Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Small Business Success Story - Sweeney’s Market

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Binghamton SBDC appears in our 2016 Annual Report

Al Fargnoli
Sweeney’s Market
Binghamton SBDC

The Binghamton SBDC became aware of the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities (HFHC) Fund administered by the Low Income Investment Fund, which provides financial resources for rural grocery stores to upgrade their store equipment and improve the offerings to their community. 

Advisor Ken Homer consulted Tioga County Economic Development to identify rural grocery stores that might benefit from the program. Al Fargnoli, second generation owner and operator of Sweeney’s Market, was one of those with the potential to benefit from a grant. Sweeney’s Market supports its community’s local rural population, which includes low income, food stamp recipients, WIC recipients (women with children) and senior citizens. With Advisor Homer’s assistance, Al prepared a list of equipment to update his vegetable, dairy, and packaged meat display cases. He also included standalone display cases for fruits and vegetables. It took a year for verification of the business’ customer base, financial stability, and verification of equipment and installation costs. 

At the end of the tedious process, Al was finally awarded a grant for $72,752, which enabled him to purchase the display cases and increase the products he could offer to his customers. In addition, Al invested $60,392 to remodel the store. He installed laminate flooring, painted the facility, added new shelving end caps for display, and expanded his office space. The new equipment, remodeling and refurbishing of the store into a modern and attractive retail space resulted in a 16% increase in sales, and Al added six part-time employees. His store was the largest potential grant recipient in Tioga County to receive approval.

No comments: