<< Return to Resource Navigator

Buffalo Small Business Assistance Program

Start Date

October 24, 2023


ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE:  Buffalo Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) is designed to help small and minority business owners in the City of Buffalo recover from impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic and give them a plan for resiliency into the future. The grants are a one-time payment granted to eligible applicants with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. Additionally, each eligible business will be provided with an opportunity for customized technical assistance(TA), and if made part of the final Grant Agreement, will commit to participate in the offered TA based on need and available program funding.

SBAP grants of up to $7,500 will be made to eligible business applicants whose 2021 or 2022 gross revenue was between $35,000-$150,000; up to $12,500 grants for eligible business applicants whose 2021 or 2022 gross revenue was between $150,001-$500,000; and grants of up to $25,000  for eligible business applicants whose 2021 or 2022 gross revenue was between $500,001-$1,500,000, final funding amounts based on applicant’s COVID impact and need, project scope (“use of funds”), other funds received and/or available, and the funding need remaining (the “gap”).

A total of $3,500,000 will be available to be divided equally between the nine (9) Counsel districts. Common Council Districts (buffalony.gov), and $1,500,000 of the $3,500,000 will be committed exclusively to traditionally underserved communities:  minority and woman-owned businesses and businesses located in low-to-moderate income census tracts identified by the City of Buffalo.


  1. Be the principal (majority owner) of a small business in Buffalo New York.
  2. Own a small business in one of the 9 districts Counsel districts of the City of Buffalo.
  3. Primary Owner(s) (at least 51% of business’ ownership) must reside in the City of Buffalo.
  4. Have been in operation prior to January 1, 2021.
  5. Be in operation at the time of application (pre-revenue businesses and those that that have ceased operations are ineligible).
  6. Have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.
  7. Have had at least $35,000 and not more than $1,500,000 in annual revenue in fiscal years 2021 or 2022.
  8. Have experienced impact, economic or financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic or other economic factors.
  9. Agree to participate in technical assistance(TA) offered by a TA provider participating in the program, if applicable and made part of the Grant Agreement,
  10. Not be an ineligible business:
    • nonprofits,
    • a business engaged in illegal activities,
    • third-party delivery or ridesharing service (unless entity is duly organized/incorporated and has all other documentation required for this program),
    • weapon sales,
    • alcohol/tobacco/vape retail sales, CBD/hemp
      • Affidavit on program application for restaurants/ establishments – applicant states that no more than 50% of alcohol sales are consumed off-premises.
    • consumer and marketing cooperatives,
    • dealers of rare coins and stamps,
    • multi-sales distribution,
    • corporately-owned franchises,
    • pyramid schemes or multi-level marketing schemes,
    • loan packaging/lending,
    • gambling,
    • real estate investment firms,
    • illicit adult entertainment.
  1. City property taxes must be current. https://www.paydici.com/city-of-buffalo-ny/search/landing
  2. Not be in conflict of interest with the City of Buffalo, a local municipality, or the third-party program administrator (NDC).

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS: The following documents will be required to submit a complete application (incomplete applications may not be considered), including:

  • Organizational Documentation:  Articles of incorporation/organization, bylaws, operating agreement, operating license, registration, as applicable
  • Business EIN
  • 2020 (if available), 2021 and 2022 federal tax returns for the applicant business and (all pages and schedules)
  • Employer withholding tax return (IRS 941) for the most recent quarter filed, if applicable
  • One business bank statement from the previous 90 days
  • For real estate is held by the business or owner the most recent property tax bill, if the space is leased the current lease.
  • Valid government-issued photo ID for every owner with 20% or more interest in the applicant entity, along with proof of City of Buffalo residency for at least 51% of the applicant business’ ownership
  • Must provide a plan for the business, information that includes the following: business description, ownership structure, target market(s), marketing strategies, executive personnel, etc (a formal “Business Plan” is not required)
  • If awarded, Form-W9, Grant Agreement (including commitment to participate in free technical assistance offered through the program), and voided business check.

Additional information may be requested if further documentation is necessary to confirm eligibility and/or funding level.

ELIGIBLE USE OF PROCEEDS: Eligible use of grant proceeds include operating working capital expenses for your small business such as payroll, contract labor, purchase of equipment, rent, utilities or other permitted uses.

HOW TO APPLY: Only one application will be considered per business. If an applicant owns more than one business, they may submit an application for each but only one eligible business per owner will be awarded. Funds will be awarded to eligible businesses who provide full and complete documentation, on a first-complete, first-served basis, subject to program parameters and funding availability.  The program will remain open for as long as funds are available. Applicants needing assistance in submitting the application can contact  BuffaloSmallBusinessGrants@growamerica.org and someone will respond as soon as possible.  The Lead Technical Assistance (TA) Partners for this program are the Buffalo Urban League and The Exchange at Beverly Gray.