All Visit Ontario County COVID Relief Program funds have been awarded

We were able to assist numerous hospitality/tourism businesses throughout the County.  Additional funds for this program are not available at this time.  Please contact Ostrander Consulting about other funding sources which may be available for your business.  Ostrander Consulting is paid by Ontario County.  They may be reached at:

(585) 497-3446 or (607) 483-0734 or Visit their website at

As a continued effort to connect businesses with grant and funding opportunities because of the pandemic, Ostrander’s Consulting is working in cooperation with Ontario County and the Ontario County Tourism Office and the Ontario County Office of Economic Development to support the small businesses as we emerge from Covid-19. Business has changed, new opportunities for financial support are available. As Valerie Knoblauch, President of Finger Lakes Visitors Connection says, “we have been presented opportunities to grow from this pandemic, we just need to help our industry seize those opportunities.”  

Future small business workshops will cover:  

  • Pivoting after COVID – June 13
  • Marketing – July 11
  • Workforce Development and Sexual Harassment Training – Aug. 8
  • QuickBooks – Sept. 12
  • MWBE Certification – Oct. 12

A non-profit series will focus on:

  • Creating a Working Board – June 20
  • Strategic Planning – July 18
  • Finding Funding Streams – Aug. 16
  • Cultivating Branding and Messaging for Non-profits – Sept. 20

To register for the Grants and Funding workshop or if you have questions call the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection Office at 585-394-3915 or email and provide the name of the business and the participant and contact information for attending the seminar. There will also be an opportunity to join the meeting virtually through a Zoom link. If you would like that information, please indicate that when you sign up.

For more information or to be put in the information stream for all the activities you can also email Ostrander’s Consulting at: If you have any questions, call Ostrander’s Consulting at (607) 742-2168.

Business Development and Recovery Opportunities

Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program

The New York State Tourism Return-to-Work Grant Program was created to incentivize employment growth by providing financial assistance to businesses in the tourism industry that suffered economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A total of $100 million in funding has been allocated to award Grantees for increasing their average employment between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022, as compared to a baseline employment period between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. For seasonal businesses, an alternative baseline average employment period will be established for January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021. Grants will provide $5,000 for each net new full-time equivalent job added, and $2,500 for each net new part-time equivalent job added.

Click here to apply

Grants will be limited to for-profit or non-profit businesses, open to and/or servicing the public, engaged in a tourism-related field including, accommodations, arts, entertainment, scenic and sightseeing transportation, tour operators, convention and visitor groups, or other businesses that, in ESD’s sole discretion, qualify as businesses in the tourism industry.

A final application deadline will be established following the January 1 to June 30, 2022 employment growth period, after which ESD will determine award amounts and disburse grant funding.

For more information about Tourism Return-to-Work, please contact