The City of Geneva has provided more than $250,000 through the Small Business Disaster Grant program to assist 42 small businesses in the City of Geneva who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Funds for the Small Business Disaster Grant program started from utilizing a portion of the City’s 2020 Microenterprise Assistance Program (MAP), approved by NYS Homes and Community Renewal (NYS HCR). Three local entities, Geneva Revolving Loan Fund; the Geneva Local Development Corporation; and Geneva Industrial Development Agency, jumped in to contribute towards the funds available.
The Small Business Disaster Grant program was created with the goal of helping businesses survive the COVID-19 crisis by providing grant funding to pay operating expenses. Grant awards ranged from $1,200 up to $8,000 per business and were based on eligible operating expenses over a 3-month period. Business owners were reimbursed for expenses such as rent, utilities, insurance costs, payroll, inventory, advertising, and other expenses necessary to keep the business operational.
“Thank you God, for the Small Business Disaster Grant,” says Raul Fuentes, owner of Creator’s Touch Barbershop, and Small Business Disaster Grant recipient. “The program helped restore my business back up to par,” explains Fuentes. Creator’s Touch Barbershop was one of 36 business in the City of Geneva assisted through the Small Business Disaster Grant program.
“The disaster grant was everything a small business like mine needed to survive during this pandemic,” states Marina Howard, owner of Simple Sweets Bakery, another grant recipient. “After doing everything I could think of to keep my business alive and running, it wasn’t even making enough to cover a fraction of basic operating costs. If it wasn’t for the disaster grant, I don’t think my business would have survived.”
“Small businesses contribute greatly to the vibrancy of Geneva. As a community we are committed to working together to be stronger post COVID-19. Thus, we are grateful to the State and local entities that contributed towards this program,” states City Manager Sage Gerling.