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March 2020

New York City Implements COVID-19 Relief Measures for Small Businesses

Last updated March 30, 2020

Due to COVID-19 and its impact on the local economy, New York City (the “City”) has created programs, in addition to those provided by the Federal government, to assist small businesses experiencing a reduction in their revenue as a result of the pandemic. Current programs in the City include providing grants to help retain employees and providing loans to ensure business continuity. The programs offered by the City are outlined below:

NYC Employee Retention Program

In an effort to help small businesses retain employees, small businesses with fewer than five employees will be provided a grant covering 40% of payroll costs for two months, up to a maximum of $27,000. To be eligible, businesses and non-profits must (i) be located within the five boroughs of the City, (ii) demonstrate that COVID-19 has caused a decrease of at least 25% in revenue, (iii) employ fewer than five employees, (iv) have been in operation for at least six months and (v) have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments. To verify the loss of revenue, businesses will be required to upload financial documents for two months in 2020 that demonstrate a revenue decrease due to COVID-19, financial documents showing revenue for the same two months in 2019 (unless the business was not operating at that time) and financial documents showing the revenue for the full 2019 calendar year. Businesses may demonstrate a decrease in revenue by providing point-of-sales reports, bank statements, quarterly sales tax filings, 2019 tax returns or CPA-certified profit and loss statements. Businesses must then upload a signed Participation Affidavit verifying their eligibility for the program. For further instructions on how to apply to the NYC Employee Retention Program, please visit this website.

NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund

To ensure business continuity, the City is offering businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen a decrease in revenue of 25% or more with the option of applying for zero interest loans of up to $75,000. To be eligible, businesses must (i) be located within the five boroughs of the City, (ii) demonstrate that COVID-19 has caused a decrease of at least 25% in revenue, (iii) employ 99 or fewer employees, (iv) have been in operation for at least two years, (v) demonstrate an ability to repay the loan and (vi) have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments. To verify the loss of revenue, businesses will be required to upload financial documents for two months in 2020 that demonstrate a revenue decrease due to COVID-19, financial documents showing revenue for the same two months in 2019 (unless the business was not operating at that time) and financial documents showing the revenue for the full 2019 calendar year. Businesses may demonstrate a decrease in revenue by providing point-of-sales reports, bank statements, quarterly sales tax filings, 2019 tax returns or CPA-certified profit and loss statements. Businesses must then upload a signed Participation Affidavit verifying their eligibility for the program. For further instructions on how to apply to the NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund, please visit this website.

In addition to these programs offered by the City, non-governmental organizations have begun providing loans or grants to businesses or non-profits affected by the COVID-19 virus.

NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund

The New York Community Trust (the “Trust”), a public charity, has established a fund to aid non-profit service providers struggling with the effects of COVID-19. To aid non-profit organizations in the human services industry in covering delays in government payments for services delivered, postponed fundraising events and increased expenses to deliver services that will be reimbursed in the future, the Trust is offering zero interest loans ranging from $100,000 to $3,000,000. All loans issued by the Trust will be unsecured and have terms of either 12, 24 or 36 months. To be eligible, an organization must (i) be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, (ii) be based in New York City, (iii) have non-governmental revenue of $20,000,000 or less, (iv) receive New York City or New York State government funding and (v) have a track record of delivering effective programs and services for New York City residents.

Non-profits conducting business in the fields of Human Services and Arts & Culture may apply for a grant from the Trust by submitting a Request for Proposal no later than May 30, 2020. The grants are expected to be between $10,000 and $250,000, but will take into account the non-profit’s total operating budget. For more information on applying for a grant, please visit this website.

As the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses increases and becomes more widespread, the City and private organizations may offer additional programs to assist businesses or non-profits in need.

For additional information regarding the programs discussed in this alert or to ensure that your business is up-to-date on future programs offered to business located in New York City, please contact your CSG attorney or visit CSG’s COVID-19 Resource Center.


This publication contains general information on recent legal developments and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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Visit CSG's COVID-19 Resource Center.