SBA Extends COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application Deadline
The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 pandemic disaster declaration is extended to December 31, 2021. The deadline extension comes as a result of the recent bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress and enacted by President Trump on December 27, 2020. Click to learn more about loan terms and see answers to frequently asked questions. To access the COVID-19 Economic Disaster Loan Assistance Application click here.

As always, the NCCC Small Business Development Center is available to offer loan application guidance or to assist you with the application process. You can reach them at (716) 210-2515 or at SBDC@niagaracc.suny.edu.
NYS Empire State Development Announces Restaurant Recovery Fund
In an effort to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund offers ​approximately $3 million in reimbursement grants for up to $5,000 to eligible businesses. The program is intended to support full-service restaurants – the industry hit hardest by the pandemic – during the winter months when outdoor dining is limited and as restaurants adjust to New York State’s COVID-19 safety restrictions and new mandates.

To qualify for the program, an establishment must:
  • Be a full-service restaurant (NAICS code 722511), or establishment engaged in providing food services and/or meals (prepared on-premises) to patrons - those providing take out food services due to COVID-19 restrictions are also eligible;
  • Have less than $3 million in 2019 revenue; 
  • Be located in New York State; 
  • Be in operation on or before March 1, 2019; 
  • Certify and demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19;
  • Agree to comply with all applicable NY State and local reopening guidance and COVID-19 health and safety policies.

Franchises are not eligible. Maximum $5,000 grant 
Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprises are encouraged to apply

The Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund is a partnership between New York State, Diageo Wine & Spirits, Southern Glazer Wines & Spirits and The National Development Council (NDC). Grant funding will be managed by The National Development Council (NDC).

Restaurants can apply to the Rising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund starting Monday, January 11, 2021.
Learn more about the grant opportunity and the application process here.
Agricultural Program
Updates
The reduced federal excise tax rates under the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CMBTRA) have been made permanent with the passage and signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This will allow American wineries to plan their businesses decisions with more certainty moving forward.

Recently the NYS Farm Wage Board recommended the preservation of the current 60-hour overtime threshold for farm workers across New York State. More information can be found here.
NYS Department of Labor
Releases FAQs for Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020
The NYS Department of Labor has provided answers to Frequently Asked Questions related to the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020. Those questions and subsequent answers can be found here.
Upcoming Training Courses
and Webinars
Regional Coalition Announces WNY Tech Skills Initiative to Accelerate Economic Recovery, Providing Community with Access to Technology Training

Western New Yorkers who have been economically impacted by the pandemic can now register for free tech and digital skills courses through the WNY Tech Skills Initiative.

Launched in response to persistent unemployment and underemployment exacerbated by the pandemic, the WNY Tech Skills Initiative will offer virtual training experiences that will connect community members with access to in-demand skills. The training will benefit people interested in careers in technology, as well as those who want to gain digital skills to make themselves more marketable when pursuing jobs.

The WNY Tech Skills Initiative will be guided and informed by a regional coalition that includes M&T Bank, Empire State Development, TechBuffalo, Buffalo Urban League, Goodwill of NYW, Rich Products, the University at Buffalo Regional Institute, Lighthouse Technology Services, the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo Employment & Training Center, and the Erie County Department of Social Services. The initiative's free courses and workshops will be provided by General Assembly. For more information or to enroll in the WNY Tech Skills Initiative visit techbuffalo.org/wny-tech-skills-initiative   

Join SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza on Thursday, January 7th at 1:00 p.m. for a ground-breaking launch of Ascent, the online digital learning platform for women small business owners. Ascent is the first-of-its-kind online resource specifically designed to help the nearly 10 million American women entrepreneurs grow and scale their small business.

This virtual event will include discussion panels with real women entrepreneurs, success stories leaders, and a take a look into how the Ascent platform can help you on your small business journey. Discussions will include small business solutions to Disaster and Economic Recovery, Strategic Marketing, Your People, Business Financial Strategies, and Access to Capital. Click here to register
Stay Engaged for the
Latest Businesses Developments
Continue to look for emails from our office in the coming days and weeks updating you on the latest reopening news and what assistance is available to help you through this difficult time. Our staff is working hard to compile a complete list of guidelines, safety protocols and programs that are available. We will also share upcoming webinars and training that you can participate in. To learn more, be sure to visit our website and bookmark it.
Sincerely,

Niagara County Center for Economic Development
(716) 278-8750