CORONA VIRUS TIPS AND RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS

UPDATED May 26, 2020   

  

For an continually updated wealth of local information on testing, health, business, residents, etc., check the City of NY COVID info Portal



Prepare Your Business for Reopening 

While New York City is still on PAUSE until May 28, 2020 at the earliest, it’s not too early to prepare for our eventual and gradual reopening.  

Visit the NY State Re-Opening portal here: https://forward.ny.gov/

Each business or entity, including those that have been designated as essential under Empire State Development's Essential Business Guidance, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are Safety Plan templates for each industry sector available at: https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase 

A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan.

This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. 


BARS & RESTAURANTS

At the present time, bars and restaurants are allowed to be open for take-out/delivery only. On-premises licensees can sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Bars and restaurants should adopt policies that promote social distancing for waiting patrons and cannot exceed 50% of capacity for patrons waiting inside the premises. The Mayor’s Office of Nightlife has a dedicated page and a printable poster on the rules for both businesses and patrons.


COVID SCAMS

Scammers often take advantage of vulnerable people during times of crisis and distress. It is important that you be aware of any potential scams in order to protect yourself and your money. The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection released guidance on how to recognize and prevent COVID-19 related scams. You can download a printable document called COVID-19 Scams and Safety Tips.



FINANCE PROGRAMS

  

NEW YORK STATE FORWARD LOAN 

Governor Cuomo has announced the New York Forward Loan Fund, a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, nonprofits and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income. The NYFLF is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and are facing upfront reopening expenses (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan.   

Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund will be available today May 26, 2020 at 12 Noon.Priority will be given to industries that have been reopened. This is not a first-come, first-served loan (not GRANT) program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen. Businesses who have already received SBA funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) are not eligible.   

The NYC Dept of Small Business Services is offering support, visit www.nyc.gov/financingassistance 



Bronx Business Continuity Loan (BBCL) 

This program was launched by the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) and the Office of the Bronx Borough President with the goal of providing recovery financing to the businesses of Bronx County. 

Eligible Companies: · For-profit companies operating in the Bronx and Nonprofit organizations located in the Bronx (Schools and residential buildings are not eligible)

Permitted Uses: Payroll expense, Commercial Mortgage/Rent, Equipment lease payments, Insurance premium expense, Miscellaneous business discontinuance expense

Loan Size: Minimum $25,000 - Maximum $100,000

To access the program, first complete the Bronx Business Continuity Questionnaire.

For more info and to apply contact: 

Pedro L. Barry

Executive Director • Bronx Empowerment Zone, BOEDC

Email: pbarry@boedc.org Tel: 718-590-3949



NYC Dept of Small Business Services (SBS) - NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund :

Zero-interest loans of up to $75K are available to help businesses that experience a sales decline associated with COVID-19.  The working capital will help businesses remain afloat during this potential decrease in economic activity. Similar to SBA disaster loans, which have long repayment terms, these loans would be structured so that businesses have time to recover.
To be eligible, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and document at least a 25% percent decrease in sales.  

NYC Employee Retention Grant: 

The application period for this program closed on Friday, April 3rd at 5:00 PM


More about all SBS programs HERE  



U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Financial Assistance Programs:


SBA DISASTER LOAN

Economic Injury Disaster Loan – Loans up to $2 million with interest rates up to 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits, as well as principal and interest deferment for up to four years.

Emergency Economic Injury Grants – Provides quick access to $10,000 cash (that does not need to be repaid) to applicants of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.


Apply directly to the SBA Disaster Proram HERE



SBA PPP PROGRAM

Paycheck Protection Program – Provides zero-fee loans up to $10 million with payment forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year.


You must apply through an SBA-affiliated bank. Reach out to your bank's SBA Team or the South Bronx' own SPRING BANK, a triple-bottom-line community bank. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are also able to make SBA loan, a local CDFI is BOC Capital Corporation. Not-for-profit organizations can also pursue a loan through those same channels as well as the New York Community Trust.


WHICH PROGRAM?? NEED HELP??

Please reach out to us at the coordinates at the bottom of this page or contact Clarence Stanley and his team at SBA Bronx Small Business Development Center @ Lehman College


For SBA's Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources click here



WORKERS & JOBS!!

If you are hiring generally, or have specific staffing needs, please drop a line to Project HOPE’s Miguel Calderon, 917-655-0291 miguel.calderon@urbanhealthplan.org. He has a strong data base of vetted Hunts Point-area workers including those with OSHA 30-hour cards and other relevant qualifications.


Information For "Essential Businesses" (SBS) 

social distancing, hiring, disinfecting your business


Google is giving small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) $340 million in ad credits, which can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across Google Ads platforms. SMBs who have been active advertisers since the beginning of 2019 will see a credit notification appear in their Google Ads account in the coming months.

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 businesses in over 30 countries affected by coronavirus. They will start taking applications in the coming weeks, but in the meantime to sign up to receive more info here:

Offering grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital..

