Buffalo Business Forward Small Business Grant Program

Program No Longer Accepting New Applications

The Buffalo Business Forward Grant Program is providing grants to small businesses that serve the community as these businesses recover from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program is funded by the City of Buffalo’s Community Development Block Group Coronavirus funding allocation.

Eligible Businesses:
  • Located within a low or moderate-income area (shaded areas of the map below), and provides goods or services to these areas

  • Neighborhood-serving businesses that provide goods and services to residents

  • 1-50 employee(s) including owner

  • Experienced business disruption due to COVID-19 pandemic

  • Earned less than $5,000,000 in Annual Gross Income for 2020

  • Current on taxes, have no petition for bankruptcy, and no pending liability claims

  • Business in operation as of March 17, 2020.

Ineligible Businesses

Businesses engaged in any of the following activities:​

  • Warehouse / Distribution / Storage

  • Manufacturing

  • Construction

  • Wholesale

  • Travel

  • Hotels

  • Taxi / Charters (including medical)

  • Motor Vehicle Sales

  • Auto Rental

  • Towing

  • Pet Animal Sales

  • Real Estate Brokerage / Property Management

  • Finance

  • Business where more than 50% of sales is for alcohol / smoking consumption is on premises

  • "Sin" Businesses (liquor store, smoke shop, massage parlor, gambling/ racetrack, hot tub facility, sun tanning facility, check cashing)

  • Not-for-Profit Entities.

Funding will Reimburse Following Expenses (up to $25,000):
  • Payroll

  • Commercial rent or mortgage

  • Utilities

  • Inventory for production and/or resale (excludes alcohol)

  • Marketing and Professional Services

  • Moveable equipment.

Grant Amount is Calculated:

​Businesses will need to prove that they faced financial hardship through one of three ways:

  1. Change in cumulative net income over the past six months. Businesses must demonstrate cumulative negative net income over the past six-month period.

  2. Change in current assets and current liabilities between now (application date) and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

  3. Change in gross revenue between 2019, 2020, and 2021. The lesser of the change between 2019 and 2020,  as compared to the change between 2020 and 2021.

Application Documents and Attachments

Applicants should be prepared to provide business documentation, such as tax returns, payroll statements, organizational documents, financial statements, and copies of identification. Additionally, all expenses applicants are requesting to be reimbursed through this grant will need to be verified using source documentation of each expense. These documents include receipts, copies, of checks, paid invoices, and other forms of documentation that proves the expense was incurred.

How to Apply

Call or email the Buffalo State College Small Business Development Center (SBDC):

(716) 878-4030