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Small businesses urged to apply for COVID relief

ALBANY – Small businesses can now apply for grants to offset COVID pandemic income losses — and state Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, are encouraging local business owners to apply.

The $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program reimburses New York small businesses with grants of up to $50,000 for COVID-related expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021.

“Small businesses are the economic engines of our downtowns. They were hit hard by the pandemic lockdown. Many closed and those that remain are struggling to survive. These programs will help small business get back on their feet. I strongly encourage all our eligible small business owners and other eligible agencies to take advantage of these programs,” Borrello said.

Grants will be for a minimum award of $5,000 and a maximum award of $50,000 and will be calculated based on a New York State business’ annual gross receipts for 2019.

Reimbursable COVID-19 related expenses can include:

¯ Payroll costs

¯ Commercial rent or mortgage payments for NYS-based property

¯ Payment of local property or school taxes

¯ Insurance costs

¯ Utility costs

¯ Costs of personal protection equipment necessary to protect worker and consumer health and safety

¯ Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning cost

¯ Other machinery or equipment costs

¯ Supplies and materials necessary for compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Grants are awarded to small and micro businesses, small for-profit independent arts, and cultural organizations, with priority being given to socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, including minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses, and businesses located in economically distressed communities.

“Small businesses are vital to the economic health and well-being of our communities. During the pandemic, small business owners had to regroup, reorganize and make great sacrifices in order to stay in business. Many had to temporarily close while others shuttered for good. These COVID relief grants are an opportunity to make up for some of the losses suffered by small businesses, who now deserve the chance to regroup, reorganize and recover.”

The Empire State Development Corporation has created a website –NYSBusinessRecovery.ny.gov –to highlight the various resources available to support small businesses seeking pandemic relief.

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