Applications for $800 Million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program Now Open

Applications are now open for the $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. The 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.

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

More than 330,000 small and micro businesses are potentially eligible for this program, including 57 percent of the state’s certified MWBEs. The application site for the program will be powered by Lendistry, a minority-led Community Development Financial Institution.

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 must have been incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021 and 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

Empire State Development (ESD) has created a website — —to highlight the various resources available to support small businesses seeking pandemic relief. The website will be continuously updated as more details and funding information become available.

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