$350k in grants announced for Downtown Albany and Central Avenue small businesses

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Small business left to pick up pieces in downtown Albany

Small business left to pick up pieces in downtown Albany.

ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — Applications are now open for $350,000 in grants are available to support repairs and reopening. These programs—specifically for businesses financially impacted by the pandemic or vandalized on May 30—are to augment local, state, and federal resources.

The Downtown Albany and Central Avenue Business Improvement Districts made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that small businesses—like non-profits, restaurants, shops, and personal care services—should apply directly through individual Business Improvement Districts.

After months of pandemic hardships, multiple industries are reopening under Phase 3. In a Goldman Sachs survey of 1,500 small business owners from mid-March, 96% already felt the effects in mid-March.

“It has been a long road, but our business owners are resilient, and Downtown is already coming back stronger.”

Georgette Steffens
executive director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District

Grants from the Downtown Albany BID of up to $3,000 each will take the form of one-time, forgivable loans, funded by the $250,000 Business Stabilization Grant. Awards will be based on factors like program priorities, availability of funds, and number of employees. Eligible uses for funds will include:

  • Technology upgrades
  • Implementing delivery services, contactless payment, or online sales
  • New marketing strategies
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Replacing perishable goods
  • Interior installations to meet state reopening guidelines
  • Repairs caused by vandalism during demonstrations

Grants from the Central Avenue BID—totaling $100,000 from the Carl E. Touhey Foundation—will go to minority-owned businesses. Call Ronda Shayne at (518) 462-4300, or send an email with questions about Central Ave. Funds are meant to help businesses with:

  • Design, repair, deposits, and materials assistance to replace facades
  • Signage repair and replacement
  • Recapturing insurance deductibles
  • Emergency needs or repairs
  • Personal protective equipment, supplies, and installations

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