Small Business Grant Program Aims to Help Startups in the COVID Era

The state has started receiving applications for a new $200 million pandemic relief grant program designed to help smaller businesses that have opened in the past four years, including startups in the COVID era, officials said.

The Seed Funding Grant program will provide up to $25,000 per applicant based on their annual gross receipts in 2020 or last year. The minimum reward will be $5,000.

Small businesses must have opened on or after September 1, 2018 and still be in operation. They cannot have more than 100 employees.

Businesses must also have gross receipts of no more than $1 million per year, as reported on their most recent federal tax return. REVISED,jtm/A Applicants who have not yet filed taxes must show at least $5,000 in business expenses, according to program guidelines.

The grants are needed locally, according to Eric Alexander, founder of the Long Island Main Street Alliance, which represents 45 downtown areas undergoing redevelopment.

“Local businesses that have formed during coronavirus shutdowns and regulations [in 2020] were at a disadvantage in accessing public assistance. Since then, inflation, [disruption of] supply chains, labor shortages and other regulations have slowed any robust economic recovery,” he said.

Alexander, together with elected officials and chamber of commerce leaders, held a press conference at Farmingdale Village Hall on Monday to encourage small business owners to apply for the new program.

Luis Vasquez, president of the 300-member Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Long Island, said, “Grants are a way to help increase business financing for Hispanic and minority business owners, while helping to the revitalization of the economy in the aftermath of the pandemic. ”

Julie Marchesella, owner of Queen of Hearts Inc., a Merrick store that sells plus-size formal wear for women, agreed, adding that smaller brick-and-mortar retailers have closed because the pandemic has led consumers to shop more. on line.

“These grants will give the remaining stores in our town centers the ability to continue without huge debt… They will be able to maintain and rehire already trained employees as well as purchasing inventory,” said Marchesella, who is also legislative chairman of the Nassau Board of Chambers of Commerce.

Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature established the Start-up Grants in the 2022-23 State Budget to help those who do not qualify for the Small Business COVID Pandemic Recovery Grant Program -19 of $800 million from the state. This initiative began last year and will end on September 30.

The new program is also intended to help businesses that are still struggling despite having received Paycheck Protection Program loans of less than $251,000 or COVID-19 economic disaster loans and Other Federal Pandemic Aid.

Lendistry, the California-based lender that was hired by New York State to distribute the seed grants, “knows how to get the funds where they’re needed most,” CEO Everett K. Sands said.

He and others said the grants could be used for costs incurred between September 1, 2018 and January 1, 2022, including payroll, rent and mortgage payments, utility bills and expenses related to slowing the spread of the coronavirus, according to the guidelines.

For-profit arts and culture organizations can also receive funding, said Hope Knight, CEO of Empire State Development, the state’s main business assistance agency.

There is no application deadline, but an ESD spokeswoman said on Monday that “candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.” More information is available at https://nyseedgrant.com/

The state has started receiving applications for a new $200 million pandemic relief grant program designed to help smaller businesses that have opened in the past four years, including startups in the COVID era, officials said.

The Seed Funding Grant program will provide up to $25,000 per applicant based on their annual gross receipts in 2020 or last year. The minimum reward will be $5,000.

Small businesses must have opened on or after September 1, 2018 and still be in operation. They cannot have more than 100 employees.

Businesses must also have gross receipts of no more than $1 million per year, as reported on their most recent federal tax return. REVISED,jtm/A Applicants who have not yet filed taxes must show at least $5,000 in business expenses, according to program guidelines.

The grants are needed locally, according to Eric Alexander, founder of the Long Island Main Street Alliance, which represents 45 downtown areas undergoing redevelopment.

“Local businesses that have formed during coronavirus shutdowns and regulations [in 2020] were at a disadvantage in accessing public assistance. Since then, inflation, [disruption of] supply chains, labor shortages and other regulations have slowed any robust economic recovery,” he said.

Alexander, together with elected officials and chamber of commerce leaders, held a press conference at Farmingdale Village Hall on Monday to encourage small business owners to apply for the new program.

Luis Vasquez, president of the 300-member Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Long Island, said, “Grants are a way to help increase business financing for Hispanic and minority business owners, while helping to the revitalization of the economy in the aftermath of the pandemic. ”

Julie Marchesella, owner of Queen of Hearts Inc., a Merrick store that sells plus-size formal wear for women, agreed, adding that smaller brick-and-mortar retailers have closed because the pandemic has led consumers to shop more. on line.

“These grants will give the remaining stores in our town centers the ability to continue without huge debt… They will be able to maintain and rehire already trained employees as well as purchasing inventory,” said Marchesella, who is also legislative chairman of the Nassau Board of Chambers of Commerce.

Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature established the Start-up Grants in the 2022-23 State Budget to help those who do not qualify for the Small Business COVID Pandemic Recovery Grant Program -19 of $800 million from the state. This initiative began last year and will end on September 30.

The new program is also intended to help businesses that are still struggling despite having received Paycheck Protection Program loans of less than $251,000 or COVID-19 economic disaster loans and Other Federal Pandemic Aid.

Lendistry, the California-based lender that was hired by New York State to distribute the seed grants, “knows how to get the funds where they’re needed most,” CEO Everett K. Sands said.

He and others said the grants could be used for costs incurred between September 1, 2018 and January 1, 2022, including payroll, rent and mortgage payments, utility bills and expenses related to slowing the spread of the coronavirus, according to the guidelines.

For-profit arts and culture organizations can also receive funding, said Hope Knight, CEO of Empire State Development, the state’s main business assistance agency.

There is no application deadline, but an ESD spokeswoman said on Monday that “candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.” More information is available at https://nyseedgrant.com/

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