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Brooklyn Brewery Gets Bailed Out, Big Time

Greenpoint/Williamsburg’s favorite spot for local craft brew, the Brooklyn Brewery, just renewed the lease on their N. 11th Street location for another 15 years, thanks to a much-need—and well-deserved—$800,000 grant from the state. The Brooklyn Brewery is one of five projects throughout the five boroughs that will receive financial support through the Downstate Revitalization Fund, a $35 million fund administered by Empire State Development (ESD) and available to projects in New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, Nassau and Suffolk counties. The fund is designed to preserve, support and bolster small businesses struggling to survive and thrive in these trying economic times, and improve commerce in and around New York City.
The Fund invests in projects that advance local development and small businesses; this includes making improvement to industrial parks and providing loans for purchase of equipment, real estate or other needs. Eligible applicants include municipalities, businesses, academic institutions and non-profits. Awards will range from $100,000 to $5 million. The program gives a preference to requests for loans, with principal repayments able to be recycled for future projects. The first round of funding announced today will finance business investment, infrastructure upgrades and downtown redevelopment.
The $800,000 grant will go towards expanding the Brooklyn Brewery facility, and converting the 13,500 square-foot distribution space into a fully functional beer fermented facility, which will in turn increase brewing capacity from 8,000 to 50,000 barrels annually.
“We are grateful to Governor Paterson and Empire State Development for this grant from the Downstate Revitalization Fund,” said Brooklyn Brewery Founder and President Steve Hindy. “Support like this is vital to growing manufacturing jobs in New York City. These funds will enable us to complete a six-fold capacity expansion, adding 15 full-time jobs with benefits, and further expanding the Brewery’s green initiatives.”
The Brewery not only plans to use the funds to expand their premises, but also to preserve their workforce, to retain 27 jobs and create 15 new ones. Apart from the Brewery, the Brooklyn Navy Yard also received a $1 million dollar grant to develop a green manufacturing center that will eventually employ 300 new workers.
“We thank the Governor for his support of Brooklyn Brewery, which has made the ‘Brooklyn’ brand a household name and proved that our borough’s manufacturing tradition is still going strong,” said Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Now we look forward to the days when more workers will be finishing a hard days’ work at their well-paid ‘green jobs’ with a cold refreshing Brooklyn Lager!”
Assemblyman Joe Lentol, in whose district two of the recipients operate, expressed his gratitude to the Governor, and the Empire State Development Fund, for believing in small business in Brooklyn.
“My Assembly District includes two of the recipients of some of this funding, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and the Brooklyn Brewery. The Brooklyn Navy Yard provides jobs for many Brooklyn residents, and these funds will allow them to create more jobs. The Brooklyn Brewery, meanwhile, is one of the most successful homegrown businesses Brooklyn has ever seen. This funding will keep them where they belong, in Brooklyn, as well as allow them to expand their business, thus creating new jobs as well as securing already existing ones.”

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