Warning message

Submissions for this form are closed.

COVID-19 Business Resources

CenterState CEO is focused on a four stage response to the economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic: Assess, Respond, Mitigate, and Recover. We are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving developments and its impact on our organization, members and stakeholders in the community. This page is updated daily with relevant news, information and resources on COVID-19-related business impacts, and how we are responding. 

To view our Back to Business Re-opening Toolkit visit: www.centerstateceo.com/re-openingtoolkit.

Policy & Advocacy Updates

CenterState CEO is working to keep its members and the community apprised of the latest policy developments, executive orders, and other critical information impacting business operations and relief efforts.

Federal Economic Stimulus: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

CenterState CEO is tracking the latest details of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation includes direct payments to individuals, an expansion of unemployment insurance, billions of dollars in aid to businesses large and small, and significant funding for the health care industry. See the Business & Financial Resources section of this page for more information.

Additional Funding & Provisions of the CARES Act

Expanded Unemployment Benefits for those unable to work as a result of coronavirus - sick, quarantined, or needed to care for children home from school due to closures; and sole proprietors and freelance workers. Provides additional $600 on top of existing unemployment insurance benefit (average $300 per week) for four months. New benefits funded by federal government, not employers.

Tax Cuts for Businesses. Interest deduction goes from 30% (2017 TCJA) to 50%; delays payroll taxes on wages • 6.2% tax paid over following two years (half in 2021, half in 2022); and provides for the hospitality industry to immediately write off costs of building improvements.

Economic Development Funding. More than $6.5 billion in Federal funding for CDBG, the Economic Development Administration, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

State and Local Governments - State Stabilization Fund, providing $150 billion for states and$8 billion for localities.

Distilleries Temporary Exemption from an excise tax for alcohol they use to make hand sanitizer that’s produced and distributed within Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, signed into law June 5, 2020, relaxes several restrictions on companies that borrow money through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Act provides businesses with more time and flexibility to keep their employees on the payroll and ensure their continued operations as businesses and the economy safely reopens. Modifications resulting from the Act will implement important changes., including extending the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks after the date of loan disbursement, providing substantially greater flexibility for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness. Borrowers who have already received PPP loans retain the option to use an eight-week covered period. Read more from the SBA on additional provisions and changes.

The COVID 3.5 Act provided an additional $310 billion in funding for the program, including key reforms to expand access to more small businesses, unbanked and underserved small businesses and nonprofits ($60 billion set aside for small and mid-sized banks, credit unions and community-based lending institutions to help ensure more minority-owned businesses, rural businesses, and smaller nonprofits can access PPP). COVID 3.5 also made agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers eligible for PPP loans if: (i) the business has 500 or fewer employees, or (ii) the business fits within the revenue-based sized standard, which is average annual receipts of $1 million. Additionally, agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers qualified for PPP loans as a small business concern if their business meets SBA’s “alternative size standard.” As of April 26, 2020 “alternative size standard” is currently: (1) maximum net worth of the business is not more than $15 million, and (2) the average net income after Federal income taxes (excluding any carry-over losses) of the business for the two full fiscal years before the date of the application is not more than $5 million. For all of these criteria, the applicant must include its affiliates in its calculations. See SBA PPP Affiliation Interim Final Rule.

New York Forward Reopening Plan

New York Forward is Governor Cuomo’s phased plan for reopening the state. The plan focuses on getting people back to work and easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread of the virus or overwhelming the hospital system. Under the plan, the state will reopen on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health as businesses reopen.

Here is What Businesses Need to Know:

  • Re-opening Lookup Tool - Businesses can input the location and nature of their operations to determine if their business is eligible to re-open. The tool will provide the relevant guidance materials for re-opening safely, and the public health and safety standards with which the business must comply. The tool can be used for both essential and non-essential businesses.
  • Detailed Industry Guidelines Phase One, Phase Two, Phase 3 - To begin re-opening businesses need to review the state’s guidelines specific to their industry, and provide a digital signature affirming they have read and understand the document (see the Business Affirmation).
  • Safety Plan Template - Businesses re-opening must develop a written safety plan, and can fill out this this template or develop their own safety plan.
  • ESD FAQs - Empire State Development has issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on New York Forward and business re-opening.
  • Criteria for Regions to Open – the state has issued metrics to guide determinations on regional re-openings.
  • Regional Monitoring Dashboard - Communities can track progress towards re-opening.

CenterState CEO has also prepared a Back to Business Re-opening Toolkit, a new free resource to guide businesses as they develop re-opening plans as required by the state. The toolkit outlines considerations for developing safe, effective and thorough plans to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and lower the risk of infection. CenterState CEO’s Back to Business Re-opening Overview provides a high level checklist of things businesses should consider.

Governor Cuomo Executive Order | Essential Business Guidance

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order reducing on-site workforce to 0% for non-essential industries. Visit the Governor's Pressroom and Executive Order pages for the latest updates.

Here is what businesses need to know:

  • The EO is effective March 22, 2020 at 8 p.m. and until further notice.
  • Includes all non-essential workers.
  • This mandate applies to both profit and nonprofit employers.
  • Employers are strongly encouraged to have employees work from home where and when possible. 
  • Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to these restrictions. 

Empire State Development (ESD) has issued guidance on what businesses and industries are presently exempt from this EO, as well as answers to FAQs. If you believe there is a business or industry not currently listed as exempt on this list, or you have questions about whether or not your business is exempt, we encourage you to reach out to ESD here. The EO further provides that any other business may ask to be deemed essential by requesting an opinion from ESD. We will offer members who request and meet guidelines a letter of support as they seek to receive an essential operations designation. If you have questions or if you are in need of support with the waiver process, please contact us at support@centerstateceo.com.

