The BDC understands that economic and business growth will be affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. As we navigate the programs that are available to help with the relief efforts, we will strive to keep you informed as these programs can be difficult to understand. Below are some resources that may be able to provide your organization direction and possible financial relief as we must do all we can and stay positive in these uncertain times. Our goal is to help organizations with the details of each program and act as a facilitator when needed. Each program carries specific guidelines to help you and your business understand what is available.  Please use the resources below  to navigating your needs. The BDC will continue to update this page if and when more programs become available, we recommend knowledge through research. This Page is not updated daily and additional programs may be available that are not listed below.



The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) was signed into law in March 2021. ARP included $28.6 billion for a restaurant revitalization fund at the SBA to provide direct grant support for restaurants bars, caterers, brewpubs, taprooms, and tasting rooms and other eligible entities hit hardest by the pandemic. Grants may be used in tandem with the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) to help vulnerable businesses survive the remainder of this crisis and get on a path to recovery as we emerge from the pandemic. This newly created restaurant revitalization fund at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is based on the bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act. Please visit the SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund page for more details including a program guide and sample application to prepare for the opening of the application period. 



the SBA has created a summary of criteria that must be met when considering different funding options. please CLICK HERE to review.



The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Applications will be open on April 8th, 2021. Please CLICK HERE to learn more.



Empire State Development (ESD) announced the more than $3 million “Raising the Bar” Restaurant Recovery Fund to assist restaurants in New York State during the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant funding has been made possible through financial donations led by Diageo North America and supported by Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits (a division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits) and will be implemented by the non-profit National Development Council (NDC). The “Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund” will help eligible restaurants adjust their operations to the impacts of COVID-19 and adherence to New York State’s public health and safety measures during the winter months when outdoor dining is limited.

Eligible businesses consist of New York State restaurants that have no more than $3 million in 2019​ revenue ​and are engaged in providing food services and meals prepared on-premises to patrons who traditionally order and are served while seated, including certain on-premises food and drinking establishments licensed through the State Liquor Authority (SLA) and which need funding to adjust to COVID-related impacts and protocols. Establishments providing take out or grab and go food services due to COVID-19 restrictions are also eligible to receive the grant from NDC. Additionally, these establishments must have been in operation on or before March 1, 2019 and certify and demonstrate that they have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19. ​All businesses must continue to comply with the New York Forward reopening guidance and Cluster Action Initiative guidance, as applicable. Restaurants can apply to the “R​aising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund” starting Monday, January 11, 2021. For more information visit the ESD website at  Applications will begin to be accepted on Jan. 11, 2021.


Governor Cuomo outlined a plan to re-open New York State. Our plan focuses on getting people back to work and easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread of the virus or overwhelming the hospital system. New York will re-open on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health as businesses re-open. The Finger Lakes Region is currently permitted to open essential and Phase 1, 2, 3, and 4 Businesses. Please click HERE

Most recently gym’s, cross fit, fitness centers and martial art studios have been allowed to re-open in compliance with the guidelines HERE

Each re-opening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent
the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out THIS TEMPLATE to fulfill the requirement, or may develop
its own Safety Plan. This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must
be retained on the premises of the business and must made available to the New York State Department
of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. Please attest with NYS that you have a safety plan in place when your allowed to open through the Governor’s phasing process.

Re-opening guidance and fact sheet issued by Genesee County Health Department HERE


The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.  The NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income.  The NYFLF is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with guidelines (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan.   Please click HERE to learn more about the NYFLF.



Please click HERE for the basic information on how the program works. The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and
utilities. For more detailed information on the program, please click HERE.



Please Click HERE for more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.



As of March 25, small businesses can maintain operations with assistance of up to $25,000 in under a new Express Bridge Pilot Program. Download the Small Business Administration’s guide to the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program, please click HERE.



Please click HERE for more information on the enhanced Unemployment Insurance. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and
Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers.

For more information on the Federal CARES Act, please click HERE.

For the CARES Act in its entirety, please click HERE.

Senator Charles Schumer’s guide to Grants and Loans (Great Resource!), Please click HERE.



The US Department of Labor has issued guidance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. To see frequently asked questions regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, please click here.

New York State Department of Labor is encouraging businesses to use a Shared Work Program as an alternative to laying off employees by allowing workers to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, businesses are able to reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group. Please click HERE for more information.



Three new tax credits are available to many businesses hit by COVID-19. Learn more: click HERE 



The BDC will continue to provide competitive loans out of the Revolving Loan Fund. Please click HERE to be redirected the BDC’s loan guidelines and application page.



Please utilize all of the resources at your disposal to get through this difficult time. Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is an amazing resource for Genesee County Businesses and has done a wonderful job of creating a resources page for COVID-19. Please click HERE to visit their resources page as it is highly recommended.

Genesee County Economic Development Center has done a great job in creating a COVID-19 resources page to help. Please click HERE to access the GCEDC’s resources page.



Please be sure to follow our local, state and federal agencies as they offer guidance during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Genesee County Public Health Department – Click HERE

New York State Department of Health – Click HERE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Click HERE

Guidance on Executive Order 202.6 (Essential Business) – Click HERE