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Business Development & Starting A Business

Business Resources

Starting A Business

There are many steps involved in starting a business. The first and most important step is deciding what kind of business you would like to own and how you would like to structure it. There are four distinct ways to structure a business: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Please see below for funding and business development opportunities. For more information on starting a business, click here for a step-by-step guide.

On-the-Job Training

Rensselaer County One-Stop Employment Center for on-the-job-training

Fourth Floor Rensselaer County Office Building, 1600 Seventh Ave, Troy, New York 12180. (518) 270-2860

Hours:  Monday through Friday     8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Rensselaer County Department of Employment & Trainingbrings together a variety of workforce development organizations and agencies with a primary goal of assisting residents of Rensselaer County and the Capital Region to gain employment and assist employers in finding qualified workers.Download the On-the-Job Training Form for more information.

Other Partner Agencies located in the Rensselaer County One-Stop Center include:

New York State Department of Labor
Rensselaer County Department of Social Services
NYS Education Dept. Office of Vocational Education Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID)
Hudson Valley Community College

This information was provided by the New York State Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform and the Rensselaer County Clerk's Office.

Small Business Development

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) meets with entrepreneurs to determine needs, answer questions and establish a plan of action to achieve their business goals. It is through this close business interaction that SBDC provides the personalized, enterprise-specific and client-directed support needed to start, expand or re-energize your business. 

A representative from the  (SBDC) will be available at the Chamber office every other Thursday. This service will be available to all businesses in the community! 

sbdc flyer

Funding Opportunities

Small Enterprise Economic Development (SEED) Program

Does your business need financing, but the bank will not fund your venture? Do you or someone you know have a great idea for a business, but no capital to get things started? Are you looking to expand your business, but lack the necessary capital? The SEED Program may be able to help! SEED is a character based micro-loan program that is funding entrepreneurs based off of character of the entrepreneur and capacity of the business. Click here for the Small Enterprise Development Application.

  • SEED is a new loan program for future entrepreneurs and small business owners that basethe lending decision on character of the applicant and feasibility of the business model.
  • Traditional lending requires cash, collateral, and great credit. If access to capital has prevented you from starting or expanding your business, SEED may be the program for you. 

Program Components:

  • One on One Business Counseling
  • Interns to Assist with Business Plan Development 
  • Peer Support Network
  • Loans up to $35,000
  • Entrepreneurial Training Classes

Since the program was established, SEED has successfully funded 28 entrepreneurs that would not have been eligible for traditional commercial loan programs.

SEED is made possible due to a unique partnership betweenSEFCU, theSmall Business Development Center,University at Albany School of Business,University at Albany School of Social Welfare, andNYS Empire State Development.



The Job Development Program is a HUD-funded revolving loan fund. Contact Rensselaer County Economic Development and Planning at (518) 270-2914 for more information.

  • Available to new and existing businesses (manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers with 10 or more employees, and some service businesses located in Rensselaer County).
  • Minimum loan amount is $25,000; maximum is $250,000.
  • Loan cannot exceed 40 percent of total project financing.
  • One job must be created (within three years) for each $25,000 borrowed.
  • Retail enterprises must employ at least 10 workers at the time of loan closing to be eligible.
  • Fifty-one percent of jobs created must be made available to those in low- to moderate-income families.
  • Loan proceeds may be used to acquire fixed assets, purchase inventory, support current accounts receivable and to refinance existing debt where such refinancing is a required element of total project financing.


New York Business Development Corporation Loans

For more information about anyNew York Business Development Corporationloans, call (800) 923-2504.

The Micro Loan Programprovides alternative credit scoring for smaller loan requests.

  • Loans are considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Funds can be used for working capital, real estate, leasehold improvements, machinery and equipment, relocation, debt refinancing and business acquisitions.
  • Loan amounts range from $50,000 to $150,000.

The 504 Loan Programprovides funding for up to 90 percent of any project for small to medium-sized businesses.

  • Loan amounts are $1.5 million for standard loans, $2 million for public policy loans (public policy loan limits relate to businesses that include, but are not limited to, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, or located in rural or economic development areas) and $4 million for manufacturing loans.


Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region

For more information about the loan programs available contact the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region at (518) 436-8586.

The Micro Loan Fundoffers low-interest loans to small businesses in the Capital Region.

  • Loans are made to micro enterprises owned by or benefiting women, minorities and low- income entrepreneurs.
  • Loans are made up to $25,000 to those just starting a business and up to $50,000 to those expanding a business.

The Non-Profit Loan Fundprovides funding to community or economic development projects and organizations in the Capital Region.

  • Loans are made up to $500,000.
  • Loans can be used to renovate property or purchase equipment or for cash flow while awaiting funds from other resources.

The Residential Lending Fundoffers low-interest loans to individuals in the Capital Region for home purchase or repair.

  • Loans up to $20,000 for home repair and up to $120,000 for home purchase. Property must be owner-occupied.


North Greenbush Loan Program

For more information, contact the North Greenbush IDA at (518) 283-2714.

The Micro-Enterprise Fund makes loans to companies with no more than five employees (including the owners) located in North Greenbush.

  • The average amount is $25,000.
  • Interested businesses should submit an application and business plan, which are then reviewed by a representative from the North Greenbush IDA.
  • Job creation is the primary goal of the loan program.
  • Loan terms typically include a low-interest rate and deferral of principal and interest payments.

The Venture Capital Fund provides loans or equity investments in larger companies located in North Greenbush.

  • Loans range from $50,000 to $100,000 and can be implemented in multiple phases.
  • The fund provides low-interest rates and deferral of principal and interest for an initial period of time.


City of Troy Economic Development

For more information, contact the Troy IDA at (518) 270-4589.

  • Funds are available to eligible for-profit businesses and commercial property owners in the City of Troy.
  • Minimum loan amount is $25,000; maximum loan amount is $250,000.
  • Applicant must contribute 10 percent and loan amount cannot exceed 40 percent of total project financing.
  • One job must be created for every $35,000 borrowed.
  • Main Street Grant Program: Funding may be available for building renovation projects in the Main Street target area. The main street grant will match funding up to $10,000. 
  • 50/50 Matching Grant Program: Funds are available on a 50/50 matching basis for exterior rehabilitation. The grant program will match funding up to $10,000. 
  • Empire Zone Program: The City of Troy is part of the statewide Empire Zone program. The Zone designation allows the city to offer tax credits to businesses that locate and expand within the Zone boundaries. 
  • Energy Smart Community Program: Funding is available for energy audits to help businesses and organizations implement energy-efficient strategies. The city will provide an energy audit through its partners and evaluate what New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) programs your business may be eligible for. 
  • Industrial Development Authority: Incentives include sales and use tax exemptions, mortgage recording tax exemptions, and real property tax exemptions. 
  • Real Property Tax Abatement: The City of Troy offers abatement from the increase in assessment based on improvements to real property for up to 10 years. 

This information was provided by the New York State Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform and the Rensselaer County Clerk's Office.