Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program

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The Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program has been developed to support the 2019 Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI), which was created in response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. REDI intends to address the immediate and long-term resiliency needs of these areas while also enhancing economic development opportunities and the health of the lake, and the Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program supports this purpose.

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The Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program will provide up to $30 million in grants to reimburse up to 50% of the costs of resiliency-related capital improvement projects. The minimum award eligibility amount is $10,000 with up to a maximum award amount of $200,000 for resiliency projects undertaken by eligible businesses, not for profit organizations, farms, homeowners associations, and owners of multiple dwellings who are impacted by severe flooding and raised water levels in the vicinity of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. As a condition of receiving a Program grant, eligible entities must also receive a local matching contribution totaling at least 5% of the Program grant.

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Eligible entities include most private businesses, homeowner’s associations, certain not-for-profits, farms and owners of multiple dwellings used for business purposes (such as rental properties) that are located in Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga, Oswego, Jefferson or St. Lawrence Counties and sustained damage from high water levels in the vicinity of Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River between January 1, 2019, and October 31, 2019. Eligible entities that did not sustain damage in 2019 but that nonetheless have a demonstrated vulnerability to future flooding (such as having previously suffered flooding) may also apply for resiliency project funding, but program assistance is not guaranteed.

Eligible capital projects are those that will reduce vulnerability of an identified asset to a risk or risks experienced during the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River high water events (e.g., flooding, erosion), preventing permanent damage and loss of function to the identified asset.

Examples could include but not be limited to:

  • Elevating and/or moving landward, non-water dependent features such as offices, restrooms, stores, restaurants, parking, or boat storage;
  • Elevating critical equipment such as electrical panels, heating and HVAC systems;
  • Raising/relocating fueling facilities;
  • Converting to floating docks or other docks that allow for movement with water levels;
  • Elevating and/or making improvement to fortify building, machinery, equipment, fixtures, and other essential structures against flooding
  • Using flood-proof materials below grade, such as tile or concrete, or filling below grade areas (e.g., replacing below grade carpet flooring with tile flooring); and
  • Septic system reinforcement

Please refer to the program guidelines for more specific eligibility criteria.

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How to Apply

The Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program application and guidelines are available here:

Lake Ontario BRP Application & Guidelines

If your resiliency project has multiple components (Section 4C of the application), additional component-specific pages are available here:

Additional Project Component Pages

When completing an application, you must consult the program guidelines, which contain important program requirements.  Applications must be postmarked by January 31, 2020.

An eligible entity should submit one complete application when all documentation can be established as described in the application.

*NEW* Link to FAQs

*NEW* Link to the December 12, 2019 webinar

For inquiries about the Lake Ontario Business Resiliency Program:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 518-292-5100 (Please reference the program)

For general inquiries about NYS assistance related to Lake Ontario high water:

Email: [email protected]