Binghamton Mayor Richard David has announced an additional $113,000 in COVID-19 small business relief.
On Sept. 20, Mayor David informed the city of Binghamton about the fourth round of pandemic assistance for local businesses. To qualify for the fourth round of direct assistance, businesses must have under 50 employees and must have not received any assistance from the previous three rounds of funding.
The recent funding comes directly from funds provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act was signed into law by former President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020. The primary purpose of the CARES Act is to provide financial relief to all Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Two key features of the CARES Act are direct payments to recently unemployed Americans and the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small businesses.
Since the implementation of the CARES Act, the City of Binghamton has received a total of four relief payments. The previous round of funding came May 2020 for $140,000. Qualified businesses are able to apply for the current round of funding.
Jon Layish, the president of Red Barn Technology Group, is a business owner in Binghamton who said he saw firsthand the effects of the pandemic on his business.
“We were significantly affected from a revenue perspective by the pandemic,” Layish wrote in an email. “We acquired Muckles’ Ink! in March of 2020 and just opened the CPR (cell phone repair) franchise. When universities closed, many of our revenue streams were effectively shut down.”
As relief began to be allocated to businesses in Binghamton, Layish applied for a previous round of funding and said it greatly benefited his business.
“The CARES Act and PPP funding allowed us to operate at full staff and quickly shift business models to pivot and take advantage of the changing landscapes,” Layish wrote.
Layish said he is optimistic about the additional funding recently announced to Binghamton.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty with the labor force and supply chain, so any help that small business could get certainly will have an impact,” Layish wrote.
Fiona Carroll, a junior majoring in biology, is confident that the additional funding will open more jobs for the community.
“I think it will help the small businesses to feel a bit more stable in being open, and maybe even allow them the financial opportunity to hire the necessary staff they need to fully open or comfortably run with their now increasing demands as [COVID-19] restrictions are lifted,” Carroll said.
Shamar Barker, a junior majoring in Spanish, is hopeful about the additional funding and its effects on the local economy.
“I do think the additional funding will help out the local community,” Barker said. “Local businesses drive the economy [of] Downtown [Binghamton] and seeing businesses have the opportunity to receive funding that will help return to normalcy is great.”
Emma Hansen, an undeclared freshman, hopes the funds will allow her to see some of the unique features of Binghamton this semester.
“With the loosening restrictions and additional funds, I am excited about local businesses returning to pre-pandemic operations,” Hansen wrote. “I look forward to trying some of the popular restaurants downtown with my friends sometime this year.”
Layish has one piece of advice for students at BU who are interested in running their own business in the future.
“I think it is important not to quit when times get tough, and while the transition and change was challenging, I feel we are stronger for the changes we made and are showing incremental benefits as the world slowly gets back to normal,” Layish wrote.
The deadline to apply for this fourth round of relief is Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. Those interested in applying for the fourth round of relief can receive more information here https://www.binghamton-ny.gov/government/departments/economic-recovery-development