September 18, 2020 – New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced that the Canton Dairy Queen, devastated by a fire two years ago, is back in business thanks to a nearly $200,000 grant from HCR’s Community Development Block Grant-Economic Development (CDBG-ED) program.
“The grand reopening of the family-owned Dairy Queen is a welcome sign for the Canton community,” said Commissioner Visnauskas. “I am thrilled that HCR has been able to provide the $195,000 grant to fund the equipment and machinery that were essential to the business’ resurrection and the creation of good-paying jobs. This investment will help to further Governor Cuomo’s commitment to growing a thriving economy across St. Lawrence County. The winter may be on its way to the North Country, but in Canton, the BlizzardTM is already here!”
The Dairy Queen at 51 Gouverneur St. was heavily damaged by arson in August 2018. In 2019, the village of Canton applied for an CDBG-ED grant to help the owners of the store rebuild, reopen and get back to business. HCR approved the application on in June 2019 to assist in the purchase of machinery and equipment needed to continue operations. The entire rebuilding project cost more than $970,000 and will help create 13 full-time equivalent jobs over two years.
As a result of the fire and closure of the restaurant, the community not only lost jobs, but a valued gathering place, social venue and quality casual dining facility. The funds from the State made reopening possible by covering the purchase of new kitchen equipment including freezers, ice cream machines, worktables, and a state-of-the-art Point-of-Sale system that can integrate online and call-in orders and help expedite drive-in and walk-in orders.
The NYS CDBG program provides financial assistance to eligible cities, towns, and villages with populations under 50,000 and counties with an area population under 200,000, in order to develop viable communities by providing decent, affordable housing, and suitable living environments, as well as expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income.
"The Dairy Queen has been a fixture of the Canton community for more than fifty years and its reopening is excellent news. A huge congrats to the owners for working so hard to be able to open their doors again, translating into job creation, which is critical as the economy continues to recover," said Assemblyman Mark Walczyk.
Mayor Michael E. Dalton said, "I am pleased that the Dairy Queen will reopen after such a devastating fire. Many people have commented that they missed the DQ. We often take for granted what we have until it’s gone. Welcome back."
Gail Crabtree, business owner, said, “We are so grateful to the State of New York, the Canton Village Board and the Canton community for making this day a reality. I am certain that my parents and sister would be pleased with the new era of DQ Grill & Chill. This is a momentous day for the Putman and Crabtree families.”