ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The city of Elmira is launching the Restart Elmira Small Business Grant Program, dedicating $193,000 to small businesses for COVID-19 expenses.
Small businesses across the nation are at the forefront of the pandemic battling closures, adapting to new guidelines and paying the price for personal protective equipment.
The city is stepping in to help with some expenses. The funding is coming from the CARES Act and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to Emma Miran, the city’s director of community development.
“Small businesses are being impacted specifically in certain areas like entertainment and the arts,” said Miran. “Anyone who’s been forced to shut down for a period of time is being impacted and we really see this as a crisis situation that we want to make sure that the economy isn’t impacted too badly because of the health crisis.”
At the Turtle Leaf Cafe in Elmira, the owner, Adam Bunce, said he’s had a very hard year.
“It’s been such a horrible year, to put it bluntly,” said Bunce. “But it could be worse, my doors could’ve closed. It’s been happening in the region, you see restaurants closing their doors left and right.”
The eligibility requirements are:
- The business must be in the City of Elmira
- The business must have a 2020 gross sales revenue of under 1 million dollars
“First, it has be a business that has operations within the City of Elmira,” said Miran. “If you’re outside the City of Elmira, unfortunately, you wouldn’t be eligible for the program. Also, the business has to be considered ‘small’ and so our definition of that is that 2020 sales revenue has to be under 1 million dollars.”
The grant is only going towards COVID-19 related items such as buying personal protective equipment and more. Funds are on a reimbursement basis.
“Creating a new filtration system, or if they’re investing in outdoor dining, and they’re buying space heaters,” said Miran. “Those would all be costs that could be reimbursed with the grant.”
The owner of Turtle Leaf Cafe said if he received funds from the grant, it would go towards buying P.P.E.
“We’re going to do our part to keep everybody coming through the door safe whether it be an employee or a customer and just try to come out on the other side of this,” said Bunce.
The Application is currently available and can be accessed by going to the Department of Community Development Latest News Page at https://www.cityofelmira.net.
- Round 1 applications are due Friday, December 4, 2020
- Round 2 applications are due Friday, February 5, 2021.