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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQ

In what ways was the program expanded on August 25, 2021? [UPDATED ON 08.25.21]

On August 25, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced expanded eligibility to the program to enable more small businesses to apply for funding. Businesses with revenues up to $2.5 million, up from the previous threshold of $500,000, can apply for grants. Additionally, the limitation for businesses that received Federal Paycheck Protection Program loans has been increased from $100,000 to $250,000.

2020 Pandemic Unemployment with associated enhancements (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and/or Lost Wage Assistance Programs) will be added back to 2020 gross receipts and will be used in gross receipts loss calculation from 2019. New York State will work with the Department of Labor to obtain the correct Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and enhancement payments for each applicant.

Applicants who had not finished their applications prior to August 25, 2021, must complete their documents as soon as possible. New applicants can apply based on the expanded eligibility criteria and those applications will start to be processed on September 8, 2021. All applicants are encouraged to get their required documentation uploaded within 14 days of applying.

 

I was ineligible under the previous guidelines and had already applied for the program, what should I do? [UPDATED ON 08.25.21]

All existing applications as of August 25, 2021 will be re-evaluated according to the expanded eligibility criteria. If the existing application meets all the criteria Lendistry will notify the applicant. Please check your spam folder for notification.

 

What is the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program?

The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program (the “Program”) was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information regarding the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Program, please see nysmallbusinessrecovery.com

Who is Lendistry?

B.S.D. Capital, Inc. dba Lendistry is the designated third-party grant administrator of the Program. Lendistry hosts and manages the portal for the Program’s grant application, processes and reviews each grant application, and will make grant payments to approved applicants. Lendistry and its authorized representatives may communicate directly with applicants to provide notifications on the status of their applications and request any additional information or documentation necessary to help applicants comply with the Program requirements, including their business bank account information. Visit lendistry.com to learn more about Lendistry.

Who is eligible and can apply for a grant?

Small businesses and Micro-businesses and For-profit independent arts and cultural organizations (collectively, “Eligible Applicants”) must:

  • Be currently viable and have begun operation on or before March 1, 2019, and continue to be in operation as of the date of application (maybe shuttered due to COVID restrictions).
  • Have 2019 or 2020 Gross Receipts of between $25,000 and $2,500,000 per annum (line 1a, IRS Form 1120 or 1065; line 1, IRS Form 1040 Schedule C; or the sum of line 1a + line 2, IRS Form 1040 Schedule C).
  • Demonstrate positive net profit on 2019 Business Return ($1 or greater) (line 28, IRS Form 1120; line 22, IRS Form 1065; or line 31, IRS Form 1040 Schedule C; or line 34, IRS Form 1040 Schedule F).
  • Demonstrate that total expenses on 2020 Business Income Return are greater than the grant amounts.
  • Demonstrate at least a 25% loss of gross receipts in a year-to-year revenue comparison as of December 31, 2020, to the same period in 2019.
  • Be in substantial compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, codes, and requirements.
  • Not owe any federal, state, or local taxes prior to July 15, 2020, or have an approved repayment, deferral plan, or in agreement with appropriate federal, state, and local taxing authorities.
  • Not have qualified for business grant assistance programs under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 or any other available federal COVID-19 economic recovery or business assistance grant programs, including loans forgiven under the federal Paycheck Protection Program, or are unable to obtain sufficient business assistance from such federal programs.
  • Eligible Applicants may have received or been awarded the following federal assistance:
    • Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $250,000 or less.
    • COVID-19 EIDL Advance Grant of $10,000 or less.
    • COVID-19 EIDL Supplemental Targeted Advance Grant of $5,000 or less.
    • SBA Shuttered Venue Operator Grant.

How is “small business” being defined?

“Small business” shall mean a business which is resident in New York State, incorporated in New York State and licensed or registered to do business in New York State, is independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field, and employs one hundred or less persons.

How is "micro-business" being defined?

“Micro-business” shall mean a business which is resident in New York State, incorporated in New York State and licensed or registered to do business in New York State, is independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field, and employs ten or less persons.

How is "For-profit independent arts and cultural organization" being defined?

“For-profit independent arts and cultural organization” shall mean a small or medium sized private for-profit, independently operated live-performance venue, promoter, production company, or performance-related business located in New York State negatively impacted by COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and having one hundred or less full-time employees, excluding seasonal employees. The qualifying organizations under this definition may include businesses engaged in a field including, but not limited to, architecture, dance, design, film, music, theater, opera, media, literature, museum activities, visual arts, folk arts and casting.

How is “COVID-19 health and safety protocols” being defined?

“COVID-19 health and safety protocols” means any restrictions imposed on the operation of businesses by executive order 202 of 2020 issued by the Governor, or any extension or subsequent executive order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or any other statute, rule, or regulation imposing restrictions on the operation of businesses in response to COVID-19.

