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GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN FOR $800 MILLION COVID-19 PANDEMIC SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY GRANT PROGRAM

For Immediate Release: 6/10/2021GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN FOR $800 MILLION COVID-19 PANDEMIC SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY GRANT PROGRAM

Small Businesses Experiencing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19 Can Now Apply for Grants of Up to $50,000

Governor Proposed Legislation Waiving Taxes on Grants

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that applications are now open for the $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. The program reimburses New York small businesses with grants of up to $50,000 for COVID-related expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021. Grants will be awarded to small and micro businesses and small for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations, with priority being given to socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, including minority- and women-owned business enterprises, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses, and businesses located in economically distressed communities.

“Small businesses are one of the most critical components of New York’s economy and were disproportionately impacted by the economic devastation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we build New York back better than it was before, this program will help these small businesses -particularly those with socially or economically disadvantaged owners -regain an economic foothold so they can forge ahead toward a brighter, more prosperous future.” 

More than 330,000 small and micro businesses are potentially eligible for this program, including 57 percent of the state’s certified MWBEs. The application site for the program will be poweredby Lendistry, a minority-led Community Development Financial Institution. The state will also be launching an ad campaign to promote this program to small businesses, as well as an array of other pandemic recovery programs.

Grants will be for a minimum award of $5,000 and a maximum award of $50,000 and will be calculated based on a New York State business’ annual gross receipts for 2019. Reimbursable COVID-19 related expenses must have been incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021 and can include:

·         Payroll costs

·         Commercial rent or mortgage payments for NYS-based property

·         Payment of local property or school taxes

·         Insurance costs

·         Utility costs

·         Costs of personal protection equipment necessary to protect worker and consumer health and safety

·         Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning cost

·         Other machinery or equipment costs

·         Supplies and materials necessary for compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols

On June 8, Governor Cuomo proposed legislation to waive taxes on grants from the COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. ESD has created a website —NYSBusinessRecovery.ny.gov —to highlight the various resources available to support small businesses seeking pandemic relief. The website will be continuously updated as more details and funding information become available.

The Empire State Development Board of Directors approved $10 million in technical assistance grants for New York’s statewide entrepreneurship assistance centers, small business development centers, and 26 additional community organizations and chambers of commerce to help small businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations secure COVID-related financial assistance and grants available through existing state and federal programs.

This network of service providers will work directly with small businesses, guiding them through available funding sources and helping them navigate the application process. Recognizing that pandemic-induced economic hardship has disproportionately affected micro and small businesses, and that application processes can be difficult to navigate -especially due to a language barrier -the partners will use these funds to hire or contract more staff for one-on-one, direct counseling services.

Education materials and applications will be offered in 12 languages in addition to English. This support, along with increased technical assistance staffing, will position these providers to better assist businesses and organizations in applying for funding through the New York State’s COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program, the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, or any other available federal economic recovery program, catalyzing our state and local economies as more businesses and communities reopen.

Key provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act (March 9, 2021)

Key provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act (March 9, 2021)

State and Local Aid

The funding must be distributed quickly, though it will not all be disbursed at one time. Treasury and states are given 60 days to distribute funds in the first tranche, with additional funds to be made available in 1 year, pending TBD conditions are met. Funding in ARPA can be used to combat COVID-19 and also cover revenue shortfalls, as well as investments in infrastructure. Costs must be incurred by December 31, 2024, to be eligible.

·         $195 billion for states and DC

·         $130 billion for local governments

·         $20 billion for tribal governments

·         $4.5 billion for territories 

Unemployment 

The extension and amount of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation was a contentious issue that almost tanked the bill. In the end, the Senate agreed to keep the supplemental payments at their current level and extended the program by an additional week.

