New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently revealed that applications are now available for the East Buffalo Small Business Working Capital Grant Program, a $3 million program that aims to provide grants of $5,000-$50,000 each to eligible small businesses in East Buffalo bounded by the following streets/highways: NYS Route 33, NY Route 198, Main Street, North Street, Michigan Avenue, and Goodell Street.
"The East Buffalo Small Business Working Capital Grant Program is the latest step in the State's long-term commitment to uplifting this community," Hochul remarked of the grants. "As a born-and-raised Western New Yorker, I witnessed first-hand the strength, resilience, and passion that runs through this community. Now, we are addressing decades of disinvestment and neglect through programs like this Small Business Working Capital Grant Program to help the largely minority-owned businesses in East Buffalo continue serving residents and forge a new path forward for the region's economy."
The designated area was chosen primarily to help the local businesses rebound from the impacts of the Jefferson Avenue Tops Friendly Market mass shooting. Applications will be accepted from February 3 to February 17.
"I applaud Governor Hochul on turning words into action for the $3 million in Eastside small business assistance surrounding the Jefferson corridor,” New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes stated of the grants. “Area businesses have endured through COVID, a very tragic mass shooting, and a generational blizzard that caused massive property damage. People, small businesses and neighborhoods define communities. Our communities have considerable needs and it will take continued collective efforts from agencies such as Empire State Development to leave a positive impact, we appreciate your partnership."
Two partner organizations, The Exchange at Beverly Gray and The Foundry, will be providing in-person assistance to any business owners who need help with the application. The Exchange at Beverly Gray is located at 334 E. Utica Street, Buffalo, NY 14208 and will be available for assistance on Tuesdays & Wednesdays from ten in the morning until one in the afternoon and on Thursdays from one to four in the afternoon. The Foundry is located at 298 Northampton Street, Buffalo, NY 14208 and will be available to assist Mondays from six to nine in the evening and Saturdays from nine in the morning until one in the afternoon.
"The foundation of all initiatives for LISC NY are concentrated around the principles of conscious and effective investment into community programs where New Yorkers are in the most need,” said Senior Executive Director of LISC NY, Valerie White, of the grants. “East Buffalo has been uniquely affected recently by domestic terror, and severe, incessant climate emergencies. This considerable investment into the people and local economy of East Buffalo, NY will directly benefit the local small businesses already making a concentrated impact within the community. We commend Governor Hochul for recognizing the needs of varying types of small businesses unique to regions of the state and those amongst commercial corridors in East Buffalo. We look forward to working side by side with Empire State Development to administer this pivotal grant program for the people of East Buffalo, strengthening the backbone of this resolute community - reinforcing and developing the celebrated region for generations to come."
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