Small business grants remain available

Small businesses looking for post-pandemic help may be able to breathe a sigh of relief thanks to another round of assistance through Empire State Development, who recently announced an $800 million small business recovery grant program.

Applications are now being accepted for small businesses who are considered eligible for the program.

The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Kilmer, President and CEO of the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber, said Commerce Grant applications are now available on the state’s dedicated website.

The Chamber is a designated partner with Chamber Alliance of New York State representing the Mohawk Valley Region. Kilmer said his office can help any small business owner who needs help navigating through the application process. He said the first deadline is quickly approaching but he expects there to be an additional date this summer to allow for applications.

“The first round is scheduled to end July 2, but there should be a second that will end later. It is suggested that interested parties check their eligibility and apply as soon as possible as the program will end as soon as the money runs out,” said Kilmer.

Kilmer said Montgomery and Fulton counties, like the rest of the country, felt the economical effects of COVID, particularly in the small business sector. Restaurants, said Kilmer, felt it almost immediately with many of them having to temporarily close. He said these grant programs provided a lifeline for many and this next round will be another needed cushion to some.

“This is a big thing for us, it is the first time we have been a partner in administering this grant. Our job is to get you through the process so you can get the help,” said Kilmer.

Kilmer said there are signs that the economy is on the right path to recovering, including in the Mohawk Valley. He said they have been seeing most of those closed businesses being able to reopen, and they even seeing signs of new growth.

“We are getting inquiries from people who are looking for loan information to open a small business, we find that very exciting,” said Kilmer.

Eligible Applicants must provide evidence that includes how operational the business is.  Due to a limited amount of funding and the high volume of requests expected, the type of business, geography, and industry may factor into who will receive a grant.  Priority will be given to socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, including minorities and women.

Grant awards will be calculated based on a business’s annual gross receipts for 2019. Grant amounts and calculations are subject to change by Empire State Development. A complete graph of award amounts can be found on the state’s website.

If interested in applying for this grant, visit https://nysmallbusinessrecovery.com/, or contact Fulton and Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce at https://www.fultonmontgomeryny.org/.

By LH Staff