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*Please note that the information below is not, nor should it be construed as, legal advice. We encourage you to consult with your attorney, financial institution, or accountant.

New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program 

The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small business, micro-businesses, and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Grant Award Amounts

  • Annual gross receipts = $25,000-$49,999: $5,000/business
  • Annual gross receipts = $50,000-$99,999: $10,000/business
  • Annual gross receipts = $100,000-$500,000: 10% of gross receipts (max grant is $50,000)
For eligibility requirements and more information regarding the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Program, click here.
Need Help Applying?
The North Country Chamber of Commerce is an approved ESD technical assistance provider which means that our team is ready to assist you and your business with determining if you are eligible to apply, gathering documentation needed to apply, and answering any questions you may have. Our assistance is 100% free and is made possible by funding from New York State.
If you would like to schedule a time to talk or have any questions, please call Raechell Conn at 518.563.1000 or email her at

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Click here to read more about PPP loan forgiveness.

Deadline to Apply

The program is closed and is no longer accepting new applications for funding. 

When to Apply for Forgiveness

A borrower can apply for forgiveness once all loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness have been used. Borrowers can apply for forgiveness any time up to the maturity date of their loan however, if a borrower does not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of their covered period, then PPP loan payments are no longer deferred and borrowers will need to begin making loan payments to their lender. 

How to Apply for Forgiveness

  1. Determine If Your PPP Lender is Participating in Direct Forgiveness through the SBA
  • Review the list of lenders participating in direct forgiveness HERE.
    • If your lender is on the list, you must apply via the SBA portal any time after August 4, 2021. The questions that you will be asked will correspond to those asked on SBA Form 3508S
    • If your lender is not on the list, you must apply directly with your lender. Your lender can provide you with the appropriate forms (SBA Form 3508, 3508EZ, 3508S, or lender equivalent. They can also provide you with further guidance how they'd like you to submit your forgiveness application.
      • SBA Form 3508 - For borrowers with loans greater than $50,000 who reduced # of employees or their wages.
      • SBA Form 3508EZ - For borrowers with loans greater than $50,000 who didn't reduce employee # or wages.
      • SBA Form 3508S - Only for those who received a loan of $50,000 or less
  1. Compile Your Payroll and Non-Payroll Expense Documentation
  2. Submit Your Forgiveness Application and Any/All Documentation
    • Depending on whether your lender is participating in direct forgiveness or not (see step #1 above) you must complete your loan forgiveness application and submit it either via the SBA direct forgiveness portal OR via your lender with any/all required supporting documents.
  3. Continue to Communicate with Your Lender Throughout the Process

More Information

FAQ About PPP Loan Forgiveness

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.

Deadline to Apply

The SBA is still accepting new COVID-19 EIDL applications (loan component only) from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural enterprises, and private nonprofit organizations. There is no official deadline to apply; applications will continue to be accepted until funding has been exhausted.

Who Can Apply?

  • Small business owners with not more than 500 employees
  • Agricultural businesses with not more than 500 employees
  • Sole proprietorships, with or without employees, and independent contractors
  • Agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees
  • Private non-profit organization with 501 (c), (d), or (e) IRS designation

Loan Increases

Some loans approved prior to the week of April 6, 2021 will be eligible for an increase based on new loan maximum amounts announced March 24, 2021. Businesses that received a loan subject to current loan limit do not need to submit a request for an increase at this time. SBA will reach out directly via email closer to the April 6, 2021 implementation date to provide more details about how businesses can request an increase.

If an applicant accepted a loan for less than the full amount originally offered, the application will have up to two years after the date of the loan promissory note to request to request additional funds. Applicants may continue to request additional funds even after the application deadline of December 31, 2021.

How to Apply:

Eligible small businesses, private non-profits, and agricultural businesses can apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan online, via the SBA web-portal system here.

For more information on the EIDL, click here.

Targeted and Supplemental EIDL Advance

Advance funds of up to $10,000 will be available to applicants in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied but received no funds due to lack of available program funding.

Applicants do not need to take any action, the SBA is reaching out to those who qualify.

Please do not submit duplicate COVID-19 EIDL applications. Only prior applicants will be considered for the Targeted EIDL Advance.

All communication from SBA will be sent from an official government email account ending with Please do not send sensitive information via email to any address that does not end with

Applicants may qualify if they:

  • Are in a low-income community.
  • Can demonstrate more than 30% reduction in revenue during an eight-week period beginning on March 2, 2020, or later.

Next, the SBA is reaching out to those who applied for EIDL assistance on or before December 27, 2020, but did not receive an EIDL Advance due to lack of program funding. Applicants may qualify for a Targeted EIDL Advance if they meet the low-income location and reduction-in-revenue criteria, and:

  • Have 300 or fewer employees. Business entities normally eligible for the EIDL program are eligible, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and private, nonprofit organizations. Agricultural enterprises are not eligible. 

Important note: EIDL advances no longer being deducted from PPP loan forgiveness amounts.

Additional Information:

Frequently Asked Questions on the Program

Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant -
A Grant Program for Live Venues, Independent Movie Theaters, Museums, and Other Cultural Institutions

The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grant program will provide eligible applicants with grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, capped at $10 million. $2 billion in this program is reserved for eligible applicants with 50 or fewer full-time employees. 

