County Announces $20 Million Back to Business Grant Program for Small Businesses

pictured is Erie County Legislator April Baskin with Barbara Glover of Miss Barbara’s School of Dance announcing Back To Business Grant 2020

Small Businesses Encouraged to Apply at as Soon as Possible

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, Erie County Business Task Force co-chairs Scott Pallotta and Brenda McDuffie, and 43North President Colleen Heidinger were joined by multiple partners Tuesday at Miss Barbara’s School of Dance in Buffalo to announce the creation of the Erie County Back to Business Grant Program, a relief program targeting small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Working in coordination with 43North, Erie County is committing $20 million in U.S. CARES Act funding for direct financial assistance to eligible small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The grant program aims to disburse funds to businesses with the greatest need while distributing the aid to as many small businesses as possible in amounts that will create a meaningful impact.

The program will emphasize diversity and need in the distribution of funds, prioritizing those that have yet to receive COVID related aid; minority and women owned businesses; businesses in highly-distressed zip codes; those seeking to hire or bring back furloughed/laid off employees; and businesses still not allowed to reopen. Grant funds can be applied to a range of eligible expenses including operations, payroll, adaptations to meet COVID restrictions, rent and more. Small businesses can learn more and apply at

Poloncarz was also joined at the announcement by Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, 43North Immediate Past Board Chairman and Ignite Buffalo Co-founder Bill Maggio,  President/CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara Patrick Kaler, and Erie County Legislature Chairperson April Baskin (2nd District) along with members of the Legislature’s Majority Caucus.

Miss Barbara’s School of Dance Founder, Barbara Glover said, “For the past 55 years, Miss Barbara’s School of Dance has provided a service to the Buffalo community. Our students learn more than dance here. They learn lessons about character, grace, and poise. My business relies on people. With no one in the studio, there is no income, but the overhead continues. Receiving a Back to Business Grant would be the relief I need to help me get through this uncertain time.”