Albany County officials and community partners create $500,000 grant program for small businesses

Albany County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In a press conference Wednesday, the Albany County Legislature and the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region announced the creation of a $500,000 grant program, the largest created in the Capital Region to help small businesses heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Business owners can begin applying for the grants beginning Jan. 4.

“When our small businesses suffer, our whole community suffers, and COVID isn’t letting up any time soon. Their struggles can be seen in our most recent sales tax reports: Albany County has lost more than $21 million this year compared to the same period in 2019. That is critical funding for the programs and services that lift up our residents. This $500,000 grant program being spearheaded by the County Legislature is another important tool in our arsenal to ensure more of our local establishments are able to survive until we have a widely distributed vaccine,” said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.

Businesses will have two weeks to apply for the grants, which will be up to $5,000 to assist in paying up to two months of back rent, up to two weeks of perishable goods, and/or expenses related to retrofitting the business for COVID-19 such as personal protective equipment, contactless purchasing, online ordering services, and more.

To be eligible, applicants must be a sales-tax-generating for-profit business, with no more than 50 employees and located within Albany County. The business must also show that its revenue has decreased by at least 25 percent due to COVID-19 and how the current COVID-19 economic conditions make the grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the business.

“When it comes down to it, what is needed is grant funding for these small businesses. They do not need to take on additional debt, they need grants in order to survive,” said Executive Director of the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region Linda MacFarlane.

Applications will be available at the Community Loan Fund website.

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