Coronavirus News for Businesses – Updates

***WE WILL CONTINUE TO UPDATE THIS POST WITH ALL THE LATEST OFFICIAL INFORMATION***

PLANNING FOR CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

You can protect yourself and others from COVID-19. To prevent further widespread community transmission, use and share these tips from NYC Health + Hospitals on what do to stop the spread of Coronavirus, including prevention, symptoms, and when to get tested. Also, for businesses there are links to download posters and guidance sheets for customers and employees alike. And be sure to check out the list of other helpful government resources in areas of education, transportation and more. Read more here: http://bit.ly/DOHTips

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

The Mayor and the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) recently announced that the City will provide relief for small businesses seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

  • Businesses with fewer than 100 employees, seeing a decrease in sales up to 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit.
  • The City is also offering eligible small businesses with fewer than five employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Apply here: http://bit.ly/COVID19BizGrant

SBS will continue to send out information, including details on financial assistance programs, and the application processes, as they become available. In the meantime, please click to fill out the form below to stay up to date on industry-specific information. (Or go to http://bit.ly/SBSCOVID19survey)

 

GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESS OWNERS FROM SBS
NYC Small Business Services (SBS) shared general good practices you can try to adopt during this critical time:
  •  Have a contingency plan in place. Use this Emergency Planning Process Checklist to gather employee and supplier contact information, legal, insurance, and financial records.
  • Monitor your inventory. Make sure you have enough materials on hand and contact your suppliers to stay up to date on any changes in inventory needs.
  • Along with having hand sanitizer available for use, hang signage in your place of business with stay healthy tips. Find posters here: nyc.gov/coronavirus
  • Promote the use of tap-and-pay apps to limit handling of cash and the use of touch screens; consider selling gift cards in person and online, if possible.
  • Text COVID to 692-692 to receive regular updates via text message (text COVIDESP to 692-692 for Spanish), or check here often: http://bit.ly/DOHTips
Other critical info for businesses coming out of recent federal, state and city officials’ press conferences and other sources:
  • The U.S. government will postpone the April 15 tax payment deadline for millions of individuals, giving Americans another 90 days to pay their 2019 income tax bills.  IRS pushes Tax Date to July 15, same as the payment deadline
  • The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is supporting small businesses by providing local business resources such as loan assistance, sales tax measures, and other relief information. Download The Brooklyn App to tune into their ‘Brooklyn’s Small Business Hotline’ Channel, so your business can communicate with the Chamber seamlessly. http://ow.ly/V68t50yOj2O
  • The Brooklyn Hospital Center, with the help of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, has set up a Coronavirus pre-screening facility in Fort Greene. (The tent opens Wed., March 18: http://bit.ly/TBHCScreening)
  • Facebook announced that it will create a $100 million grant program for small businesses. Applications aren’t open yet, but the company says this will include cash grants to be spent on operational costs like payroll and rent. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants  
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered that all barbershops, hair and nail salons, piercing shops, tattoo parlors and other personal care services will close immediately starting Saturday night to fight the spread of the coronavirus. *Effective March 21, 2020 at 8 p.m. Read more: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/amid-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-governor-murphy-governor-lamont-and-governor-wolf-direct
  • The state announced that deadline for quarterly sales tax collection that is due on Friday, March 20 would remain the same — but all penalties and interest charged for late filing would be forgiven. Details: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/finance/downloads/pdf/fm/2020/fm-20-2.pdf    Additional details:https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/notices/n20-1.pdf
  • Gov. Cuomo announced a 90-day moratorium on commercial and residential evictions, which means that restaurants or bars that aren’t able to pay rent in the next few months won’t be booted from their premises for nonpayment. There is no rent freeze as of this update.
  • If you’re a: nightlife worker, freelancer, performer, or contractor and have been negatively affected by COVID19, the City is collecting info on canceled shifts, gigs and other lost business money. Please fill out this form: http://ow.ly/gVAy50yPzSs 
  • The state Senate and Assembly passed a bill that will expand paid sick leave to all public and private sector workers forced into precautionary or mandatory quarantine due to the coronavirus. The legislation covers a 14 day period. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law — which takes effect immediately. **Additional NEW Info** Paid Sick Leave: Who gets it? (Special attention to freelancers and those in the “gig economy”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/16/paid-sick-leave-coronavirus-house-bill/
  • Gov. Cuomo announced that he is placing New York State on “PAUSE,” an acronym that intends to keep as many New Yorkers as possible in their homes and away from each other. PAUSE stands for Policies Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone. According to the governor, 100 percent of non-essential workers must stay home, and non-essential businesses must close. This is up from 75 percent of the workforce that Cuomo ordered home on Thursday. Exemptions from the order will include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions. More details here: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide loans up to $2 million, 30 year repayment, 3.75% rate, with some initial deferment period, for small businesses. Link to program information and application: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/   Need help with the application process? Contact Angel Garcia, of the Brooklyn SBDC: 718-797-0657 or email: AGarcia@citytech.cuny.edu
  • What’s in the new federal stimulus package for businesses? Read up on it here: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-2-trillion-stimulus-deal-for-businesses-080739448.html
