Downtown Albany BID grants

Downtown Albany Business Stabilization Grant

As small businesses experience major economic impacts related to COVID-19, the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (DABID) is making available one-time business stabilization forgivable loans of up to $3,000 for eligible small businesses. The program focuses on brick and mortar small businesses located within the BID boundaries in industries with the highest impact from the pandemic, including retail (storefront), restaurant/food industry, and personal care. Small businesses or non-profits vandalized between May 30 and June 5, 2020 are also eligible to apply for funds.  The BID boundary map can be found here.

Applications will be accepted beginning June 23, 2020 and will remain open until all funds are expended. Awards will be based upon a combination of factors including program eligibility, program priorities, availability of funds, size of business, and number of employees.

RETAIL, RETAIL RELATED, BARBERSHOPS, HAIR SALONS, AND PERSONAL CARE

Forgivable loan awards of up to $1,500. Businesses must meet all the following criteria:

  • Business with brick and mortar location operating within the DABID boundaries
  • Have 25 employees or fewer
  • Have experienced a minimum of 25% decline in revenue since March 16, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same time period last year.  If only in business since September 1, 2019 the revenue decrease will be compared to an equal timeframe in the past six months.
  • Be a registered New York State business since September 1, 2019
  • Be engaged in activities that are legal under New York and federal law
  • Be in good standing with local, state and federal taxing and licensing authorities

RESTAURANT, CAFÉS AND COFFEE SHOPS

Forgivable loan awards of up to $2,000 for counter service establishments and up to $3,000 for full-service establishments. Businesses must meet all the following criteria:

  • Business with brick and mortar location operating within the DABID District boundaries
  • Have 25 employees or fewer
  • Have experienced a minimum of 25% decline in revenue since March 16, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same time period last year.  If only in business since September 1, 2019 the revenue decrease will be compared to an equal timeframe in the past six months.
  • Be a registered New York State business since September 1, 2019
  • Be engaged in activities that are legal under New York and federal law
  • Be in good standing with local, state and federal taxing and licensing authorities

NOT FOR PROFITS

Forgivable loan awards of up to $1,500. Organizations must meet all the following criteria:

  • Organization with brick and mortar location operating within the DABID District boundaries
  • Have 25 employees or fewer
  • Have experienced vandalism between May 30 and June 5, 2020.
  • Be registered as not for profit organization with New York State business since September 1, 2019
  • Be engaged in activities that are legal under New York and federal law
  • Be in good standing with local, state and federal taxing and licensing authorities

PROGRAM PRIORITIES

  • Retail (storefront)
  • Restaurant, cafes, sandwich shops, and coffee shops
  • Personal care (barber shop, hair salon, fitness center, tattoo parlors, spas)
  • Small Businesses and not for profits vandalized between May 30 and June 5, 2020.

Businesses of all sizes in the DABID are experiencing impacts but given the limited resources available, at this time, our Business Stabilization Grant program will prioritize applications based on considerations of the following factors:

  • Percentage of revenue decline
  • Businesses with 1-10 employees
  • Proposed use of financial assistance
  • Efforts to reopen, bring back employees onto payroll and implement new strategies to adapt to COVID-19 conditions
  • Businesses that experienced vandalism between May 30 and June 5, 2020. 

ELIGIBLE USES FOR MONIES

Forgivable loans offered under the program may be used for the following:

  • Technology Upgrades (website, online sales and ordering, contactless payment, reservations systems, etc.)
  • New Marketing Strategies, Initiatives, and Small Events that Meet the State’s Guidelines
  • Implementing Delivery Services
  • Exterior Improvements (can include lighting, dining tables, vandalism repairs, etc.)
  • Interior Alterations to Comply with New York State’s Reopening Guidelines (e.g., walk-up windows, plastic sneeze guards, better ventilation, high-efficiency air filters, etc.)
  • Cleaning/Disinfecting Supplies
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Inventory (perishable goods)

Other reasonable uses will be considered where the business can demonstrate that without the intervention of the grant program, their economic impacts will be compounded.

The following must include a minimum of one formal written price quote with the application:

  • Technology Upgrades
  • Interior Alterations
  • Exterior Improvements 

Items funded through Capitalize Albany Corporation’s Façade Improvement Grant are not eligible expenses under this program. 

HOW FUNDS WILL BE DISPERSED

  • Applications will be reviewed, and award decisions made within fifteen business days of receipt of a grant application. 
  • Upon funding approval, the DABID will cut a check to the grant recipient for the full amount awarded within seven business days.

LOAN FORGIVENESS

  • In order to have awarded funds forgiven, the recipient must submit receipts for all approved expenditures within four months (120 days) of grant award. 
  • Recipient must attend a one-hour webinar through the Small Business Development Center at the University at Albany within four months of grant award and submit documentation of completion with your receipts.   

If the receipts and documentation of completing the online course are not received within the four month (120 days) timeframe, or an extension is not requested, the receipts do not add up to the awarded amount, or the receipts are for items not included in the budget approved in the original application, the loan would not be turned into a grant and must be paid back over a period of 18 months at 2% interest. 

Given the daily changes in how the virus is impacting communities, DABID’s response and eligibility criteria may evolve accordingly.

HOW BUSINESSES APPLY FOR GRANT FUNDING

Interested businesses can download the application here. For questions, contact us at 518.465.2143 or kmedhus@downtownalbany.org. Applications will be accepted beginning June 23, 2020 and will remain open until all funds are expended. Completed applications can be submitted to Kate Medhus at kmedhus@downtownalbany.org or mailed to her at Downtown Albany BID, 21 Lodge St, Albany NY 12207.