Loan Funds

Revolving Loan Funds are a popular economic development tool, delivering high risk capital to projects that cannot necessarily be fully financed via conventional sources. Ithaca Area Economic Development (formerly Tompkins County Area Development – TCAD) loans are generally used as gap financing when bank financing and owner equity are not sufficient to meet project costs.

The aim of the Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED) Loan Fund Program is to create quality employment opportunities by helping entrepreneurs start new businesses, expand current operations and attract businesses to Tompkins County.

The IAED Loan Fund Program will consider businesses that primarily sell their product or service to customers outside of Tompkins County. Businesses that sell products or services locally may also be considered for the loan program if the business can demonstrate it does not compete with other local businesses and will create or retain permanent full-time jobs.

Since 1989, IAED has loaned more than $4 million to 63 companies that have created over 900 jobs. IAED can help connect you with the right loan for land, building, working capital, machinery, or equipment.

IAED now offers a new fund specifically geared to support early stage technology-based companies in Tompkins County. Details on the new fund are described below.

Opportunity Fund

The Opportunity Fund utilizes convertible debt, a common method of investment, whereby the principal and accrued interest either “converts” to shares in the company or is repaid at an agreed-upon maturation date.

The Opportunity Fund expands the potential for taking an equity, or equity-like, position in a company IAED helps capitalize.


The guidelines are as follows:
  • The fund will only invest in an existing funding round led by an institutional/professional investor with dedicated management;
  • Terms of the IAED investment will mirror those of the lead investor to reduce legal costs to the recipient and to leverage the forward-looking protections lead investors typically include in such terms; and
  • Recognizing the limited initial fund size, the maximum of any individual investment will be $50K to maximize the number of eligible companies the Opportunity Fund may assist.
  • Evaluation of applicants will consider the strength of the institutional/professional investor(s), weigh high growth potential, sustainable competitive advantage, significant job creation, and the likelihood that the company will remain in Tompkins County.

IAED Loan Program Policies are available here.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

 Portfolio Companies

Dutch Harvest Farm

Dutch Harvest Farm will be a custom-built luxury event venue offering event space for up to 300+ people located on the scenic Cayuga Lake Wine Trail in Lansing, NY. This beautiful farm style venue can accommodate more guests than any other private event space in the area and will offer a full range of services for intimate intimate weddings to large corporate functions. IAED is pleased to support this unique and exciting project through our revolving loan fund program.

Emmy’s Organics

Emmy’s Organics, founded in 2009 in Ithaca, manufactures and distributes certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher coconut based cookies. Emmy’s products can be found at major retailers throughout the United States and Canada including Whole Foods Markets, CVS, Rite Aid, Wegmans, and Sprouts. As demand for their products grew, Emmy’s knew they needed to expand. They wanted to stay in Tompkins County so they decided to purchase a building located at 15 Royal Road in the Town of Dryden. Purchasing and renovating the building in Dryden enabled Emmy’s to remain in Tompkins County and to bring back in-house production that had been shifted to a co-packer out of state.

The $2.3 million project encompasses buying the approximately 20,000 square foot building along with interior renovations including adding a processing room, additional office space and bathrooms, and the purchase of equipment. Tompkins Trust Company and the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council helped finance the purchase. The project also received an incentive delivered by the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA) along with a loan from IAED’s revolving loan program. Emmy’s will retain 27 jobs and plans to create eight new jobs.

South Hill Cider

Steve Selin, owner of South Hill Cider, has been bottling his own cider since 2003. In the last couple of years Steve decided it was time to expand his operations and build a new facility with a tasting room.The 3,800 square foot facility will allow the cidery to double its production in 2019 and 2020. The 1,200 square foot tasting room will offer a beautiful view across the Cayuga Lake Valley south of Ithaca. South Hill Ciders are sold by retailers including Whole Foods Market, Brooklyn Cider House, Ithaca Beer Co., and Moosewood Restaurant. South Hill Cider also distributes cider throughout much of New York State, to Japan, through mail orders, and at farmers markets.  The new facility is close to completion and the tasting room will open this September. We can’t wait to stand at the bar and sip some South Hill Cider!

Ithaca Beer

Founded in 1998, Ithaca Beer completed its first major expansion in 2012, building out a new 16,000 square foot brewery with an adjoining taproom and restaurant. In 2015, Ithaca Beer started a second major expansion, doubling its space with an addition of 24,000 square feet. The expansion created additional room for new fermentation and conditioning tanks and a new state-of-the-art automated bottling and kegging system, increasing capacity to brew over 90,000 barrels of beer per year.

