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Monroe County to offer more federally funded grants for small business


Monroe County Executive Adam Bello is announcing more help for small businesses still coping with the impact of COVID-19 on their operations.

Bello says the program, called Fast Forward 2.0, is using an additional $20 million in federal CARES Act money, which must be distributed by the end of the year.

“The funds can be used for rent, payroll, operating expenditures, or COVID-related business expenses and other funding shortfalls that our small businesses in our community have experienced over the  last year and a half,” Bello noted.

This latest program will provide grants of either $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on the number of full-time employees. 

Bello said there is an extra effort with this latest phase of the program to help more business owners quality for the funds.

“So this time around, that's why Monroe County's economic development staff is partnering with our community groups like Ibero, PathStone and Urban League to help our minority owned and challenged businesses get the help that they need.”

Bello said these partners will work with businesses on their applications and paperwork for their grants, "so that they don't miss out on this important opportunity.”

Businesses that did not receive funding in the first version of the program will be given priority under Fast Forward 2.0. To apply, visit

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.