Employee Reimbursement Grants Available
The Niagara County Workforce Development Board plans to apply for a grant that offers a $20,000-per-employee reimbursement to Niagara County employers who hired an employee that meets the grant requirements. 
 
The employment must meet the following qualifications: 
  • Individual was hired on 4/10/2020 or later; 
  • The new hire was laid off due to COVID-19, OR individual was affected by a mass layoff or closure or was laid off and had exhausted their unemployment benefits; 
  • The position they were hired for involves duties related to COVID-19, including but not limited to: additional clean-up requirements related to COVID-19, food delivery to housebound individuals, vaccination site assistance including helping people navigate the vaccination sites, contact tracing, educating others about COVID-19 vaccinations/contact tracing, etc. 
 
If you think you have a new hire who might qualify, please email your business name, the job title and the dollar amount for reimbursement by May 6, 2021 to Bonnie.Rice@niagaracounty.com.

Feel free to contact Bonnie via email or at (716) 278-8251 with any questions.
If your company recently submitted a Consolidated Funding Application for Invest in Skills NY monies and you received a denial letter, funding may still be possible. Applications are currently under consideration now that an additional $175 million for this fiscal year has been approved in the NYS Budget.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Application Portal Opens Monday
As a reminder, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application Portal opens this Monday, May 3rd. In anticipation of applying, you are able to log-on now to restaurants.sba.gov to create an account. Restaurants.sba.gov will also be the link to use to apply through the portal.

This grant program is available to the following businesses:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

Businesses with as little as $50,000 in gross receipts in 2019 can qualify for funding. Don't miss out on this opportunity!

If you have questions or need assistance with understanding the new Restaurant Revitalization Fund call the Niagara SBDC at 716-210-2515.
Restrictions on Restaurants to be
Lifted Next Month
Starting Monday, May 17th, outdoor dining will be able to continue past the current curfew of midnight. The indoor dining midnight curfew will be lifted two weeks later, on Monday, May 31st.

The 1:00 a.m. curfew for catered events will be lifted on Monday, May 17th for those events where guests have proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. The curfew will be lifted for all catered events on Monday, May 31st.

Finally, bars and restaurants are now permitted to serve alcohol to patrons without requiring a food purchase.
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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