NYS Budget Passes During COVID-19 Crisis

In the midst of combating the coronavirus pandemic, the New York State passed a budget that contains significant differences from what was envisioned as recently as early March. The $177 billion spending plan includes a $10 billion reduction from operational spending detailed in Governor Cuomo’s original executive budget proposal. The budget anticipates a revenue shortfall of at least $10 billion. The plan authorizes short term borrowing of up to $11 billion and the ability to tap into the state’s reserve funds, if necessary. 

Read Governor Cuomo’s press release featuring budget highlights.

The State Senate has also shared the full budget bills.

CenterState CEO Advocacy Effort Highlights

  • CenterState CEO staff collected affidavits from impacted businesses to support New York State’s Application to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which will unlock much needed lending capital for small businesses suffering from a loss of customers and revenue.
  • CenterState CEO is working directly with regional manufacturers and MACNY to advocate for best practice workplace safety standards in an effort to keep as many of our region’s plants up and running to preserve critical industry supply chains and employment. CNY Manufactures Pledge Final-c.pdf.
  • CenterState CEO continues to advocate for smart federal investments that will support our economic recovery and the development of a more resilient economy, including:
  • Additional targeted federal relief – Additional relief must include provisions that allocate lending capacity to nonprofit and community-based lenders working with businesses that don’t have strong relationships with traditional lending institutions, and address the disproportional impact on the minority business community caused by limitations to the initial stimulus. Additionally, financial support is needed for states and metropolitan areas with populations below 500,000. 
  • Jobs - Crisis levels of unemployment are likely to persist beyond the immediate recovery. A jobs program to put people back to work, once it’s safe to do so, should employ people in areas that address the issues that were holding our economy back before the pandemic, such as laying fiber to improve digital access, energy and climate resiliency projects and infrastructure.
  • Research and Development – Significant investment in basic and applied R&D in health sciences, industry 4.0, transportation and energy/climate, needed not only to better prepare for these threats in the future, but to flow to our educational and health care institutions that have been severely impacted and drive innovation in the economy.
  • Infrastructure - A record investment in infrastructure, including roads, bridges, high-speed rail, telecommunications, research parks, water and sewer, mass transit, smart cities, and unmanned systems.
  • Displaced Workers - A robust training and education program that engages the region’s extensive educational infrastructure in helping workers gain new skills that are relevant to the industries and jobs that re-emerge from this crisis.
  • Deregulation - A temporary pause on regulatory activity that stifles competitiveness to give business and industry a chance to regain its footing.

Business & Financial Resources

CenterState CEO is actively identifying financial resources and tools available to employers, employees, and community partners, as well as other information of importance for businesses.


USDA Rural Development - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

REAP was allocated $2 billion through the federal Inflation Reduction Act to provide grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements through 2031. Of these funds, $1.05 billion will be granted in FY 2023 and FY 2024 through six quarterly competitions, with the first deadline of June 30, 2023. Maximum grant awards have been increased to $500,000 for energy efficiency projects and $1 million for renewable energy systems, and the federal share was raised to 50% for all energy efficiency and zero-emission renewable energy projects, as well as all projects in designated energy communities and submitted by eligible tribal entities. For additional details, changes to the program, and information about how to apply, click here.

SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal - now open

While the PPP program ended on May 31, 2021, SBA has launched a streamlined application process to more easily apply for loan forgiveness. Borrowers with PPP loans of less than $!50,000 through participating lenders will be able to apply directly to SBA for forgiveness through this new portal found at https://directforgiveness.sba.gov. Lenders are required to opt-in to this program using the portal. In addition to the platform, the SBA is standing up a PPP customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications: (877) 552-2692, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST.

SBA Launches Supplemental Targeted Advance for Small Businesses Hardest Hit by COVID-19

1/1/22 update: Declined Targeted EIDL Advance applicants may submit one request for reevaluation. The deadline for reevaluation requests is February 15, 2022. For more information, click here.

11/19/21 update: the EIDL loan and Targeted Advanced programs now have an application deadline of December 31, 2021. Applications submitted by the deadline will be processed beyond the deadline until funds are exhausted. However, SBA cannot process Supplemental Targeted Advance applications after December 31, 2021 due to legal requirements, therefore, the agency strongly suggests submitting these applications as soon as possible or by December 10, 2021. Additional updates include:

Borrowers can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date, or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is soonest

SBA will accept and review reconsideration and appeal requests for COVID EIDL applications received on or before December 31 if the reconsideration/appeal is received 6 months from the date of decline for reconsiderations and 30 days from the date of reconsideration decline for appeals – unless funding is no longer available. 

For further information, click here.

On April 22, the SBA launched a new round of Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance – called Supplemental Targeted Advances –  that will provide $5 billion in additional assistance to 1 million small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have been most severely affected by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective April 22, the SBA modified the Targeted EIDL Advance application process to determine if businesses also qualify for the additional $5,000 Supplemental Targeted Advance.  SBA will contact eligible business entities to apply and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. To qualify for the Supplemental Targeted Advance, an eligible business entity must be in a low-income community, suffered greater than 50 percent economic loss, and have 10 or fewer employees. For details click here. Eligible entities can email questions about the SBA Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance to TargetedAdvance@sba.gov.

SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) - new program changes

Provides economic relief in the form of loans to businesses and nonprofits to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective Sept. 8, 2021, changess to the program include: 

  • Increasing the loan cap from $500,000 to $2 million (existing loans can be increased up to this new cap)

  • Allowing for funds to be applied to payment and prepayment of commercial debt and regularly scheduled payments of federal debt

  • Automatic deferment of loan payments to 24 months for new loans (existing loans will be extended to 24 months)

  • Affiliation requirement simplified (an affiliate is considered a business someone controls or has at least 50% ownership)

  • Adjusted the program size standards for businesses in industries most affected by the pandemic

  • Created a maximum cap of $10 million on corporate groups

From Sept. 8, 2021 to Oct. 8, 2021, the above policy changes were applicable to applications for under $500,000. On Oct. 8, 2021, SBA began processing applications for over $500,000 with the policy changes.

