ECIDA offers $ 10,000 grants to small businesses for COVID-related costs

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Many small businesses are still on the cutting edge of taxation and this COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped. The Erie County Industrial Development Agency is trying to help, by donating small business grants on the costs of personal protective equipment for workers.

The agency is already receiving phone calls for a program that only started on Monday. Up to $ 10,000 for a business to help cover the costs of COVID, including PPE, social distancing compliance, and future costs. ECIDA took $ 500,000 from its budget, with state approval, for the cost reimbursement program.

“Much of our economy has had impacts to varying degrees,” said ECIDA President and CEO John Cappellino. “Certainly some areas have been more severely affected than others, but just about everyone has had impacts from both COVID-19, the pandemic and the ongoing shutdown and recovery operation. “

The county has attempted to support small businesses owned by women and minorities in areas of great difficulty with fewer than 50 workers. This is part of a range of support for local businesses affected by the pandemic.

Cappellino said it was a little different for his agency.

“IDAs are generally not allowed to make loans or grants directly. It is the result of a step taken by the state legislature, which would allow IDAs to provide grants for the specific purpose of helping existing businesses that have been affected by COVID and particularly targeted on spending they hired for PPE, ”he said. “So a real targeted approach.”

Many businesses had to shut down for the long lockdown and there are restart costs this program will cover. Cappellino said even manufacturing companies that have managed to keep operating still need PPE for workers.

“If you have to go out and, you saw it when you walked into your local retail business, they all bought plexiglass. They had to put on shields and have different protections for customers and their employees. These are costs that are difficult to absorb, ”said Cappellino. “So we hope that this program can provide some help to companies that needed to make these investments.”


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