State aid programs are rapidly changing as they reach capacity and as new sources of funding come online. This guide outlines existing programs, but they might not be immediately available, even for businesses that meet the criteria.
Until the week of April 6, the Small Business Services Continuity Loan Program was available to New York City small businesses affected by COVID-19. Intake of new applications has been paused because of overwhelming demand, but we want to make sure business owners know how to take advantage of the program, if and when it comes back online.
The program offers interest-free loans to qualifying small businesses that can claim a 25% drop or more in revenue because of COVID-19.
The city’s Small Business Services can answer questions and help local businesses understand their options. Here’s a summary of their loan program.
Small businesses located within New York City that have experienced at least a 25% decrease in revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak can apply for an interest-free loan of up to $75,000.
Two years or more in business
Fewer than 100 employees in total, across all locations
No outstanding tax liens or legal judgments
Demonstrated ability to repay the loan
Calculation of revenue loss
To confirm the business effect of COVID-19, the city will compare the average revenue for two months after the COVID-19 impact in 2020 to two other numbers:
The average revenue for the same two-month period in 2019
The average monthly revenue in 2019
If either calculation demonstrates that the business has lost 25% of its revenue or more, the owners or leaders can apply for a loan.
The application process for the NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Program is straightforward. Businesses gather financial documents to prove eligibility and sign an affidavit. The supporting documents can include point-of-sales reports or screenshots, sales reports (demonstrating fees collected or earned income), bank statements, transaction-level data from banks, quarterly sales tax filings, tax returns, or profit and loss statements.
Here are the steps to follow for approval from the city:
Sign the Participation Affidavit that you’re eligible for the program.
Upload financial documents demonstrating your revenue loss and your signed affidavit.
Financial documents showing your revenue for two months in 2020 (these statements should demonstrate a revenue decrease due to COVID-19)
Financial documents showing your revenue for the same two months in 2019
Financial documents showing your revenue for the full 2019 calendar year
To increase the likelihood of being approved, we recommend you provide as many documents showing these revenue numbers as possible. Once you have completed these steps, the city will send you a link to a longer application at the partner lender’s site.
Additionally, many small businesses throughout New York State are eligible for the federal programs under the CARES Act and previously existing SBA options.
Note: In early March, New York City launched a now-closed Employee Retention Grant Program to help small businesses cover their payroll. The city has since closed applications for the grant program and redirected businesses toward their loan program and SBA support.