Technical assistance

Governor Hochul announces expanded eligibility for $ 800 million small business recovery grant program in COVID-19 pandemic


Governor Kathy Hochul today announced New York State’s $ 800 million COVID-19 changes Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grants Program which will allow more small businesses to apply for financing. As of today, businesses with revenues of up to $ 2.5 million can apply for grants, up from $ 500,000 previously. In addition, the limit for businesses that have received federal paycheck protection program loans has been increased from $ 100,000 to $ 250,000.

“Supporting small businesses in our state that have been hit hard by the pandemic is a top priority for my administration,” Governor Hochul said. “We simply cannot have a full economic recovery if the small business community continues to struggle for survival. With the Pandemic Small Business Takeover Grant program opening up to more businesses, I strongly urge all eligible owners to apply so that they can access this funding.

Launched in June, the program initially focused on small and micro businesses in New York State, which have been largely excluded from federal business stimulus initiatives. Empire State Development and its partners have worked hard to ensure these companies have the technical assistance – including guidance during the application process and support in overcoming language barriers – they need to be the first to participate in this program. To date, more than $ 48 million has been awarded to more than 2,380 small and micro enterprises in the ten regions of the state. The changes announced today ensure that other small businesses can access funding through the program more quickly.

ESD and Lendistry, the minority-led community development financial institution that has been selected to administer the program, will continue to accept and review applications. All current applicants – those who have not completed their application, have not uploaded documents, or have incomplete documentation – are encouraged to finalize their application as soon as possible. Previously ineligible small businesses can start applying today, and those applications will start processing on Wednesday, September 8. More information, including program guidelines and grant application, can be found here.

Empire State Development COO and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis said, “The coronavirus pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for the state’s small business community. After working hard to ensure that microenterprises receive support first, allowing other small businesses to access recovery grants will ensure the broadest possible rebound for the New York State economy. .

Senator Anna M. Kaplan, chair of the Committee on Trade, Economic Development and Small Business, said, “I fought to provide $ 800 million in pandemic recovery grants for small businesses in New York City, but so far the program has been too small to reach all the businesses we had. intend to help with these funds. I am delighted that Governor Hochul and Empire State Development has expanded eligibility under this vital program, so that we can provide this money to small businesses that desperately need it. urges every small business owner to visit today to learn more about the program and see if they are now eligible. “

Assembly Member Harry Bronson, Chairman of the Assembly’s Economic Development Committee, said, “As businesses take the necessary steps to fully resume operations, I know that state support is critical to their success. As a small business owner, I know firsthand the challenges faced by owners and their employees. The expansion of this program could not have come at a more opportune time, as unemployment benefits will soon end for those affected by the pandemic. I know that a stronger future for our families depends on building healthy businesses with good paying jobs and this program will help do just that. “

Assembly Member Al Stirpe, Chairman of the Assembly’s Small Business Committee, said, “Expanding eligibility for the Small Business Stimulus Grant program is a smart step towards securing essential financial assistance for even more businesses and the pursuit of economic recovery, and I am delighted that this eventually happened. Of that $ 800 million program, only $ 48 million has been distributed so far – meaning funds are available for small businesses that have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. I encourage all companies in need to apply and will work diligently with Governor Hochul to secure this funding as quickly as possible. “

Grants for a minimum grant of $ 5,000 and a maximum grant of $ 50,000 are calculated based on the annual gross revenue of a New York State business for 2019. Reimbursable expenses related to COVID-19 must have been incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021 and may include salary costs; commercial rent or mortgage payments for a property located in New York State; payment of local property or school taxes; insurance and utility costs; the costs of personal protective equipment necessary to protect the health and safety of workers and consumers; costs for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or other machinery and equipment; and the supplies and materials necessary to comply with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

ESD has created and maintains a website – – which highlights the various resources available to support small businesses seeking relief in the event of a pandemic. The website is continuously updated as more details and information on funding become available.


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