Small businesses in New York City are being hit particularly hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To help businesses weather the storm, New York City is providing two new financial assistance programs for small businesses seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19.

NYC Employee Retention Grant Program

The City’s Employee Retention Grant Program is designed to help businesses retain employees in the face of decreased revenue. This program is available to New York City businesses with one to four employees that can demonstrate at least a 25 percent decrease in revenue as a result of COVID-19. Eligible businesses will receive a grant covering up to 40 percent of their payroll for two months. The cap for each business us $27,000. 

To be eligible for the NYC Employee Retention Grant Program, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be located within the five boroughs of New York City 
  • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25 percent decrease in revenue 
  • Employ one to four employees in total across all locations 
  • Have been in operation for at least six months 
  • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgements 

To calculate the revenue impact of COVID-19, the City will compare average revenue for two months in 2020 (after the COVID-19 impact) to both:

  • Average revenue for the same two month period in 2019, and 
  • Average monthly revenue based on total 2019 revenue. 

Either calculation must show at least a 25 percent decrease in revenue. To verify the loss of revenue, businesses must provide the following:

  • Financial documents for two months in 2020 demonstrating revenue decrease due to COVID-19 
  • Financial documents showing your revenue for the same two months in 2019 (unless you were not in business at that time) 
  • Financial documents showing your revenue for the full 2019 calendar year 

The following financial documents can be used to support your application: point-of-sales reports, bank statements, quarterly sales tax filings, 2019 tax returns, or CPA-certified profit & loss statements. Businesses can apply via the New York City Small Business Services’ SBS Connect website.

NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund

Under the Small Business Continuity Loan Fund, businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25 percent or more will be eligible to apply for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to help ensure business continuity.

In order to be eligible for the loan program, businesses must:

  • Be located within the five boroughs of New York City
  • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25 percent decrease in revenue
  • Employ fewer than 100 employees in total across all locations
  • Have been in operation for at least two years
  • Demonstrate ability to repay the loan
  • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgements

To calculate the revenue impact of COVID-19, the City will compare average revenue for two months in 2020 (after the COVID-19 impact) to both:

  • Average revenue for the same two month period in 2019, and
  • Average monthly revenue based on total 2019 revenue.

Either calculation must show at least a 25 percent decrease in revenue. To verify the loss of revenue, businesses must provide:

  • Financial documents for two months in 2020 demonstrating 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

Financial documents can include the following: 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 & loss statements.

Interested businesses are instructed to visit the SBS Connect website to begin a preliminary application. Once this step is completed, New York City Small Business Services will send a link to the application on its partner lender’s site.

Additional Economic Assistance Forthcoming

We expect that New York State will also be offering economic assistance programs in the near future. Businesses can also take advantage of Small Business Association’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

In addition, New Jersey enacted several new initiatives designed to help NJ businesses cope with the economic hardships resulting from COVID-19, which you can learn more about here: https://scarincihollenbeck.com/firm-news/covid-19-alerts/njeda-covid-19-initiatives/

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Jeff Cassin, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-896-4100.