Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund

***Closed — not accepting additional applications***

In an effort to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund offers ​approximately $3 million in reimbursement grants for up to $5,000 to eligible businesses. The program is intended to support full-service restaurants – the industry hit hardest by the pandemic – during the winter months when outdoor dining is limited and as restaurants adjust to New York State’s COVID-19 safety restrictions and new mandates. 

The Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund is a partnership between New York State, Diageo Wine & Spirits, Southern Glazer Wines & Spirits and The National Development Council (NDC). Grant funding will be managed by The National Development Council (NDC).

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To qualify for the program, an establishment must: 

  • Be full-service restaurants (NAICS code 722511), or establishments engaged in providing food services and meals prepared on-premises to patrons who traditionally order and are served while seated (i.e., waiter/waitress service), including on-premises food and drinking establishments licensed through the State Liquor Authority (SLA).  Establishments providing take out or grab and go food services due to COVID-19 restrictions are also eligible; 
  • Franchises are not eligible;
  • Have no more than $3 million in 2019 revenue; 
  • Be located in New York State; 
  • Have been in operation on or before March 1, 2019; 
  • Certify and demonstrate that they have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 
  • Agree to comply with all applicable New York State and local reopening guidance and COVID-19 health and safety policies, including the New York Forward reopening guidance and Cluster Action Initiative guidance, as well as SLA and DOH regulations.
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Grant Information

  • Maximum $5,000 grant 
  • Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) are encouraged to apply. 


Per the New York Forward reopening guidance, an "outdoor space" is defined as an open-air space designated for the consumption of food and/or beverage, which may have a temporary or fixed cover (e.g. awning or roof) so long as such cover has at least two open sides for airflow. Within such outdoor space, all tables with seats must be at least six feet from any other table, seat, patron, or pedestrian thoroughfare or corridor; provided, however, if a bar or restaurant seeks to use contiguous public space (e.g. sidewalk) pursuant to Executive Order 202.38, the applicable local municipality, if allowing such usage, may determine alternative spacing of tables from pedestrian thoroughfares or corridors upon a consideration of the volume of pedestrian traffic on sidewalks, availability of sidewalk space, and avoidance of unnecessary congestion, or alternatively, the local municipality may require the bar or restaurant to erect a physical barrier of at least five feet in height if six feet of distance cannot be maintained between tables and a pedestrian thoroughfare or corridor.

In accordance with the State's Cluster Action Initiative, restaurants located in Yellow and Orange Zones are subject to additional restrictions, and restaurants located in Red Zones may offer only take-out and delivery. 

Allowable Uses of Grant funds: 

Grants are supplied on a reimbursement basis.  Improvements/equipment that will allow the business to comply with social distancing guidelines, and/or expand take-out/delivery operations, or accommodate outdoor dining (e.g., plexiglass barriers/partitions, signage promoting social distancing/hygiene protocols, heaters, heat lamps, weatherization upgrades, insulated delivery bags).   Improvements that will allow the business to continue operating through the winter months (e.g., filtration system upgrades, food heaters to maintain temperature for to-go orders).  Purchase of PPE and sanitation supplies.  COVID-19 related business improvements like patio heaters or contactless technology.  Purchases and expenditures must be from September 1, 2020 onwards to be eligible. 

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How to Apply

  • Restaurants can apply to the Rising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund starting Monday, January 11, 2021.  
  • The online application can be found at: nysrestaurantrecovery.fluxx.io as well as at the Diageo, Southern Glazer and NDC webpages.   
  • The online grant portal may close temporarily should the number of applications exceed funding availability.  If grant funding remains available due to the exclusion of ineligible applications, the online grant portal will be reopened following an announcement by the Empire State Development.  
  • To apply, applicants will need the following required documents:
    • Current Government-issued photo ID for every owner of 20% or more
    • 2019 Federal Business Tax Returns
    • 2020 Year-to-Date Income Statement
    • Copy of SLA License
    • List and proof of eligible reimbursable COVID-19 response related expenses incurred since 9/1/2020 (If a capital expense please include receipts for equipment, labor and/or construction) 
  • Any program announcements and/or updates will be posted to the ESD website.