Economic Viability Business Plan Reimbursement Program

PURPOSE: Support the development of professional economic viability business plans for NYC West of Hudson Watershed farm or forestry businesses in order to better position these businesses for improved economic profitability and sustainability.

ELIGIBILITY: Any NYC West of Hudson Watershed ‘farm operation’ as defined by Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 25-AA, SECTION 301, Subdivision 11 meaning the land and on-farm buildings, equipment, manure processing and handling facilities, and practices which contribute to the production, preparation and marketing of crops, livestock and livestock products as a commercial enterprise, including a “commercial horse boarding operation” as defined in subdivision thirteen of this section, a “timber operation” as defined in subdivision fourteen of this section, “compost, mulch or other biomass crops” as defined in subdivision seventeen of this section and “commercial equine operation” as defined in subdivision eighteen of this section. Such farm operation may consist of one or more parcels of owned or rented land, which parcels may be contiguous or noncontiguous to each other. Preference will be given to WAC participants.

NYC West of Hudson Watershed Boundary Line Map:

Open Enrollment: The Watershed Agricultural Council will be accepting applications on a rolling basis. Applicants approved for grant funding must provide proof of completion of proposed project/transaction/services and all invoices to WAC in order to be eligible for grant funding reimbursement.

These are reimbursable grants. Only projects/activities that occur after the application approval date are eligible for reimbursement. Closeout packages must provide necessary documentation per each category before reimbursement is issued. All closeout packages, materials, bills and/or invoices provided as proof of completion must be submitted to WAC by the date provided in the approval letter to receive reimbursement.

Total amount you can apply for: $2,000 per applicant per fiscal year.

If you need assistance with please contact (607) 865-7090 or [email protected].


1. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified of the approved/denied status no later than 30 days after the end of the month they applied in.
2. Grant applications will be awarded based on availability of program funding and merit of the proposal based upon evaluation criteria included in this application. If the applicant does not meet eligibility per Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 25-AA, SECTION 301, Subdivision 11. ‘farm operation’ they will not be considered.
3. Eligible applicants must submit a complete grant application including a description of need for project funding. Applicants may apply for one business plan in the fiscal year.
4. These are reimbursable funds. Closeout packages must provide necessary documentation per each category before reimbursement is issued.
5. Payment will not be issued to participants who are not in good standing with WAC.
6. In order to receive the reimbursement, applicants must submit an invoice to WAC including proper documentation and receipts.
7. $2,000 cap per applicant per year.
8. Approved applications are subject to cancellation after one year. Staff may grant extensions upon request with approval by WAC’s Economic Viability Committee.
9. Grant recipients agree that a copy of any and all materials and documents, written or otherwise, including invoices, the completed business plan and its contents (sensitive, private or confidential information may be redacted) will be forwarded to WAC. The business owner, consultant and the Economic Viability Program Director agrees to sign the completed business plan form as part of the reimbursement closeout package.
10. The Watershed Agricultural Council’s grantees/participants are at the core of our mission and work. We are most effective when we are working together with participants to achieve the shared impact we all desire. WAC is therefore committed to safeguarding your personal information. All data, materials, knowledge and information generated through this application is to be considered privileged and confidential and is not to be disclosed to any third party with the exception of WAC staff and designated individuals processing applications as well as agents and auditors from funding sources reviewing collected information generated consistent with the terms of the sponsoring agreement. The business owner has the right to redact any sensitive, private or confidential information.

1. The business plans should include but are not limited to the following elements:
-executive summary
-mission/vision statements
-business description
-SWOT analysis
-market analysis
-marketing plan
-operations plan
-management summary
-financial plan & analysis
2. Business plans must be developed by a qualified consultant from the approved Vendor list identified in Section V.
3. The business and consultant will be responsible for scheduling meetings and completing a business plan consistent with the requirements outlined in Section II A. within one year from the approval date. WAC and the business owner will review the final plan for compliance and acceptance.
4. Applicants must submit an estimate of cost for the project with the application. All estimates of cost must be provided by a qualified organization or professional.
5. Office space is available if needed to meet with selected businesses upon due notice.
6. Prior to issuing payment, WAC’s Economic Viability Program Director or designee will review the closeout package signed by the business owner that completed it. Applicants must submit a completed business plan with the signed completion form by the consultant and business owner provided by WAC for review. After this review WAC will submit payment via a two party check (payment to vendor) or a check directly to applicant.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Agricultural Educators (any CCE)
Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship (CADE)
Making Hay Sales & Marketing
FarmCredit East
Cornell Small Farms Program
Any university or college
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Farm Service Agency (FSA)
New York State Ag & Markets
Local Economic Development Agencies
New York Small Business Development Centers
Other: if you would like to use a business not listed please provide
-three references
-supporting documents including a sample of other plans written
-contact information

Cornell Small Farms Programs – Sample business plans:

Cornell Small Farms Programs – Business plan templates:

USDA New Farmers – Make a Farm Business Plan:

The Spruce – Details of a Small Farm Business Plan:

USDA New Farmers – Technical Assistance for Planning Your Business:

If you need assistance with completing this form please contact the Economic Viability Program at (607) 865-7090 ext. 293 or by email.