BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Small businesses in New York could be at the receiving end of tax credits based on the cost of safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced the $250 million COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program. Businesses with 100 or fewer employees are eligible for it.

“The pandemic has hit New York’s small businesses especially hard, forcing many to close and others to incur significant financial burdens to protect their employees and customers from COVID-19,” Hochul said.

Businesses could receive tax credits to cover half of the eligible costs if they spent money on any of the following:

  • supplies to disinfect or protect against COVID-19 transmission
  • costs associated with expanding, or defining space to accommodate social distancing
  • HVAC equipment
  • expenses related to increased outdoor activity and outdoor space expansions
  • machinery and equipment to facilitate contactless sales

“Small businesses had to incur significant expenses to reopen safely during the pandemic, and with those costs continuing to mount, they need our support more than ever,” State Senator Anna Kaplan said.

The tax credits will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, with the maximum possible award being $25,000. Businesses must have at least $2,000 in eligible costs between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022.

Other than that and the employee number requirement, the state also says eligible businesses must have had $2.5 million or less of gross receipts in the 2021 tax year. To access the state’s screening tool for the program, click or tap here.

It’s worth noting, too, that New York’s COVID-19 Program Small Business Recovery Grant Program is still accepting applications. This program provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. Costs incurred between January 1 and April 1, 2021 that were paid for with money from the grant program aren’t eligible for a tax credit under the COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program.

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