Kiva is a non-profit that expands access to capital for entrepreneurs around the world. Effective immediately, U.S. applicants for a Kiva loan will have access to the following:

  • Expanded eligibility: More businesses in the US will be eligible for a Kiva loan.
  • Larger loans: The maximum loan on the Kiva platform will increase from $10,000 to $15,000.
  • Grace period: New borrowers may access a grace period of up to 6 months for greater financial flexibility.

Renaissance has created an Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Fund to help businesses struggling to survive during the COVID-19 crisis. If you are interested in a loan, please fill out this interest form. Once your interest form has been reviewed, we will contact you to explain the next steps in the application process. Renaissance counselors will schedule online meetings with qualified business owners to complete loan applications.

MainVest 

If you have an existing brick & mortar business that has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and you launch a capital raise on Mainvest, you may be eligible to receive a $2,000 zero-interest loan immediately. Then through your capital raise, you can receive over $100,000 of investment from your community.

$250,000 in grants will be awarded to Business for All applicants, as a critical step towards tackling entrepreneurs’ single greatest barrier to growth: access to capital. Grantees will be selected by a council of leaders representing diverse organizations, industries, locations and demographics.

For startups and entrepreneurs seeking to create an impact, 1517 Fund is supplying $1,000 grants to those who submit their pitches with ideas to alleviate the effects of COVID-19. Learn more here.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital has made a major new commitment of $10 million over the next two years to help our communities recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first $2 million is designated for immediate emergency assistance. The second round of $8 million is designated for long-term community sustainability. This effort is conducted in partnership with Congressman Adriano Espaillat.


 Through its Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP)the City Bar Justice Center (CBJC)'s COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic (the CV-19 Clinic) will offer pro bono legal consultations to help entrepreneurs in New York City determine the best path forward for their small businesses in these particularly challenging times. 

New York City’s entrepreneurs and small businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis can receive free, limited-scope legal advice. Topics include: loans & grants, contracts & force majeure clauses, employment law matters, real estate and commercial leasing issues, and insurance matters. 

Request an appointment here.



COVID-19 HELP FOR INDIVIDUALS,  FREELANCERS AND GIG WORKERS

click here for info on unemployment insurance, special grants,  legal assistance, healthcare and more



THE HEALTH OF YOU AND YOUR CITY

Guidance for Business Owners and FAQs. Below is some information to help you and your businesses stay safe and prevent the spread of germs. This is a rapidly changing situation, visit the NYC Health website for more up-to-date information, including FAQs for employers.

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page


The government has four particularly useful guides for businesses in these trying times. All are available to download at the bottom of this page.


NYC Coronavirus Health Factsheet 

Guidance for Understanding Changes in Customer Behavior

Business Emergency Planning Checklist

CDC Business Planning Checklist for Pandemics


For the most up to date and accurate social media content, please only share content from the federal Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/ (social media links at bottom right of the homepage) or NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The City info can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram via the handle @nychealthy. 


You may also share content that is posted by the NYC Department of Small Business Services, found on the following channels: 

· Facebook and LinkedIn: @NYC Department of Small Business Services

· Twitter: @NYC_SBS

· Instagram: @nycsmallbiz


What can I do to prepare for a potential local outbreak?

· Review human resources policies, establish flexible or staggered work hours, identify critical job roles, plan communications strategies with staff, and share and discuss the outbreak response plan with employees.

My customers are wary about public spaces. What should I tell them?

· If customers are concerned about going into a public space, businesses should consider providing in-home services. Make sure policies and procedures around home visits are clear to all employees. 


What can I do to help decrease fear and discrimination related to COVID-19?

· Stay informed, listen to public health messages from reliable sources like the NYC Health Department or the CDC, and implement good personal and public health practices to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. 


· Avoid stigmatizing people on the basis of ethnicity or who have recently traveled from any affected areas. There are a lot of things on social media and in the news that are not rooted in science and are offensive, demeaning, and racist. Learn more from the NYC Coronavirus Health Factsheet (download below).


Are there any suggested signs I can print out and hang in my business?

· Yes! You can visit the NYC Department of Health website to find printable signage about how to stay healthy. Got to: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page (scroll down to the bottom of the page and under Additional Information, click “Posters”)





GREATER HUNTS POINT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION  


DONALD C. EVERSLEY, Executive Director

Tel: 347-766-3485 Email: don@ghpedc.org


Employment & Training Services

MIGUEL CALDERON, Director - Project HOPE

Tel: 732-347-6618 Email: Miguel.Calderon@urbanhealthplan.org


MWBE & Small Business Services

KATHERINE TORRES, MWBE Specialist - Project HOPE

Tel: 973-797-9871   Email: Katherine.Torres@urbanhealthplan.org


Commercial Revitalization for Hunts Point & Longwood

JOSE TAVERAS, Program Manager, Avenue NYC Commercial Revitalization

Tel: 732-661-8573 Email: Jose.Taveras@urbanhealthplan.org


Improving the quality of life for businesses and residents in Hunts Point, Longwood, Port Morris and adjacent South Bronx neighborhoods through advocacy, technical assistance, jobs and training