Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said a grant program...

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said a grant program will help small businesses and non-profits recover losses from the pandemic. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Businesses and nonprofits organizations in Oyster Bay that suffered economic hardship due to the pandemic can apply for grants of up to $5,000 beginning next week.

The town of Oyster Bay set aside $4.9 million of the $24.3 million it received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for the grant program. The town will pay $400,000 to Brooklyn-based National Development Council to administer the grants.

The grant program, called “Oyster Bay Forward,” is open to small businesses and organizations that meet criteria set by the town. Some of these criteria include: having no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees; annual revenue between $35,000 and $5 million; and certifying that the business or organization was hurt by the pandemic.

The grant money can be spent on expenses such as inventory, supplies, rent, untilties, property taxes, maintenance and the lease or purchase of equipment.

Applications for the grants will be available online and can be submitted beginning on Nov. 29.

“My administration earmarked these Federal funds to boost small businesses and not-for-profits, help them recover losses from the pandemic, and keep their operations moving forward in the Town of Oyster Bay,” town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said in a news release.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law by President Joseph Biden in 2021 as a fiscal stimulus during the COVID-19 pandemic, included $350 billion of emergency funds for state and local governments. Oyster Bay has said in financial documents that it plans to divide its $24.3 million allocation into thirds with spending split between programs for small businesses, water quality improvements and reserves or revenue replacement.

The town has also approved $77,680 of ARPA funds for the development of a new town website to promote tourism and generate economic activity. That amount includes $25,000 for incidental costs above the expected $52,680 cost of the contact to develop oysterbaytoday.com. The town board awarded that contract in August but the site, oysterbaytoday.com, has not yet launched.

Town officials are also contemplating a program using ARPA funds to help small businesses and nonprofits compete with larger companies for same-day delivery services. The town issued a request for proposal in August for grant development and admintration services for that program. Town spokesman Brian Nevin wrote in an email Tuesday that the contract has not yet been awarded.

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