Governor Hochul Announces Launch of New York's First-in-the-Nation $200 Million Seed Funding Grant for Early-stage Businesses Impacted by Covid-19

September 13, 2022

Provides Assistance to Help Early-Stage Small and Micro-Businesses Recover and Grow in a Post-Pandemic Economy

State's Successful COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program Will Expand Eligibility as it Winds Down Available Funding

More Information on the Seed Funding Grant Program Can Be Found Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the applications portal for the first-in-the-nation Seed Funding Grant Program, created as part of the FY2023 budget, will open on September 14. The program provides flexible grants to support early stage, micro and small businesses in a still recovering New York State economy. The program will ensure that small businesses that opened shortly before or during the COVID-19 pandemic will have the funds to continue to operate and grow.

"This first-in-the-nation Seed Funding Grant Program rounds out $1 billion in flexible funding to support both early-stage, and established small and micro-businesses," Governor Hochul said. "New York businesses were among the hardest hit nationwide at the height of the pandemic, but with this funding, we're extending a lifeline to help them continue to grow and operate. Applications open tomorrow, and I encourage all New York business owners to take full advantage and be a part of New York's remarkable recovery."

This program builds upon New York State's existing $800 million Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program, which has delivered more than $639 million to over 35,000 small businesses since it launched last year, with ninety percent of funding having gone to minority and women-owned businesses. Starting today, Empire State Development will expand eligibility for the program, enabling more small businesses to access funding by removing the requirement that businesses show a twenty-five percent loss in annual gross receipts from 2019 to 2020. This expansion of eligibility comes in addition to previous program changes to profitability requirements and revenue thresholds, aimed at serving additional small businesses. The program, which will continue to process applications currently in the pipeline, will close as funding winds down on September 30, 2022. 

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The pandemic has had profound impacts on our economy and our small and micro businesses were among the hardest hit, especially in New York State. Supporting our State's small businesses has been a priority of Governor Hochul's administration and the steps taken to expand eligibility and get funding out the door has helped countless businesses stay on track. The $800 million Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program and now the new Seed Funding Grant Program marks unprecedented support for New York State's small businesses and for our economic success moving forward." 

Read the full press release here.