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New Grant Program to Provide Assistance to City of Albany Small Businesses With Reopening and Adapting Operations

August 10, 2020

For Immediate Release: August 10, 2020
Media Contact: Michael Bohne, APR – (518) 434-2532 Ext. 23


ALBANY, NY – City of Albany small businesses impacted by the ongoing pandemic that need assistance in covering costs related to operating in accordance with health and safety requirements can apply for funding from a new grant program starting today at www.CapitalizeAlbany.com/grants.

The new COVID-19 Small Business Adaptation Program (SBAP) is made possible with support from the Albany Community Development Agency (ACDA), and City of Albany Industrial Development Agency. The program will be administered by Capitalize Albany Corporation and will prioritize minority and women-owned businesses and those that serve low-to-moderate-income areas.

Eligible applicants may apply for up to $10,000 and eligible disadvantaged business enterprises (minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses) may apply for up to $20,000 in direct reimbursement grants. These grants can cover the costs of personal-protective-equipment (PPE) as well as costs related to fixtures, furniture and equipment (FFE), and additional non-PPE expenditures necessary to help businesses meet health and safety requirements to mitigate the spread of the virus and reopen or operate successfully.

“As we continue to navigate the reopening process, businesses face challenges in protecting customers and workers alike in accordance with new public health regulations,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “It’s crucial that we are able to use every tool at our disposal to ensure that businesses across the City can operate in the safest and most efficient way possible, and this new program will contribute to that effort.”

The application window will be open Aug. 10 and Capitalize Albany will begin accepting pre-applications. Up to $500,000 in grant resources will be made available. All applicants must complete the pre-application questionnaire prior to completing the full application to be eligible for funding. Applications will be available starting Aug. 18, and applicants must submit completed full applications by 4 p.m. on Sept.18.

The ACDA has allocated U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant - Coronavirus Funding (CDBG-CV) to the program¬, which will be leveraged by City of Albany IDA emergency funding. In order to exhaust these available resources additional rounds of this grant program are anticipated.

“I commend the community partners, and Albany Mayor Sheehan – who came together to create yet another innovative grant program to assist our struggling small businesses,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “Moreover, the funds dispersed by the Small Business Adaption Program (SBAP) will target small businesses in our historically disadvantaged communities and help them to afford personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizer, and more to help keep their doors open during COVID-19. As we’ve seen throughout the Capital Region – our small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities.”

“Small businesses and nonprofits of all types are experiencing large scale changes related to operating in accordance with new COVID- 19 health and safety requirements. As a small business owner, I have seen this firsthand,” said Assemblymember John T. McDonald III. “We must be proactive about addressing the impact of this pandemic and assist small businesses to navigate this unprecedented economic climate. Thank you to the City of Albany and Capitalize Albany Corporation for their continued efforts. These grants are an important tool that can help Albany businesses.”

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods and during this pandemic they are struggling to adapt and survive, so we in government must do all we can to help them," said Albany County 5th District Legislator Matthew Peter. "I'm grateful to Mayor Kathy Sheehan, the Albany Community Development Agency and Capitalize Albany for creating a grant program that will help small businesses in my district and throughout the City continue to innovate while protecting their staff and customers."

"This program will provide important financial assistance to small businesses as we continue to move forward in the reopening of our economy,” said 6th Ward Albany Common Council Member Richard Conti. “These are businesses which are the backbone of our neighborhoods, contributing to quality of life and community vibrancy. It's important we provide the support and assistance they need."

“Local businesses need ongoing support and resources as they continue to navigate a fast-changing landscape as a result of the pandemic and this new grant program will help fill that need,” said Albany Community Development Agency director Faye Andrews. “We recognize that safeguarding public health is critical to keeping the economy afloat and hope that business owners take advantage of this opportunity as they work to meet the daily challenge of protecting their employees and customers.”

Under a bill recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, during the period that Executive Order 202 of 2020, as amended, is in effect, IDAs across the state can use reserve funds to help eligible businesses and not-for-profit corporations meet challenges that have arisen as a result of the pandemic.

“Throughout this crisis we have worked to identify resources to help businesses sustain their operations and prepare to fully reopen when the time was right,” said Capitalize Albany Corporation president and City of Albany Industrial Development Agency CEO Sarah Reginelli. “As we move through the phases of the recovery process, we are adapting quickly to address challenges as they arise. With the support of ACDA, Governor Cuomo and the City of Albany IDA Board, this program will play a key role in assisting businesses as they evolve to operate safely in the new normal.”

"For many small businesses, obtaining the PPE and other necessary compliance equipment represents a significant cost. We applaud the City of Albany and Capitalize Albany Corporation for recognizing this, and developing this grant opportunity in response to a real and pervasive need in our small business community,” said Lark Street Business Improvement District chair Patrick Noonan. “The BID continues to work alongside Capitalize Albany and the City of Albany to identify and address the needs of businesses in our corridor as we continue to adapt to the new normal."

"The health of our small businesses is critical to the future of our community, with funding availability an integral part of ensuring these entrepreneurs are able to keep their doors open to safely serve and employ our neighbors," said Downtown Albany Business Improvement District executive director Georgette Steffens. "While most businesses have been able to reopen, they are at a small percentage of their pre-pandemic operation, and continued support through programs like this is paramount for their survival. Thank you to Mayor Sheehan and her team for their vision and leadership, and for continuing to make tools available to our small business base that needs support as they navigate ever-changing waters."

“For our small businesses, obtaining the PPE and other equipment necessary to shift operations and meet health and safety guiltiness comes at a significant cost to businesses facing so many challenges right now,” said Central Avenue Business Improvement District executive director Anthony Capece. "The Central Avenue BID continues to work alongside Capitalize Albany and the City of Albany to help business owners try to adapt in this ever-changing environment."

QUALIFYING EXPENDITURES SUPPORTED BY THIS GRANT PROGRAM
  • Reopening: The purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face coverings, disposable gloves and protective gowns necessary to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
  • Retraining: The development and implementation of programs to train new employees, or re-train existing workforce on new business practices.
  • Restocking: The purchase of perishable goods to replace those that were lost due to COVID-19 and those that were used to supply recovery efforts.
  • Reorganizing: The purchase of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) such as physical barriers between workstations, employees and customers; hand sanitizer stations, or café tables and chairs necessary to adapt a business’ space to minimize the spread of COVID -19.
  • Reimagining: The development and implementation of new programs or product lines to expand/adapt operations to meet new market demands.
Capitalize Albany Corporation designed the new grant program guidelines and application with an eye toward simplifying the process for business owners while maximizing the use of all currently available local funding and resources. Learn more about qualifying expenditures and other additional details at www.CapitalizeAlbany.com/grants.

Under the program’s guidelines, small businesses are defined as retail establishments, restaurants, wholesalers, service providers, and arts and cultural nonprofits with 50 employees or fewer.
Businesses are encouraged to contact the Capitalize Albany staff at development@capitalizealbany.com or (518) 434-2532 to discuss PPE and FFE needs and determine whether this program is right for them.

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About Capitalize Albany Corporation: A catalyst for economic growth, Capitalize Albany Corporation facilitates transformational development projects, serving as the City of Albany’s economic development arm. A registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization implementing programs and resources to create, retain, and attract business in the City of Albany. www.CapitalizeAlbany.com.