State program to provide funds for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

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SAUGERTIES – This Thursday, June 10, small businesses with 100 or fewer employees will be able to apply for grants from an $800 million state program championed by Sen. Michelle Hinchey.

  “So many of our businesses lost much of their revenue in the last 18 months,” she said on Tuesday. “So, without this money, we would see many more doors close for good.”

Heidi Brandt has owned and operated a daycare business in her Saugerties home for 21 years.

“I am hoping I fit into that criteria,” she said.

  And she does so after struggling for the last 18 months.

“When New York’s workforce went home, so did (the) children,” she said. “We didn’t have the children to sustain our staff.”  So, Brandt went through her savings and obtained grants and small business loans and managed not to lose any employees. 

Now her business is back to pre-Covid numbers. “It’s amazing to see the families and children and do what I love to do.”

  Brandt is optimistic, and Hinchey said the grant program can help spread that joy, so that so many small business dreams and opportunities don’t completely vanish.

“Our economy is reopening, which is great,” said Hinchey. “But that doesn’t make up for the 18 months of hardship. This money helps to make up some of that.”

Businesses, based on 2019 gross receipts, can apply for $5,000 to $50,000 to help with payroll, mortgage or rent, payment of property or school taxes, supplies for Covid safety protocols and other operating costs.