COVID-19 Resources For Businesses
The Village Alliance has compiled a list of resources for any business or employee impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Village Alliance continues to research and collect resources for businesses and will update this webpage as more information becomes available. Highlights of the information below include links to government relief programs, private grant and loan programs, sources of legal and financial advice, guidance for best practices, recorded webinars and links to other useful sources of COVID-19 information.
New York Forward: Reopening Best Practices and Employer Resources
New York Forward is the plan to reopen the state economy, region by region, industry by industry. In order to assist your business in preparing to reopen or to ramp up operations under the new economy, the Village Alliance has put together a list of resources to help you prepare a new operating plan.
NYS Industry-Specific Guidelines – NYS has published guidance with mandatory requirements and recommended best practices to help businesses plan and implement their reopening. The guidelines are industry-specific. The NYS guidelines can be found on the NYS website. After reviewing the guidance specific to your industry, please also affirm that you have read and understand your obligation to operate in accordance with the guidance by submitting this webform here.
NYS Mandatory Reopening Safety Plan – Each reopening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. Businesses can develop their own plan or fill out this template from NYS to fulfill this requirement. The plan does not need to be submitted to NYS, but businesses must keep a copy of the plan on their premises and must make available to the NYS Department of Health or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
- Guidelines From Other Agencies – In addition to the NYS guidelines, please also check to see if your business is required to follow guidelines from other government agencies, such as ADA, CDC, EPA, OSHA, NYS DOH, and NYC DOHMH.
Workplace Safety and Testing Guidance
Resources and Information for Restaurants and Bars:
NYC Open Restaurants (Outdoor Dining) Program
- View Criteria and Apply Here
- For questions dial 1-888-SBS-4NYC
Financial assistance for restaurants and service workers:
New State Liquor Authority Guidance allows bars and restaurants to sell alcohol to customers for pickup or delivery, under the following conditions:
New York City is waiving or refunding any sidewalk cafe fees already collected for the current quarter (March 1st – May 31st).
The NYC Hospitality Alliance is conducting a survey of restaurants and bars to determine impact and advocacy strategies.
Mainstreet and Kabbage are two platforms where businesses can set up and sell gift cards for free. Selling gift cards is a great way to let loyal customers support you while you’re unable to remain open.
StreetSense has a restaurant relaunch toolkit and other helpful articles on solutions to issues facing the hospitality industry.
Free Advice and Mentoring for Small Businesses
No need to be a member of the organizations below, each is offering free advice on a variety of issues facing small businesses, including government regulations, commercial lease negotiations, funding sources, insurance claims and more:
- Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce
- Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Helpdesk
- City Bar Justice Center COVID-19 Remote Legal Clinic
- Legal Aid Society Commercial Lease Assistance
- Pace Univ. Small Business Development Center
- Start Small Think Big
- WE NYC (for female entrepreneurs)
- NYC Small Business Solutions Center
- StreetSense Toolkits and Articles for Small Business Recovery
Federal Economic Relief Programs (CARES Act)
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Congress has approved $310 billion in additional funding and Paycheck Protection Program applications will be processed again beginning Monday, April 27th at 10:30 AM. All programs operate on a first come, first served basis so it is highly recommended to apply through your bank as soon as possible. If you do not have a banking relationship with an established lender, or your bank does not participate in the federal programs, contact us for additional options.
Tax Relief Information
- Extended Due Date for Federal Taxes is Now July 15th
- New York State Tax Relief
- IRS Employee Retention Tax Credit Program
- Documenting Paid Leave for Tax Credits
- Economic Payment for Non-Filers – If you have not received your stimulus check due to not filing for federal income tax for 2018 or 2019, check if you are eligible for an economic payment
- File for Unemployment Insurance – NYS Department of Labor
- Unemployment Insurance Benefits FAQs
- One Fair Wage Emergency Fund provides cash assistance to restaurant and other service workers
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits in New York State
- Unemployment Guidance for Self-Employed Individuals
Attend Webinars and Stay Informed
Upcoming & Weekly Webinars (Register via the Links Below)
- Assistance Overview for Small Businesses NYC Dept of Small Business Services, Daily
- NYC Comptroller’s Office Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 AM (special focus on M/WBEs)
Past & Recorded Webinars (Click Links to View)
- Back to Brick & Mortar: Business Reopening Webinar, &Access, May 19th
- Most Recent PPP Information and Advice US Chamber, May 15th
- Small Business Briefing with U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler Village Alliance/GVCCC, May 12th
- Best Practices to Manage PPE and Distancing Requirements in the Workplace Cozen O’Connor, May 8th
- Small Business Resiliency Streetsense, April 15th
- Commercial Rent Relief: Legal Issues & Answers Cozen O’Connor, April 14th
- Commercial Tenant Rent Seminar
- Loan Programs as a 1099 Contractor US Chamber, April 10th
Building a strong online presence is imperative in the wake of COVID-19. If you would like assistance to expand your site’s e-commerce platform or simply build a webpage, the Village Alliance is offering consulting time with our Marketing and Events Manager, Rachel Brandon. Please feel free to reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in this assistance or have any questions.
