Governor Hochul Announces Over $500 Million in Pandemic Relief Distributed to Nearly 29,000 Small Businesses Statewide

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that nearly 29,000 small and micro businesses across New York State have received more than $500 million in grants through the Business Recovery Grant Program. small businesses in the event of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was created to provide flexible financial assistance to small businesses, micro-businesses, and independent, for-profit arts and cultural organizations in New York State that have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy, and to truly recover from the COVID-19 crisis, our small businesses need a helping hand,” Governor Hochul said. “It is imperative that we continue to transfer funds efficiently and quickly so that businesses can get back on their feet and resume operations.”

Governor Hochul is committed to continuing to support small businesses. She advanced a proposal to provide up to $200 million to support small start-ups to ensure their long-term success as New York recovers from the effects of COVID-19.

Hope Knight, Acting Empire State Development Commissioner and President and CEO Designate, said: “ESD’s Small Business COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Grant Program has been a lifeline for our small businesses to gradually get back on their feet. We have worked hard to get this funding where it needs to be. is most needed and I am grateful for the support of Governor Hochul and also for all of New York’s small business owners who work every day to rebuild our economy.”

Micro businesses, those with ten or fewer employees, received 98% of these awards, and women-owned or minority-owned businesses received 90% of the awards. These are the businesses that have been hardest hit by the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and often have the least access to resources. The average scholarship is around $17,425.

In August last year, Governor Hochul expanded the program to include companies with revenues up to $2.5 million from $500,000 and also increased the limit for companies that received loans. from the federal Paycheck Protection Program from $100,000 to $250,000, which has allowed thousands more small businesses to apply for the funding.

Funding is still available for the program. One-on-one assistance, webinars, a call center that has already logged nearly 295,000 calls, and materials in 14 languages ​​are examples of support available through Empire State Development, to help small businesses access this critical funding.

To learn more about this and other COVID-19 relief programs, visit Empire State Development has a network of partner organizations that provide instruction, training, technical assistance, and support services to entrepreneurs and small businesses across the state that will provide assistance with grant applications and New York State and Federal Pandemic Relief Loans. For more information, visit

State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said: “So many of our state’s small businesses have barely survived the challenges of the pandemic, and the path forward remains uncertain as we navigate a recovery that isn’t as simple as any of us think. Programs like the Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program have been critical in keeping the doors open to thousands of small businesses across the state, but more needs to be done to get funds into the hands of those still struggling to get by. It’s time to expand this program to reach even more small businesses, and we need to embrace Governor Hochul’s proposal to support newly created small businesses trying to get started.”

Assemblyman Al Stirpe said: “As a former small business owner, I know how difficult it is to turn an idea into a successful business in normal times, let alone a global pandemic and unprecedented economic hardship. the COVID-19 pandemic small business relaunch has been a critical part of New York’s pandemic response, providing assistance to micro businesses and MWBEs as well as those who were ineligible federal assistance or who needed additional support. As chair of the Assembly’s Small Business Committee, I met directly with business owners across the state to help create a grants that directly addresses their most pressing needs. The grant program has reached an important milestone and I look forward to seeing more eligible businesses use this grant program vi tal, including those located in economically disadvantaged areas. I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her continued support of our state’s business community on the road to recovery and her renewed commitment to strengthening sp irit entrepreneurship in our state. However, our work is far from done. I will continue to work with heads of state and stakeholders to help provide further relief to struggling businesses in the 2022-23 state budget. »

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s main economic development agency ( ESD’s mission is to promote a strong and growing economy, encourage the creation of new jobs and economic opportunities, increase state and municipal revenues, and achieve stable local economies. and diversified. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD works to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support thriving communities in New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing New York State’s Regional Economic Development Boards and the marketing of “I LOVE NY”, the state’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on regional councils and Empire State Development, visit and

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