Who Can Apply?

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operator
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos, and aquariums who meet specific criteria.
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives, and
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements.

Must have been in operations as of February 29, 2020, and the venue or promoter must not have received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020.

Amount of Grant

For an eligible entity that was in operation on or before 1/1/19 - a grant for 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue or $10 million (whichever is less). 

For an eligible entity who began operation after 1/1/19 - a grant of the average monthly gross revenue for each full month the entity was in operation in 2019 multiplied by 6 or $10 million (whichever is less). 

Allowable Use of Funds

Funds may be used for specific expenses which may include:

  • Payroll costs
  • Rent payments
  • Utility payments
  • Scheduled mortgage payments (not including prepayment of principal)
  • Scheduled debt payments (not including prepayment of principal) on any indebtedness incurred in the ordinary course of business prior to 2/15/20
  • Worker protection expenditures
  • Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100k in annual compensation per contractor)
  • Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
  • Administrative costs (including fees and licensing)
  • Operating leases in effect as of 2/15/20
  • Insurance payments
  • Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production (may not be the primary use of funds).

How to Apply and Deadline to Apply

The SBA began accepting application on April 8th –  the portal to submit applications can be found here. '

The deadline to apply is Friday, August 20th.

For more information, please visit the SVO grant page on the SBA website or email

Employee Retention Tax Credit

The Employee Retention Credit (ERTC) is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes. Employers may claim up to $5,000 per employee across all quarters in 2020, and up to $7,000 per employee per quarter from January 1, 2021 to December 31st, 2021.

Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer's employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS.

To qualify, eligible employers (including nonprofits) must show that their operations were either fully or partially suspended due to orders from a governmental authority due to COVID-19 OR that they experienced a significant decline in gross receipts in a calendar quarter compared to 2019 (50% or more for 2020; 20% or more for 2021).

Additionally, employers can receive both an ERTC and a PPP loan or an ERTC and SVOG or an ERTC and Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grant, granted that the programs do not cover the same payroll expenses.

For more information from the IRS, click here.

Local & Regional COVID-19 Loan Funds

We’ve all heard about the PPP & the EIDL program and many businesses have applied for assistance through those federal programs.

But here in the North Country we’ve always come up with creative solutions when disaster strikes and this crisis is no different. Several North Country organizations have created loan funds to help fill the gaps left between the assistance available through the U.S. government and the needs of local businesses. We’ve listed some below:

The funds include:

  • Franklin County Small Business Relief Loan Fund: $5,000-$25,000, base interest rate 4.25%, principal and interest moratorium for first 3 months then interest only for subsequent 6 months, open to businesses and 501(c)3 entities with under 100 employees, available in Franklin County only.
  • Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board Small Business Recovery Loans: Working Capital, Equipment/Supply Purchases, Physical Infrastructure Upgrades - as related to COVID-19 needs. $25,000 - $150,000 loans, 1.9% fixed interest rate, first 12-months interest-only payments, up to 84-month term available, no fees or closing costs, must show job retention, available in Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren, Washington, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. 
  • Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board COVID-19 Micro-LoansWorking Capital, $5,000-$25,000, 1.9% fixed rate interest, first 6 months interest only payments, 24-60 month loan term, must show job retention, available in Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren and Washington counties.
  • North Country Alliance COVID-19 Emergency Business Relief Program: Maximum loan $25,000 based on demonstrated need for 6 months working capital, 5% interest, principal and interest moratorium for first 3 months then principal and interest only for subsequent 6 months, open to for-profit and not-for-profits entities with under 100 FTEs, available in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.

These are just the basics of the loan programs. Contact information and more about the terms, benefits, and eligibility criteria for each type of loan are listed on the fact sheets. Thank you to all of these organizations for quickly putting together these assistance programs for our small businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

New York Forward Loan Fund

The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is an economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.

NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small residential landlords that have seen a loss of rental income.

NYFLF is providing working capital loans so that small businesses, nonprofits and small residential landlords have access to credit as they reopen. These loans are available to small businesses and nonprofits that did not receive a U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program of greater than $50,000 or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 of any amount, except for EIDL advance grant of up to $10,000, and small residential landlords. The loans are not forgivable in part or whole. The loans will need to be paid back over a 5-year term with interest.   

Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund are now open.  Priority will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened.  This is not a first-come, first-served loan program.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen. 

For small businesses and nonprofits that are in industries and regions that have not yet reopened, you are encouraged to prepare your pre-application in advance by taking advantage of the application preparation resources available here.  

  • Small businesses and nonprofits must employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees; 
  • Small businesses must have gross revenues of less than $3 million per year;
  • Been in business for at least 1 year as of the date of the loan application;
  • Be located in NYS;
  • Nonprofits must provide direct services and have an annual operating budget of less than $3 million per year; and
  • Have not received a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 or a SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of more than $50,000 in 2020.

For more information, click here.

To apply, click here.

Other Useful Links for Employers/Employees:

Other Useful Links:

For more information on other Coronavirus related topics, visit our home page HERE.

Have questions? Let us know! Email us and we will do our best to find the answer.

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