LOWER MANHATTAN — A new $5 million grant program will help give businesses in lower Manhattan a boost, the city announced Wednesday.
The Lower Manhattan Business Expansion Competition will dole out grants of up to $650,000 each for existing companies and $200,000 for new companies south of Chambers Street and east of Broadway, the city Economic Development Corp. said.
The EDC unveiled preliminary details of the competition on Wednesday and released a request for proposals seeking a consultant to oversee it.
"Even as we continue to make significant progress in the redevelopment of lower Manhattan, it remains critical for us to ensure that the area remains a center of innovative business activity," EDC President Seth Pinsky said in a statement.
"To this end, today’s RFP will help create a competition to attract high-growth industries to lower Manhattan, building on valuable input that we received during extensive engagement with the local community."
The consultant proposals are due back to the EDC by Sept. 9. The city expects the consultant to start working in November and begin accepting submissions from businesses before the end of the year.
The first awards will go out some time next year, and the city will continue distributing the money over three years, the EDC said.
The competition will have two tracks: one for existing businesses that plan to move to lower Manhattan or expand there and one for entrepreneurs who either want to start a new business or have started one within the past two years.
The winning existing businesses will receive grants of between $50,000 and $650,000, while new business winners will receive grants of $20,000 to $200,000.
The funding for the program includes $4 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and $950,000 from the New York City Industrial Development Agency.