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Politics and Government

Onondaga County offers $500,000 in grants to cover PPE for small businesses, nonprofits

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Tom Magnarelli
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WRVO Public Media File Photo
The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency in 2019.

The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency is offering $500,000 in grants to small businesses and nonprofits, to offset the cost of personal protective equipment, or PPE, and other health and safety measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairman of the county IDA, Pat Hogan, said there is a ton of interest among small businesses to get some of this money, which comes in the form of reimbursements up to $10,000.

“Everybody wants to land on the side of the experts and public health,” Hogan said. “I’ve really been impressed by a lot of our small business community and how they’ve been able to change their game plan in the middle here, and address these issues as they come up.”

Applications will be made available through the county IDA’s website.

“What we want to hit are these small business folks that have had to, all of sudden, put together plexiglass cubicles, people have had to buy masks and gloves and all these things to adapt to this COVID reality we’re all facing,” Hogan said.

The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, a different entity, has already accepted applications for its COVID emergency relief program, which includes grants for PPE and also loans related to the pandemic. The hope is to approve the applications next week. A lot of the applicants were nonprofits, and looking to cover the costs of masks, hand sanitizer, shields, air purification equipment and cleaning products.

The programs were made possible through state legislation sponsored by central New York Assemblyman Al Stirpe and state Senator Rachel May. The funding comes from fees and money that was held by IDAs, but restricted.