·         Federal supplemental UI: $300 per week through September 6, 2021 (were set to expire on March 14)

·         Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) extended to 79 weeks from 50, which aids workers who otherwise do not qualify for UI

·         Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation extended to 53 weeks from 24 for workers who have exhausted all other benefits

·         COBRA premiums are subsidized at 100%

SBA-related Initiatives 

·         Restaurant Revitalization Fund established with $28.6 billion in funding for restaurants, caterers, food trucks, and bars

·         Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) receive an additional $15 billion

·         State-Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) is revived with $10 billion in new funding, to be distributed by no later than September 30, 2030

·         501(c)(5) (unions), 501(c)(7) (social clubs), and 501(c)(8) (fraternal groups) are eligible for PPP loans, and the size of eligible 501(c)(3) groups has been increased to 500 employees; $7.5 billion in additional funding will be made available

Transportation

·         $30 billion in grants for transit agencies

·         $8 billion for airport authorities

·         $3 billion for aviation manufactures; payroll support program with retention requirements; cannot have used other assistance, such as PPP

Education

·         $40 billion for higher education

·         $123 billion for K-12

·         $135 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities

National Park Service invites public input on Finger Lakes National Heritage Area Feasibility Study

NEW YORK STATE — The National Park Service invites public input on a study to determine the feasibility of designating the Finger Lakes region of New York as a national heritage area. The 90-day comment period for the Finger Lakes National Heritage Area Feasibility Study will extend from March 1 to June 1, 2021. More information about the study is available at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/FingerLakes.

“Input from the public regarding the creation of a national heritage area in the Finger Lakes is critical to the study process. We also hope to learn more about the region from the people who know it best,” said Allen Cooper, regional chief of planning, National Park Service. “The information, interest and inquiries we receive from the public help inform our work as we assess the Finger Lakes as a potential National Heritage Area.”

The Finger Lakes National Heritage Area Feasibility Study was authorized by the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019, which directed the Secretary of the Interior to evaluate the natural, historic, cultural, educational, and recreational resources of the Finger Lakes. The study will assess if it is nationally worthy of recognition, conservation, interpretation, and continuing use; through designation as a national heritage area.

The legislation identified the following counties to be considered as part of the study: Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates. The feasibility study will also assess the demonstrated support of the community including businesses, residents, nonprofit organizations, and appropriate local, state and federal agencies.

The study’s assessment, along with any recommendations from the Secretary of the Interior, will be reported to Congress. The study will assess the region’s unique and important American stories, how they can be experienced by the general public, and how a potential new national heritage area would be organized by a coordinating entity, if one were to be designated by Congress. The study is expected to run through 2023.

For more, please click this document.

“Raising the Bar” Restaurant Recovery Funds

Empire State Development (ESD) recently announced more than $3 million in “Raising the Bar” Restaurant Recovery Funds to assist restaurants in New York State during the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant funding has been made possible through financial donations led by Diageo North America and supported by Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits (a division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits) and will be implemented by the non-profit National Development Council (NDC). The “Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund” will help eligible restaurants adjust their operations to the impacts of COVID-19 and adherence to New York State’s public health and safety measures during the winter months when outdoor dining is limited.

Applications will open January 11, 2021. For more information, please see: https://esd.ny.gov/raising-bar-restaurant-recovery-fund

Community COVID Briefing

Join Tim O’Hearn, SCOPED Executive Director Judy Cherry, Public Health Director Deborah Minor, and Schuyler Hospital CEO Rebecca Gould. We will provide updates on current statistics and status, vaccination protocols, and information on recently adopted federal stimulus programs. There will be ample time allowed for community feedback and questions.

Join Zoom Meeting 1/7/2021 @ 3pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81196326743?pwd=SjZ3VWo5WU4zS29zNVgvemc3RzhDdz09

Meeting ID: 811 9632 6743

Passcode: 931473

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Update on PPP

Expenses Paid for with PPP Loan Funds are Now Deductible
After many months of debate and consternation, Congress has finally
overridden the guidance issued by the IRS and Secretary Mnuchin
regarding deducibility of expenses paid for with PPP loan funds.
The Relief Act states “no deduction shall be denied, no tax
attribute shall be reduced, and no basis increase shall be denied,
by reason of the exclusion from gross income provided by” Section 7A
of the Small Business Act (formerly Section 1106 of the CARES Act).
In other words, subject to The Relief Act being signed into law by
the President or an override by Congress of a veto, the PPP expenses
that were paid with the proceeds of a forgiven loan will be tax
deductible for federal income tax purposes.

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