Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):



  1. Who should I contact if I have questions about this program?
    Send all questions via email to [email protected] or use the Contact Us form on our website. Please also check this site for updated FAQs.
  2. What if my application is submitted late?
    There are three anticipated rounds to submit, due April 5, June 18, and September 27. If an applicant misses one of the deadlines, their project can still be considered during the next round, if funds have not been exhausted before then. Final deadline to submit an application is September 27.
  3. What if my application is determined to be incomplete?
    Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding. Applicants should carefully review their application packet before submitting.
  4. What is a dollar-for-dollar match?
    For each dollar committed to the project by the grantee, Niagara County will match it with one dollar of grant funding up to the maximum grant amount of $50,000. For example, if the total project cost is $100,000, the applicant can apply for the maximum grant amount of $50,000. This is a reimbursement grant, so grantees must pay all project costs up front. Upon completion of the project and submission of all required documentation, grantees will be reimbursed for half of the total project costs up to the grant amount. Applicants can propose a project that costs more than $100,000, but the maximum grant amount is still $50,000.
  5. What is acceptable proof of matching funds?
    Proof of matching funds can include a bank statement, credit card statement, loan document, personal financial statement, etc. with account numbers redacted for security purposes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  6. Is there funding available for the purchase of equipment?                                                                                                                        Yes, there are loan funds available through the NCIDA. These loan funds are subordinate to bank financing. Click here for more info.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  7. When can I start my project?
    Do not start any work until after you have received a grant award letter from Niagara County. Expenses incurred prior to receiving an award letter will not be eligible for reimbursement. Once you have received the award letter, you can begin incurring expenses to be covered by the grant.
  8. Are retail and seasonal businesses eligible?
    No. Only manufacturing businesses that primarily rely on machinery and equipment for creating their goods are eligible.
  9. Can funding be used for non-stationary equipment?
    No. Equipment that is temporary, seasonal, or easily removable from the premises are not eligible. (example: tractors, forklifts, hand-held equipment, etc).                                                                                                                                                                                                      
  10. What activities are ineligible for funding?                                                                                                                                                Activities that are NOT eligible for funding include plans, studies, routine professional services (ex. Accounting services, legal fees, consultant fees, etc.) and any “in-kind" expense incurred by employees or owners or leases of the project side.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  11. Will partial funding be considered?
    At its sole discretion, Niagara County may choose to award partial funding based upon application review. Funding requests may be reduced to exclude ineligible project costs or project costs that do not fully advance the goals of the program. Funding awards may also be reduced based on limited funding availability.
  12. If the business was started after 2020, but still suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, is the business eligible for this program?
    No, the business must have existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  13. How long do grantees have to complete the project?
    Projects must commence within six months of the execution date. Due to ARPA funding guidelines set by the federal government, grantees will be required to have their projects completed in full by October 2025. Please DO NOT apply for this program if you anticipate your project cannot be completed by October 2025.


  1. Who is responsible for payments that need to be made upfront?
    The grantee is responsible for making all payments for equipment and installation that require upfront payments. This is a reimbursement grant. Upon completion of the project and submission of final documentation, including receipts, the applicant will be reimbursed for 50% of project costs up to the amount awarded.
  2. What if unanticipated costs arise during the installation process, can the grant amount be increased?
    No, any unforeseen costs are the responsibility of the grantee.
  3. What constitutes proof of ownership prior to 2020?
    Proof of ownership can include a copy of a tax bill from 2020 or earlier, copy of a utility bill from 2020 or earlier, or a Certificate of Incorporation, DBA Certificate, Partnership filing or signed letter of joint venture agreement as proof of ownership on or before January 2020.