Economic Development

We help support environmentally responsible businesses to create and retain jobs in the Catskills Region.

Economic Development Overview

The CWC’s Economic Development Programs are intended to support environmentally responsible businesses and to create and retain jobs in the Catskills Region. They are intended to help offset impacts of New York City Watershed regulations and the City’s acquisition of thousands of acres of land which will remain permanently off limits to development.

Catskill Fund for the Future

The cornerstone of the CWC’s efforts in the West-of-Hudson (WOH) Watershed is the Catskill Fund for the Future (CFF), a revolving fund initially capitalized, in 1997, by a $59.7 million appropriation by New York City. This fund is invested and wholly managed by the CWC. An economic development study, prepared in 1998 for the CWC by consultants Hamilton, Rabinovitz and Alschuler (HR&A) served as a guidance document for establishment of loan, grant and tourism promotion programs funded through the CFF.

The Catskill Fund for the Future has been investing in the Catskills since 1997. Click here for our interactive Economic Development Programs Map. Each blue pin indicates a business that we have financed over the years.

Loan Programs

Low-interest loans are available to help existing or proposed businesses start, relocate, expand, consolidate or improve operations within the Watershed region. Any for-profit business or non-profit organization planning a project which is deemed a Qualified Economic Development Project (one which encourages the twin goals of Watershed protection and job creation/retention) may be eligible to apply.

Eligible expenses include land or building purchase, land improvements, facility renovation, purchase and installation of equipment or furnishings, lease hold improvements, pollution prevention or energy conservation improvements, inventory acquisition or other capital needs.

Non-eligible costs include construction financing, market research, business plan development, housing construction or repair, or land improvements not related to business use.

For loan program details, including interest rates, fees and procedural information; and for application forms and guidance, call the Economic Development office at the CWC. Pre-application conferences are encouraged and are available upon request.


Regional Economic Development Initiative, ranges from $50,000-$1.5 million.

Applicants must show a minimum equity investment of 10% of the total project cost. A 20% equity contribution is required if CWC is in second position on a mortgage and for loans over $750,000.

Loans are available to owners of commercial or non-residential septic systems who have received a Notice of Failure or Violation from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Before seeking a Commercial Septic Loan, applicants should first determine if they are eligible for the CWC’s Expanded Septic Rehabilitation and Replacement Program click here, which may provide some or all eligible reimbursement costs. Loans are also available to fund project elements required solely due to location in the WOH Catskill-Delaware Watershed.

How To Get a Loan

Please click through steps below to learn how to get a loan.

Step 1:
To see if you are eligible for a loan from the Catskill Watershed Corporation, click Intake Form, complete form and submit.

Step 2:
Once you complete the Intake Form and submit it, CWC staff will review the information you have provided and if eligible, CWC staff will send you the link to the full application.

Please note that you will have access to the application, so that you may take the time you need to complete it, until you Submit it. Once it is submitted, you will not be able to make any changes or additions to the application.

Complete the Business Plan Outline, click here. If you need assistance preparing your business plan, as per the Business Plan Outline, free assistance is available by contacting the Mid-Hudson, Small Business Development Center counselor at 845-802-9150.

Please be sure to upload all pertinent documents to the Document section, as required by the Loan Application Checklist, click here. Be sure to include your Personal Financial Statement, click here, before you Submit your application.

If you have any questions or difficulties completing any portion of the loan application contact CWC.

Step 3:
After receiving the application and the supporting materials, a CWC economic development professional will contact you to discuss your application. We may request additional information, an appointment for a site visit or we may just want to get to know you to more fully understand your business.

Step 4:
When the application and all supporting materials are submitted, CWC staff will underwrite your loan and present your application to CWC’s Loan Committee for review.  The CWC Loan Committee meet on the second Thursday of each month.  The Loan Committee reviews your application based on cash flow, collateral and personal net worth.  In the event that the Loan Committee recommends the application, the request is forwarded to the Board of Directors for approval or denial.

Step 5:
The loan application will be presented to the Board of Directors on the first Tuesday of the following month. If your loan is approved by the Board of Directors, you will receive a Letter of Commitment (LOC) outlining the requirements of the loan. If your approved loan is $100,000 or more, you must create an account, and submit the required Vendex information, click here, through the Passport website, click here.

Step 4:
Once you have signed and returned the LOC to CWC, you will receive a closing checklist indicating the documentation required to close the loan. When all documentation is complete, the loan closing will be scheduled.

Business Support

For free assistance Preparing a Business Plan, click the button below. To get answers to marketing, production, finance and other topics,  call: 845-802-9150 or email.

The CWC supports the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center (SBDC) which provides business counseling to loan seekers and those considering starting a business, or moving one to the Watershed region, as well as ongoing technical support for existing businesses. Click button below for the SBDC website. Please register for a new account here.
* Mention you were referred by the CWC in the comments section of the form.