New York State Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program Guidelines

Overview

The New York State Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program (the “Program”) was created to incentivize employment growth by providing financial assistance to businesses in the tourism industry that suffered economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Eligibility

Grants will be limited to:

  • For-profit or non-profit businesses, open to and/or servicing the public, engaged in a tourism-related field including, accommodations, arts, entertainment, scenic and sightseeing transportation, tour operators, convention and visitor groups, or other businesses that, in ESD’s sole discretion, qualify as businesses in the tourism industry (View a full list of descriptions and NAICS codes).

Further, to qualify for grant assistance, all Eligible Applicants must:

  • Increase their average employment between January 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022, by at least 2 net new full-time equivalent jobs;

  • Continue to be in operation as of the date of application;

  • Have experienced economic harm resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidenced by a year-to-year decrease of at least 15% of gross receipts or gross wages between 2019 and 2020 (Applicants must demonstrate a year-to-year loss of at least 15%; however Applicants with 25% or greater loss will receive priority);

  • Be in substantial compliance AND attest to being in substantial compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, codes, and requirements;

  • Not owe past-due federal, state, or local taxes, unless making payments pursuant to and complying with an approved binding agreement with the appropriate taxing authority;

  • If a non-profit business (e.g., cultural institutions), be prequalified in Grants Gateway prior to the disbursement of any grant funds;

  • Not be currently participating in the NYC Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit program OR the Empire State Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program;

  • Not be more than 5% owned, directly or indirectly, by a publicly-traded company; and

  • Be open to and/or service the public.

Grant Details

  • A total of $100 million in funding has been allocated to award Grantees for increasing their average employment between January 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022, as compared to a baseline employment period between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. For seasonal businesses, an alternative baseline average employment period will be established for January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021.

  • Grants will provide $5,000 for each net new full-time equivalent job added, and $2,500 for each net new part-time equivalent job added.

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