owners can learn about available forgivable loans. This region was awarded $600,000 for loans through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Community Development Block Grant program. Waite said half the grant money remains and rounds of funding will continue until the sum is depleted.

“We’re really interested in getting microenterprises from (Orange),” Waite said, though he mentioned the information session, set to start at 5 p.m. and last one hour, is open to any area entrepreneur. Waite said microenterprises have five or fewer employees, including the owner.

People can register for the session at It will be available at for 24 hours after it ends.

Waite said the information session will be led by CDC Business Development Director Amy Shapiro and Business Development Coordinator Christopher Janke. Waite said Janke was hired about three months ago to help Shapiro because of the work the Regional Microenterprise Assistance Program involves.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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