State & Local Grant and Aid Programs
New York State
New York Forward Loan Fund
The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small residential landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE. It offers five-year working capital loans of up to $100,000 to eligible applicants.
The NYFLF is providing working capital loans so that small businesses, nonprofits and small residential landlords have access to credit as they reopen. These loans are available to small businesses and nonprofits that did not receive a U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program of greater than $500,000 or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 of greater than $150,000, and small landlords. The loans are not forgivable in part or whole. The loans will need to be paid back over a 5-year term with interest.
Loan proceeds are required to be used for working capital, inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities, rent, supplies, etc. Refinancing of an existing loan is not permitted.
Pre-application consists of fifteen simple questions and submission of supporting documentation to a matched lender. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please visit the Empire State Development website or review the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on the NYFLF.
Erie County, NY
In response to the economic challenges faced by Erie County, NY businesses due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency is offering several economic relief programs:
ECIDA COVID Impact Loan Program
Erie County businesses may apply for a 1% interest COVID Impact Loan ranging from $25,000 to $250,000, through the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), the lending arm of the ECIDA. No payments are due for the first year, with interest-only payments the second year.
- Businesses must be for-profit and have fewer than 50 employees
- Retail shops and restaurants may apply
- Loan may be used for working capital purposes (i.e., accounts payable, payroll, rent, insurance, utilities)
- Bank decline letter not required
ECIDA COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Grant Program
The Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) is sponsoring the COVID-19 Disaster Relief PPE Cost Reimbursement Grant Program. Small businesses and not-for-profit corporations that are located in Highly Distressed Areas (defined by the U.S. Census), or that are Minority Owned, Women-Owned or Veteran Owned, may be eligible for up to $10,000 in reimbursement for the costs of acquiring personal protective equipment or installing fixtures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Small Businesses and Not-for-Profit Corporations located in communities served by their own municipal IDAs (Amherst | Clarence | Concord | Hamburg | Lancaster) are not eligible to participate within the Erie County IDA COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Grant Program. Please contact your local IDA if you are located in one of these communities.
Eligible small business and small not-for-profit corporations with no more than 50 employees, that are located in a Highly Distressed Area with Erie County, NY, who were operational (generally for one year) and financially viable prior to the state disaster emergency declaration (March 7, 2020) and can attest that the business has been negatively affected by the state disaster emergency are eligible for the grant program.
Have additional questions? Learn more about the program on the FAQ page
ECIDA COVID-19 Sales Tax Abatement
The Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) is offering a sales tax abatement to qualified Erie County businesses who have been affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. The abatement can be up for up to $100,000 in sales tax savings for the purchase of non-production equipment.
Sales tax incentives are available at low cost, with no ECIDA fees or public hearing required, as well as reduced legal fees. Companies must be eligible under ECIDA standard eligibility requirements (manufacturers, warehouse distribution, back offices) and meet ECIDA standard incentive requirements.
Please review the COVID-19 Sales Tax Abatement Term Sheet for more information on this program.
RDC COVID-19 Disaster Relief Loan
CLOSED ON DEC. 31, 2020
The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) – the lending arm of the Erie County Industrial Agency (ECIDA) – is currently offering disaster relief business loans to qualified Erie County businesses affected by the COVID-19 shutdown.
Loans are at a fixed interest rate of 2.5% with up to 12 months interest-only payment period, through ECIDA lending affiliate RDC. Fees would be limited to out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. legal fees). Loans of $10,000 to $50,000 are available for eligible small businesses.
Erie County Back to Business Grant Program
CLOSED ON NOV. 2, 2020
The Erie County Back to Business Grant Program is a $20 million relief fund offering direct financial assistance to qualifying Erie County-based small businesses.
Eligible businesses include for-profit only sole proprietorships, C & S corporations, LLCs and LLPs that are formally established, and have been in continuous operation since at least October 1, 2019. These businesses must be based in Erie County, NY and the founder/CEO and 90% of the staff must be located in the region.
The business must have generated less than $7.5 million in revenue in 2019, and employ 50 or fewer W-2-based full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Businesses muse be able to provide evidence of a significant loss of gross revenue, or a reduced level of production, sales, employment or service due to COVID-19 (25% or more of its pre-coronavirus business).
Sole proprietors can receive a maximum grant amount of $10,000, while businesses with 2-25 employees can receive a maximum grant amount of $25,000, and businesses with 26-50 employees can receive a maximum grant of $45,000. Up to $20 million of grants will be distributed.
Applications must be submitted by November 2, 2020.
Have additional questions? Learn more about the program on the FAQ page
Visit Empire State Development’s (ESD) Economic Recovery and COVID-19 Loans for Small Businesses website for information and resources about NYS economic recovery and COVID-19-related loans and funding.
Click on the links below for other Western New York IDA websites for contact information for local officials and information on potential COVID-19 relief programs sponsored by these local agencies.
Additional COVID-19 business aid resources:
» Empire State Digital – Connecting NYS-based small businesses with new customers, broader markets and bigger opportunities
For more information on Federal, state and local relief measures, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Center on our website. If you have any questions, please contact your Tronconi Segarra & Associates advisor or a member of our response team at
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