Business Assistance Resources
Small businesses are the heartbeat of a strong local economy and have played a significant role in Buffalo's economic renaissance, but many of Buffalo’s small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19. Here is a set of resources to help continue our support for our City’s employers during this difficult time.  We appreciate all of our businesses as we continue to work together on our journey to economic recovery in the City of Buffalo.

Business Assistance Resources

Local Resources

Erie County Storefront Revitalization Program
Erie County has set aside $10 million to assist small business owners Countywide with grants up to $40,000 for exterior building renovations to their commercial properties. DEADLINE TO APPLY IS JUNE 16, 2022. See Flyer HERE
Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) COVID-19 Disaster Relief Business Loans
The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) (the lending arm of the Erie County Industrial Agency) is currently offering disaster relief business loans to qualified Erie County businesses affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. To apply, please call 716-856-6525, ext. 219
Pursuit Lending COVID-19 Business Funding
Pursuit is providing a special COVID-19 loan program for Western NY businesses, to help them gain the capital they need to keep moving forward after COVID. Available for a limited time, apply for loan amounts of $10,000 - $100,000 with fixed interest rates as low as 3%. Visit Pursuit’s website for more information.
Buffalo Niagara Partnership COVID-19 Resources & Impacts
As the regional chamber of commerce, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is committed to providing employers with the latest information and resources to help you deal with COVID-19 and its impact on business, our community, state and nation.
Buffalo Niagara Partnership's Its Our Job Campaign
"Its Our Job"was launched to encourage continued compliance with guidelines set to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and give small businesses a fighting chance as they claw back from the pandemic. "Its Our Job" Digital Business Kit provides a spectrum of printable signs, social tools and other materials for businesses.
Buffalo Niagara Partnership Business Link
To help employers navigate the reopening of the economy post COVID-19, the Partnership developed BNP Business Link, a question and answer forum for and by the Buffalo Niagara business community.
Please send in your business questions and get expert answers quickly and confidentially.

State Resources

New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program
The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Find more information HERE.
Restaurant Return to Work Tax Credit Program
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. Find more information and eligibility requirements HERE
New York Forward Loan Fund 
NYFLF is providing working capital loans so that small businesses, nonprofits and small residential landlords have access to credit as they reopen. These loans are available to small businesses and nonprofits that did not receive a U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program of greater than $50,000 or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 of any amount, except for EIDL advance grant of up to $10,000, and small residential landlords.
Empire State Development (ESD) COVID-19 Business Resources
As New York State continually monitors and responds to developments related to COVID-19, ESD is providing up-to-date guidance for the agency’s partners and other stakeholders impacted by the virus.  This is a rapidly changing situation and ESD will be updating the resources below to reflect the latest information available. 
Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program
The New York State Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program (the “Program”) was created to incentivize employment growth by providing financial assistance to businesses in the tourism industry that suffered economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find more information HERE
Business Mentor NY COVID-19 Assistance
New York State has partnered with business leaders to create a dedicated group of volunteers across different NYS industries – from law firms to financial professionals – to assist business owners with questions related to the impact of COVID-19 and to provide guidance on the SBA loan applications. The volunteer mentors are ready to assist.

Federal Resources

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): COVID-19 Relief Options
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers help for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Find more information HERE
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Buffalo District Office
The Buffalo District Office's operating area includes the 14 Westernmost counties of New York State. The District Office located in the state's second most populous City of Buffalo, has a full service Branch in the state's third most populous City of Rochester. The two offices are well located so as to provide maximum assistance to the industrial cities in which located plus surrounding suburban communities and the rural counties of the District.

Additional Resources

10 Steps to Start Your Business by Small Business Administration
Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. The Small Business Administration has released a comprehensive guide for individuals looking to start a business. Find more information HERE
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Survival Guide: All Our Content In One Place
The coronavirus is causing financial difficulties for businesses across the U.S. Here is a complete listing of all of our coronavirus resources for small businesses. One way or another, coronavirus has likely impacted your business — for better or worse. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been busy creating content to help you through this challenging time. It is organized here by category to help you easily navigate through it all.

Reopening Guidance

New York Forward Website
NY Forward has information outlining the regionally and industry-based reopening process. Western New York businesses can consult resources on the site to prepare for reopening. We recommend using the Reopen Tool Lookup through which businesses can input their County and NAICS code to determine whether or not they are eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which they must comply.

Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

FDA is sharing information about best practices to operate retail food stores, restaurants, and associated pick-up and delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard workers and consumers.