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$350,000 In Small Business Grants Announced To Support Central Avenue and Downtown Albany Businesses

The Downtown Albany and Central Avenue Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) announced $350,000 in grants are now available to businesses within their respective Districts to support reopening and repairing following the significant economic impact related to COVID-19 and recent vandalism. These programs are being established to augment many local, state, and federal resources available to support small businesses, with applications now open through the individual BIDs and being accepted until all funds have been expended. 

The announcement comes as multiple industries are welcoming customers back as they reopen or expand offerings under Phase III of New York Forward, and follows months of economic Coronavirus-related hardship that has impacted 96 percent of small businesses nationally, according to a Goldman Sachs survey. For the restaurants, retailers, and personal care businesses in Downtown and along the Central Avenue corridor, the grants are aimed at helping to lessen the impact of closures due to the pandemic, and to restore facades damaged following recent vandalism.

The Downtown Albany BID’s Business Stabilization Grant: $250,000 is available from non-assessment revenue raised through ad sales and sponsorships over the course of several years. The program will provide funds of up to $3,000 to small businesses and non-profit organizations. Coming in the form of one-time forgivable loans, funds will be awarded based on a combination of factors including program eligibility, program priorities, availability of funds, and number of employees. Eligible uses for funds awarded include technology upgrades; implementation of delivery services, contactless payment, or online sales; new marketing strategies; PPE; replacement of perishable goods; interior fit up to meet New York State reopening guidelines; and repairs caused by vandalism. 

"The 160 restaurants, cafes, retailers, and personal care businesses in downtown Albany are the heart and soul of our community. They are what drives our growth and attracts residents, businesses, and visitors to our District, and following the extreme hardship they’ve experienced due to the health pandemic, the BID is pleased to offer some relief through our Business Stabilization Grant," said Georgette Steffens, executive director of the Downtown Albany BID. "It has been a long road, but our business owners are resilient, and Downtown is already coming back stronger."

Full information and the application for the Downtown Albany BID’s Business Stabilization Grant can be viewed at

The Central Avenue BID Grant program: $100,000, has been established with the funding support of the Carl E. Touhey Foundation. The Central Avenue BID will dispense the funds to dozens of minority-owned businesses recently damaged and or impacted by recent events. The funds will be combined with an ongoing fundraising effort to continue the work and support of the Touhey Foundation.

“We are dispensing the funds to assist businesses with Design/Repair/Deposits and Materials assistance to replace facades. (glass,frames etc), Signage repair and replacement costs, insurance deductible recapture assistance, Emergency Repair assistance, and new sudden need for materials to secure a business," said Anthony Capece, executive director of the Central Avenue BID. "Also CBID will help with Re-Start Assistance which includes much needed PPE/Sanitizers etc. Hair Salons and restaurants and others need support to purchase and for the maintenance of safety equipment for employees and customers: Masks, shields, hand held quick read thermometers, plexiglass and sanitizer stations."  For Information about the Central Avenue BID programs, contact Ronda Shayne at 518.462.4300 or Email The Central Avenue BID's Go Fund Me page can be found here.

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