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Onondaga County is offering $500K grant program for small businesses, nonprofits

By Eric Reinhardt (


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Onondaga County is offering a $500,000 grant program for small businesses and nonprofit organizations to help with out-of-pocket expenses related to COVID-19 health and safety requirements.

The Onondaga County Office of Economic Development is providing the funding through the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA).

The OCIDA board approved the funding during its Tuesday morning meeting, the office Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon tell CNYBJ.

“These grants are another important tool to help our small businesses and not-for-profits cover some of the expenses that they must incur to keep their employees and our community safe as we emerge on the other side of this global health pandemic.” McMahon said. “It is important for our small business and not-for-profit community to know that Onondaga County is prepared to do what we can to help them survive these uncertain economic times. Thank you, also, to the New York State legislature for heeding our call to action and passing this important legislation.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June signed a bill that allows IDAs to approve grants and loans for businesses and nonprofits with 50 or fewer employees.

Recipients can use these funds to pay the cost of items such as — but not limited to — personal protective equipment and the purchase and installation of sanitizing fixtures to help reduce the spread or other necessary COVID-19-related costs incurred as part of reopening.

Grants may not exceed $10,000 and are awarded as a reimbursement.

Eligible applicants must be a business or nonprofit located in Onondaga County with fewer than 50 employees. Those pursuing funding can submit applications online via or by mail.

Supporting documentation of the goods that have been purchased is required. The OCIDA board will consider all applications on a “first come, first served basis,” McMahon’s office said.

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