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Graham Corp. receives $50,000 grant from state

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia-based Graham Corp. (AMEX: GHM) received a $50,000 grant from the Empire Development board this week, according to a press release.

No word on the grant will be used. We'll see what we can find out Monday.

The grant was part of $67 million package of funds handed out by the agency. The funds are intended to spur economic growth.

Other area grants include:

  • One Aid to Localities grant, totaling $150,000, to World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara for salaries and wages associated with outreach and service efforts in the twelve-county Western New York and the Finger Lakes region
  • $50,000 to the Livingston County Agricultural Society and Fair
  • $50,000 for Erie County Industrial Development Agency (Erie County)
  • $25,600 for Qualicoat Inc. (Monroe County)

Graham was recently named one of Business Week's top 100 small companies. In Q2 2008, Graham reported $27.5 million in revenue and a 20 percent net profit margin. Graham employs 281 people. It's stock currently trades at $69.63.

Howard B. Owens

<a href="… document</a> says the following about ESD funding:

New York State Urban Development Corporation, d/b/a Empire State Development Corporation’s funding sources include net revenue generated from the housing companies and non-residential projects, appropriations as provided in the State’s budget, interest and finance income earned from economic development cash and investments, fees generated from bond sales and other sources, reimbursement from other authorities and other miscellaneous income sources.

The Corporation’s general and administrative operating expenses are prepared within budget directives as set forth by the State of New York, Executive Department, Division of Budget which establishes the level of spending for each year. </blockquote>

There could be a very legitimate need to Graham to get a development grant. As a publicly traded company, Graham may have a worthwhile experimental project that it wants to try in New York, but would not want to risk too much of its own funds, which could hurt its position with investors. That's just an example. I have no idea. Hopefully, we can find out more tomorrow.

Sep 21, 2008, 12:55pm Permalink
Tom Gilliatt

Thats has to be it!!! LOL

Posted by Mark Potwora about 5 minutes ago
Maybe this is what they call corporate welfare....

Sep 21, 2008, 1:06pm Permalink
Daniel Jones

Graham employs a couple hundred people right in the city of Batavia, anytime a major manufacturing company decides to keep its major operation here I don't complain. The Empire Grant is a great tool that assists communities like ours.

Sep 21, 2008, 1:11pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Pretty small potatoes compared to the $1 trillion or so Washington is giving to Wall Street the past few weeks, and that after the country is already some $10 trillion in debt.

I'm reserving judgment on this particular grant until we know more.

Besides, the question wouldn't necessarily be, should Graham take the money? But should the state be giving out this money in the first place? That's the corporate welfare question. If the state is giving it out, then a reasonable question would be: Is WNY, and Genesee County, getting its fair share? We need the jobs. These grants are supposed to create jobs. Are we getting our fair share?

Sep 21, 2008, 1:15pm Permalink
Daniel Jones

Its going to a company that has its sole manufacturing operations in Western New York, I don't think that the people that Graham's employs would think that their "small potatoes" by any means. This is the kind of grant that works, it doesn't give a large scale buy-out to Wall Street, these kinds of grants go to companies on Main Street.

Sep 21, 2008, 1:31pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Daniel, please look at context ... in context of "corporate welfare" it's pretty small potatoes. That says nothing about it's value to the community.

Sep 21, 2008, 1:46pm Permalink
Daniel Jones

Oh, I see what your saying now.....but I don't agree with "reserving judgment" on the grant, if the government wants a prosperous economy that means that it has to create a business friendly environment, thats what these grants do.

Sep 21, 2008, 1:56pm Permalink
Gabor Deutsch

I think Howard is right.
What I know is :
Just about anyone can apply for pre-set taxpayer money allocated Grant.
It is also easy to follow guidelines of what the grant is for and unless things go terribly wrong it is easy to hide how you actually spend the money.
The bottom line is that what ever the reason Graham gets 50k its a chance to make some positive things happen for our economy in Genesee County.
Hopefully any hoo.

Sep 21, 2008, 4:07pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Daniel, the way to create a business friendly environment is for the government out of the way ... lower taxes, less regulation, smaller bureaucracies, no red tape, etc. Grants are nice, but if the government was doing its job (instead of self-perpetuating itself), then maybe grants wouldn't be necessary.

The biggest problem WNY faces in growing jobs are taxes and regulations. No amount of grants are going to fix that.

Sep 21, 2008, 4:45pm Permalink
Gabor Deutsch

Grants are a bonus option for any "one" to improve something. Its not always about economy Howard. Ask most not for profits, well some of the less shady ones.

Sep 21, 2008, 4:48pm Permalink
Daniel Jones

I wouldn't wholly say that their the only problems, they may be two glaring issues but certainly aren't the only ones. What we have to do is show the business community that we as a people are game to having a real prosperous economy again, that means doing more than just cutting taxes....we can cut taxes and deregulate till the cows come home and although cutting taxes and eliminating unnecessary regulation is part of a good strategy, it doesn't mean that jobs will just start coming back here automatically as that happens.

It really needs to be about capitalizing on our strengths, our major bonuses could be upper-level manufacturing jobs (such as the ones that Grahams provide) and Alternative energy, why just let all that wind blowing by go to waste?

The grant program invites actual growth, it shows businesses that they have a government that wants them to improve exponentially on themselves on Main Street, not Wall Street. It's going to take not just pork barrel spending, but real investment and partnership between the public and private sectors to turn our economy around. That kind of partnership is being seen in the grant programs.

Sep 21, 2008, 5:06pm Permalink
Gabor Deutsch

cutting taxes ?
growth ?
Besides us do you really think anyone cares about Batavia NY ?
My point about Grants is they are already set and there for the taking.
If we dont everyone else will.
Nothing wrong with helping ourselves right ?

Sep 21, 2008, 5:08pm Permalink
Daniel Jones

Dave, Your right about grants, we should help ourselves grow.

I don't think that Batavia is beyond hope, you could see some companies, whether in the service or manufacturing industries look at a place like GCC and see us located between Buffalo and Rochester with lower tax rates than our neighbors to the East and West and see potential.

Sep 21, 2008, 5:12pm Permalink
John Roach

If business taxes were not so high, would there be a need for grants? It seems that the State takes the money, skims off what it wants, then gives a small part of it back and calls it a "grant". Maybe it should be called a "refund".

Sep 21, 2008, 8:35pm Permalink

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