- Open for Business List of Technology Resources for Small Businesses: The Open for Business Hub lists technology companies that are helping small businesses by enabling remote work throughout this period. Find a list of offers from Adobe Connect, Microsoft Teams, Google Cloud, Quip, Qualtrics and more.
- Downtown Alliance’s Free and Discounted Tech Tools to Help You Run Your Business Remotely: Check out tutorials and free trials of tech services like Salesforce, Slack, DocuSign, Shopify and more!
- DOT NYC is providing free domains for businesses
- E-Commerce Website Builders:
Who Is Open For Business?
If you own a business within the Village Alliance district, let us know if we have your status listed correctly:
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order for the State of NY regarding the temporary suspension or modification of laws relating to disaster emergency, including a list of essential businesses allowed to remain open, now in place through May 15th:
- New York State on PAUSE – 10-Point Plan
- Non-essential retail establishments can fulfill delivery orders placed remotely via phone or online. Only one employee may be physically present at the business location to fulfill orders. View this sample notice to notify customers and neighbors.
- Last week, the Governor released the Regional Monitoring Dashboard to track how and when the economy will reopen across the state.
- Businesses may also use this Business Reopening Lookup Tool to see if their industry is allowed to reopen in their region, along with guidance for doing so.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also declared a State of Emergency for NYC. For the latest City of New York updates visit: nyc.gov/coronavirus
The Village Alliance and fellow NYC Business Improvement Districts have been advocating for critical measures to assist small businesses in this time of crisis. From rent and mortgage relief, tax abatement, cash flow and insurance advocacy, to tech and marketing assistance, we are steadfast in offering support to our local merchants. Below are ongoing actions and activities:
Grant and Loan Programs
Click here for a table summarizing multiple programs; additional information is below.
Several organizations are setting up COVID-19 grant funds, including:
- GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund – $2.4M in grants
- LISC and Verizon – $2.5M in grants (Due April 28th)
- Business for All – $10K grants for small businesses
- SalesForce – $10K grants for small businesses
- The New York Community Trust COVID-19 Fund for Nonprofits
- James Beard Foundation – Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund
- MainVest helps find micro investors for your business
- Freelancers Relief Fund offers $1K grants
For minority and/or women-owned businesses, there are additional grant opportunities:
- Opportunity Fund for minority and women-owned businesses
- Red Backpack Fund for women-owned businesses
- Women’s Net Amber Grants
These non-traditional lenders also offer low-interest loan options for small businesses:
- New York Forward Loan Fund NY State-backed loans for those who did not receive PPP or EIDL in 2020
- Opportunity Finance Network and Google have teamed up to provide $125M in loans
- Honeycomb Credit provides crowdfunded relief loans of up to $50K
- Kiva provides loans of up to $15K
- Grameen America loans for low income female entrepreneurs
- EnrichHer loans for female entrepreneurs
- PayPal (also participating in the Paycheck Protection Program)
- Fundera (also participating in the Paycheck Protection Program)
- Bluevine (also participating in the Paycheck Protection Program)
- Quickbooks (also participating in the Paycheck Protection Program)
- Smartbiz (also participating in the Paycheck Protection Program)
- Trufund Financial Services
- Hebrew Free Loan Society
Additional programs may be found here.
Volunteer and Donation Programs
- New York State COVID-19 Volunteer and Donation Assistance Program
- Sign up for alerts from New York Cares to learn more about what city agencies and community partners are doing to help those most impacted by COVID-19
Food Donation Programs
- Help Food Bank for New York City prepare for increased need
- Donate now to Citymeamals on Wheels to help your elderly neighbors in need
- Support God’s Love We Deliver in providing emergency kits to all clients
- Share the mission of Invisible Hands to provide safe, free food deliveries for NYC’s most at-risk communities facing COVID-19
- Donate to the WHYHunger Rapid Response Fund to protect food access for all people by bolstering WHY’s work with emergency food providers, small-scale farmers, and food chain workers
- Help the Robin Hood Foundation raise funds to put together a food program for their network of nonprofits to continue to serve low-income communities
PPE Donation Programs
- Donate masks, gowns, and gloves, which are in short supply for doctors and nurses, to the Greater New York Hospital Association; if your business has previously purchased these items, or if you have them in storage, please contact Laura for more information
- Manhattan Sideways and Stateless working with NYC restaurants to distribute FDA-certified face masks at $0.55/mask for 200+ including shipping. Email email@example.com, tell her how many masks you would like to order with addresses and contacts of restaurants you would like the masks shipped to.
- Secure masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer for police officers on patrol across the city through the New York City Police Foundation
Newsletters Reporting the Latest on COVID-19 – Signup Links
- New York State Daily COVID-19 Updates
- NYC Small Business Services Updates
- New York Times – Free Daily COVID-19 Briefings
- Village Alliance Updates for Businesses
- Community Board 2 Resource List
- Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce Updates for Businesses
- NYC Hospitality Alliance Newsletters for Hospitality Businesses
- Hear from local Elected Officials:
- Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Business Resource List
- Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s newsletter
- Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s newsletter
- Councilwoman Margaret Chin’s newsletter
- Councilwoman Carlina Rivera’s newsletter
- State Senator Brad Hoylman’s newsletter
- State Assembly member Deborah Glick’s newsletter
Image artwork by Lynn Lieberman