"It really allowed us to move into a much more comfortable space and get amenities that you think would be standard, but if you are a startup those things are not guaranteed," said Ty McMahan, StellaService's senior director of content.
At the time, the growing company had 20 employees packed into a 1,000-square-foot office in Flatiron. The grant helped facilitate its move to a wide-open space in Lower Manhattan.
StellaService won the grant in the Take the H.E.L.M competition, a New York City Economic Development Corporation initiative that aims to keep Lower Manhattan's economy bubbling.
The sweetener is just a fraction of what's available to small businesses in the form of grants and government contracts. This year, for example, the city'sEDC will give away more than $35 million and Empire State Developmenthas hundreds of millions in funding and loans.