COVID-19 Small Business Continuity Program – Emergency Grants

Does your business need help staying afloat during the COVID-19 crisis?  The Community Loan Fund can help.

COVID-19 Small Business Continuity Program – Grants

We are no longer accepting applications for our grant program. We will continue to keep you posted about future award notices on our website. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter for further information about this and other small business opportunities, please sign up here. 

Program Description:

The COVID-19 Small Business Continuity Grant Program is intended to help businesses keep their employees and stay afloat during a time of economic hardship due to the impacts of COVID-19. Businesses are encouraged to apply for this funding to help make payroll, to pay bills and to keep their operations going. This Program will be administered by the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region and allocated in accordance with program guidelines and a scoring matrix approved by the donors to the Program. This Program is meant to bridge the gap for a brief financial hardship period.

Funding has generously been provided by Neil and Jane Golub, the Capital Region Chamber, Berkshire Bank, Citizens Bank, KeyBank, as well as other community organizations and municipalities.

Eligible Applicants:

Small businesses with a physical commercial storefront located in the service area or independent contractor/gig worker based in the service area, Albany County and surrounding Capital Region, that have experienced at least a 10-25% revenue loss due to the impacts of COVID-19. Under this program, small businesses are defined as retail, service provider, restaurant, independent contractor/gig and wholesale businesses with 50 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) or less. Additional eligibility factors include the following:

  • Eligible small businesses must have been in stable operation since January 1, 2020.
  • Eligible applicants cannot have any outstanding tax liabilities, tax liens, or legal judgements.
  • All applicants must show proof of seeking available Federal resources and provide evidence of all private and public assistance received.
  • National chains or independent contractors working for national chains are not eligible under this program.

Ineligible Applicants:

  • Businesses larger than 50 FTEs.
  • Businesses that are part of a national chain.

Assistance Terms:

  • Small business grants will be awarded in an amount up to $20,000, but no greater than 3 months of eligible operating expenses.
  • Businesses must attest to use the funds for eligible operating expenses and confirmed a plan is in place to cover the remaining balance of expenses.
  • No application or other fees.
  • Applicants must commit to reporting success of business operations for a period of up to six months after receiving grant award.
  • Only one grant per applicant.

Eligible Uses of Program Funds:

Grants may only be used for the day-to-day salaries, general and administrative operating expenses of the awarded business

Certified Uses of Program Funds:

Awarded businesses must certify funds will be used as intended, for eligible operating expenses, to sustain the long-term operations of the awarded business.

Required Application Documentation:

In order to be scored, application packets must include the following documentation:

  • Completed application
  • Copy of the front of your drivers’ license or other government-issued photo identification
  • 2019 Balance Sheet
  • 2019 Profit and Loss Statement
  • Most recent Federal Tax Returns (2018 accepted)

Funding Sources:

Funding for this program has been provided by a variety of public and private sources. Individual sources may come with geographic or programmatic restrictions and will be held for businesses meeting those specific criteria.

Grant FAQs

Review Criteria: 

Only completed applications will be evaluated. Applications will be reviewed using a scoring matrix approved by all funding sources based on the criteria below. Applications meeting the criteria below will be funded on a first-come/first-served basis until all eligible funds have been depleted. Grants made from restricted funding sources within the pool may be subject to final approval from the funding source. The scoring matrix will take into account:

  • Eligibility
  • Business Viability
  • Strategic cluster/industry
  • Geographic Priority (distressed census tract, jurisdiction of restricted funding sources, ensuring geographic diversity, Opportunity Zone)
  • Business Ownership (MWBE)

Affidavit: 

Awardees attest to use the grant funds as intended for operational expenses and to report the status of business operations up to six months after grant awards are received.

The Community Loan Fund shall provide quarterly reports, as well as a final report to all funding sources on the number of applications, approvals, three- and six-month awardee status update, and grant pool close-out.

Interested in applying?

We are no longer accepting applications for our grant program. We will continue to keep you posted about future award notices on our website. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter for further information about this and other small business opportunities, please sign up here. 

Please complete the electronic application below, including the uploading of necessary attachments. 

Caroline Bardwell, Schenectady Trading Company

Sarah Stevens, Zephyr Preservation Studio

Mahroof Karim, Faisel West Indian Grocery