Check out our regularly updated roundup of resources for small businesses navigating the coronavirus pandemic!
LAST UPDATE: 6-6-20
Federal, State + City Operations
- 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.
- According to a NYS mandate, all bars and restaurants must provide, and their employees must wear, a face covering when in direct contact with customers or members of the public, except where doing so would inhibit or otherwise impair the employee’s health. Bars and restaurants can adopt a policy that prohibits customers from entering your restaurant or being served without a face covering. More about face covering requirements for restaurants and other essential businesses can be found here.
- The State announced an extension of the Eviction Moratorium for residential and commercial tenants facing COVID-19 related hardship for an additional 60 days through August 20. They have also banned late payment fees for missed payments during the moratorium and will allow renters facing hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposits to pay rent.
- City Council passed a few temporary measures to help the beleaguered NYC restaurant industry, including a cap on fees that can be charged by third party delivery services, and a waiver of sidewalk licensing fees. A roundup is below; read more here.
- Delivery app fees are now prohibited from charging restaurants fees in excess of 20%. This breaks down to 15% for delivery and 5% for the actual order. This goes into effect immediately and will remain in place for 90 days following the end of the state of emergency.
- Delivery apps are now prohibited from charging restaurants for phone calls that do not result in a food order, with fines of up to $1,000 for violating this rule. This has also gone into effect and will remain in place for 90 days following the end of the state of emergency.
- Sidewalk café fees will be waived through February 28, 2021.
- The existing commercial tenant harassment bill has been amended to include tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19. This bill would make threatening a commercial tenant based on their status as a COVID-19 impacted business or person a form of harassment punishable by a civil penalty of $10,000 to $50,000.
- City Council passed a bill that temporarily prohibits the enforcement of personal liability provisions in commercial leases or rental agreements involving COVID-19 impacted tenants. This applies to businesses that were impacted by mandated closures and service limitations in the Governor’s Executive Orders. Threatening to or attempting to enforce such a provision would also be considered a form of harassment. This bill covers:
- businesses that were required to stop serving food or beverages on-premises (restaurants and bars);
- businesses that were required to cease operations altogether (gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters);
- retail businesses that were required to close and/or subject to in-person restrictions; and
- businesses that were required to close to the public (barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors and related personal care services).
- Governor Cuomo signed an executive order empowering business owners to deny service to those not wearing facial coverings.
- Gov. Cuomo reissued the stay-at-home “New York on PAUSE” order for regions such as New York City that have not yet met his reopening benchmarks. While the order extends the “PAUSE” until June 27, it allows NYC to reopen earlier if it meets the State’s coronavirus benchmarks.
- New York City is on track to begin reopening its economy on June 8, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. May 29. All people not involved in phase one industries are still told to remain home. About 400,000 manufacturing, construction and retail workers will be permitted to return under this first phase of the reopening. Check the New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool here for more details.
- An 8pm citywide curfew will be in effect starting Tuesday, June 2, Mayor de Blasio announced recently. The curfew will be in effect through Sunday, June 7, and it will lift at 5am each morning. Although essential workers are allowed on the streets beyond curfew, you may still want to amend your open or delivery hours. Check here for guidelines and FAQ regarding the curfew.
- The Mayor’s Office unveiled a more ambitious plan that details outdoor curbside seating, open streets and sidewalk seating, that will occur in Phase 2 of reopening, now thought to happen in July. Once the City enters Phase 2 of reopening, restaurants will be able to serve customers in outdoor seating areas without enduring a cumbersome application and approval process. Read more here.
Grants + Loans
- Looking for grants? Check out this round-up (and apply!) from iFundWomen.com
- Another source of grants for female-founded small businesses in need! My Founder Story will award a $500 grant every week through June; apply here.
- 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 at Kiva.
- Hello Alice, a free online platform that helps businesses launch and grow, is offering $10,000 grants and support from their community, to small business owners impacted by coronavirus. Apply here.
- Women entrepreneurs! Spanx founder Sara Blakely has started the Red Backpack Fund with $5 million to assist female business owners in the wake of the covid-19 crisis. Global Giving will oversee the fund distribution and has been fielding applications for the $5,000 grants; the next round is coming up for June, sign up for deadline notifications.
- Enter for your Chance to Win the 1010 WINS Small Business $10K Challenge, here.
FedEx has set up a Small Business grant fund under their #SupportSmall program. Applications open again on May 25. Information here.
Seeking to get forgiveness of your PPP loan? There is now improved guidance on calculation methods, definitions of forgivable expenses and the documents that must be submitted with the forgiveness request. Learn more here.
Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) will be open on Tue., May 26th at Noon! The fund is a new loan program that will make loans of up to $100,000 to small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords impacted by COVID-19. Get all details on the application process here.
- Magic Johnson has partnered with MBE Capital Partners to provide loans for minority and women owned businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Apply here.
Legal + Financial Assistance
- The Small Business Legal Relief Alliance (SBLRA) serves small businesses, nonprofits and self-employed individuals in with free consultations in practice areas including: loan & grant, tax, commercial lease, contracts, employment, insurance, and intellectual property, among others. Click to request a consultation.