“In my early days getting Ithaca Beer started, I was able to get some great support from TCAD. Without their help, I don’t believe I would have gotten the support of other financial entities critical to getting my company off the ground.”

Dan Mitchell, Founder, Ithaca Beer Company


iFyber is a contract research and technical services firm that develops customized test methods for the medical device, biopharma, diagnostics and regenerative medicine industries. iFyber’s success is predicated on having highly skilled technical staff with strong communication skills.


Founded by students at Cornell University in 2012, Rosie has quickly gained traction in its markets. Rosie was founded to, “provide a fantastic shopping experience for each of their customers,” said CEO Nick Nickitas. Rosie is a platform that allows consumers to shop online for groceries at their favorite local stores. The company is appealing to many consumers because it offers convenience and ease of use. The retailers they work with enjoy the insights their unique algorithms provide.

“TCAD’s loan fund provided critical funding to rapidly accelerate the growth of our start up company. That funding enabled us to keep our headquarters in Ithaca and raise millions in follow on capital from venture firms in NYC, Boston, and Washington DC. Since then, we’ve grown from 9 to 46 employees, creating career track positions and attracting young talent to move to Ithaca. We couldn’t have done it without TCAD’s support and ongoing commitment to our company’s success.”

Nick Nickitas, Founder & CEO, Rosie

Concept Systems

A $103,500 loan to Concept Systems, a woman-owned business that provides on-site and web-based software and consulting services used by organizations for consensus building and decision-making. Headquartered on the Ithaca Commons, Concept Systems is redesigning and upgrading its on-line software platform to increase functionality.

Finger Lakes ReUse

Tons of building materials, computers, electronics, household goods, appliances, and furniture unnecessarily enter the landfill each year. Used materials that are often wasted, are assets with overlooked economic value. Finger Lakes ReUse taps this value to strengthen our economy, build community, and protect our environment by re-directing materials from the waste stream into productive new uses. In 2014, they purchased and renovated a new retail storefront in the City of Ithaca, increasing local opportunities to divert waste and increase the reuse of used materials.

“Finger Lakes ReUse has been grateful for the technical assistance and guidance from TCAD as we’ve been able to grow and increase our impacts on waste reduction and reuse-related skill-building opportunities. Heather in particular provided key advice in the early stages to focus on our revenue generating activities, and was instrumental in helping us obtain a working capital loan to expand into our downtown location.”

Diane Cohen, Executive Director, Finger Lakes ReUse, Inc.

The Piggery

From the Ithaca Farmer’s Market to its retail space on Franklin Street, The Piggery is a value added; artisan meat process selling a line of premium pork products. Raising heritage breeds of pigs on their farm, they then turn their pastured pork into world-class charcuterie. The Piggery has found great success in growing their business in Tompkins County. In 2013, The Piggery began the renovations to upgrade their Franklin Street retail space to a USDA inspected production facility, enabling them to enter the wholesale marketplace.

“Before meeting with TCAD, we were considering relocating our wholesale business to either Cortland or Syracuse. Working with TCAD reinforced our mission to grow jobs in our community and helped create a foundation to keep growing our business in Tompkins County.” — Heather Sandford, The Piggery


An Ithaca food startup, Grainful produces a line of all-natural, frozen entrees centered around steel cut oats. Grainful is committed to bringing the wholesome goodness of steel cut oats and clean natural ingredients to lunch and dinner. Heart healthy steel cut oats are the perfect grain and great in every meal! Pairing the grain with flavors from around the world, Grainful aims to create a brand new category in the frozen food section.

“It has been a pleasure to work with TCAD. Heather and her team understand the hurdles we face as a small business and, most importantly, go above and beyond to give us access to the resources that enable us to overcome these hurdles and grow.” – Jan Pajerski, President, Grainful

Ithaca Coffee

The Ithaca Coffee Company (ICC) has been expanding the sales of their unique selection of house-roasted coffees. Their coffees can be purchased wholesale or brewed for you at one of their espresso bars by their trained baristas. In 2012, ICC diversified their customer base by expanding into the Rochester and Binghamton markets. In 2014, ICC purchaed a building and a new coffee roaster to continue their wholesale expansion

 Portfolio Companies