Tuesday, October 15, 2013
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NEW YORK – A $50,000 loan to 5th Avenue Chocolatiere, a fine chocolate distributor owned by an Iraq War Veteran. The funding comes from a small business loan program for military veterans supported by the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund). The funding was announced by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and New York Business Development Corp. (NYBDC) CEO Pat MacKrell
“When small business owners are in the military and are called to active duty, their businesses often face obstacles,” DiNapoli said. “The veteran loan program helps ease the financial hardships resulting from deployment and provides veteran-owned businesses the capital to expand and thrive. Military families have sacrificed much for our country. This is the least we can do to show our appreciation.”
In 2007, DiNapoli and NYBDC announced the availability of $5 million in competitively priced fixed-rate small business loans for returning military veterans. New York business owners who serve in the Guard or Reserve, or honorably discharged former active duty members may apply, through the NYBDC, for small business loans up to $150,000. Loans may be used for existing businesses or start-ups.
The program has made 14 loans totaling $1,092,500 to small businesses owned by veterans in Erie, Onondaga, Ontario, Nassau, Suffolk, Dutchess and Albany counties.
5th Avenue Chocolatiere, a 40-year-old family-run business with more than 20 employees, has been in operation since 1973 and has locations in New York City and on Long Island. The company’s chocolates are also sold in Japan.
Since receiving the NYBDC loan, 5th Avenue Chocolatiere has opened Chocolate Works, a 10,000 square foot interactive chocolate factory and retail shop located in the village of Valley Stream in Nassau County that hosts private parties and workshops.
“The loan from the New York State Common Retirement Fund and NYBDC made it possible for my company to purchase a state-of-the-art production facility, which serves as command center for our 12 franchise locations," said Joseph Whaley, Iraq War veteran and West Point graduate, and CEO of Chocolate Works and 5th Avenue Chocolatiere. “In the coming months, we anticipate adding hundreds of jobs as we increase our exports and continue to make Chocolate Works a household name.”