When does a business have to have been established to be eligible to apply for a grant?

The business must have been in operation as of March 1, 2019 and continue to be in operation as of the date of application.

My business was profitable in 2019, but unprofitable in 2020. Am I eligible to apply for a grant?

Yes. The business needs to have shown positive income in 2019 only ($1 or greater).

My business has closed permanently but was open on March 1, 2019. Am I eligible for a grant?

No. The business must be in operation as of the date of application.

How long will this program last?

The program will last until the funding is exhausted. Due to a limited amount of funding and the high volume of requests expected, your business type, geography and industry may factor into your ability to receive a grant. Priority will be given to socially and economically disadvantaged business owners including, but not limited to, minority and women-owned business enterprises, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, and veteran-owned businesses, or businesses located in communities that were economically distressed prior to March 1, 2020, as determined by the most recent Census data.

Is a business that applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program loan in 2020 or 2021 eligible to apply for a grant?

Yes, provided the total of all PPP loans does not exceed $250,000.

My business saw a revenue increase in 2020. Am I eligible for a grant?

No. The business needs to have shown a gross revenue loss of at least 25% from 2019 to 2020 to qualify.

What entities are NOT eligible?

  • All Non-Profits, Churches and other religious institutions
  • Government-owned entities or elected official offices
  • Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities
  • Businesses that received funding from the SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant Program
  • Landlords and passive real estate businesses
  • Illegal Businesses and Enterprises

Is a business that applied for and received an SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant eligible to apply for this grant?

No.

Are Non-Profits eligible for grants?

No. Only for-profit businesses are eligible.

How are grant funds allowed to be used?

The grant must be used for COVID-19 related losses or expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021. These expenses include:

  • Payroll costs
  • Commercial Rent or mortgage payments for NYS-based property (may not be used for pre-payments)
  • Payment of local property or school taxes associated with a small business location in NYS
  • Insurance costs
  • Utility costs
  • Costs of personal protection equipment (PPE) necessary to protect worker and consumer health and safety
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) costs
  • Other machinery or equipment costs
  • Supplies and materials necessary for compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols
  • Other documented COVID-19 costs as approved by ESD

How much grant money can I receive?

For all information on grant awards and how they are calculated, please see “GRANT AMOUNTS” section of the Program website at nysmallbusinessrecovery.com.

What documentation will I be expected to provide?

The following documentation will be collected as proof of grant qualification:

  • Proof of revenue loss or other economic hardship: 2019 and 2020 Business Income Tax Returns
  • Completed IRS Form 4506-C
  • Two (2) proof of business location and current operation
  • Schedule of ownership: Listing of names, addresses, Social Security Numbers (or for non-US owners, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers), phone numbers, e-mails, percentage ownership, and photo ID for any owners with more than 20% ownership of business
  • Proof of number of employees: Most recently submitted NYS-45 document for employer firms
  • For funds distribution: W-9 and bank account information
  • Proof of Business Organization

For a complete list of the required documentation, please see the “REQUIRED DOCUMENTS” section of the Program website at nysmallbusinessrecovery.com.

How are grant funds NOT allowed to be used?

Grants awarded under the Program may not be used to re-pay or pay down any portion of a loan obtained through a federal COVID-19 relief package for business assistance or any New York State business assistance programs.

Am I eligible to receive a grant if I received an SBA Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG)?

Yes, provided you meet all the other Program eligibility criteria.

If I own more than one business, can I apply for a grant for each of them?

Yes, provided each business is completely independent from the other(s). Each business must have its own organizational documentation and/or license (as applicable) and be qualified independently.

My business' gross receipts in 2019 were greater than $2,500,000 but, due to COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions, my business' gross receipts in 2020 were less than $2,500,000; can I still apply for this Program?

Yes, provided you meet all the other Program eligibility criteria.

I have a farming business and file an IRS Schedule F. Am I eligible to apply for this grant, and if so, how do I determine my gross receipts, expenses and net profit?

Yes, farming businesses filing an IRS Schedule F are eligible for the grant, provided they meet all other Program eligibility criteria. To determine annual gross receipts, sum the amounts on line 1a and line 2 on the applicable Schedule F. Expenses would be reflected on Schedule F, line 33 and net profit would be reflected on Schedule F, line 34.

Can I link my personal bank account?

No. The checking account you link via Plaid in the Portal must be in the name of your business and listed on your bank statements. If your business is a sole proprietorship, the bank account must still be a business checking account and match your name or DBA.

It is recommended that you go to your current bank provider or one of the members of the Independent Bankers Association
and open a business account.

Independent Bankers Association Website | https://ibanys.net/

The grant program requirements indicate that priority may be given to socially and economically disadvantaged business owners. Does this include businesses owned by persons with a disability?

Yes, under grant program requirements, socially and economically disadvantaged business owners would include business owners with a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, provided that such persons own more than 50% of the business.

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