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NY Seed Fund Grants for Artists



The New York State Seed Funding Grant Program (the “Program”) was created to provide assistance to early-stage small businesses to succeed in a recovering New York State economy.

Eligible Applicants must provide evidence, acceptable to New York State that the Eligible Applicant is operational and meets the program requirements.

As part of the application each micro-business, small business, or for-profit arts and cultural organization including independent arts contractors shall provide sufficient documentation in a manner prescribed by Empire State Development (ESD) to demonstrate program qualification.

Only one grant per business EIN or SSN allowed.

Due to a limited amount of funding and the high volume of requests expected, business type, geography and industry may factor into ability to receive a grant.

Grant awards will be calculated based upon the annual amount of gross receipts as shown on their provided 2020 or 2021 business tax return.

* Businesses with $5,000 and up to $49,999.99 in gross receipts: Award is $5,000/business.

* Businesses with $50,000 – $99,999.99 in gross receipts: Award is $10,000/business.

* Businesses with $100,000 – $1,000,000 in gross receipts: Award is 10% of gross receipts with a maximum grant amount of $25,000/business.

For firms that have NOT filed a Federal Tax Return for operations thus far:

Award is $5,000/business.


Eligible Business Qualifications

Small businesses, Micro-businesses and For-profit independent arts and cultural organizations, including independent arts contractors submitting an application for a grant award to the Program (collectively, “Eligible Applicants”) must:

Be incorporated in New York State or licensed or registered to do business in New York State and must be resident in the State of New York;

Be a currently viable Micro-business, Small business, or For-profit arts and cultural organization including independent arts contractors that started business on September 1, 2018 or later and has been operational for at least six months before an application is submitted;

Have between five thousand dollars ($5,000) and one million dollars ($1,000,000) in gross receipts per annum as reflected on their most recent Federal Business Tax Return (line 1a, IRS Form 1120 or 1065; line 1 IRS Form 1040 Schedule C) or be able to demonstrate five thousand dollars ($5,000) in business expenses for businesses that have not yet filed a Federal Business Tax Return;

Be in substantial compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, codes and requirements;

Not owe any federal, state or local taxes, or have an approved repayment, deferral plan, or agreement with appropriate federal, state, and local taxing authorities;

Not qualify for business assistance grant programs under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 or any other available federal COVID-19 economic recovery or business assistance grant programs, including loans forgiven under the federal Paycheck Protection Program, or are unable to obtain sufficient business assistance from such federal programs.*

Eligible Applicants may have received or been awarded the following federal assistance:

Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $250,000 or less.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 of any size.

COVID-19 EIDL Advance Grant of any size.

COVID-19 EIDL Supplemental Targeted Advance Grant of any size.

SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant of any size.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant of any size.

Did not qualify for business assistance under the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program.

Ineligible Business

All non-profits, churches and other religious institutions;

Government-owned entities or elected official offices;

Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities;

Landlords and passive real estate businesses.

Eligible Costs

The following costs incurred between September 1, 2018 and January 1, 2022 shall be considered eligible for the program. These include:

Payroll costs; or

Commercial rent or mortgage payments for NYS-based property; or

Payment of local property or school taxes associated with a small business location in NYS; or

Insurance costs; or

Utility costs; or

Costs of personal protection equipment (PPE) necessary to protect worker and consumer health and safety; or

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) costs; or

Other machinery or equipment costs; or

Supplies and materials necessary for compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols; or

Other documented COVID-19 costs as approved by ESD.

Application Instructions

Apply Here

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