Erie County announces $20 million relief fund for qualifying small businesses

Posted at 4:12 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 18:06:44-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — County Executive Mark Poloncarz joined 43North and others to on Tuesday to announce the Erie County Back to Business Grant Program. It's a financial relief program targeting small businesses affected by COVID-19.

"We will be providing up to $20 million dollars in small business assistance grants," said Poloncarz.

The pandemic decimated many businesses, others are on the verge of closing.

Through CARES Act funding, qualifying small businesses can get financial assistance.

"The program will emphasize diversity and need in the distribution of funds, prioritizing those businesses that have yet to receive any funds," said Poloncarz.

It also prioritizes businesses in highly distressed zip codes, those looking to bring back furloughed and laid off employees, and minority and women-owned businesses.

Like Barbara Glover's School of Dance.

"It's been very challenging trying to figure out how to and if I can survive," said Glover. "This program will provide a little relief and a fighting chance for the business to survive."

"I'm a product of Miss Barbara's dance school," said Legislator April Baskin. "Small businesses are the bedrock of our community, they provide goods and services, they employ our family members and our neighbors, and help to find our community's identity."

Eligible applicants can receive between $10,000 and $45,000 depending on how many workers they have.

Small businesses are encouraged to start applying right away, the deadline to apply is November 2. To find out how to apply, click here.