Orange County Partnership - News

  • Central Hudson has launched its Back to Business funding program, committing up to $1 million in economic development support.

Central Hudson Details $1 Million ‘Back to Business’ Program for Small Businesses

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. has launched a “Back to Business” funding program and is committing up to $1 million in economic development support to provide local small businesses with grants to help pay down new working capital loans taken with participating local banks.


In response to the financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is intended to assist small businesses to continue operations or reopen as the economy is restarted.


“As necessary precautions are taken during this pandemic, many local small businesses are struggling or have temporarily closed,” said Charles A. Freni, president and CEO of Central Hudson. “These businesses will require funding in order to continue or resume operations and hire back workers as the economy reopens, and Central Hudson wants to help.”


He added, “Small businesses help define the character of a region, employ thousands of residents and provide needed services. Many have limited access to funding, and may not qualify for other forms of assistance. We are providing these grants through our Economic Development program, which is designed to support and retain local small businesses and jobs.”


Working with local banks, Central Hudson has committed economic development funds to reduce the cost of borrowing. Qualified small businesses, seeking new working capital loans from participating banks, will have the grants applied directly to the loan by the bank to reduce the amount that is repaid. 


To qualify, the business must have up to 20 employees, be a Central Hudson account in good standing, and currently operating or planning to reopen when the state of emergency is lifted. The grant is available for new loans only, and loan decisions will be made at the discretion of the bank. Central Hudson funding will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Participating banks for Central Hudson’s Back to Business funding program are: Rhinebeck Bank, Ulster Savings Bank, Walden Savings Bank, Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan, Bank of Greene County, Bank of Millbrook, Sawyer Savings Bank, Rondout Savings Bank and Orange Bank and Trust


“We thank these participating banks for their support of our Back to Business funding program. They are all locally headquartered, have roots in our region, and, once we’ve turned the corner on this pandemic to protect the health of our residents, share our goal of economic recovery for the Mid-Hudson Valley,” said Freni.


“We hope that our grant program will help lift small businesses as the economy restarts, putting many residents back to work and providing the goods and services needed and used by our communities,” said Freni. “We’re very proud of our region, and feel privileged to support our local economy.”


For more information on the Back to Business funding program, visit