Applicants roll in to $100M tourism employee grant program

A week after opening for applications, several hundred businesses have applied for grants from a $100 million state program meant to offset the cost of rehiring tourism-sector employees as the industry recovers. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the New York State Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program in November 2021 as part of a $450 million tourism recovery package. The idea was to encourage companies to start bringing workers back, perhaps in advance of when it was absolutely necessary to staff up. 

Tourism-related firms have been hard hit by the city’s long recovery and by federal policies that have kept visitor levels low. As of February, for example, the hotel industry

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