Developer’s Playbook

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Developer’s Playbook

 

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Welcome to Niagara Falls, NY.  We appreciate your interest in investing in our city. The information below will help guide you through the process of starting, expanding or relocating your business in our great city.

The city’s office of Economic Development aim is to foster commercial and industrial development in Niagara Falls.  We will with you every step of the way by:

  • Providing technical support and assistance to firms seeking to start, expand or relocate to the City of Niagara Falls
  • Provide economic information and technical assistance required by investors from the inquiry phase to the successful completion of a new project
  • Seek to assist established companies to retain local jobs, create new jobs and encourage new investment
  • Assist with site selection
  • Maintain an inventory of available buildings and sites
  • Develop efficient funding sources for potential economic development projects
  • Work with local business associations to ensure needs of businesses are addressed

Development Fact:

In the last ten years over $800,000,000 in investment has been completed or announced in Niagara Falls.

Resources for your business:

  • The U. S. Small Business Administration has a Business Resource Center, which provides free access to a variety of information, education and training designed to assist entrepreneur’s start, operate and grow their businesses. Go to www.sba.gov for more information.
  • The New York State Small Business Development Center is a local resource that provides management and technical assistance and training/educational opportunities to future and existing business owners and entrepreneurs. The Center offers a variety of low cost training programs taught by qualified experts and consultants. Additionally, NYSBDC offers on-line courses available at no cost. The local office at Niagara County Community College office is located at 3111 Saunders Settlement Rd., Sanborn, NY 14132. The office can be reached by phone at (716) 210-2515. www.niagarasbdc.org or www.nyssbdc.org
  • Developing a sound business plan is critical to the success of any business. Like a roadmap, your business plan will show you where you are in relation to where you want to be. It will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business prior to your opening. In addition, this plan will be a key part of any financial package that you will submit to a bank or other entity for consideration for a loan. Your business plan will cover such details as business description, market analysis, financial management, pro- forma, marketing and operations. Contact the local Niagara County Community College office of the Small Business Development Center for additional information at (716) 210-2515 or SBDC@niagaracc.suny.edu
  • Typically, the first decision to make when starting a business is choosing the most appropriate business structure. Basically, there are four primary options for you to choose: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and limited liability. It is good business judgment to seek both business and legal advice from an accountant and an attorney before finalizing these decisions and beginning your business. The particular structure you choose may save you money. Additional information can be found at the following: www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/start/choosestructure/index.html or http://nys.gov/business
  • Once you decide on a name, it will need to be registered. To register your company name or to incorporate a business, contact the Niagara County Clerk’s Office at (716) 439-7022. The office is located in the Courthouse, Lockport, NY 14094

 

Contact before you start:

Code Enforcement
City Hall- 745 Main Street
3rd Floor
http://www.niagarafallsusa.org/BuildingInspections.cfm
716.286.4470

A permit from the Department of Code Enforcement is required for:

  • Building of a new structure
  • Addition to an existing structure
  • Altering a structure
  • Moving a structure
  • Changing the use/occupancy of a structure
  • Fencing
  • Canopies
  • Signage
  • Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical Systems
  • Fire Alarms/Fire Protection
  • Engineering or architectural services may be required
  • Code Enforcement will issue a Certificate of Occupancy/Compliance only after all inspections, including fire are complete.

The City of Niagara Falls Department of Economic Development is happy to assist you in working with other city departments to make sure your business experiences a seamless start, relocation or growth in our city.

Planning Department
City Hall- 745 Main Street
3rd Floor
http://www.niagarafallsusa.org/PlanningandDevelopment.cfm
716.286.4470

  • Prior to purchasing or leasing any land or building make sure your intended use meets the city’s zoning code.  Questions regarding zoning and land use restrictions may be answered by contacting the Planning Department or Code Enforcement Offices.
  • For any new construction or substantial modification of a property’s use, Planning Board approval will most likely be required. It is recommended that you contact the Planning Department before proceeding. They will guide you through the process. Contact: Department of Planning, 745 Main St., City Hall, Niagara Falls, NY 14302 or call (716) 286-4467 or (716) 286-4477
  • Prior to purchasing or leasing any land or building make sure your intended use meets the city’s zoning code.  Questions regarding zoning and land use restrictions may be answered by contacting the Planning Department or Code Enforcement Offices.
  • For any new construction or substantial modification of a property’s use, Planning Board approval will most likely be required. It is recommended that you contact the Planning Department before proceeding. They will guide you through the process. Contact: Department of Planning, 745 Main St., City Hall, Niagara Falls, NY 14302 or call (716) 286-4467 or (716) 286-4477

Working with the City of Niagara Falls

N.F.C. Assistance Programs Include:

  • Direct Loan Program
  • Micro-Enterprise Assistance
  • Downtown Tourism Program
  • Commercial Grant Assistance Program
  • Industrial Assistance Program
  • City Wide “Green Initiative”
  • Mixed Use Rental Rehabilitation Program

*Additional programs administered by other city departments:

Community Development (716.286.8802):

  • Commercial Façade Rebate Program
  • Commercial Loan Subsidy Program

Assessors Office (716.286.4380):

  • Property Tax Abatement

The City of Niagara Falls may be able to provide qualified businesses in the City of Niagara Falls assistance in opening a new business or an existing business in its plans to expand. The object of these programs is to stimulate growth in the business and local economy through job creation or retention, broaden the City’s tax base, and generate new business.

N.F.C. Development Corp.
City Hall- 745 Main Street
3rd Floor
http://www.niagarafallsusa.org/EconomicDevelopment.cfm
716.286.4480 or 716.286.4482

N.F.C. Development Corp FAQ’s

How often does the N.F.C. approve funding for projects?

Pending the availability of economic development funding, the N.F.C. Development Corp Board of Directors meets six times a year; January, March, May, July, September, and November.  Please check with the N.F.C. staff for specific dates and application deadlines.  

What does the N.F.C. require of applicants?

The N.F.C. requires the following documentation along with its application prior to considering funding a project.  Please contact our offices for assistance and questions.    

  • Completed Business Plan
  • Description of Business
  • Pro Forma
  • Current Profit/Loss (If Applicable)
  • Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413)
  • Resume
  • Personal Tax Returns
  • Business Tax Returns (If Applicable)
  • Corporate Documentation/Business Linsence
  • List of Collateral Available (Loan)
  • Project Costs with Vendor Quotes
  • Commitment of other sources of funding
  • Copy of any previous government financing
  • Planning Board Approval (if needed)
  • Verification of Permits (if applicable)
  • Environmental Analysis (SEQRA)
  • Copy of Lease/Purchase Agreement (if applicable)
  • List of any and all properties located within the City of Niagara Falls
  • $25 check made payable to N.F.C. Development Corp.