Governor Hochul Announces Expanded Eligibility for the $800 Million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant

August 25, 2021

Small Businesses with Revenues Up to $2.5 Million and Experiencing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19 Are Encouraged to Apply for Grants of Up to $50,000  

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced changes to New York State's $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program that will enable more small businesses to apply for funding. Starting today, businesses with revenues up to $2.5 million can apply for grants, up from the previous threshold of $500,000. Additionally, the limitation for businesses that received Federal Paycheck Protection Program loans has been increased from $100,000 to $250,000.

"Supporting the small businesses across our state that got hit hard by the pandemic is a top priority for my administration," Governor Hochul said. "We simply cannot have a full economic recovery if the small business community continues struggling to survive. With the Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program opening up to a greater pool of businesses, I strongly urge all the owners who qualify to submit their application so they can access this funding."

Launched in June, the program initially focused on small and micro-businesses across New York State, which were largely left out of federal business recovery initiatives. Empire State Development and its partners have worked hard ensure that these businesses have the technical assistance - including guidance during the application process and support to overcome language barriers - they need to be first in line for this program. To date, more than $48 million has been awarded to over 2,380 small and micro-businesses in all ten regions of the state. The modifications announced today ensure additional small businesses can more quickly access funding through the program.   

ESD and Lendistry, the minority-led Community Development Financial Institution that was selected to administer the program, will continue to accept and review applications. All current applicants - those who have not finished their applications, have not uploaded documents or have incomplete documentation - are encouraged to finalize their applications as soon as possible. Previously ineligible small businesses may start applying today, and those applications will start being processed on Wednesday, September 8. More information, including program guidelines and the grant application, can be found here.  

Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis said, "The coronavirus pandemic was an unprecedented challenge to the state's small business community. Having worked hard to ensure microbusinesses received support first, enabling additional small businesses access to recovery grants will assure the broadest possible rebound for New York State's economy."

Read the full press release here.