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This entry was published on 2021-04-23
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SECTION 16-FF
COVID-19 pandemic small business recovery grant program
Urban Development Corporation Act 174/68 (UDA) CHAPTER INTRO
§ 16-ff. COVID-19 pandemic small business recovery grant program. 1.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the
following meanings:

(a) "Small business" shall mean a business which is resident in this
state, independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field, and
employs one hundred or less persons.

(b) "Micro-business" shall mean a business which is a resident in this
state, independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field, and
employs ten or less persons.

(c) "The program" shall mean the COVID-19 pandemic small business
recovery grant program established pursuant to subdivision two of this
section.

(d) "Applicant" shall mean a small business or for-profit independent
arts and cultural organization submitting an application for a grant
award to the program.

(e) "COVID-19 health and safety protocols" means any restrictions
imposed on the operation of businesses by executive order 202 of 2020
issued by the governor, or any extension or subsequent executive order
issued in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, or any
other statute, rule, or regulation imposing restrictions on the
operation of businesses in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic.

(f) "For-profit independent arts and cultural organization" shall mean
a small or medium sized private for-profit, independently operated
live-performance venue, promoter, production company, or performance
related business located in New York state negatively impacted by
COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and having one hundred or less
full-time employees, excluding seasonal employees. The qualifying
organizations under this definition may include businesses engaged in a
field including, but not limited to, architecture, dance, design, film,
music, theater, opera, media, literature, museum activities, visual
arts, folk arts and casting.

2. COVID-19 pandemic small business recovery grant program
established. The COVID-19 pandemic small business recovery grant
program is hereby created to provide assistance to small businesses and
for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations who have
experienced economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Authorization. The corporation is hereby authorized, using
available funds, to issue grants and provide technical assistance and
outreach to small businesses, for-profit independent arts and cultural
organizations, and technical assistance partners for the purpose of
aiding the recovery of the New York state economy, and may promulgate
guidelines or regulations to effectuate the purposes herein.

4. Selection criteria and application process. (a) In order to be
eligible for a grant or additional form of support under the program, an
eligible small business or for-profit independent arts and cultural
organization shall:

(i) Be incorporated in New York state or licensed or registered to do
business in New York state;

(ii) Be a currently viable small business or for-profit independent
arts and cultural organization that has been in operation since before
March 1, 2019;

(iii) Be able to demonstrate lost revenue or other economic hardship
due to the COVID-19 pandemic or compliance with COVID-19 health and
safety protocols which resulted in business modifications,
interruptions, or closures. To demonstrate lost revenue or other
economic hardship, the applicant shall show a loss in year-to-date
revenue as of December 31, 2020, compared with the same period in 2019;

(iv) Be in substantial compliance with applicable federal, state and
local laws, regulations, codes and requirements; and

(v) Not owe any federal, state or local taxes prior to July 15, 2020,
or have an approved repayment, deferral plan, or agreement with
appropriate federal, state and local taxing authorities.

(b) Grants awarded from this program shall be available to eligible
micro-businesses, small businesses, and for-profit independent arts and
cultural organizations that do not qualify for business assistance grant
programs under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 or any other
available federal COVID-19 economic recovery or business assistance
grant programs, including loans forgiven under the federal Paycheck
Protection Program, or are unable to obtain sufficient business
assistance from such federal programs, with priority given to socially
and economically disadvantaged business owners including, but not
limited to, minority and women-owned business enterprises,
service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, and veteran-owned businesses,
or businesses located in communities that were economically distressed
prior to March 1, 2020, as determined by the most recent census data.

5. Eligible costs. (a) Eligible costs shall be considered for
micro-businesses, small businesses, and for-profit independent arts and
cultural organizations negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or
by their compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols which
resulted in lost revenue, business modifications, interruptions, or
closures. Such eligible costs shall have been incurred between March 1,
2020 and April 1, 2021.

(b) The following costs incurred by a micro-business, small business,
or for-profit independent arts and cultural organization shall be
considered eligible under the program at a minimum: payroll costs; costs
of rent or mortgage as provided for in subparagraph (i) of this
paragraph; costs of repayment of local property or school taxes
associated with such small business's location as provided for in
subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph; insurance costs; utility costs;
costs of personal protection equipment (PPE) necessary to protect worker
and consumer health and safety; heating, ventilation, and air
conditioning (HVAC) costs, or other machinery or equipment costs, or
supplies and materials necessary for compliance with COVID-19 health and
safety protocols, and other documented COVID-19 costs as approved by the
corporation.

(i) Mortgage payments or commercial rent shall be considered eligible
costs.

(ii) Payment of local property taxes and school taxes shall be
considered eligible costs.

(c) Grants awarded under the program shall not be used to re-pay or
pay down any portion of a loan obtained through a federal coronavirus
relief package for business assistance or any New York state business
assistance programs.

6. Application and approval process. (a) An eligible micro-business,
small business, or for-profit independent arts and cultural organization
shall submit a complete application in a form and manner prescribed by
the corporation.

(b) The corporation shall establish the procedures and time period for
micro-businesses, small businesses, or for-profit independent arts and
cultural organizations to submit applications to the program. As part of
the application each micro-business, small business, or for-profit
independent arts and cultural organization shall provide sufficient
documentation in a manner prescribed by the corporation to demonstrate
hardship, and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.

7. Reporting. The corporation, on a quarterly basis beginning
September 30, 2021, and ending when all program funds are expended,
shall submit a separate and distinct report to the governor, the
temporary president of the senate, and the speaker of the assembly
setting forth the activities undertaken by the program. Such quarterly
report shall include, but need not be limited to: the number of
applicants and their county locations; the number of applicants approved
by the program and their county location; the total amount of grants
awarded, and the average amount of such grants awarded; and such other
information as the corporation determines necessary and appropriate.
Such report shall be included on the corporation's website and any other
publicly accessible state database that list economic development
programs, as determined by the commissioner.

8. Technical assistance and outreach. The corporation may offer or
make available to all applicants, regardless of approval status, direct
or indirect access to financial and business planning, legal
consultation, language assistance services, mentoring services for
post-pandemic planning, reopening planning assistance and other
assistance and support as determined by the corporation. Assistance,
support, outreach and other services may be provided by or through
partner organizations, including but not limited to chambers of
commerce, local business development corporations, trade associations
and other community organizations that have expertise and background in
providing technical assistance, at the discretion of the corporation.