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

Governor Kathy Hochul announced applications are now being accepted for the COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program which will support small businesses that made investments to comply with emergency orders and regulations, or to increase public safety in response to COVID-19. Nearly every operational business made health and safety upgrades and bought supplies to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus; Governor Hochul believes these businesses must be reimbursed.  

Applications will be accepted starting October 25 from small businesses to become certified for tax credits to help reduce the pandemic-related financial impact. Qualifying expenses are related to building upgrades, structural changes or supplies to comply with public health, or other emergency-related orders and regulations to increase public safety through infectious disease mitigation during 2021 and 2022.

Businesses independently owned and operated in the State of New York with less than 100 full-time employees and gross receipts of less than $2.5M are eligible. Small businesses can receive a tax credit of 50% of qualifying expenses up to a maximum of $25,000 in tax credits based on qualifying expenses of $50,000.

Empire State Development (ESD) entered a partnership with the Forward Platform to screen business applications, validate expenses and distribute credits in a way that uses taxpayer dollars efficiently. Applicants and qualifying businesses can expect to fill out a pre-screening questionnaire to confirm their eligibility via an online application portal available in 68 languages with phone, text, and email support. Businesses will be required to present proof of expenses and other supporting documents, and will receive a tax credit certificate to submit to the Department of Taxation and Finance when filing a tax return

Forward is providing end-to-end programming support as the small business community continues to navigate the pandemic-related financial impact on their operations. They are working with community organizations and are using their advanced application screening tools during this process. Their team is well equipped to ensure funding is dispersed equitably, targeting those that are eligible and need it the most. Small businesses are encouraged to apply through the pre-screening tool, _cost_screening.html. To learn more about eligibility and qualifying expenses, visit