Modified: July 22, 2021 1:31pm
Erie County Legislators Joe Lorigo, Chris Greene, Frank Todaro, and John Mills have passed a resolution directing $10 million in remaining 2020 CARES Act funding to reimburse small businesses and non-profits who spent money to combat the spread of COVID-19, including the purchase of sanitizer products, HVAC upgrades, PPE, and additional safety measures.
The resolution requires Erie County to accept applications from businesses and non-profits and award funding on a first-come, first-served basis through December 31, 2021 or until the funding runs out. The resolution received the unanimous support of the Legislature Thursday afternoon.
Minority Leader Lorigo said, “In many cases, businesses and non-profits exhausted their own funds during the pandemic to keep up with COVID-19 safety guidelines and keep employees and customers safe. These entities spent tens of thousands of dollars while struggling to stay afloat. Our program would reimburse those organizations through an application process to be set up as soon as possible. I encourage any businesses or non-profit who believes they may be eligible to apply. In the meantime, proud to support small businesses and non-profits in Erie County and thank my colleagues for their support.”
Legislator Greene said, “Small businesses and non-profits spent thousands of dollars to sanitize, purchase PPE, upgrade HVAC systems, and invest in other COVID-19 safety measures. These expenses add up. Establishing this program will provide some relief to struggling businesses and non-profit organizations throughout Erie County and the district I represent.”
Legislator Todaro said, “I have seen first-hand the amount of time and money small businesses and non-profit organizations have put into COVID-19 fighting measures. On top of going into their own pockets for these upgrades, they lost significant revenue due to closures and other restrictions. We need to provide them with some relief and this program will get the ball rolling on that. I’m proud to stand up for small business and non-profit organizations who need our help.”
Legislator Mills said, “As a business owner, I’ve seen how costly the COVID-19 pandemic has been and everything that goes into implementing safety measures. This program I’ve established will help offset some of the money businesses and non-profits have spent to purchase PPE and other supplies to keep employees and customers safe from COVID-19. I look forward to getting the program up-and-running and encourage small businesses in my legislative district to apply.”
Under the program, the following restrictions should apply:
- The business or entity was in operation for a minimum of 12 months prior to March 15, 2020 and the applicant submits an itemized list detailing their costs requested for reimbursement from March 15, 2020 through to present;
- The business or entity has not already received reimbursement for the same COVID-19 expenses from Erie County, New York State, or the Federal Government;
- All applicants shall be based in Erie County;
- Government entities shall not be eligible for reimbursement under this program.
Eligible expenses will include:
- Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment for provision to employees or patrons;
- Purchase of personal sanitizing materials for use by employees or patrons, whether it be hand sanitizer or cleaning products;
- Purchase of glass or acrylic materials used to set up sneeze and cough guards;
- Purchase of physical barriers and signage related to social distancing requirements; and
- Upgrade of HVAC or other air handling system to include additional air filtering capabilities (i.e. UV or HEPA filtration).