$10 million in funding available to support small businesses, nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 pandemic
The Westchester County Office of Economic Development is now accepting applications for the Westchester County Business FIRST grant program, a $10 million initiative designed to support small businesses and nonprofits facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Applications will be accepted through September 30, 2020.
“Managing a business is difficult enough in ‘normal’ times, but the added challenges caused by the pandemic are devastating for many organizations,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “The Westchester County Business FIRST grant program will help organizations get back on their feet and back to recovering their businesses.”
Westchester County Business FIRST: Financial Investments for Recovery and a Sustainable Tomorrow is a new grant program designed to offer immediate financial relief to organizations in Westchester County that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Businesses and nonprofits with 99 or fewer employees may qualify for up to $49,000 to cover expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, employee salaries or benefits, working capital, equipment and other COVID-19-related expenses.
The Westchester County Business FIRST grant program is being administered by the County Office of Economic Development through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“Westchester County is investing in our small businesses and nonprofits today for a better tomorrow,” said Bridget Gibbons, Westchester County’s Director of Economic Development. “The Westchester County Business FIRST grant program will help restore financial resiliency in Westchester County and get our economy back on track.”
To be eligible, organizations must be in good standing with Westchester County and are required to demonstrate revenue losses of at least 25 percent from March 7, 2020 to present due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The applicant must establish that the organization was a financially viable operation prior to March 7, 2020, the date Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 202 declaring a disaster emergency. The organization must have been open as of Feb. 1, 2020, currently be in operation, or closed temporarily and plan to reopen for business in 2020.
Certain entities are not eligible to apply for the Westchester County Business FIRST grant, including units of government; real estate holding companies, businesses or nonprofits that generate revenue through passive real estate; adult entertainment establishments; gas stations; and businesses or nonprofits that have defaulted on federal debt, including loans from the Small Business Administration.
For more information on the application process, visit https://westchestercatalyst.com/business-first-programs/grants/