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Small Business Recovery Grant Information

Release Date: December 08, 2021

Grants of up to $50,000 now available for small businesses in New York State 
The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant is administered by Empire State Development (ESD) and powered by Lendistry. The $800 million program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
On August 25, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the expanded eligibility to the program to enable more small businesses to apply for funding. 
Businesses with revenues up to $2.5 million, up from the previous threshold of $500,000, are eligible for grants and are now encouraged to apply. 
The limitation for businesses that received Federal Paycheck Protection Program loans has been increased from $100,000 to $250,000. 
Who is Eligible? 
Small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations with fewer than 100 employees that are currently viable and have begun operation on or before March 1, 2019, and continue to be in operation as of the date of application (may be shuttered due to Covid-19 restrictions). 
Small businesses and micro-businesses must: 

  • Have 2019 or 2020 Gross Receipts of between $25,000 and $2,500,000 per annum as reflected on Applicant’s filed federal tax returns; 
  • Demonstrate positive net profit on 2019 Business Return ($1 or greater); and, 
  • Demonstrate at least a twenty-five (25%) loss in annual gross receipts in a year-to-year revenue comparison as of December 31, 2020, to the same period in 2019, in each case, as reflected on Applicant’s 2019 and 2020 filed federal tax returns, including any 2020 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and/or Lost Wage Assistance Programs as verified by NYS Department of Labor. 

Eligible Use of Funds: 
Grants must be used for Covid-19 related expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021. These include: 

  • Payroll costs; 
  • Commercial rent or mortgage payments for NYS-based property (but not any rent or mortgage prepayments); 
  • Payment of local property or school taxes associated with a small business location in NYS; 
  • Insurance costs; 
  • Utility costs; 
  • Costs of personal protection equipment (PPE) necessary to protect worker and consumer health and safety; 
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) costs; 
  • Other machinery or equipment costs; 
  • Supplies and materials necessary for compliance with Covid-19 health and safety protocols; or 
  • Other documented Covid-19 costs as approved by Empire State Development. 

Please visit for more information or to apply. For language assistance, guidance on eligibility requirements or any additional questions, please contact the program's call center at 1-877-721-0097.