State small-business relief program can’t spend its money

Seven months after a state program launched, its reservoir of money—meant to help the state’s smallest businesses with pandemic recovery—has handed out a little more than half its dollars, even as Gov. Kathy Hochul proposes spending $1 billion more on business relief.

The Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant opened for applications in June. As of this week, the total amount of awarded grants sits at a bit more than $437 million, meaning there is almost $363 million left.

Almost immediately after the program’s launch, it was clear that it would have trouble distributing funds. The grant’s original rules were so stringent that it took two months for Empire

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