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NYS Small Businesses Have Chance to ‘Bloom’ with ‘Seed’ Program

If you started a business after September 1, 2018 and have operated for a minimum of 6 months, you may be eligible to receive a grant of up to $25,000 from the NYS Seed Funding Grant Program, through Empire State Development (ESD).

This program was created to help small, micro businesses in New York State who were ineligible or unable to apply for previous COVID related relief programs. With a focus on rural, upstate New York, $200-million-dollars has been allocated to this fund.

Eligible businesses include small business, micro-business, for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations, and the agriculture industry. Ineligible businesses include all non-profits, churches or other religious organizations, government owned entities or elected offices, businesses that engage in political or lobbying activities, landlords and passive real estate businesses.

Grant awards will start at $5,000 and businesses could receive as much as $25,000. Award amounts will be based on annual gross receipts as shown on your 2020 or 2021 tax returns. For businesses who have not yet filed a tax return, the minimum award of $5,000 will be granted, provided you supply the required documentation.

If your business received assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL funding, SBA Shuttered Venue Grant or the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant you are still eligible to apply. However, if your business qualified for the NYS COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program, you are not eligible for this program.

“The NYS Seed Funding Grant Program is a wonderful opportunity for our small businesses who were previously ineligible to receive funding” noted Leslie Connolly, Chairman of the Schuyler County Partnership. “The state realized that some of the previous programs had barriers that made it difficult for some of our smaller businesses to qualify. This program was specifically designed to target those small businesses, remove barriers and provide a path for financial relief. A grant of $5,000 could make the difference for many of our small business owners.”

Businesses who are interested in applying can review the guidelines and apply online at or contact Kerri Green at the Schuyler County Partnership at (607) 535-6862 or

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