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The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation today approved $350 million to expand existing business recovery and retention programs in Lower Manhattan, including funds to help businesses with one to nine employees. Through a program jointly administered by Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), these small businesses will be eligible to receive a grant of either $3,500 or $5,000 per employee, depending on location and upon signing or renewing a lease. Each grant will be paid in two equal installments, the first upon approval and the second 18 months later. The funds approved today by LMDC will also be used to support other business assistance programs being offered by ESD and EDC.
The funding announced today for small businesses with one to nine employees is in addition to financial assistance already available to businesses with ten to 200 employees through the Small Firm Attraction and Retention Grant Program (SFARG). The ESD and EDC have announced plans to request from HUD an amendment to their Action Plan which will allow businesses with less than ten employees to receive funds under their jointly administered SFARG Program.
Governor Pataki said, "Small businesses are an important part of the character and vitality of any community, but especially Lower Manhattan. These additional funds will help small businesses -- from mom-and-pop shops that are a part of so many people's daily routine to high-tech start-ups that can provide the jobs of the future -- make it through this difficult time."
Mayor Bloomberg said, "Small businesses are not only vital to our economy but are an integral part of the very character of our City, and expanding the program is an
important step toward supporting and sustaining our small business citizens in every way possible."
LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said, "Small businesses are a key element in the rebuilding and revitalization effort. This expanded program sends a strong, positive message that Lower Manhattan will continue to grow and thrive as a business community.”
LMDC President Lou Tomson said, “This marks a significant step toward reviving the economy of the downtown area and preserving the diversity of businesses that thrive in lower Manhattan. Small businesses maintain a unique role in the communities affected by September 11th, and their continued vitality is essential to attracting residents, tourists, and other commercial interests. This program is another example of the strides we’ve made in collaboration with partners in revitalizing downtown."
Empire State Development Chairman Charles Gargano said, "Under the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg, the State and City have reached out to the small business owners of Lower Manhattan and developed a sensible and generous program that will continue the successful efforts to help New York City rebuild, recover and rebound from the horrific events of September 11th."
Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff said, "The LMDC’s approval of additional funds will help further enhance our small business assistance efforts. It also reflects the partnership the State and City have maintained with both the private sector and the federal government as we work towards making Lower Manhattan a vibrant 24/7 community that is even stronger than it was before the events of September 11th."
The assistance will benefit small businesses in a range of industries and have a substantial economic impact on the downtown area and New York City. Under the expanded program, 8331 additional companies employing 22,901 workers will be eligible to receive assistance, bringing the total to 11,232 companies and 127,832 workers.
The Small Firm Attraction and Retention Grant Program is jointly administered by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The program is designed to stabilize the job base in Lower Manhattan, restore the vibrancy of the downtown community, encourage the creation of new jobs, as well as attract new businesses and diversify the downtown economy.