As the Mid-Hudson Valley coped with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. and its employees continued their tradition of giving back to the communities they serve, providing nearly $760,000 in financial support for COVID-related missions and local causes and more than $1 million in economic development funding to assist local small businesses.
“The circumstances our customers and communities faced this year were unprecedented,” said Charles A. Freni, President and CEO of Central Hudson. “I’m extraordinarily proud of our entire team and the generosity they’ve shown at a time when those around us need it most.”
Central Hudson’s COVID response funding included: $25,000 each to Ulster County Project Resiliency, Dutchess Responds and the Orange & Sullivan COVID-19 Response Fund; $20,000 to Hudson Valley Food Bank; and $5,000 to the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz for materials to 3D-print medical masks for COVID-19 mobile testing sites and the local medical community. Central Hudson also introduced the Back to Business Funding program, committing up to $1 million in grants to help pay down new working capital loans taken with participating local banks. To date, $725,000 has been provided to participating banks for disbursement, and $481,000 has been applied to loans taken by local small businesses. Employees of the utility also contributed thousands of hours as volunteers for various organizations and pandemic relief.
Central Hudson and its employees’ charitable efforts extend beyond the pandemic, with contributions provided to local not-for-profit community service and small business organizations in 2020:
- Each year, Central Hudson employees lead a campaign to raise funds for the United Way, and each year, the company matches those employee contributions to the Community Fund. In 2020, more than $364,000 was raised by Central Hudson and its employees.
- Central Hudson extended more than $170,000 to local agencies and business groups by sponsorship of community events that raise awareness, promote the local economy and support non-profit programs.
- Individual employee contributions to community service organizations are matched the Employee Matching Gift program. During 2020, employees and Central Hudson contributed nearly $25,000. Central Hudson will match employee gifts made to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations that provide services within the utility’s eight-county service territory of up to $500 per employee annually.
- In 2020, Central Hudson doubled its annual match to in customer contributions to the Good Neighbor Fund to $100,000. The Good Neighbor Fund is a last-resort grant toward utility bills for families and individuals facing financial hardship though a program administered by the local corps of the Salvation Army. This included special grants to veterans and military families as a part of this program. In addition, the Good Neighbor Fund was used to apply one-time, $100 credits to the bills of 800 customers facing financial hardship and enrolled in one of Central Hudson’s special assistance programs.
Additional economic development grants of $325,000 was provided to support and retain local businesses and to fund studies to further business attraction.
“Central Hudson and our employees have provided more than $7 million in local community and small business funding and nearly $8.4 million in economic development grants during the last decade,” said Freni. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue our support of the communities we serve.”
For more information on Central Hudson’s community service initiatives and economic development programs, visit www.CentralHudson.com/About-Us/Community.
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