County commits $15M to supporting local business

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Monroe County Post

Monroe County is committing $15 million in CARES Act funding to support local small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Fast Forward Monroe small business grant program will provide financial assistance to small businesses with two to 50 full-time employees in the personal services industry, including retail and dining. 

The program aims to provide funds to businesses with the greatest needs, while helping as many small businesses as possible. Businesses that have not yet received COVID-related aid, and minority- and women-owned businesses will be prioritized in this round of funding. 

“It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, but it has especially affected the economic vitality of our small businesses, many of which serve as the backbone of our local economy,” County Executive Adam Bello said. “Recent studies show that minority-owned small businesses have suffered an even more dramatic hit and have been left struggling to find funding to help weather the storm.”

The Monroe County Department of Planning and Development, in conjunction with the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Greater Rochester Enterprise, released the Fast Forward Monroe business survey in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Results showed that many small businesses were seeking financial assistance to help cover COVID-related business expenses and other funding shortfalls.

Eligible applicants will receive up to $10,000 in funding for businesses with zero to 2 employees, up to $15,000 for businesses with three to 25 full-time employees and up to $20,000 for businesses with 26-50 full-time employees. 

Businesses applying for the funding must be for-profit, provide their New York 45 or similar documents as of June 30, 2020, and submit appropriate banking information. Previous year’s tax returns will not be required. Ineligible industries include professional service firms such as doctor’s offices, lawyers/law firms, engineering firms and financial managers.

Applications are due Nov. 2. Visit monroecounty.gov/fastforwardmonroe for information.

Stock photo.