Business Assistance Resources
Small businesses are the heartbeat of a strong local economy and have played a significant role in Buffalo's economic renaissance, but many of Buffalo’s small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19. Here is a set of resources to help continue our support for our City’s employers during this difficult time.  We appreciate all of our businesses as we continue to work together on our journey to economic recovery in the City of Buffalo.

Business Assistance Updates

New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Find more information HERE.

City of Buffalo Microenterprise Grant Program is Accepting Applications

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In partnership with WEDI, BURA is helping fund heavily impacted businesses with up to $10,000 to minimize long-term hardships resulting from the COVID- 19 pandemic. Businesses can apply for Microenterprise assistance through WEDI.
Click the link below to determine if you are eligible for this funding and for more information on how to apply:
City of Buffalo Microenterprise Grant Program

Sign Up for Reopen Buffalo

Reopen Buffalo is an online resource developed for small businesses and the community. In an effort to enhance communication with small businesses and City Hall, small businesses can sign up for a registry on the Reopen Buffalo webpage to receive key business guidance, new economic development resources, and critical updates related to COVID-19. Businesses will also be featured on our website map and directory.


Business Assistance Resources

Local Resources

ECIDA COVID-19 Disaster Relief PPE Cost-Reimbursement Grant Program
The Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) is pleased to announce the COVID-19 Disaster Relief PPE Cost Reimbursement Grant Program. Small businesses and not-for-profit corporations that are M/WBE certified or located in Highly Distressed Areas (defined by the U.S. Census) 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. 
Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) COVID-19 Disaster Relief Business Loans
The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) (the lending arm of the Erie County Industrial Agency) is currently offering disaster relief business loans to qualified Erie County businesses affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. To apply, please call 716-856-6525, ext. 219
LISC WNY & General Motors Launch Scale Up WNY Business Grant Program
With funding support from General Motors, the ‘Scale Up WNY’ Grant will assist the growth of Black-owned businesses that are under-capitalized, but well positioned for growth. Applications are now open and will close on June 7 th at 11:59pm!
Buffalo Niagara Partnership COVID-19 Resources & Impacts
As the regional chamber of commerce, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is committed to providing employers with the latest information and resources to help you deal with COVID-19 and its impact on business, our community, state and nation.
Buffalo Niagara Partnership's Its Our Job Campaign
"Its Our Job"was launched to encourage continued compliance with guidelines set to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and give small businesses a fighting chance as they claw back from the pandemic. "Its Our Job" Digital Business Kit provides a spectrum of printable signs, social tools and other materials for businesses.
Buffalo Niagara Partnership Business Link
To help employers navigate the reopening of the economy post COVID-19, the Partnership developed BNP Business Link, a question and answer forum for and by the Buffalo Niagara business community.
Please send in your business questions and get expert answers quickly and confidentially.

State Resources

New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Find more information HERE.
New York Forward Loan Fund Now Available to PPP and EIDL Recipients
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 $50,000 or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 of any amount, except for EIDL advance grant of up to $10,000, and small residential landlords.
Empire State Development (ESD) COVID-19 Business Resources
As New York State continually monitors and responds to developments related to COVID-19, ESD is providing up-to-date guidance for the agency’s partners and other stakeholders impacted by the virus.  This is a rapidly changing situation and ESD will be updating the resources below to reflect the latest information available. 
Business Mentor NY COVID-19 Assistance
New York State has partnered with business leaders to create a dedicated group of volunteers across different NYS industries – from law firms to financial professionals – to assist business owners with questions related to the impact of COVID-19 and to provide guidance on the SBA loan applications. The volunteer mentors are ready to assist.


Federal Resources

SBA Launches $100 M Community Navigator Pilot Program
See Press Release HERE
This new initiative will leverage a community navigator approach to reach our nation’s smallest businesses, with a priority focus on those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, as well as women and veterans.
SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund
This program provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19. Applications will open on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon ET. See How to apply for more detail.
Paycheck Protection Program resumed January 11, 2021 
Second Draw PPP Loans are for eligible small businesses with 300 employees or less, that previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will use or have used the full amount only for authorized uses, and that can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. The maximum amount of a Second Draw PPP loan is $2 million.
Updated PPP Lender forms, guidance, and resources are available at www.sba.gov/ppp and www.treasury.gov/cares.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): COVID-19 Relief Options
Our nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Buffalo District Office
The Buffalo District Office's operating area includes the 14 Westernmost counties of New York State. The District Office located in the state's second most populous City of Buffalo, has a full service Branch in the state's third most populous City of Rochester. The two offices are well located so as to provide maximum assistance to the industrial cities in which located plus surrounding suburban communities and the rural counties of the District.
SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance
SBA resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing those applications on a first-come, first-served basis. On June 15, SBA began accepting new EIDL and EIDL Advance applications from qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses.
Employee Retention Tax Credit
UPDATE: New law extends COVID tax credit for employers who keep workers on payroll
Main Street Lending Program
The Federal Reserve established the Main Street Lending Program to enhance support for small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis by offering 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion.


Additional Resources

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Survival Guide: All Our Content In One Place
The coronavirus is causing financial difficulties for businesses across the U.S. Here is a complete listing of all of our coronavirus resources for small businesses. One way or another, coronavirus has likely impacted your business — for better or worse. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been busy creating content to help you through this challenging time. It is organized here by category to help you easily navigate through it all.
2020 Business Loan Guide by Digital.com
Digital.com has compiled this comprehensive business loan guide to assist small businesses and startups find the best business loans for their situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reopening Guidance

New York Forward Reopening Reference Guide
To implement the new CDC guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, New York State has revising the reopening guidelines below effective May 19. Find more details on New York State implementing the CDC guidance
New York Forward Website
NY Forward has information outlining the regionally and industry-based reopening process. Western New York businesses can consult resources on the site to prepare for reopening. We recommend using the Reopen Tool Lookup through which businesses can input their County and NAICS code to determine whether or not they are eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which they must comply.
Reopen Buffalo 
Reopen Buffalo enables businesses and consumers to see critical reopened business information, including hours of operation, services offered, contact information, etc. Additionally, Reopen Buffalo serves as a communication tool between businesses and City Hall, providing businesses with the latest information about the COVID-19 emergency and the City of Buffalo’s response to adequately restore economic activity swiftly and responsibly. 


Reopening Guidance by Business Type

Restaurants

The 12 a.m. food and beverage curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining areas beginning May 17 and for indoor dining areas beginning May 31. 
New York State Restaurant Association: COVID-19 Reopening Information and Resources


Barbershops and Salons

National Association of Barbers: How to Prepare to Return to Your Shop
Professional Beauty Association: Back-to-Work Guidelines

Manufacturing

Center for Disease Control and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Interim Guidance for Manufacturing Workers and Employees


Construction

Occupation Health and Safety Administration: COVID-19 Construction Guidelines (Web Link)
Occupation Health and Safety Administration: COVID-19 Construction Guidelines (PDF)


Gyms and Fitness Centers

Gyms and fitness centers statewide can increase capacity to 50% beginning May 15.
The 11 p.m. curfew in place for gyms and fitness centers was lifted April 5. 

Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

FDA is sharing information about best practices to operate retail food stores, restaurants, and associated pick-up and delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard workers and consumers.