Small Business Support

The MARK Project is currently administering a Small Business Development Fund through Empire State Development. We have just completed the round 2 application review and will be announcing the release of round 3 funds in the near future. If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact Katie at or 845-586-3500.

Details about the program are below:

MARK Project Small Business Development Fund

Application Guidelines

Eligibility:  The Small Business Development Fund (SBDF) is open to existing small businesses and organizations (with 10 or fewer employees or full-time equivalents), as well as to new business start-ups. Not-for-profits are also eligible to apply.

Good Standing:  Existing businesses and organizations must be in good standing with NY State requirements and must submit their last three years filed tax returns (or Form 990 for not-for-profit organizations). They must also submit the past three years Profit & Loss statements. Any new business or business in existence less than three years will be required to submit a business plan with their application (no exceptions).

Eligible Expenses:  This program can only fund capital expenditures. This does not include expansion of inventory to be sold to the consumer. It can include equipment, building and infrastructure improvements, storefront development, static displays, signage, furnishings, etc.  If you are unsure if your expenses are eligible, please contact MARK to verify.

Available Funding and Program Rules:  Funding available from this program will be a combination of low-interest loan and grant, which can cover up to 75% of project costs. The proportion of loan to grant will be determined by the funding panel during the review process, at which time any awardee can accept or decline the funding. Interest on loans will be set at 2.5%. Length of the loan term will be determined through a post-award meeting with the MARK Project.

Not-for-profits with 501(c)(3) status will have the option of applying for grant funds only with no loan component, but such grant funds can only cover up to 50% of project costs. The SBDF Panel will have final say on any such grants awarded.

Proof of owner equity funds for balance of project costs will be required prior to release of any SBDF funds. Not-for-profits must submit proof of matching funds for grant only awards.

This will be a very competitive funding round, since available funds are limited. All funding decisions will be made by an independent panel and are subject to approval by the MARK Project Board of Directors. MARK staff will not be involved in any funding decisions.

The average grant-loan combination award will be between $5,000 and $15,000 to cover up to 75% of project costs. Grants made to not-for-profits will be no higher than $7,500 to cover up to 50% of project costs. Larger projects may be considered for funding, but keep in mind that funds are very limited. All projects are subject to panel review.

Successful applicants have one year from date of award to complete their project. Proof of project expenditures must be submitted quarterly, and a final report must be submitted within 30 days of project completion.

Recapture Provisions:

There is a five-year recapture provision on all grant and loan funds associated with your project. This recapture will be invoked if the business is sold or the recipient violates the grant agreement. The recapture is based on the following sliding scale

From Award Date, during:Amount of Recapture
Year 1100% of funds returned to SBDF
Year 280% of funds returned to SBDF
Year 360% of funds returned to SBDF
Year 440% of funds returned to SBDF
Year 520% of funds returned to SBDF

Application Deadline:  To be announced