american rescue plan act

Rockland Launches American Rescue Aid Grants To Help Small Businesses, Promote Green Space

Business Features Government Industry Other News
RCBJ-Audible (Listen For Free)
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Small Businesses To Be Reimbursed Between $5,000 and $50,000 For Eligible Pandemic-Related Expenses


Rockland County has launched two grant programs that will be funded by $7 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies to support small businesses and urban green spaces.

The Rockland Small Business Rescue Grant Program will utilize $2 million in ARPA funds to reimburse small businesses between $5,000 and $50,000 for eligible expenses incurred during, and related to, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses that received more than $300,000 in PPP funds, SBA Grants, NYS Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Funds, or NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Grant Funds are not eligible.

This grant is targeted to Rockland County-based, privately-owned, micro-businesses, small businesses, enterprises, or sole proprietorships, that offer fee-based goods or services and have fewer than 500 employees and annual revenues up to $1 million.

Eligible businesses include, but are not limited to, indoor arts, entertainment, and recreation, pet grooming, boarding, and walking, restaurants, eateries, food stands and food trucks, bars, bakeries, cafes, breweries/wineries, catering, delis.

Also included are bookstore/stationary stores, housekeeping, fitness centers, florists, general retail, salons/spas, bicycle shops, and service firms such as architectural design and marketing.

Scores of small businesses suffered from periods of closure and revenue loss due to pandemic closures. A New York State Comptroller report found that four out of five small businesses in New York continue to report negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic.

Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  •     Commercial/Retail Rent (up to 3 months)
  •     Safety Investments (Including PPE, Cleaning Supplies, UV Cleaning Supplies/Services)
  •     Hardware Fees
  •     Software Fees
  •     Marketing Fees (advertising and promotion)
  •     Credit Card Processing Fees (difference of increase from 2021 to 2022)
  •     Supplies (operational items)

Ineligible businesses include nonprofits, churches, and other religious institutions, landlords and property management businesses, unlicensed or illegal businesses, franchises, government contracted agencies, businesses engaged in political or lobbying activities.

“The pandemic took an incredible toll on Rockland communities, and we promise to utilize every single dollar of American Rescue Plan Act funds to help this County fully recover,” said  County Legislature Chairman Jay Hood Jr. “We encourage all eligible entities to apply as soon as possible so we can start delivering grants and providing the support our families and businesses need and deserve.”

The pandemic highlighted the importance of urban green spaces.

Across the country when many indoor recreation activities were restricted residents throughout Rockland and beyond went outdoors as never before. Residents who utilized urban green spaces reported better health outcomes during the pandemic than those who rarely went outside, according to Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

“We believe it is crucial to invest in the mental health of our residents by developing more urban green spaces,” said Day.

He added, “Rockland County’s full recovery from the pandemic is only possible if we support our small businesses, which are the backbone of every economy, but businesses are only as strong as their workforce.  For that reason, these two programs will help ensure Rockland’s recovery stays on track.”

The Rockland Resilient Recreation Grant Program will award municipalities and non-profits between $5,000 up to $200,000 for investments in public urban green spaces, with the total grant program utilizing up to $5 million in ARPA Funds.

Eligible Entities:

  •     Rockland County Municipalities
  •     Rockland County Nonprofits

Projects include but are not limited to:

  •     Active Parks
  •     Passive Parks (Gardens, open play areas, picnic areas, sitting areas, etc.)
  •     Playgrounds
  •     Paths to Connect Existing Green Spaces
  •     Community Food Gardens
  •     Multi-Use Green Infrastructure (Stormwater basins, rain gardens, etc.)
  •     Community beautification projects
  •     Mini-Forests

County Legislature Minority Leader Lon Hofstein said, “Rockland County small businesses, and communities in general, have suffered significant financial hardship due to the pandemic. It is our job as elected officials to help in any way we can and believe these new grants will do just that by strengthening the fiscal and physical health of County residents.”