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Buffalo grant program to award approximately $1 million in grants to 50 small businesses

The program aims to give 50 grants to 50 businesses in 50 days.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The City of Buffalo is planning on giving 50 grants to 50 small businesses in 50 days.

On Tuesday, Mayor Byron Brown announced the Buffalo Business Forward Small Business Grant Program, which will award about $1 million to 50 small businesses to help them get through the pandemic. 

“Through the Buffalo Business Forward Small Business Grant Program, my goal is to award 50 grants of up to $25,000, to 50 small businesses facing demonstrated hardships due to the pandemic, in the next 50 days,” Brown said. 

“We will focus on businesses in low to moderate-income areas of the city, such as the East Side Commercial Districts: Jefferson Avenue Commercial District, MLK Park Business District, Broadway Fillmore, and Kensington Bailey.”

The program is the result of a collaborative effort between the City’s Office of Strategic Planning and the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, the Westminster Economic Development Initiative, and the SUNY-Buffalo State College Small Business Development Center.

The approximately $1 million came from the Federal coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security that remains to be distributed by Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus Fund.

Businesses located in low or moderate-income areas that have been affected by COVID-19 are eligible to apply. Information about qualifications and the application process can be found at the Buffalo Business Grants website.

The existing microenterprise program will be phased out.

Also announced on Tuesday is that Brown is filing for the Small Business Social Distancing Imitative to be continued through the spring. This program allows for businesses to use open spaces like parking lots, sidewalks, or city-owned property to create proper social distancing.