Small Businesses with 100 or Fewer Employees May Receive Tax Credits for Costs Incurred to Increase COVID-19 Safety

Albany, New York, October 25, 2022 — Governor Kathy Hochul announced applications are now being accepted from small businesses that have successfully completed the pre-screening process to become certified for the COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program, which supports companies that made investments to comply with emergency orders and regulations or to increase public safety in response to COVID-19.

“When the pandemic devastated the bottom line of most small businesses across New York State, I pledged to lend them a helping hand from day one,” Governor Hochul said. “This tax credit will be a crucial lifeline to New York small businesses – the backbone of our state’s economy – and I encourage all who are interested to apply for this much-needed aid.”

Announced as part of Governor Hochul’s first Executive Budget in order to enhance the State’s support for small businesses, and subsequently included in the FY23 Enacted Budget, this new refundable tax relief program targets COVID-19-related expenses for infectious disease mitigation during 2021 and 2022. Eligible COVID-19-related costs include, but are not limited to:

  • 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

Tax credits will cover 50 percent of eligible costs, up to $50,000, for a maximum tax credit award of $25,000, and credits will be awarded on a first come first serve basis until program funds are depleted. Eligible businesses must operate a location in New York State, have 100 or fewer employees, $2.5 million or less of gross receipts in the 2021 tax year, and at least $2,000 in eligible costs between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022.

Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2023.  To claim a tax credit for their 2022 tax return, businesses must apply soon to receive a tax credit certificate from Empire State Development (ESD) on or before December 31, 2022.  Tax credits issued on or after January 1, 2023 can be claimed on a business’s 2023 tax return. To learn more about eligibility and qualifying expenses, visit ESD has contracted with the FORWARD Platform to screen business applications, validate expenses and distribute credits for the program.

The COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit is part of Governor Hochul’s mission to support small businesses impacted by the pandemic. More than $1 billion have been targeted toward small business recovery in Governor Hochul’sfirst budget, including the $250 million COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit, the $800 million Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program and the first-in-the-nation, $200 million Seed Funding Grant Program to support early stage, micro and small businesses that opened shortly before or during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Through no fault of their own, small businesses across the state had to pay for many expenses during the pandemic that were necessary to keep their employees and customers safe, but not expected or budgeted. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, the COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program will help ease the burden that the business community incurred during the pandemic and help it continue to get steadily back on its feet.”

State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, “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. I was proud to sponsor the COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program, which will help minimize the financial impacts incurred by small business owners to stay safe and stay open, and I encourage every small business owner to find out if they’re eligible and apply for relief without delay.”

Assemblymember Al Stirpe said, “As the chair of the Assembly Small Business Committee, it remains a priority of mine to aid local entrepreneurs in any way possible because I know the dedication required, day in and day out, to keep the lights on.  Small business accounts for 98% of all business in NYS and those owners employ 53% of the work force. They are the fuel to our economic engine and we must continue to support them as unexpected safety costs, that included everything from outdoor service areas to new HVAC systems, hit them hard. As they sacrificed to serve our communitieswe must aid them to make a full recovery from the pandemic. The opening of the COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program applications is the support that small business owners have come to expect from NYS. Let’s all get back to work!”

About FORWARD Platform  

The FORWARD Platform is the leading comprehensive Integrated Program Administration (IPA) solution for state and local governments across America. FORWARD modernizes the government’s approach to administering programs by integrating all essential services, components, people, and technology into a single, streamlined, secure solution. From setting up the application back-end, community outreach, marketing, support in multiple languages, eligibility screening, fraud detection, and distribution, to reporting. FORWARD platform distributes resources faster than ever before while also cutting waste, fraud and administration costs. FORWARD has already helped governments administer dozens of programs to get resources to households and businesses quickly, cost-effectively, and securely. To learn more, visit

About Empire State Development 

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit and


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