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CEO FOCUS: Eligibility Expanded for Pandemic Small-Biz Recovery Grant Program

By Robert M. Simpson


As one of her first acts as governor of New York, Kathy Hochul announced expanded eligibility for the $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. New changes to the program will enable more small businesses to apply for funding. Businesses with revenue from $25,000 up to $2.5 million can now apply for grants, up from the previous threshold of $500,000. Additionally, the limitation for businesses that received federal Paycheck Protection Program loans has been increased from $100,000 to $250,000. 

The expansion of this program is something CenterState CEO has advocated for, and we are grateful to Gov. Hochul for her actions to ensure more of the small businesses most impacted by this crisis receive the support and resources they need to survive and thrive. Additionally, as chair of the New York State Assembly Small Business Committee, and co-chair of an Assembly Working Group focused on New York’s economic recovery from COVID-19, Assemblyman Al Stirpe was an outspoken advocate for small-businesses funding in the state budget. We thank these leaders for recognizing the importance of supporting small businesses during this crisis and continuing to evolve programs to meet ongoing needs.

As we have done throughout this crisis, CenterState CEO’s team stands ready to help businesses navigate the application process. As a designated technical-assistance partner, CenterState CEO can assist and advise applicants on their applications. Please contact Andy Obernesser, CenterState CEO’s director of community investment, for assistance at More information, program guidelines, and the grant application, can be found at Furthermore, you can find a broad range of business-support resources at our COVID-19 Business Resources page at      

Robert M. Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development organization for Central New York. This article is drawn and edited from the “CEO Focus” email newsletter that the organization sent to members on Aug. 26.