Saturday, December 3, 2016

Trio of NYS wineries gets $250K fed expansion grants

Three New York State wineries are then recipients of quarter-million-dollar federal grants to help expand their businesses. And, not all of the money will be limited to wine-related efforts.

The $250,000 grants each from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG) program, and the uses to which they will be put:

Niagara Landing Wine Cellars, Lockport, Niagara County, will expand sales of its Rosebud label wines;

Vizcarra Family Vineyard, Gasport, Niagara County, will expand sales and promotion of its cold hardy wine products.

•  Thousand Islands Winery, Alexandria Bay, Jefferson County, will expand sales and promotion of rye whiskey and bourbon whiskey products.

VAPG, administered by the USDA Rural Development office, exists to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based value-added products, and to expand markets and increase financial returns to agricultural producers. The goals of the program are generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income.

Two types of grants are available: (1) Planning Grant: To facilitate economic planning activities to determine the viability of a value-added venture, and may include costs for an independent feasibility study and development of a marketing and business plan. (2) Working Capital Grant: For operational costs directly related to the processing and/or marketing of the value-added product. Eligible working capital expenses include processing costs, marketing and advertising expenses, and some inventory and salary expenses directly related to a value-added project. Grant funds cannot be used to purchase property or construct facilities, or to purchase equipment.

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