In another effort to provide a major boost to businesses as they continue to struggle with the impact of the COVID-10 pandemic, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran proposed a major business recovery program to direct approximately $25 million in American Recovery Plan (ARP) funds to grants, loans and assistance to Nassau’s downtown businesses. The plan is drawn from a recent survey conducted by Hofstra University at the request of the County Executive and her Coronavirus Economic Advisory Council (EAC), which found that direct support of small businesses, coupled with a streamlined application process, are the most important ways for Nassau to aid recovery. The initiative comes on the heels of the County Executive’s proposal to provide $100 million in direct relief to almost 300,000 middle-class homeowners. Homeowners are urged to spend their direct relief at local businesses and in downtown shopping areas.
Supported by the Hofstra University Needs Survey results, the County Executive’s plan will support:
Direct Support for Small Businesses
- Alleviating downward economic pressures by expanding the County’s highly successful Restaurant Recovery Grant Program to include broader categories of small businesses, including all food services, retail and other hard-hit businesses.
- New stabilization loans to Nassau’s small businesses, including start-ups and minority/women-owned business enterprises, with greater flexibility, extended pay-back periods and lower interest rates.
Establishment of the Boost Nassau Resource Center
- To streamline the application process for business grants and other recovery programs, Nassau will be opening a one-stop shop in Eisenhower Park next month to help guide applicants to the full range of available relief programs. The Town of Hempstead, Oyster Bay and North Hempstead will be offered office space to consolidate information and opportunities for businesses and residents countywide.
“Small businesses employ our neighbors, family, and friends and are the heart of our vibrant downtown communities that need help,” said County Executive Laura Curran. “We need to expand our efforts to support these businesses by providing direct assistance while also helping them take advantage of the programs available from federal and state sources as well. Many thanks to the Economic Advisory Council members and Hofstra University for their good work.”
“I fought hard to deliver over $10.8 billion in aid directly to New York’s counties, towns, and villages as part of the American Rescue Plan, including over $385 million that will go directly to Nassau County, and I’m glad to see County Executive Curran use these funds to expand direct assistance programs and provide vital direct relief to Nassau County small businesses to help them fully recover from the pandemic,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and County Executive Curran’s plan to use this federal rescue package this way will help them, and their employees weather the remainder of the pandemic and power Long Island’s recovery.”
“Hofstra University and our Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship have partnered with Nassau County throughout the pandemic to provide crucial research and information in order to create solutions and programs that assist Nassau residents and businesses,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “There’s nothing more important than improving our regional economy, providing people and businesses the assistance they need, and emerging from this time stronger than ever.”
“These programs will act as a shot of adrenaline for our local economy and hopefully act as a bridge for our main street shops as the country returns to some form of normalcy this summer,” said Kyle Strober, Executive Director of the Association for a Better Long Island. “I commend the County Executive for reducing red tape, streamlining the process and making these funds as accessible as possible so our businesses can recover as fast as possible.”
“The County Executive’s efforts to help taxpayers and small businesses recover and thrive as we come out of the COVID pandemic will pay extraordinary benefits to the County and its future successes, said Nassau IDA Chairman Richard Kessel. “The Hofstra survey results clearly showed that residents and our downtowns are a top priority. The council looks forward to working with the County Executive to recommend innovative programs that can assist County residents and businesses to move forward.”