  • Microlender Kiva has expanded their U.S. loan program for small businesses. In addition to offering 0% interest, no-fee loans, they’re implementing a 6-month grace period, a $15,000 loan maximum and expanded eligibility. Apply here: https://www.kiva.org/borrow
  • The NYC Hospitality Alliance has compiled a number of COVID-19 relief resources for small businesses, their staff and families. Read more here: https://thenycalliance.org/information/covid-19-support-and-relief-efforts
  • Applications for the NYC SBS Small Business Continuity Loan Program are now OPEN. Get info and apply here: https://www1.nyc.gov/nycbusiness/article/nyc-small-business-continuity-loan-program
  • For the many FAB bars and restaurants that remain open to serve the community, the State Liquor Authority released additional guidance for business owners, see here:  https://sla.ny.gov/Restrictions-in-Response-to-COVID-19 
  • NYC Councilman Mark Gjonaj presents Tele-Town Hall, with the US Small Business Administration (SBA), Tuesday, March 31 at 1pm. RSVP by email to MGjonaj@council.nyc.gov or call 718-931-1721
  •  Need help navigating the resources available from federal agencies, such as the SBA? Join this Federal Policy Update webinar hosted by Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform: Tuesday, March 31, 6pm ET / 3pm PT. Register in advance: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3296660621716792075
  • **NEW** WE NYC is hosting a virtual fireside chat on Thursday, April 2. This event will focus on emergency financial assistance. Learn more and RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/we-connect-event-coronavirus-economic-relief-programs-tickets-100944740436
  • **NEW** NYC Department of Education (DOE) Regional Enrichment Centers(RECs) will now also serve grocery, food and pharmacy workers by providing childcare for our community members who are serving in these vital roles. RECs are open and operate from 7:30am to 6:00pm (Monday-Friday), and ensure children have access to remote learning. To sign up your children, complete this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdDNFMOezuG9mCu99utf3dkloTpdEhzBB1ancwlaeT3ny7uEQ/closedform
  • **NEW** Verizon, with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), has established a Small Business Recovery Fund offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available. Sign up to receive updates and application info: https://www.lisc.org/our-stories/story/verizon-and-lisc-fire-25-million-small-business-covid-19-recovery-fund
  • **NEW** Are you a bartender, or the spouse or child of a bartender? Apply for support by the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program funded by the USBG National Charity Foundation: https://www.usbgfoundation.org/beap
  • **NEW** The New York Community Trust is funding grants and loans through their NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. The program was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus. Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture. Information and applications here: https://www.nycommunitytrust.org/covid19/#nonprofits
  • **NEW** Rethink NYC is still taking applications for their Restaurant Response Program, to assist with food need and access during times of crisis. If you are a NYC based restaurant – you are eligible for the program.  Get more info and apply: https://www.rethinkfood.nyc/restaurant-response-program
  • **NEW** Property and casualty insurance premiums waived for small businesses:  https://www.dfs.ny.gov/press_releases/pr202003301
  • **NEW** Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) Introduces Emergency Relief Grant in Response to Coronavirus Crisis, in partnership with New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). The program will distribute $250,000 in grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to women-identifying artists over age 40 who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity as a direct result of the crisis. Details and application info here: https://current.nyfa.org/post/614019750760185856/covid-19-anonymous-was-a-woman-introduces
  • **NEW** See the highlights of the 883-page federal stimulus package bill that was passed late last week. Get info regarding the Paycheck Protection Program, Employee Retention Tax Credit and more: https://www.brooklynchamber.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Federal-Response-COVID-19.pdf
  • **NEW** Get updated info about tools and support that NYC is providing to small businesses during an online Town Hall webinar event with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and NYC Small Business Services’ Commissioner Gregg Bishop, this Friday., Apr. 3 at 12 noon! Register NOW: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_A6TMqvNcQgSM6XAL-A6d1w
  • **NEW** From NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson: The NYC Department of Small Business Services Employee Retention Grant program is no longer accepting applications after 5 p.m. this Friday, April 3. For more info, link to: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-financial-assistance.page
  • **NEW** Learn about all City and Federal grant and loan programs in this updated roundup from NYC Small Business Services (SBS): https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-outreach.page. Included is info regarding the SBS Small Business Continuity Loan Fund, the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
  • **NEW UPDATE** $10,000 grants from Verizon-LISC Small Business Recovery Fund to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available are accessible now via application, here. For questions or troubleshooting, please contact verizongrantsinfo@lisc.org, or contact Paola Garrido-Estevez or Thomas Mitchell from LISC NYC. Note: This application closes on Saturday, April 4th at 11:59pm!
  • **NEW** Through their Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation will provide grants to restaurant industry employees who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19, financially, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Each approved grant is $500, one per person. Apply NOW:  https://rerf.us/apply-for-aid/
  • **NEW** Join a conference call with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on Mon., April 6 at 11am to learn more about government relief programs. Register here: https://jeffries.house.gov/covid19smallbusiness


ABOUT FAB FULTON

The Fulton Area Business Alliance (FAB FULTON) is a non-profit organization that advocates for and collaborates with small businesses and property owners along Fulton Street in Brooklyn’s neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill to maintain a safe, clean, and welcoming community while securing resources and partnerships for initiatives that enhance and promote the district.

This post contains links to the articles and information referenced in our latest FAB BIZ BLAST email communication. You can subscribe to future newsletters; sign up here for the FAB FULTON BIZ BLAST to get the latest information and resources for FAB FULTON Businesses!