National Fuel Increases Development Program Grant to Native Pride

Funding increase will additionally upgrade and enhance energy efficiency of services

November 4, 2020 Irving, NY— Seneca Nation businessman, J C Seneca, has announced that the National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (“National Fuel”) has increased their Area Development Program grant to his Native Pride Travel Plaza Business by more than $14,000, According to Seneca, the additional funding to the $91,676.65 grant, originally awarded in August, came about as National Fuel began installing gas lines from the intersections of Routes 5 and 20 to the store, warehouse, and maintenance areas of the plaza.

“From the start, we were pleased to receive this National Fuel Grant as it will allow us to operate in more energy efficient ways and enable us to undertake more Company initiatives and increase employment,” Seneca stated. “Once National Fuel started installing the gas lines, they realized there were construction updates they could make that would improve the long-term functional benefits of the project. Their actions reflect the dedication of National Fuel to our community and to the successful implementation of their grant program.” National Fuel’s Area Development Program is designed to provide grants for specific projects that will stimulate economic activity and the redevelopment in National Fuel’s utility service area by funding business relocation, expansion, and ongoing operations. The program was developed in conjunction with the New York State Public Service Commission.

ABOUT TALLCHIEF TERRITORY, HOME OF NATIVE PRIDE: Native Pride is a travel plaza conveniently located off Exit 58 on the NYS Thruway I-90 at 11359 Southwestern Blvd in Irving, NY. Officially designated by the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition

(NITTEC) as an Emergency Stop for travelers, Native Pride offers its own brand of gas and diesel fuel, as well as DEF and propane at its 22 banks of pumps. The Tallchief Diner serves home cooked meals within a newly remodeled setting highlighted with historical photographs of Seneca Elder, Tallchief, and his descendants. The travel plaza’s 24/7 convenience store offers snacks, drinks, truck products, gift items, cigarettes, walk-in humidor, a wide variety of Tallchief CBD/hemp products and Azalia’s healthy, nutrient-dense juices and foods to-go. There are also services for over-the-road professional truck drivers including showers, a laundry center, lounge and ample parking for cars, trucks, and semi-trucks. For more than a decade, Native Pride has been selected as the Best of the Best by readership of the Dunkirk Observer.

ABOUT J C SENECA: J C Seneca is a member of the Seneca Nation and owner of Native Pride Travel Plaza, located on the Cattaraugus Territory of the Seneca Nation in Irving, NY. Starting out in 1987 as a young entrepreneur with big dreams, by 1995 Seneca had developed his own truck stop business and spent the next 25 years building a highly successful 22-pump gas and diesel service area complimented by a diner, a 24/7 convenience store and shower and lounge services for professional truck drivers. In 2019, Seneca was recognized as a Top 50 Native Business Entrepreneur by Native Business Magazine, a national publication out of Bellevue, WA. While focused on business development, Seneca has also broadened his community reach as a private citizen, stepping forward repeatedly in negotiations during contentious sales tax disputes between the Seneca Nation and the New York State Government and as a public servant, in his role as an elected representative to The Seneca Nation Tribal Council (SNI) and elected Treasurer of The Seneca Nation. Seneca’s civic leadership is further reflected in the creation of the J C Seneca Foundation, a nonprofit corporation with a mission to advance healthy living in body, mind, and spirit for the people of the Seneca Nation and surrounding communities. Backed by a quarter century of goals and achievement, in 2020 Seneca made the decision to reformat his Native Pride Brand by incorporating it with his family’s Seneca Nation Heritage. It is a heritage tied to his great, great, great grandfather, Tallchief, who claimed the land where Seneca began his entrepreneurial journey and today continues to grow his business, now known as Tallchief Territory, Home of Native Pride. 

ABOUT NATIONAL FUEL AREA DEVELOPMENT GRANT PROGRAM: The National Fuel Area Development Grant Program provides grants for specific projects that will stimulate economic activity and redevelopment in National Fuel’s service area by funding business relocation, expansion and ongoing operations. National Fuel’s Grants are awarded to companies who are working to advance infrastructure development or redevelopment of underutilized industrial or commercial property, including but not limited to brownfield sites or brownfield opportunity areas and creating new employment opportunities or higher value employment opportunities. To be approved for funding by National Fuel, projects must be natural gas-related and meet at least one of the following criteria: (1) Stimulate investment in infrastructure for the development or redevelopment of underutilized industrial or commercial property, including but not limited to brownfield sites or brownfield opportunity areas. (2) Create new employment opportunities or higher value employment opportunities. (3) Provide workforce training or retraining to assure that higher value skills are available in the workforce, when needed. (4) Stimulate the expenditure of private investment in direct capital expenditures needed to expand employment.

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