Funding for Payroll, Insurance, PPE, HVAC, and Other Costs

Queens Economic Development Corporation Business Counselor Beny Castro wants to help small companies thrive.

He offers free advice in such fields as financing, licensing, marketing, and website creation. Currently, he’s emphasizing grant opportunities for entities that have been hurt by the lockdown, including bars and restaurants; beauty salons; retail stores; Uber, Lyft, and cab drivers; independent contractors; and numerous other businesses.

The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program makes $5,000-to-$50,000 grants to viable businesses, micro-businesses, independent contractors, and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations, informs Castro. More than 330,000 agencies are eligible with priority going to those owned by minorities, women, veterans, and those located in economically distressed communities.

The funds can go to operating expenses, including payroll; rent or mortgage payments; taxes; insurance; utilities; personal protection equipment (PPE); heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); and machinery or equipment costs.

That’s just New York State. Castro also works with New York City governmental agencies and private sector companies – i.e. Verizon and Wells Fargo — that provide grants to small businesses in the borough.

“There are so many great Queens entrepreneurs who are still reeling from Covid and the lockdown,” said Castro, who speaks English and Spanish. “These grants can help them, and in turn, spark the economic recovery. Plus, new opportunities are always emerging.”

For more information and technical assistance, send an email to Castro at More information on QEDC is at and