New York State announced Thursday the launch of an $800 million small business recovery grant program, offering small businesses and for-profit art/cultural institutions the opportunity to receive debt-free grants between $5,000-$50,000 for COVID-related expenses from March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021, depending on the business’ annual gross receipts.
The New York State COVID-19 pandemic small business recovery grant program was announced on the heels of the news that the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund quickly ran out of money due to overwhelming demand. However, Congress introduced legislation for a $60 billion replenishment of the restaurant relief fund last week.
"Small businesses are one of the most critical components of New York's economy and were disproportionately impacted by the economic devastation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "As we build New York back better than it was before, this program will help these small businesses -particularly those with socially or economically disadvantaged owners -regain an economic foothold so they can forge ahead toward a brighter, more prosperous future."
Here's what we know about eligibility and the application process for the grant program, which businesses can apply for here:
Small businesses are defined as having fewer than 100 employees. More than 333,000 small businesses, microbusinesses and for-profit independent arts and culture organizations are eligible for this grant program, including 57% of women and minority-owned businesses. Applicants must also have been in business since at least March 1, 2019 or earlier.
Applicants must show a 25% year-over-year revenue loss. Applicants will need to show proof of loss of revenue due to the pandemic and/or COVID-19-related lockdowns and closures by submitting gross receipts.
The grants can have varied uses. Grants can be used to pay bills and costs associated with payroll, rent or mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, PPE or other business expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 to April 1, 2021. Grants may not be used to pay off federal or state-sponsored COVID-19 loans.
Grant awards are calculated based on gross receipts. Annual gross receipts between $25,000-$49,999 will receive $5,000. Gross receipts between $50,000 and $99,999 will receive $10,000 and gross receipts between $100,000-$500,000 will receive 10% of gross receipts (maximum grant is $50,000)
Businesses that already received a Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant are ineligible to apply. Other ineligible businesses include nonprofits, government or religious institutions, lobbying/political entities, landlords and real estate businesses.
Businesses have to submit specific forms/proof of expenses and finances. Required documents include 2019 and 2020 business income tax returns, two proofs of business location and current operation (accepted documents include current lease, utility bill and bank statements), schedule of ownership, proof of number of employees, bank account information, completed IRS forms and proof of business organization.
This is not a first-come, first-serve program. Applications will be reviewed in batches as they come in and the selection process will begin starting June 28. Business type, geography and industry may be taken into account with applications due to high demand.
Grant applications opened June 10 and will remain open until the deadline of July 2.
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