Rates are 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits, both over a 30 year term. Loan funds can be used to cover normal operating expenses (e.g. payroll, rent, inventory, commercial and federal debt) and working capital. Program details, timeline, eligibility, and additional guidelines can be found here. An informational document about the program can be found here. Program is extended through Dec. 31, 2021.

Federal Reserve Board: Main Street Lending Program

This program is extended to January 8, 2021 only for those applications submitted by December 14, 2020; otherwise the program is closed to new applicants. The Main Street Lending Program seeks to support the flow of credit to small- and medium-size businesses, as well as nonprofits with at least 10 employees, with that were in sound financial condition before COVID-19. Businesses with up to 15,000 employees or up to $5 billion in annual revenue are eligible; minimum loan size is $500,000. Learn more about the loans available under the program here.

Employee Retention Credit (ERC) - Program Updates

Through the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the ERC is now available to employers who receive, or have received, a PPP loan and, through the American Rescue Plan Act, has been extended through the end of Q1 and Q2 of 2021. Additional program updates through both the CAA and ARP include:

  • Credit has increased to 70% of qualified wages
  • Maximum credit per employee for each quarter has increased to $7,000
  • Definition of small employer has expanded to include businesses with 500 employees or fewer
  • Extends the availability of Paid Leave Credits through September 2021 for small and midsize businesses that offer paid leave to employees who may take leave due to illness, quarantine, or caregiving. Businesses can take dollar-for-dollar tax credits equal to wages of up to $5,000 if they offer paid leave to employees who are sick or quarantining.  For guidance, click here.

SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) - new program changes

1/1/22 update: SBA will accept and review reconsideration and appeal requests for COVID EIDL applications received on or before December 31 if the reconsideration/appeal is received six months from the date of decline for reconsiderations and 30 days from the date of reconsideration decline for appeals – unless funding is no longer available. Borrowers can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date, or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is soonest. For more information, click here.

Provides economic relief in the form of loans to businesses and nonprofits to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective Sept. 8, 2021, changes to the program include: 

  • Increasing the loan cap from $500,000 to $2 million (existing loans can be increased up to this new cap)

  • Allowing for funds to be applied to payment and prepayment of commercial debt and regularly scheduled payments of federal debt

  • Automatic deferment of loan payments to 24 months for new loans (existing loans will be extended to 24 months)

  • Affiliation requirement simplified (an affiliate is considered a business someone controls or has at least 50% ownership)

  • Adjusted the program size standards for businesses in industries most affected by the pandemic

  • Created a maximum cap of $10 million on corporate groups

From Sept. 8, 2021 to Oct. 8, 2021, the above policy changes will be applicable to applications for under $500,000. Beginning October 8, 2021, SBA will process applications for over $500,000 with the policy changes.

Rates are 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits, both over a 30 year term. Loan funds can be used to cover normal operating expenses (e.g. payroll, rent, inventory, commercial and federal debt) and working capital. Program details, timeline, eligibility, and additional guidelines can be found here. An informational document about the program can be found here. Program is extended through Dec. 31, 2021.


NYS Surety Bond Assistance Program

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) is expanding this program with $22 million in additional funding. This program is designed to assist small or MWBE contractors gain access to surety bonds. It provides contractors with no cost guarantees of up to 30% or $600,000 (whichever is less) on a bond line or individual contract bid bonds and payment/performance bonds. Contractors will be responsible for paying surety company bond premium charges. Eligibility includes:

  • Must be a New York State small business or MWBE with at least two years of business operations. 

  • Maximum bond line or project size generally is $2 million. 

  • Minimum average gross revenue of $400,000 in each of the last two fiscal or calendar years and maximum gross revenue generally not to exceed $5 million in the most recent calendar or fiscal year. 

  • Minimum credit score of 600. 

  • Previous experience completing similar work to the contract opportunity being pursued.

For additional information and how to apply, click here.

NYS Contractor Financing Program

Funded through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), this program provides $22 million for loan loss reserves to incentivize lending intermediaries to create access to capital to support New York State contractors with revenues up to $5 million and fewer than 100 employees. Loans can support working capital, improvement machinery and equipment, or other related costs required to execute those contracts. Loans are in the form of lines of credit or managed lines of credit and terms typically include loans of up to $500,000 and loan periods under 18 months. Lenders may require collateral or other guarantees from the borrower if applicable. 

For additional information and how to apply, click here.

COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program

This state program provides a tax credit to small businesses to cover a range of operational costs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, from structural changes and building upgrades to health-related supplies and materials. New York State small businesses with 100 employees or less and gross receipts of less than $2.5 million are eligible to receive a tax credit covering 50% of qualifying expenses up to $50,000, for a maximum tax credit of $25,000. At least $2,000 of qualifying expenses must have occurred between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022 and all expenses must be paid for on or before March 31, 2023. This program is operated on a first-come, first-served basis and is open through March 31, 2023. For more information and to apply, click here.

NYS Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program - opening soon

Grants available to help support employment growth among for-profit businesses and not-for-profit organizations that attract and support tourism and suffered economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a financial incentive and financial assistance to hire workers. Businesses and organizations will be eligible for grants of up to $5,000 per net new full-time employee increase, and up to $2,500 per net new part-time employee increase during 2022. Employment increases will be based on total employment and not specific individual employees. Deadline to apply is June 30, 2023. For more information including how to apply, click here.