- Free legal assistance for small businesses via City Bar Justice Center, here.
- Get valuable information in this FREE webinar sponsored by Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce: Returning to Work: What Employers Need to Know to Avoid Lawsuits & Penalties. Thu., May 28, at 2pm; details and registration here.
NYC Small Business Services (SBS) Resources
- SBS has compiled a number of resources for businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Access assistance here.
- The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) offers free business courses to guide NYC entrepreneurs through each step to start, operate, and grow a business. See and sign up for all their FREE workshops and seminars (now online), here.
- FAB Businesses! Join the NYC SBS Neighborhood Challenge: Connect + Recover by June 1, and collaborate with other businesses, and technologists to work on solutions to recover from the Covid-19 crisis. Details here.
Marketing + Business Operations
- FAB FULTON delis, bodegas and small grocery stores: register your business on the My Bodega Online app for free; let your customers order from you online! Their orders can be ready for pickup for a fast, contactless experience. Fill out the short form here.
- Streetsense has pulled together a Pandemic Relaunch Toolkit for Restaurants + Bars, full of great information; add your email address and download it here.
- Spectrum is providing small businesses with resources to help your business rebound. Access FREE videos you can make on your own and other advertising resources here.
- Bookkeeping in the Time of Coronavirus is a small business webinar that will walk through bookkeeping systems like Quickbooks and Wave, highlighting processes that will help track relief funds like PPP. Join this informative FREE session, hosted by FAB FULTON and Start Small Think Big, on Fri., May 22, from 4-5p. Register here.
- Starting this week, potential customers will be able to browse and buy products directly from a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile. Learn more about how to turn your profile into a storefront here.
- Reopening Tips for Restaurants from NYC Hospitality Alliance; access here.
- The Queens Economic Development Corporation has asked expert speakers in the areas of Finance, Operations and Marketing to provide guidance as small businesses plan their reopening, in a FREE webinar series entitled Reboot + Restart: Navigating Entrepreneurship Post Covid-19. Sessions start May 26; get details and sign up here.
- Contact the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office with your COVID-19 inquiries and to request free PPE, click here.
- Looking for a local source for PPE? Check out the resources from NYC’s Garment District!
- If you need to order PPE in bulk, check here. Get a 3% discount if you use the code at checkout: NYCSAVE
- Are you an immigrant or minority business owner? You won’t want to miss this online solutions-oriented discussion focused on the challenges facing immigrant and minority-owned businesses! “Bolstering Immigrant and Minority-Owned Small Businesses Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic,” a Center for an Urban Future (CUF) virtual policy symposium taking place this Thursday, May 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. It’s free; register here.
Local event listing site NYC Plugged has created a map with updated listings in support of the city’s hospitality industry. The map shows current restaurants, bars, cafes, bakeries, wine shops, and delis open for delivery and/or pick-up. Also, it indicates those who are also offering gift cards or merchandise for purchase, holding employee fundraisers, or participating in frontline worker programs. Click here to request that your business be added to the map. (Note: if you would like to list multiple locations, a form must be submitted for each.)
Start Small Think Big is hosting a series of Small Business Lunchcasts, starting Wed., June 3, featuring financial and legal experts covering key information on a variety of issues to help support your business during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery efforts. Register here.
NYPD Updates + Tips
- Are you a small business looking for financial relief due to coronavirus? The SBA reports that scammers are targeting small businesses with grant and loan fraud. Beware of robocalls and phising emails.
- Burglary prevention tips:
- Test your alarm with your central station provider and update emergency contact lists.
- Alert FAB FULTON if you’ll be closing for an extended period of time, and when you’re due back.
- Make sure all your cameras are functioning, well-positioned and with unobstructed views.
- Check that the time is accurate on your DVR and make sure it can record for 30-60 days.
- Change the combination of any safes, especially if any staff members have moved on.
- Ensure entrances are well-lit and there is adequate interior lighting.
- Protect accessible windows with locks, security film, grilles or bars.
- Roof openings like skylights and ventilators should be secured and alarmed.
- Climbing aids, such as ladders, should be removed or locked up.
- Cash registers should be empty and left open to prevent unnecessary damage.
- Sidewalk cellar openings and their frames should be secured and properly locked.
- Make sure doors and door frames are of adequate construction, commercial grade locks are installed, functioning properly, and have edge guards to prevent prying.
- Exposed hinges require non-removable pins.
- Consider holding your mail services if you will be away from your business for an extended period. See USPS service information here.
- 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.
- Text COVID to 692-692 to receive regular updates via text message from NYC Health (text COVIDESP to 692-692 for Spanish)
- 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. Learn more here.
- Check out recorded (and upcoming) webinars on updates relating to Covid-19 relief and assistance for small businesses, from Inc Magazine, here.
- Women business owners: the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping small businesses who are suffering substantial economic hardships as a result of the Coronavirus. Complete this form for assistance.