State to help small businesses with $800M grant

Small businesses that have struggled through the pandemic are getting much needed help through an $800 million state grant.
The grant will cover operating expenses incurred during the pandemic like rent, taxes, PPE, and payroll.
Theater O in Ossining is one of many places that have made it through the pandemic by the skin of their teeth. Owner Jessica Iron says the journey to continue is also a challenge and that grant money would be a big help to her and her employees. "Bringing employees back costs money, reinventing our spaces again to transfer them back to where we were before is going to cost…we need the help," says Irons.
The federal government had several large programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and others that provided billions of dollars around the country.
But many businesses fell through the cracks before federal funds ran dry, particularly micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations like Theater O.
News 12 spoke with Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick who says this program is vital to strengthen the backbone of our economy. "This is a grant program, not a loan program. So, this is direct money which will be able to go to businesses and help them recover, help them get back on their feet after COVID," says Reichlin-Melnick.
Small business owners were able to start applying today at noon.
Priority will be given to minority-, veteran- and women-owned businesses…
For more information on eligibility, click here.