New grant program to invest $750K in Albany small businesses
ALBANY — After a tax year with inflationary pressures and pandemic-related supply chain issues, small businesses in Albany may be able to find relief through a new grant program designed to support post-Covid-19 recovery efforts. 19 in the city.
Businesses can now apply for funding through the Small Business Improvement Grant (BIG) program, which will make up to $750,000 in flexible, recoverable and repayable capital grants available to qualified applicants. Mayor Kathy Sheehan and members of Capitalize Albany, the city’s economic development organization, announced the creation of the program at an event Wednesday morning at Albany City Hall.
“Last year, our 41 members of the COVID Recovery Task Force engaged in a thorough and comprehensive process and found that access to capital for both existing small businesses and startups was a top priority,” Sheehan said in a statement. . “The BIG program is just one of a series of initiatives that will fulfill this goal and ensure that those who contribute so much to the fabric of our city have the support they need to thrive.”
Nonprofit organizations in the childcare, arts and cultural tourism and hospitality industries located in Albany can also apply for funding, which can provide project assistance with everything from interior and exterior renovations, to the purchase of machinery, furniture and equipment.
Review varies by grant amount, with a simplified questionnaire required for those seeking smaller “micro-grants” from $1,500 to $4,999. Business owners making large capital investments in their businesses can apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 with the assistance of grant administration staff in completing the application.
Eligible businesses can apply on the Capitalize Albany website. Applications are due by Feb. 17 for the funding, which is made available through the American City Rescue Plan Act. “Disadvantaged business enterprises,” described by the city as minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses, are described as a program priority and are strongly encouraged to apply.
The program is the next step for Capitalize Albany, which administered more than $500,000 in direct COVID-19 recovery grants through its Small Business Adaptation program throughout the pandemic.
“We are excited to be able to offer strategically identified small business owners, entrepreneurs and nonprofits this funding opportunity in recognition of the important role they now play – and will play in the future – in fostering of jobs, economic vitality and growth in our city,” Capitalize Albany President Sarah Reginelli said in a statement. “The BIG program is part of our ongoing efforts to support businesses, neighborhoods and shopping districts in every corner of the city.”