Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris announced three financial aid programs available to small businesses in low-to-moderate income (LMI) neighborhoods.
The NYC LMI Storefront Loan, Interest Rate Reduction Grant and Strategic Impact COVID-19 Business District Support Grant will provide resources for small businesses to help them rebuild and grow beyond the pandemic.
“This crisis has had devastating consequences on our local economy and has affected our most vulnerable communities. To achieve economic democracy, we need to respond quickly with resources and capabilities, ”said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Racial Inclusion and Equity Working Group.
“These robust financial programs will help small businesses rebuild themselves stronger than before.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected minority communities. More than 60,000 businesses in these communities, including restaurants, retail stores, salons, daycares, etc., have historically been barred from accessing capital – and face a higher risk of closure.
The Racial Inclusion and Equity Working Group worked with SBS to address these issues in neighborhoods with a high percentage of other socio-economic and health disparities.
NYC LMI storefront loan
The Department of Small Business Services has partnered with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Pursuit BDC for this $ 35 million loan vehicle.
Storefront businesses with two or more but less than 100 employees that are located in LMI neighborhoods will be eligible to apply for a zero interest loan up to $ 100,000. The loan can be used to help businesses restart or continue operations after encountering challenges related to COVID-19.
Companies wishing to apply for the loan must:
Be a showcase company located in an LMI postal code
Have commercial activities since or before January 1, 2018
Employ between two and 99 employees
Businesses can learn more about the NYC LMI Storefront Loan and eligibility criteria at nyc.gov/storefrontloan. Applications for this loan are open on November 30.
Reduce corporate debt
The Interest Rate Reduction Grant will help reduce interest charges owed on an existing loan from certain Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs focus on serving businesses that cannot easily access capital and on creating opportunities that positively impact the communities they serve. SBS has partnered with 11 CDFIs who work primarily with Asian, Black, Latin American and immigrant business owners.
The grant will free up cash flow for businesses that can be reallocated to help restart or maintain operations. Businesses must have an existing loan from the CDFIs listed below and should contact their CDFI to confirm if they are eligible to apply.
Accompany Capital (formerly Business Center for New Americans)
Ascendus (formerly Accion East)
Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC)
Harlem Entrepreneurship Fund
Renaissance Economic Development Corporation
The Bronx Comprehensive Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC)
TruFund Financial Services
Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ)
Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corporation (WHIDC)
The World of Work DBA Seed Commons
The above list of CDFIs is also available at www.nyc.gov/cdfigrant.
COVID-19 Strategic Impact Business District Support Grant
The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support grant will provide funding to community development organizations (CBDO) to implement local COVID-19 recovery support for small businesses. The funds will be used to conduct outreach activities, provide technical assistance to connect small businesses, increase awareness and understanding of new city and state rules and regulations, and strengthen relationships with traders to foster collaboration and increased local organization.
$ 700,000 will be available over the next 6 months for local communities. Eligible applicants must serve one or more of the following 39 LMI neighborhoods and communities of color:
Bronx: Crotona, East Tremont, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Longwood, Melrose, Morris Heights, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Soundview, Soundview Bruckner, Van Cortlandt Park
Brooklyn: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brighton Beach, Brownsville, Bushwick, Canarsie, East Flatbush, East New York, Starrett City, Sunset Park and Coney Island
Manhattan: Central Harlem, Chinatown, East Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Inwood, Lower East Side, Morningside Heights, Washington Heights
Queens: Briarwood, Corona, Jamaica, Queensbridge, Rockaways
Staten Island: St. George, Stapleton
Eligible applicants include nonprofit community development organizations that serve a single neighborhood, CBDOs that serve multiple neighborhoods or a borough, and organizations that can provide technical and organizational assistance to neighborhood organizations across the city. Organizations interested in applying should visit www.nyc.gov/strategicimpactgrant.
“Small businesses, especially those in low-income communities, face an unprecedented challenge to their very survival,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
“Now more than ever, we need to provide these businesses with increased support so that they can remain open and viable for the long term. The programs announced today offer new supports that can serve as a critical gateway to what will hopefully be a strong federal small business program. “
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