Starz24 in sponsorship with the Mayor’s Office of the City of Buffalo, have created
“Buffalo Business Blitz,” (“Program”) a one-time COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The
distribution of the Fund will provide grants of $2,500 to small businesses financially impacted by
COVID-19 through layoffs, furloughs, or other hardships.
The Program is part of a plan to deploy one-time relief funds to small business
communities throughout the City of Buffalo and Erie County, New York in response to the
economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Starz24, who has helped to raise funds to be deployed to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, has duly authorized WEDI (The Westminster Economic Development Initiative, a certified Community Development Financial Institution with grassroots
connections to microenterprises, primarily owned by racial and ethnic minorities and women,
across the City of Buffalo and Erie County,) to administer the Program and accept donations on STARZ24 behalf, in order for WEDI to make grants under the Program and pursuant to the guidelines included herein.
Buffalo Business Blitz (the “Program”) administered by the Westminster Economic Development
Initiative, is a grant fund that has been created by Starz24 and funded by City of Buffalo, Josh Norman, Wegmans, Rich Family Foundation, Buffalo Bills Players Association, and individual donors in order to assist small businesses throughout the city of Buffalo and Erie County with the financial hardship imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The below guidelines establish the businesses eligible for funding, the type of business expenses that can be paid with grant funds, the application and award process.
I. General Description of the Program
Eligible businesses will be able to receive grant funds from the program in order to assist those
businesses with operating expenses incurred or paid after March 1, 2020, when the Governor of New York began the process of closing certain businesses within the State, and at which point several businesses were being affected by both mandatory and voluntary closures, cancellations, and postponements of operations, activities, and events, both in and outside of New York.
The amount of the grant per business will be a maximum of $2,500. Donations to the Program must be received on or before January 25, 2021.
All grants made under the Program are being made with the intention to provide immediate funding to small businesses to meet their business needs, to keep as small businesses in the City of Buffalo and Erie County operating, address ongoing concerns as possible, and to retain as many jobs for Buffalo residents as possible in light of the severe economic hardships brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All contributions of funds to the Program are made for the purpose of furthering economic development, preserving employment opportunities for Buffalo residents, and preserving the operations of Buffalo’s small businesses during a time of need and emergency.
The primary objective of the Program is to minimize long-term economic hardship to Buffalo residents that may result from the COVID-19 pandemic.
II. Eligibility Criteria
A. To be eligible for grant funds under the Program, Buffalo businesses must meet the following
i) Must have its principal place of business be located in Erie County, State of New York.
ii) Must not be a business primarily engaged in e-commerce.
iii) Must have filed tax returns for 2019.
iv) Must have valid business license.
v) Must be for profit business.
III. Application and Award Process
A. Businesses that wish to apply for a grant from the Program shall submit an online application form through the online application found on www.wedibuffalo.org/buffalobusinessblitz and the application shall be received by WEDI.
All applications must be submitted on or before January, 18 2021.
B. A completed application on the form prescribed by WEDI that is available on their website at
www.wedibuffalo.org/buffalobusinessblitz will require applications include:
i) Certification of completed application accuracy;
ii) Signed certification of each applicant’s eligibility for funding; and
iii) Uploaded 2019 federal tax return.
C. A completed application with all forms, documentation, attachments, and certifications shall be screened by WEDI and WEDI shall determine if the applicant satisfies the requirements to
receive a grant and is eligible to proceed to be a finalist
D. WEDI shall be responsible for collecting and maintaining all applications and the data contained therein.
E. Finalist applications shall be organized by WEDI, and WEDI shall provide Starz24 with a list of
applicants eligible for the grants on or before February 1, 2021. The list shall be divided
between those applicants located in the City of Buffalo and those located outside of the City of
Buffalo but in Erie County, State of New York.
F. The number of recipients shall be equal to the amount of donations received for the Program,
less the administrative expenses paid to WEDI, divided by $2.500.
G. If the value of the grants is less than the amount of donations received for the Program, less the administrative expenses paid to WEDI and/or additional donations are received after January
25, 2021, the parties can agree reopen the Program and extend the term of this Agreement.
H. The awardees will be drawn at random by WEDI with half of the awardees located in the City of
Buffalo and half in outside the City of Buffalo but in Erie County, New York.
I. WEDI will contact all awardees selected and provide each awardee with the following forms
and documents which will be completed and signed by each awardee and submitted to WEDI
i) Grant agreement outlining purpose and allowable uses of funds
ii) Disbursement form to allow WEDI to electronically transfer funds or appropriately cut
iii) City of Buffalo media release authorization form
IV. Process for Payment
A. Payment will be initiated by WEDI within 4 business days of confirmation of payment method for elected wire transfer payments. Payment will be initiated within 7 business days of confirmation of payment method for elected payment by check.