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RESOURCES for Businesses affected by COVID-19

Our Career Center doors may be temporarily closed, but we are open for business!

               We are here to assist you and your employees in any way possible.


Below are a variety of very helpful business resources, and we are adding to the list as quickly as we get information in.


Want to speak with someone? In compliance with the Governor's "NY State on PAUSE" directive, our Business Services Team is primarily working remotely but is rotating time in the office. Please call us at (716) 278-8109 or (716) 278-8213 and if we aren't in at that moment, we will get back with you shortly.


Resources and Information    A - Z


- Agriculture-Based Business assistance: Various federal and state agencies have recently announced programs available to help businesses in the agricultural community during the COVID-19 crisis. Check out all of the programs that are currently available on this NCCED important links page. Find everything that you are looking for under the heading Important Information for Agricultural-Based Businesses.


- Business Owners and Unemployment: the NYS Department of Labor is advising that Business Owners who have been forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions on Non-essential Services should claim unemployment benefits. (Please be cannot claim benefits for any day you do any work for your business) For Unemployment Insurance Information


- Call to Action from Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance. The Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance (BNMA) is collecting masks, gloves and safety glasses that can be donated to our local medical system. If you have any of these items and would like to make a donation, contact Catherine Muth at (585) 216-5860. BNMA will coordinate pick-up and delivery.


- CARES Act = Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

Link to a brief 3/30/20 webinar with the US Chamber of Commerce hosted by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. The focus was the CARES Act and it's business impact;

Presenter was Timothy Maney, Executive Director, Congressional & Public Affairs, US Chamber of Commerce


- CARES Act Coronavirus Emergency Loans...Small Business Guide and Checklist provided by the US Chamber of Commerce


- CDC Resources for Businesses and Employers includes:

  • Interim guidance
  • Cleaning & disinfection recommendations


- Childcare Resource for Essential Workers. The Community Child Care Clearinghouse of Niagara can assist families of essential workers that are in need of childcare assistance. Call the Clearinghouse Hotline at (716) 285-8572 x109 or x105 for help finding childcare in your area.


- Coronvirus Small Business Guidecomplete coronavirus coverage, updated daily with new resources to assist you and your business -provided by the US Chamber of Commerce


- Designation as an Essential Business - If your business was deemed non-essential based on the list distributed by New York State, and you believe that you should be considered essential, complete this form and submit it to the email address at the bottom of the form for review.


- Donating, Manufacturing, Volunteering or Selling Goods to New York State


- Empire State Development

Information regarding COVID-19 and business-related issues such as Executive Orders

COVID-19 Related Resource page

COVID-19 FAQs for Businesses

Ask YOUR COVID-19 business issue question!


- Employee Retention Credit: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. Available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations. Two exceptions: State and local governments and their instrumentalities and small businesses who take small business loans.

Qualifying employers must fall into one of two categories:

  1. The employer's business is fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter.
  2. The employer's gross receipts are below 50% of the comparable quarter in 2019. Once the employer's gross receipts go above 80% of a comparable quarter in 2019, they no longer qualify after the end of that quarter.


- Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate.


- Go to Meeting is offering FREE Emergency Remote Work Kits providing organization-wide access to many of their products for 3 months to critical service providers including healthcare providers and non-profits


- "Help to get you through these tough times" resource page, Blog and #Open-We-Stand from GoDaddy


National Grid - On March 13th we temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardships for our customers. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April, when we will evaluate their continued need. National Grid is also not charging late payment charges.


- Niagara County Center for Economic Development COVID-19 tab


- Niagara County Restaurants providing take-out and delivery service  Support Local!  (compiled by Niagara County Department of Health) 


- OSHA publication; Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 


- Paid Leave for COVID-19.  Guidance for Businesses


- QuickBooks Small Buisness Relief Initiative : The Small Business Relief Fund will provide one-time matching grants to qualifying small businesses to help alleviate the financial burdens during these pressing times. Donations to the relief fund will be paid out as grants to businesses that qualify, and have created a fundraiser through the Small Business Relief Initiative or had an existing GoFundMe that raises atleast $500.


Shared Work - May be an option for some businesses that won’t have a full shut down of work, but need an option to retain employees while working an abbreviated schedule.

      Fact Sheet

       To file a Shared Work Plan - Employees included on a plan can be full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal. A plan can include as few as two employees.

If you would like to learn more, please contact Michele Taylor, NYS Department of Labor Rapid Response Coordinator for the Western region at (716) 851-2655 


- Small Business Coronavirus Relief Options: Overview and links

        - Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

        - Small Business Disaster Loan Assistance available. 

     Using dropdown box, select New York State, your County - then click the "Filter" button - you will see a COVID-19 disaster loan link.
     PowerPoint created by  Empire State Development to assist with how to apply for these SBA loans

     Empire State Development Resource website for COVID-19 SBA Disaster Loans


- Spanish Language COVID-19 Workplace Safety Resources (provided by USDOL)


- Treasury, IRS and Labor announcement regarding Paid Leave for workers and Tax Credits for Small to Mid size companies


- USDOL Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued National Interest Exemption