State Ag Commissioner Encourages Industry to Apply for Grant Program

December 7, 2021


Jola Szubielski | | 518-457-0752

Hanna Birkhead | | 518-457-0752

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2021


Grants of Up to $50,000 are Available for Eligible Small Businesses With Revenues of Up to $2.5 Million and Experiencing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19

Department Hosting Webinar for Interested Businesses December 13, Join the Webinar Here

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged New York State's agricultural industry to apply for the $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. Grants are available for eligible small businesses that have revenues up to $2.5 million and are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. Additional information and the application are available here.

Commissioner Ball said, "There are so many agribusinesses that are still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and facing many challenges after having lost markets at schools and restaurants. This grant program provides an opportunity for our food and beverage producers, our farmers, and our growers to access some much-needed capital to help recover their losses and rebuild their businesses."

Empire State Development and Lendistry, the minority-led Community Development Financial Institution that was selected to administer the program, are accepting and reviewing applications on a rolling basis. There is no deadline at this time. Questions about the program can be directed to Lendistry at (877) 721-0097.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Hope Knight said, "New York's food and agricultural industry is vital to the state's economic recovery and ensuring that our agribusinesses are moving forward and thriving is crucial for the state's economic post-pandemic progress. We encourage eligible agribusinesses to apply for these grants, which will help us all move forward."

Grants for a minimum award of $5,000 and a maximum award of $50,000 are calculated based on a New York State business' annual gross receipts for 2019. Reimbursable COVID-19 related expenses must have been incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021 and can include payroll costs; commercial rent or mortgage payments for New York State-based property; payment of local property or school taxes; insurance and utility costs; costs of personal protection equipment necessary to protect worker and consumer health and safety; costs for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, or other machinery and equipment; and supplies and materials necessary for compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Additionally, the limitation for businesses that received Federal Paycheck Protection Program loans has been increased from $100,000 to $250,000.

COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program Webinar

To help the agricultural industry apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program, the Department is hosting a webinar for interested businesses on December 13, 2021 at 11 a.m. The webinar will provide an overview of the grant program, the level of funding available, and how to apply for funds. To access the webinar, please visit this link.

For additional information regarding the various resources available to support businesses seeking pandemic relief, ESD has created a webpage, The webpage is continuously updated as more details and funding information becomes available. 

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