ROCHESTER, N.Y. WROC) — Monroe County is offering small business owners loans of up to $25,000 that, contingent on certain requirements being met, will be forgiven and converted to grants, County Executive Adam Bello announced Monday.

A working capital loan is given to businesses primarily for everyday expenses. These loans are given out based on eligibility and needs of the applicant, and provide assistance for up to six months.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which has created Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) allocations.

The funds awarded can be used to help cover costs including payroll, rent/mortgage payments, and utilities.

Provided the recipients meet the requirements set at the time of awarding, at the end of the affordability period the loan will be converted to grants, which do not need to be repaid.

“Our small businesses suffered economic losses through no fault of their own during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am committed to using every economic development tool available to help
Bring Monroe Back, retain jobs and support our entrepreneurs,” Bello said. “This forgivable working capital loan program is a common-sense way to leverage CDBG funding for the benefit of our entire community.”

Funding is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Applicants will be assigned a case manager who will assess the needs of the applicant and determine how much money will be awarded, with a maximum of $25,000.

Eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Applicants must have more than 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees
  • If required, applicants must retain the employment of at least one full-time employee whose annual income must be less than $50,250
  • Applicants must be in good standing with Monroe County, New York State, and the federal government — no outstanding warrants, judgments, bankruptcies, or tax liens
  • Applicants must have satisfied all requirements of Monroe County’s Fast Forward Monroe COVID-19 program
  • Applicants must have been in business prior to March 27, 2020
  • Applicants must be able to provide all award letters and information regarding any COVID-19 assistance received
  • Applicants must be able to provide a recovery plan and show proof of disruption or loss of revenue due to COVID-19:
    • Loss of revenue due to mandatory state lockdowns
    • Loss of revenue compared to previous years
    • Loss of revenue after expanding/changing business to support the fight against COVID-19
    • Purchases of COVID-19 safety equipment and/or non-construction COVID-19 safety improvements necessary to continue operations (Exceptions apply)
    • Experienced effects in other ways resulting in provable loss of revenue

More information can be found online at