The Lake Ontario Small Business Recovery Fund

Deadline to apply is Dec. 31

This past spring all eyes were on the Lake Ontario shoreline, where the highest water levels in a century – accompanied by high winds -- created waves that smashed into and flooded homes and businesses.

The damage was so widespread – across eight counties -- that Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency on May 2. Twenty members of the National Guard were deployed and a Lake Ontario Response Team was created with experts from many state agencies including the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, State Police and others. More than 350,000 sandbags were also deployed to help hold back the rising water.

Despite this immediate response, businesses and homeowners were still hit hard.  Small businesses saw structural damage, the washing away of shoreline property and a loss of revenue due to lack of customers.

On July 6, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to provide relief to the affected communities, including a $15 million Lake Ontario Small Business Recovery Fund to be administered by Empire State Development.

The fund provides grants of up to $50,000 to eligible small business, not-for-profit organizations, farms and homeowners associations and up to $20,000 to eligible owners of multiple dwellings who experienced direct physical flood-related damage and other losses due to the flooding.

Applications from small businesses are currently being reviewed; the application deadline for those who have not applied yet is Dec. 31, 2017. Click here to visit the Lake Ontario Small Business Recovery Fund program page on ESD’s website and to find full application materials, contact details and deadlines.