Upcoming NYS Financial Relief for Small Businesses Programs

The New York State 2021–22 Executive Budget passed in March includes $1 billion in financial relief for small businesses. Aside from the $800M Small Business Recovery Grant Program, there are three additional programs that will be opening relevant to stakeholders in our region:

  • $25 million for the Restaurant Resiliency Program: grants to restaurants providing free meals to  economically disadvantaged individuals in economically distressed communities to cover their operational and material costs of meal preparation, provisions, and delivery.  

  • $40 million to Arts & Cultural Organizations: grants for nonprofit individual artists, arts professionals, and arts and cultural  organizations institutions for operating costs, mortgage/rent, equipment, and other related costs. To be administered by the New York State Council on the Art (NYSCA).

NY Department of Labor Shared Work Program

Designed to help businesses keep trained staff and avoid layoffs. Employees can receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. Learn more here.


SEDCO ARPA Small Business Lending Programs - Round 2

The Syracuse Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has opened Round 2 to provide financial support to Syracuse small businesses affected by the economic challenges and hardships since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. This program has three subprograms:

  • Micro-enterprise Assistance: For business with 10 or fewer employees in an industry or location that has experienced economic hardship. Offers forgivable, two-year loans of up to $5,000 at 2% interest.

  • Small Business Assistance: For business with 50 or less employees that have experienced a decline in sales and/or are located in an ARPA-eligible census tract. Offers (unforgivable) five-year loans of up to $25,000 at 3%- 5% interest rate (some micro-businesses may qualify for partial loan forgiveness)

  • The Community Impact Fund: For businesses or development entities making capital investment resulting in renovation or other physical real estate improvements. Offers (unforgivable), 15-year loans of up to $200,000 at 3% - 5% interest rate.

Qualifying expenses and purchases may include but are not limited to capital upgrades, equipment or machinery, technology or vendor support systems, supplies and inventory, and pre-development expenses. 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For more details and information about how to apply, click here.

Oswego County COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program
Eligible applicants are commercial, for-profit entities that own or manage a business with fewer than 50 employees and are located within Oswego County. Interest-free emergency loans of up to $10,000 with 180-day terms are available to support operations and employment directly impacted by COVID-19. Learn more here and here. Application located here.

Cortland County Business Development Corporation COVID-19 Business Assistance Loan
Cortland County is still offering business assistance loans from $10,000 to $25,000 for those engaged in business for profit and conducting, or proposing to conduct, business in Cortland County. Learn more here and here. Application located here.


United Way of Cayuga County COVID-19/Coronavirus Response Fund

The Cayuga Community Fund is partnering with United Way of Cayuga County to support organizations serving Cayuga County residents through a Cayuga County COVID-19 Fund. The mini-grant program is designed as a flexible short-term response fund to provide relief for a variety of unexpected costs. The first round of grants will support front-line community-based nonprofits that have seen increased demand for services due to the coronavirus outbreak. Learn more and apply.

Oswego County COVID-19 Fund / Cayuga County COVID-19 Fund / Greater Pulaski Community Endowment Fund

The CNY Community Foundation’s affiliate funds joined forces with local partners to provide assistance to organizations working with residents who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. To learn more and apply, click here


Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator

Amazon is committing $150 million “to drive economic equity for Black entrepreneurs, providing them with resources to thrive as entrepreneurs and business leaders.” In partnership with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. and the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency, this initiative provides financial support, business education and mentorship, and marketing and promotion of brands and products as third-party sellers in Amazon’s store. Financial assistance includes Amazon services and credits valued at $3,900. For more information, click here.

The Barstool Fund

Barstool Sports has created the Barstool Fund in support of the 30 Day Fund to help small businesses survive. Small business owners must still be paying their employees and explain what the funds would be used for, such as paying bills or employees. For more information click here. To apply click here.

Berkshire Bank ReevxLabs

A new online resource hub, ReevxLabs.com, provides resources for emerging entrepreneurs, artists and small nonprofit organizations. The Labs target support to the underbanked and feature free co-working sites and financial resources.

Radical Xchange Charitable gifts for Black Mental Health Relief (assistance for hospitality workers)

Radical Xchange and Another Round, Another Rally have partnered together to provide Mental health relief to Black hospitality workers in need. This fund is specifically to support Black Hospitality workers living in the US. Hospitality workers, for the purpose of this grant, include anyone working, front or back of the house, in a bar, restaurant, cafe, brewery, wine shop/ winery, or popup events dealing with food and beverage, food preparation, and food service. For more information and to apply click here.

Partnership for Community Development Rural Business Technology Grants

$1,000 to $10,000 grants designed to use technology to help farm- and forestry-based businesses grow. Eligible projects will incorporate new technology into your business model to assist with logistics and marketing. Open to farm- and forestry-based businesses in the towns of Hamilton, Lebanon, Eaton, Madison, and Brookfield, and the villages of Hamilton, Earlville, Madison, and Morrisville. Preference will be given to businesses within 10 miles of the Village of Hamilton. Applications due January 27, 2021 at 4pm. For more information and the application click here.

SOGAL Black Founder Startup Grants
$5,000 and $10,000 grants for Black women-owned and Black nonbinary-owned entrepreneurs. Grantees will also receive “tactical help navigating the fundraising environment at large so that they will have a more equitable opportunity at scaling the next billion-dollar idea’ and “lifetime ‘ask-me-anything’ access to the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams.” More information here. Grantees are chosen at random each month after filling out a quick application here.

