Monroe County extends deadline for small business grants

COURTESY OF NEWS REPORTS
Stock photo.

Applications for Fast Forward Monroe 2.0 are now due by 5 p.m. Oct. 29.  

Since the second phase of Fast Forward Monroe launched in September, 921 small businesses have applied for help. Money will be disbursed to eligible businesses by the end of the year. 

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and it’s critical we support them as we continue to deal with the ongoing pandemic,” County Executive Adam Bello said. “Through no fault of their own, many small businesses have not yet fully recovered from COVID-related economic hardships. Fast Forward 2.0 helps ensure our small businesses have the support they need to weather these uncertain times." 

Monroe County collaborated with the Urban League of Rochester, PathStone Enterprise Center and Ibero-American Action League to make the program more accessible by providing business owners with application help and support. The Department of Planning and Development hired additional employees to process applications.  

“Small businesses are still contending with major challenges, including mask requirements, PPE deployment, having fewer workers on hand, issues with supply chains and trouble meeting customer demand,” said Ana Liss, director of planning and development. “Local restaurants, shops, salons and service providers are the backbone of our communities, making Monroe County such a great place to live, work and raise a family. The Fast Forward Monroe 2.0 grant program is another lifeline to these entrepreneurs during the uphill climb toward recovery and reopening.”  

Fast Forward 2.0 is funded with $20 million in CARES Act money. Eligible businesses can receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000, depending on the number of full-time employees. The money can be used for rent, payroll, operating expenditures or COVID-related business expenses and other funding shortfalls.  

Businesses that received funds in the first round of the program are eligible to receive funds through Fast Forward Monroe 2.0, with priority going to those that did not receive funding. 

Visit monroecounty.gov/fastforwardmonroe for information.