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1,399 businesses receive assistance as part of Erie County Back to Business Grant Program

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Posted at 1:38 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 13:38:06-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — More than 1,300 small businesses in Erie County received assistance as part of the Erie County Back to Business Grant Program.

A final report on the program was issued Monday. 1,399 small businesses in Erie County received approximately $19.2 million in direct financial assistance from the U.S. CARES Act through a partnership between Erie County and 43 North.

Erie County small businesses with 50 or fewer employees were eligible to apply for the program. Officials say the program prioritized businesses that had not received COVID-related aid, minority and women-owned businesses, businesses in highly-distressed zip codes, and businesses looking hire or bring back furloughed/laid off employees.

5,022 applications were completed for the program and 2,882 were deemed eligible for consideration. 1,399 businesses in 60 Erie County zip codes ultimately received direct financial assistance through the program.

“The Back to Business grant program provided an opportunity to help Erie County-based small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and while nearly $20 million in critical funding was invested in almost 1,400 local businesses, a great need for more federal assistance remains,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I thank my economic team, led by Deputy County Executive Maria Whyte, and the team at 43North for the tremendous work they did in administering this grant program and for helping to get millions of dollars to local small businesses in a matter of weeks. While the current administration in Washington has left so much work to be done to help small businesses, I will continue to articulate the need to the incoming Biden administration.”

Below are some statistics provided by the county on those who received assistance:

  • 80% of grantees had lost more than 25% of their annual revenue due to COVID at the time of their application;
  • 35% had lost more than 50% of their annual revenue;
  • 43% of awardees did not receive any PPP relief funding;
  • 59% of grant recipients are women-owned businesses;
  • 47% of grant recipients are located in distressed or highly-distressed zip codes; and
  • 30% of grantees are minority-owned businesses.

The county says restaurants and food service establishments received the highest number of grants with 271. 208 grants were awarded to salons, spas, nail salons and barber shops.

You can find the full list of businesses that received assistance below.