Requirements to qualify:

  • self-identify as a Black woman or Black nonbinary entrepreneur (inclusive of multiracial Black women and multiracial Black nonbinary folks)
  • have a legally registered business
  • plan to seek investor financing to scale, now or in the future
  • have a scalable, high-impact solution or idea with the ambition to be the next billion-dollar business.

Kiva provides up to $15,000 in zero percent-interest loans for small businesses through their crowdsourcing platform. Learn more about the program here.

Open Road Alliance
Their mission is to provide one-time grants and loans to nonprofits and social enterprises experiencing unexpected external roadblocks, helping to keep their impact on track. For COVID-19 related funding, Open Road has put in place specific criteria and guidelines separate from their regular guidelines. Click here for more information.

Accion Opportunity Fund: Small Business Relief Fund
This fund provides struggling businesses with loans between $5,000 to $100,000 and technical assistance for financial, tax, marketing and legal support through partner Opportunity Fund. For more information or to fill out an application, click here.

Small Business Grants for Minorities
A listing of funding opportunities and grant applications available to minority small business owners, including grants for Indigenous People, women, and rural businesses.

Quick Links

Operational Resources & Guidance

Workforce & Individual Resources

Additional COVID-19 Informational Resources

CenterState CEO Action

CenterState CEO has rapidly reprioritized and shifted how it deploys its staff and resources to support members and meet the emerging needs of the community.


We’ve undertaken a formal effort to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, institutions and nonprofits throughout our region. A series of surveys to businesses across the region have gathered insight on COVID-19 impacts on business; actions to protect operations and employees; and the types of information and best practices most in need of during these unprecedented times. We also launched an effort to contact more than 1,500 employers directly to best understand their needs. Findings from these efforts are used to inform policy-makers and develop new, situationally-relevant programming.


We are responding to hundreds of calls and requests for support from members and community partners. Contact us at support@centerstateceo.com with your questions and needs, and your request will be routed to an appropriate staff member.

Rapid Response to Businesses

CenterState CEO team is providing real-time guidance and resources:

  • Assisting companies in applying for the critical federal stimulus loan programs.
  • Consulting with companies on capital relief issues.
  • Consulting with companies on their business needs.
  • Sharing best practices for remote work and workplace safety.

Resource Matching

We are working with the private sector to provide critical supplies, and assisting companies to redeploy their manufacturing processes, products and services to meet critical demands:

  • We actively reached out to members to determine who can produce or donate personal protective equipment (PPE), connecting them to the health care industry and other essential responders, resulting in the donation of thousands of surgical and N-95 masks and several hundred nitrile gloves. PPE has gone to Crouse Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health, the Syracuse Community Health Center, and Oswego Health to support their urgent supply needs. PPE donors include:
    • Hayner Hoyt Construction
    • Hueber-Breuer Construction
    • Riccelli Enterprises
    • Local dental offices
  • Consulting with area companies to manufacture masks, protective gowns, and other PPE, including Hillrom and Tessy Plastics.
  • The Onondaga County Medical Society reached out to CenterState CEO to coordinate an effort to engage local distillers and companies to begin producing hand sanitizer, connecting them to Onondaga County Emergency Management to determine distribution based on the greatest need and the best product match.

Companies contributing to this effort include:

  • 1911 Distilling / Beak & Skiff
  • Last Shot Distilling
  • Madison Co. Distilling
  • Lock 1 Distilling
  • Waterman’s Distillery
  • Old Home Distilling
  • Cornell University
  • Rapid Cure Technologies
  • Attis Biofuels (Attis Industries)
  • Hall Island Distillery
  • Haun Welding Supply, Inc.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev

Bold denotes CenterState CEO member

Community & Workforce Connector

Serving as a core resource and connector for community nonprofits, neighborhood-based businesses, entrepreneurs and displaced workers:

  • Uncovering available jobs and facilitating their input to the NYS Department of Labor.
  • Connecting companies with opportunities to hire displaced workers.
  • Facilitating connections of food and other perishable items to food banks and initiatives set up to feed people in need and health care workers.

Programming & Communications

CEO’s COVID-related communications and programming are delivering resources and critical information, including this web page and educational webinars to provide guidance on key resources and timely business-focused topics.


We are working to proactively mitigate anticipated economic fallout; advocating for relief packages at the local, state and federal levels; and working directly with partners on best practices and strategies to address critical industry, employer and human needs.

CenterState CEO is working with a group of our region’s manufacturers and our partners at MACNY to advocate for best practice workplace safety standards in an effort to keep as many of our region’s plants up and running to preserve critical industry supply chains and employment. CNY Manufactures Pledge Final-c.pdf.


We are prepared to lead during what is certain to be a sustained period of economic recovery. Our organization has always found opportunity on the horizon, and this time will be no different. To do so we will need your help and support, now more than ever, to keep both the near-term needs and long-terms objectives in focus. We are also working with our partners to lead critical recovery efforts with an eye toward the future.

Economic Resiliency Task Force

CenterState CEO joins the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, and MACNY to deploy a joint Economic Resiliency Task Force of government and private sector leaders to help guide Syracuse and Onondaga County business community through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Task Force will devise strategies to respond to the economic challenges presented by the pandemic, and help businesses continue operations and plan for the recovery of the local economy. It will draw on the resources and expertise of a working team made up of staff from the City Department of Neighborhood and Business Development; the County Office of Economic Development; CenterState CEO, the Downtown Committee of Syracuse; Visit Syracuse; MACNY; and the Central New York International Business Alliance.

