While PPP aimed primarily to keep employees on company payrolls and keep businesses open, the new program looks to help small firms recoup some of the costs they incurred at the height of the pandemic. The program is different from the federal PPP in a key way, according to Jim Lozano, a partner at the BST & Co. accounting and consulting firm. “They are trying to get them through this next stage of recovery,” Lozano said.
Grants can pay for a wide range of expenses, including payroll, commercial rent or mortgage payments, local property or school taxes, insurance premiums and utility costs. The program is designed to help small businesses cover expenses from March 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021.
Also covered are costs of personal protective equipment for workers and consumers; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; and other machinery or equipment and supplies needed to comply with pandemic protocols. More than 330,000 small businesses are eligible for the $800 million program, according to the Cuomo administration.
Another difference is the money from the state will be grants rather than loans. PPP monies were loans although they could be forgiven if businesses used the money for certain purposes such as maintaining their payrolls. Lozano said his company has been busy helping businesses file the paperwork needed for PPP loan forgiveness. The application site will be powered by Lendistry, a minority-led community development financial institution. That’s notable as state officials estimate that 57 percent of the state’s certified minority- or woman-owned businesses are eligible for the program.
Unlike, PPP, business operators can apply online and don’t need to go through a bank. To be eligible, a company must have 2019 or 2020 gross receipts between $25,000 and $500,000 per year. The company also must have had at least $1 profit in 2019 and suffered at least a 25 percent loss in gross receipts in 2019-2020.
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