With state and federal budgets still strained by a weak economy, many local non-profits have been feeling the pinch. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, Saratoga County has a new system in place that officials believe will lessen the burden.
SARATOGA COUNTY, N.Y. – On any given day, the staff at Saratoga Bridges provide dozens of services to hundreds of county residents living with developmental disabilities. On Wednesday afternoon, the lesson happened to be a crash course in computers.
For more than 30 years, the non-profit has served Saratoga County's growing population, a task that's become more difficult as state and federal funds have become increasingly limited.
"The state budget has been challenging and when the budget is challenging for the state, then it's challenging for organizations like ourselves," said Executive Director Valerie Muratori, who’s been with the organization since 1983.
Until about five years ago, New York non-profits used to be able to apply for tax exempt financing directly through their county IDA office. Saratoga Bridges did so 15 years ago to restructure debt and consolidate its administrative offices.
However, a change in state law took that authority away from counties and made the revenue more difficult to acquire.
"Out not-for-profits had nowhere to go and were looking for something on a more local level and more user friendly," Clifton Park Supervisor Anita Daly said.
Hoping to ease that burden, the board of supervisors recently established the Saratoga County Capital Resource Corporation, which will be able to grant that tax exempt status and help non-profits more easily apply for funding from banks or other financial institutions.
It's something officials believe is highly necessary in these still uncertain economic times.
"They provide tremendous services throughout this county, so our goal was to provide an application and a vehicle to become user friendly," said Daly, who chairs the new corporation.
"I hope there will be people who are interested and organizations will be interested,” said Muratori, one seven members of the corporation’s board. “We certainly benefited at a time when we were growing and it allowed us to become a pretty stable organization."