Small businesses in Erie County have a new opportunity to apply for COVID-related aid. The Erie County Back to Business Grant Program, which kicked off today, is a $20 million relief fund offering direct financial assistance to qualifying Erie County-based small businesses. Between October 13 and November 2, small business owners can apply for grants of up to $45,000 based on business size and need.

Interested business owners can learn more and apply at BacktoBizGrants.org.


The grant program was created to assist small business owners that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. It is being made possible by Erie County which is committing $20 million in CARES Act funding to offer aid to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The program is being administered in partnership with 43North.

Awarded grants can be applied toward a wide range of past and future expenses, including operations, payroll, adaptations to meet COVID restrictions, rent, and more. 

While the fall season typically sees 43North engaged in a diligence process, this October finds the organization judging a different crop of entrepreneurs. “While 43North’s mission is rooted in startups, entrepreneurship comes in all shapes and sizes,” said 43North Immediate Past Board Chairman and Ignite Buffalo Co-founder Bill Maggio. “Just as we did with our Ignite Buffalo initiative back in 2018, 43North is honored to share our resources and expertise to support the entrepreneurial engine that keeps our region alive and thriving – our small business community.”

Any business owners seeking assistance in completing their application can reach out to [email protected]. It is strongly encouraged to apply ASAP to gain access to aid before funds are depleted. Ready to get started? Apply now.