Member Spotlight

CenterState CEO members are responding in an extraordinary ways, whether by stepping up to offer products and services most in need, adapting their business models in new and creative ways in the face of challenges, or offering products and services to support fellow local businesses and the community.*

Member Services & Resources

  • Oswego Health offers patients telemedicine option for access to care.
  • Pharmacies across New York state are offering free home delivery of medications during the coronavirus pandemic, including CEO members: Kinney Drugs, Inc.; Tops Markets; Walmart; and Wegmans.
  • CenterState CEO member restaurants and eateries continue to offer take-out and curbside pick-up options. Please support these CenterState CEO members and other local businesses through our organizational partners: CenterState CEO Restaurant Members | Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce | Northside UP | Downtown Committee of Syracuse | Visit Syracuse
  • Onondaga County Public Libraries offer free outdoor Wi-Fi during coronavirus pandemic.
  • AECC Environmental Consulting offers COVID-19 decontamination plans, oversight and verification testing.
  • Hammerback Media is offering a free marketing strategy review session to all local businesses. They will review your existing efforts and offer simple tips and advice your business can act on today to save money and increase effectiveness. You can find out more here
  • Nationally ranked Top 50 CPA firm The Bonadio Group will be hosting a series of free webinars to assist individuals with the SBA Disaster Relief Loan Program application process and provide updates for Senate Bill 3548 (which includes expanded eligibility and loan forgiveness for amounts used to fund payroll).
  • Fidelis Care can answer your questions and help you enroll in health insurance or renew your coverage by phone. You can also visit fideliscare.org and click on Get Coverage.
  • Bonadio Group is assisting businesses with tax filing relief and completing SEDCO loan applications and US SBA Disaster Loan applications. 
  • Delaney Worldwideoffers virtual home surveys to customers preparing to move.
  • Centro offers free rides to everyone throughout its entire system, including Call-A-Bus services.

  • I Heart Oswego and Step One Creative compiled a comprehensive list of restaurants with curb-side and/or delivery service in Oswego, Fulton, Hannibal and Mexico.
  • Wired Telcom LLC offers free IT services.
  • Courtyard & Residence Inn Syracuse Downtown at Armory Square is offering discounted rates for those who are seeking isolation quarters. For discounted rates please reach out to either hotel directly.
  • The Central New York Community Foundation, in partnership with the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the Allyn Foundation and United Way of Central New York, established a COVID-19 Community Support Fund to support nonprofit organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Find volunteer opportunities to assist with the COVID-19 situation in Onondaga County by contacting the United Way of Central New York at www.volunteercny.org.
  • Northland Communications offers free software-based phones, video conferencing to help local businesses implement teleworking technology plans.
  • M.A. Polce is offering a free 90-day trial of Cisco Webex to existing and new customers to help them work remotely.


