Small Business Resources

Senator Samra Brouk

July 8, 2021

Dear neighbor,

Recently, my office held a town hall with our local small business community to discuss the mental health needs of our workforce and the resources available to small businesses as New York’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

My staff and I collected a robust list of resources for this town hall to share with our small business community and constituents; please see below for both small business development resources and mental health resources. Remember, if you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or experiencing a mental health crisis, do not wait to seek help. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any issues or concerns you may have. If you are interested in learning more about the work I am doing as your representative, please reach out at (585) 223-1800, or at

In service and partnership,

Senator Samra Brouk
55th District

Statewide Small Business Resources

NYS COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program 
$800 million in funding for small businesses - including for-profit arts and cultural institutions that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Business Pandemic Recovery Initiative 
Grants, Tax Credits, and Technical Assistance Programs for Businesses Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Restaurant Resiliency Program 
$25 million in grant funding to support restaurants that provide meals to distressed and under-represented communities.

Restaurant Return to Work Tax Credit 
The $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit Program provides an incentive to COVID-impacted restaurants to bring restaurant staff back-to-work, and to increase hiring at NYS restaurants. Qualifying businesses are eligible for a tax credit of $5,000 per new worker hired, up-to $50,000 per business.

New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) 
The NYFLF is an economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small residential landlords.

OCFS Essential Worker Child Care Scholarship
OCFS is administering $25 million in funds to provide child care support for children of essential workers. The Essential Worker Scholarship is only available to residents of New York State and will be awarded weekly through payments made directly to child care providers on the parents’ behalf. Parents will be responsible for paying any tuition amount that is greater than the market rate. 

Local Small Business Resources

Central Library’s Small Business Resource Center
Provides a business information research service for business planning, hosts free small business workshops, and more.

College at Brockport Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Offers free counseling, training, and business research on starting and running a business. The SBDC assists with New York State M/WBE certification applications and more.

Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN)
Enables its members to develop premier consulting businesses by providing access to networking, education, and mutual support to improve their businesses.

SCORE, Greater Rochester Chapter
Supports the aspiring and current small business owner through free counseling, mentoring, and a variety of free or low-cost workshops on small business topics. SCORE also advises nonprofits.

Urban League of Rochester, N.Y., Inc. Business Development Center
Offers one-on-one technical assistance and workshops on starting and running a business with a focus on minority, women, veteran-owned businesses, dislocated workers, the disabled and all other aspiring (and current) business owners.  Assistance with New York State M/WBE Certification is provided.
585-325-6530, ext. 3066

Center for Urban Entrepreneurship at Rochester Institute of Technology
Assists businesses, including startups, located within the urban community and/or doing business within the urban community through workshops and programs.

KIVA Rochester Expands Loan Access to Aid Small Businesses
The Kiva Rochester crowd funding program has expanded its access to interest-free loans to help local small businesses weather the economic downturn triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak. Kiva has increased the maximum loan amount to 15,000 (from $10,000); waived certain financial requirements to expand eligibility; and instituted a new six-month grace period on the first loan repayment. 

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loan Program
The SBA 504 Loan Program is provided by Rochester Economic Development Corporation

Neighborhood Commercial Assistance Program
Provides small business matching grants for eligible retail and neighborhood service businesses which need capital for items. New businesses (in business for up to 12 months) are eligible for up to $5,000. Existing businesses (in business for more than 12 months) are eligible for up to $8,000. All grants are reimbursement grants which requires reimbursement after the business expenditure has been made. Appropriate cost documentation is required. 

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Association (MHA) of Rochester/Monroe County 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Rochester 

Dial 211 or 1-877-356-9211

Rochester Regional Health Behavioral Health Services 
Genesee Behavioral Health Center has openings at their clinic at 224 Alexander Street, Rochester, NY 14607. 
(585) 922-7270.

University of Rochester Mental Health and Wellness Services 

Monroe County Office of Mental Health
585 753-6047

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline
1-800-662-HELP (4357)

New York State Office of Mental Health COVID-19 Resources 
Crisis Text Line - text Got5 to 741741
Text HOME to 741741 

NY Project Hope Emotional Support Helpline, open 8 AM - 10 PM, 7 days a week.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Compeer Rochester - Mental Wellness through Friendship
(585) 546-8280 

Families Together in New York State (FTNYS)
518.432.0333 is a resource hub about ending violence.