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The Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA), administered by Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED), recently approved an emergency grant program for use in upgrading childcare facilities to allow for safer operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant funds may also be used by childcare providers to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Four grants, totaling $33,331, were awarded by the TCIDA on November 11, 2020. The grants were awarded to the following childcare providers: Ithaca Community Childcare Center, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Coddington Road Community Center, and Downtown Ithaca Children's Center.

A law signed by Governor Cuomo in June, 2020, allows New York State Industrial Development Agencies to offer grants up to $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofit entities with no more than 50 employees, expressly for the purchase of personal protective equipment and "installing fixtures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

"The TCIDA established the COVID-199 Emergency Grant Program and allocated $100,000 specifically to help Day Care Centers, Group Family Day Care, Family Day Care, and School Age Child Care Programs that are vital to the community and desperately need this type of equipment in order to operate safely," said Heather McDaniel, Administrative Director of the TCIDA.

Prospective applicants must be located in Tompkins County, must be currently operating, or plan to open within 90 days after purchases are made, and have been financially viable prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

A minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $10,000 is available per applicant. Priority will be given to applications for construction and renovation that would promote social distancing, including outdoor classrooms, HVAC modifications or other improvements related to indoor air quality.

Applications will be considered as long as this new capacity for IDAs to award such grants remains in effect, or until the fund is exhausted.

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