Member News

  • SUNY Oswego creates ventilator connectors for Oswego Health.
  • Pinckney Hugh Group creates inspiring “For Syracuse” video during pandemic.
  • Cleanstart Systems / Xyfection is the only company in Upstate New York that has been providing electrostatic disinfection services prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Syracuse Hancock International Airport secures nearly $13 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding as the facility reports a 47% passenger traffic decline in March compared to a year ago.
  • Greek Peak Mountain Resort transforms their lodge into a mini grocery store, delivers meals in dinosaur costumes (with social distancing), and provided the Guthrie Clinic with masks and gloves from the ski patrol.
  • CNY Ronald McDonald House temporarily opens doors to front-line health care professionals from Upstate University Hospital.
  • RAV Properties donates warehouse space to Abundant Life Church’s food boxing operations.
  • Volunteers from the United Way of CNY assist Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. at a free dairy drive-through at Destiny USA.
  • M&T Bank donates $150,000 to relief funds targeting nonprofits in Mohawk Valley and Central New York.
  • Oswego Health sets up tent as new entrance to ER. Oswego Health assists skilled nursing facilities with their preparedness of COVID-19.
  • Northland Communications offers secure, local, free alternative to Zoom.
  • The Nurse Connection Staffing has staff available for employee health screenings.
  • Workers at Barnes and Cone, Inc. lined Court Street Road in Syracuse with about 320 American flags to bring joy during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Local startup Eco-Baggeez donates nearly 325,000 earth-friendly alternative to plastic sandwich bags to 34 schools, The Samaritan Center and The Salvation Army amid COVID-19.
  • Tessy Plastics to create 200 jobs, make 5-minute coronavirus test kits in Auburn.
  • SUNY Morrisville Norwich Campus offers Chenango County use of UV unit to sterilize PPE during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Secure Network Technologies pivots to attack response; develops Network Intrusion Response Vehicle to combat ransomware attacks.
  • The Summit Federal Credit Union will install updated ATMs at all locations in 2020.
  • Upstate Medical University sends a third group of nurses to Long Island to battle COVID-19 for a total of 55 health care workers.
  • Wegmans rolls out new way to scan and bag groceries as you shop.
  • M&T Bank donates $25,000 to Broome County COVID-19 Relief Fund.
  • Excellus BlueCross BlueShield waives COVID-19 cost sharing.
  • Museum of Science & Technology offers sensory friendly at-home learning.
  • SUNY Oswego, CITI BOCES, Exelon, and Novelis partner to manufacture protective face shields.
  • PREVAIL NY by JMA offers free, open-source emergency mechanical ventilation system blueprints to all manufacturers.
  • Canfield & Tack offers complimentary COVID-19 signs to help educate employees and protect businesses.
  • SUNY Morrisville distributes free milk, cheese and yogurt at dairy drive-through to support families and farmers.
  • Mohawk Valley Community College donates ventilators and supplies for COVID-19 fight.
  • Upstate University Hospital sends more than 40 nurses and supplies to Long Island hospital to help fight COVID-19.
  • Home HeadQuarters offers grants for home repairs to out-of-work Onondaga County residents.
  • Wegmans limits shoppers in stores, starts employee temperature checks.
  • Crouse Health and St. Joseph’s Health slash coronavirus test result wait times.
  • MRB Group has been selected as part of a team to advise Empire State Development Corporation on New York’s strategy to reboot the New York economy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Loretto expands its telehealth program to all residents and PACE-CNY participants.
  • Syracuse Crunch donate sanitation machines to help Upstate University Hospital fight coronavirus.
  • Madison County manufacturer, Marquardt Switches, joins CNY companies in the fight against COVID-19 with switches for medical applications.
  • Anaren/TTM Technologies coordinates with CenterState CEO to donate 5,000 masksto Crouse Health, Upstate Medical University, Oneida Health, the Onondaga County Medical Society (for primary care practices) and Loretto.
  • The United Way of CNY announces its partner, Dolly Parton, is providing families a 10-week Bedtime Story series at www.imaginationlibrary.com.
  • Lockheed Martin donates facilities and aircraft in COVID-19 response plan.
  • Blink Fitness donates its cleaning supplies to CNY businesses on the front line, including the Salvation Army and Family Care Medical Group, among others.
  • A new initiative, An Unexpected Voyage: COVID-19, works with local hospitals and several CEO member restaurants: Apizza Regionale, Kitty Hoynes, Pastabilities, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Glazed and Confused, among others, to collect donations from people who would like to help feed hospital workers.
  • Syracuse University, Le Moyne College and Onondaga Community College donates pallets of toilet paper to Onondaga County’s program helping seniors, emergency workers, hospital staff and others during the pandemic.
  • Le Moyne College's chemistry department donates 10,000 pairs of examination gloves to St. Joseph’s Health. Blessed Sacrament School, in Syracuse, donates masks.
  • Foster Funeral Homes in Fulton and Hannibal offers drive-by calling hours.
  • Onondaga Community College Foundation creates Lazer Response Fund to assist students impacted by coronavirus.
  • Mercy Works partners with Abundant Life Christian Center to feed Syracuse students for two weekends. Additional donations and support were provided by The Food Bank of CNYWegmans; Sysco; The United WayLaci’s Tapas BarRAV Properties; Service Tire Truck Center; the Dunbar Center; Good Life Foundation; and many more.
  • PPC Broadband, Inc. donates 5,000 surgical masks to area hospitals and medical centers.
  • Hillrom more than doubles production of critical care products, including ventilators, hospital beds and vitals monitoring devices to support COVID-19 response.
  • Clean All offers kits for businesses and consumers to make their own hand sanitizer.
  • Wegmans is adding plexiglass shields to protect cashiers.
  • Cascade Maverik Lacrosse in Liverpool has begun emergency production of plastic face shields for those on the front lines battling the virus. XTO Inc., also in Liverpool, is supplying parts needed to switch from manufacturing lacrosse helmets to the face shields. Bauer, a sister company that makes hockey equipment outside of Montreal, Canada, has also switched to making medical face shields.
  • The Scholar Hotel Syracuse volunteers to take less critically ill patients from local hospitals if they get overrun with coronavirus patients.
  • Help CNY Hospitals and Hospitality is a way for people to “pay it forward” by donating to local restaurants to provide meals for workers at hospitals, grocery stores and other essential businesses. Six restaurants are signed up to provide food. They include The Brine Well EateryAnything But BeerScratch Farmhouse CateringCirca Ce SoirPure Catering and EventsColonial Lodge, and Mello Velo.
  • WellNow Urgent Care is providing options for safe, accessible and reliable health care by disinfecting their facilities and using protective gear per the CDC guidelines, rearranging waiting rooms to adhere to social distancing, and performing in-car triage at all locations in order to help minimize exposure to COVID-19. You can also choose to access a WellNow provider through your smart device 24/7 with WellNow Virtual Medical. For non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries visit a local facility or start a virtual visit at www.wellnow.com.
  • Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Baldwinsville is producing and packaging hand sanitizer. They are working with the American Red Cross to distribute it to communities where it’s needed most.
  • Pulaski-based company, HealthWay, sees demand for its air purifiers soar amid pandemic.
  • Syracuse Stage costume designers create masks to support hospitals.
  • Hall Island Distillery in Cicero teams up with Haun Welding Supply, Inc. to produce and package hand sanitizer.
  • Beak & Skiff Apple Farms converts distillery into 100% hand sanitizer production.
  • Oswego Health continues to support mental health needs during COVID-19.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. donates $50 million to address immediate and long-terms impacts of COVID-19.
  • Green Hills Farms dedicates special hours for senior citizen shopping.
  • Riccelli – Northern LLC – donates masks and exam gloves to local hospitals.
  • Barrett Paving donates masks to local medical facilities.
  • Salt City Market creates Westcott Mutual Aid initiative with partners Rise N Shine and Beer Belly Deli to provide meals to community centers.
  • Menter Ambulance / Oswego County Ambulance scour region for medical supplies.
  • Central New York distillers: Life of Reilley Distilling Co. in Cazenovia; Old Home Distillers in Lebanon; Last Shot Distillery in Skaneateles; Waterman’s Distillery in Apalachin; Cornell UniversityBlack Button Distilling in Rochester; and Lock 1 Distilling Co. in Phoenix, collaborate to produce hand sanitizer.
  • Hall Island Distillery in Cicero teams up with Haun Welding Supply, Inc. to produce and package hand sanitizer.
  • TOPS Friendly Markets and Price Chopper create early morning senior shopping hours.
  • Hueber-Breuer Construction Company, Inc. and The Hayner Hoyt Corporation responded to an urgent call for help from major medical centers and delivered thousands of N-95 masks to doctors and nurses.
  • Food Bank of Central New York volunteers pack 500 emergency boxes in 2 hours. Volunteers needed: sign up at www.volunteercny.org.
  • WCNY and Syracuse-area schools plan “TV classrooms” to get through coronavirus pandemic.
  • Syracuse University offers students free buses to return home.
  • Loretto  and Little Luke’s Daycare devised creative childcare solutions for those working on the front lines of the coronavirus.
  • Eagle Beverage Company loaned a refrigerated truck on a moment’s notice to transport 1,000 COVID-19 test kits from Albany to an area hospital.
  • NBT Bank announces efforts to relieve financial hardship due to COVID-19.


