ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – One hundred and thirty-two small businesses in Albany County won grant funding through the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force small business grant program. The grant program was created in December 2020 to help with financial burdens caused by the pandemic.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy and have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporting these 132 businesses through the county’s grant program in their time of need is an investment to preserve the vitality of our neighborhoods for the future. The grant recipients represent a significant percentage of the County’s employment base and have suffered greatly through no fault of their own,” Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said. “Hopefully these grants will serve as a stop-gap until the next round of stimulus funding from the Federal Government is available to them.”

At McCoy’s COVID briefing Thursday morning, Andrew Joyce—Chairman of the Albany County Legislature—and Linda MacFarlane—Executive Director of the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region—were on hand to announce that applicants had been selected for the grants, worth up to $5,000 each.

“What we did was make the most significant investment in relief for small businesses in the Capital Region in the wake of this devastating pandemic,” Joyce said. “We hope to do more in the near future. This is local government at its finest.”

Applications were ranked based on need, the percent of revenues lost through COVID, and whether they’d received previous federal or grant funding. They also tracked minority and women-owned businesses and immigration and veteran status. Sixty percent of the recipients are minority- and/or women-owned businesses. They all met the eligibility requirements, including:

  • Albany County location
  • Generating sales tax
  • Demonstrating 25% or more in revenue losses
  • Having under 50 employees
  • Not a chain

Winning businesses will be informed on Friday, with a complete listing posted on the Albany County Legislature website. Funding goes toward up to two months of back rent, up to two weeks of perishable goods, and/or expenses for retrofitting the business with personal protective equipment, contactless payment portals, and online ordering.

“Every day, we hear from people who are at risk of losing their livelihoods to this pandemic,” said MacFarlane. “They are hard-working men and women who have made enormous sacrifices to build their businesses up, and now, through no fault of their own, they are right on the edge of losing everything.”

The grant program is administered through the Advance Albany County Alliance Local Development Corporation and the Community Loan Fund, who helped process the 268 or so applications.