Supporting Small Businesses Locally and Statewide
March 29th, is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, a time for us to think about how we support local, and how our patronage has an impact on the local community.
Supporting small businesses
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 27 million small business across the United States, but what can we do here in the Hudson Valley to help support our local business owners? Here's a few ideas to start with:
- Promote a small, local business on social media, share their page with your followers.
- Buy a gift card from your favorite local business, or even one that you have heard good things about but haven't tried yet.
- Word of mouth - tell a friend, share great experiences with family members, grab a business card or a menu to give to others.
Governor Hochul's Plan For Relief
With many small businesses continuing to struggle, more than two years after the start of COVID-19, Governor Hochul has announced a plan for pandemic relief funding through a small business recovery grant.
The Governor announced today, March 17, 2022, that almost 29,000 small and micro businesses statewide have been awarded over $500 million in grant funding through the COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. According to Nerd Wallet, a micro business is one that operates with less than 10 employees. 'Size and scale are the main differences between a micro business and small business—micro businesses often function as sole proprietorships and earn less than $250,000 annually.'
Small business vs. micro business
Looking deeper into the breakdown of allocations, micro businesses have been the recipients of 98% of these awards, and minority and women owned businesses have received 90% of the awards. These businesses, often times have the least access to resources, and have been identified as the businesses that have been hit hardest by lasting impacts from the pandemic. $17,425 is the average amount of the grant awards.
Small Businesses are the backbone of our state's economy, and in order to truly recover from the COVID-19 crisis our small businesses need a helping hand. It is imperative that we continue to move funding out efficiently and quickly so businesses can get back on their feet and get back to business.
COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program
The COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program was initially created in order to allow flexible grant assistance to small and micro businesses that have experienced economic hardship as a result of the pandemic, and Governor Hochul continues to demonstrate her commitment to supporting small businesses. In fact, she has advanced a proposal to provide 'up to $200 million to support early-stage small businesses to ensure they are successful long term as New York recovers from the effects of COVID-19.'
Small businesses are certainly taking advantage of the grant funding, with the call center logging nearly 295,000 calls about the program. There is one-on-one assistance available, as well as webinars, materials in several languages and general support through Empire State Development, and funding is still available through the program.