CenterState CEO members in bold*

Community Resources

CenterState CEO is actively identifying resources and tools available to individuals and families, as well as other information of importance to the community.

Contact Tracing

NYS Contact Tracing Program is designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and make it safer to begin to return to normal again. Contact Tracers work with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to identify people they have had contact with and let them know they may have been exposed to the disease. If you get a call from “NYS Contact Tracing” (518-387-9993), PLEASE answer the phone. Answering the phone will keep your loved ones and community safe. Learn how the program works, and how you can becoming a tracer here.

Testing for COVID-19

Anyone can now get tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether you have symptoms. Syracuse Community Health Center is offering testing Monday-Saturday, 9am to 5pm. Visit Onondaga County's COVID-19 website for more information and make an appointment online.


211 provides access to a variety of community resources during all time periods. If you need assistance connecting with health and human services, call 211 or visit 211cny.com.

Employment & Financial Resources

Unemployment Insurance Benefits
To apply for unemployment benefits call (888) 209-8124 from 8 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday or apply online with the Department of Labor. The State has waived the 7-day waiting period for people out of work due to coronavirus to apply for unemployment insurance. Apply for unemployment insurance here: Department of Labor

CNY Works
The CNY Works Career Center office is closed but job search and career assistance may be accessed by completing a CNY Works Virtual Services Request. Additional information and resources can be found here: CNY Works.

New York State
The New York State Dept of Financial Services has requested that all regulated banks, mortgage companies, insurance providers and lenders provide the various forms of relief to customers who demonstrate hardship resulting from COVID-19. For more information and updates, or to request help go to: NY Dept of Financial Services. 

The Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center
The Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center offers 1-on-1 professional, private financial counseling free to all city of Syracuse residents. Counselors can assist with budgeting and developing a plan to manage financial obligations and understanding the new COVID-19 related debt relief programs. For information call (315) 474-1939 x5.

Tax Preparation
The filing date for tax returns has been extended to July 15. The IRS is currently not providing face to face services but is processing returns. VITA Tax preparation is currently suspended. Learn more at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

Volunteer Lawyers Project
VLP offers legal services to those in need. Offices are closed but assistance is available by calling 315-471-3409 or visit www.onvlp.org/intake.

Food Access

For the most current listings of food pantries and meal programs call 211 or visit www.211cny.com. Seniors are encouraged to call 315-218-1987 to receive dedicated assistance. View a map of Emergency Food Distribution Sites in Onondaga County online. 

Food Bank of CNY
If you need food assistance, call the Food Bank at (315) 437-1899.

Syracuse City School District
Breakfast and lunch will be available for pick-up to all school aged children in the City of Syracuse without charge, regardless if they are SCSD students. See a list of pick up locations online

Housing & Utilities
If you have an immediate housing emergency call 211 or visit www.211cny.com

National Grid
National Grid has temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April, when continued need will be evaluated. More information on payment assistance programs in general can be found here.

Spectrum will offer free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

Eviction Moratorium
Effective 3/16/2020, all eviction cases and pending warrants of eviction for non-payment or any other reason are suspended statewide until further notice. 

Foreclosure Moratorium
Effective 3/18/2020, the federal government issued a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for all FHA-insured Single-Family mortgages for a period of 60 days. For updates and information go to: HUD Website

Home Headquarters
In collaboration with Home HeadQuarters, the SHARP program assists homeowners with minor exterior repairs/ minor exterior code violations. There is up to $1,500 in funding for each project, and homeowners must provide 10%, up to $100 of their own funds at the time of closing to participate. Call 315-425-1032 or email Tysha Martin to learn more.

Health & Well-being Resources

Please note, if you feel you have symptoms of covid-19, call your primary care physician or contact Upstate University Hospital's Triage Line at 315.464.3979 

Onondaga County Health Department
For the most recent COVID-19 updates visit County’s website.

Syracuse Community Health Center
Located on 819 S Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13202 is offering drive- thru model COVID-19 testing. For more information contact (315) 476-7921 or visit their website.

Birth/Doula Support
Village Birth International is offering Free Virtual Doula care for all pregnant, breastfeeding and at-home moms for Syracuse residents. Services are available to Onondaga County residents on a sliding scale. Call  315) 920-2787 or email asteir@villagebirthinternational.org.

Onondaga County and Childcare Solutions are maintaining a database of childcare openings available for families in urgent need. 

YMCA of CNY is offering childcare for medical professionals and first responders. Contact the YMCA for more information. 

Vera House, Inc.

Victims of domestic or sexual violence, or elder abuse, can get help 24/7 by calling (315) 468-3260. For more information, please visit www.verahouse.org.

Liberty Resources

Liberty Resources remains open to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are offering telehealth behavioral health services and continue to accept new referrals. Visit their website for more information https://www.liberty-resources.org/.

To connect with a counselor now, call 315-498-5961.

If you are experiencing a crisis, reach out to their Mobile Crisis Team by calling 315-281-0500.


Centro is offering free bus fare for all Centro users beginning March 24, 2020.

Volunteer Opportunities

In this time of need, you can help. Find volunteer opportunities to assist with the covid-19 situation in Onondaga County by visiting volunteercny.org or calling 315-428-2229 to sign up. VolunteerCNY, a United Way Initiative.