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In Suffolk, Aid For Businesses, Residents Amid Covid

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Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone has announced a program to assist business and residents — Bringing Assistance for covid-19 and Kickstarting Support to Operating Professionals – or BACKSTOP, will provide nearly 150 small businesses with grants up to $10,000 and distribute nearly $600,000 in emergency rental assistance to residents.

Applications for the rental assistance program and for the Small Business Assistance Grant Program started December 17.

“We are now nine months in to this pandemic, and with cases surging once again we need to provide residents in need tangible assistance,” Bellone said in a statement. “This new rent relief program coupled with financial aid to struggling small businesses will provide help to some of our most vulnerable residents.”  

The county is launching a covid-19 Small Business Assistance Grant Program. With $1 million available of Community Development Block Gran funding, the county will provide nearly 150 small businesses with a grant of up to $10,000, based on their number of full-time employees. Businesses with up to 10 employees will be eligible for a maximum grant of $5,000, while businesses with 11 to 50 employees will be eligible for a maximum of up to $10,000 in grant funding. The program aims to help struggling small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Eligible businesses include gyms, hair salons and barber shops, nail salons, restaurants, bars and taverns. The program is designed to help ensure that small businesses in Suffolk can access a financial lifeline at a time when many are adjusting or repurposing their operations to comply with the state’s covid-19 restrictions and guidelines. Businesses must be located within one of the participating Consortium municipalities to be eligible for funding pursuant to federal requirements.

According to the county, the rent program will provide a one-time rental assistance payment to eligible applicants in an amount up to 100 percent of one month’s rent, up to a maximum of $2,500.  This program funds residents in existing rental units.  The applicant must fill out and sign a self-certification form to verify their income and how they were affected by the pandemic. All applications are due on January 15, 2021, and a lottery will be held to select awardees.

Prior to the application deadline, the county will conduct an outreach and training initiative to community-based organizations to ensure assist individuals through the application process. More information about the program is available here.  

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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