Buffalo Business Forward
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Byron W. Brown and The City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning have been providing businesses with the latest information about the COVID-19 emergency and the City of Buffalo's response to adequately restore economic activity. Buffalo Business Forward will continue to be a central resource and communication tool for Buffalo's business community, providing updates on new business assistance opportunities, business resources, and guidance as businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Buffalo is open for business and our office is excited to support the business community as our local economy moves forward.
Buffalo Small Business Map and Directory
The Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning encourages local, small businesses in the City of Buffalo to register for our Small Business map and directory.
We will continue to provide our business community with important business updates, resources and other guidance. Please select the option to sign up to receive these updates on our Registration Form
Business Health and Safety Guidelines
- bars and food service establishments
- grocery stores and other retail businesses
- personal care establishments (barbershops, nail/hair salons, tattoo and piercing shops and similar locations)
- places of worship, including during prayer
- hotels, banks and all other places open to the public
- indoor fitness establishments(gyms, Pilates studios, yoga studios, martial arts, and similar locations)
- theatres (movie & live)
- indoor entertainment (e.g., hockey rinks, bowling alleys) for both players and spectators.
Please reference Erie County Department of Health's checklist if you are an impacted business HERE. As an impacted business, you are required to make sure your employees, guests and patrons wear a mask properly while inside your facility.
Please reference the full announcement HERE
COVID-19 Business Assistance and Relief
The City of Buffalo’s Business Assistance page has up-to-date state, local, and federal business assistance resources.
The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to provided flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York. Find more information HERE
The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) continues to accept applications. The $100 million fund is a economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords as they reopen after COVID-19 and NYS on PAUSE.
Buffalo Business Forward Grant Program
Applications are now open for the Buffalo Business Forward Small Business Grant Program. Qualifying businesses can receive grants up to $25,000. The new grant effort is a collaboration that includes the City’s Office of Strategic Planning (OSP) and the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA), the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) and the SUNY-Buffalo State College Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
The approximately $1 million in grant funds will come from the remaining Federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (Cares Act) funding to be distributed via BURA’s Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) Fund. Microenterprises and small businesses with 1-50 employees will be eligible to access this small business funding, as well as specialized technical assistance geared toward business recovery planning.
Please find more information at buffalobusinessgrants.com
Please reference our Buffalo Business Forward Grant Program Flyer HERE
Small Business Development
Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE)
Small Business Social Distancing Initiative
Given the success and positive feedback of the SBSDI, the Brown Administration working with Councilmember Joel Feroleto, the chair of the Small Business Social Distancing Advisory Committee (SBSDAC) filed a further extension of the legislation through Spring of 2022.
If your business does not have a sidewalk cafe license and you are seeking to use streets, sidewalks, and other public or privately owned outdoor space, please fill out a Small Business Social Distancing Exterior Premises Use Application. In addition, if the business does not have a current sidewalk cafe license, the business must start an application with the Department of Permits and Inspections (DPIS) for the 2022 season in Room 301 of City Hall. Phone: 716-851-4972.
Buffalo is a great place to do business. New development in our commercial, residential, and industrial sectors continues to have a long-lasting impact on Buffalo’s economic recovery.
Are you interested in development? Please visit our Commercial Tax Incentives, Grants, and Financing Page and our Bid Opportunities Page.
Since 2012, there has been approximately $8 billion in economic investment citywide. Mayor Byron W. Brown and Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning launched an interactive map for community residents to see new development projects completed or in progress going back to 2017. Buffalo continues to see exciting new development momentum throughout our community. Please access our development project map at the link below: