COVID-19 Impact

Resources for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Last updated May 17 at 5:30 pm EDT

Our independent local businesses mean the world to us. Please help us get the word out about reopening guidelines(!) resources and programs to help sole proprietors, small businesses and their employees get through this unprecedented challenge. Thanks for all you do.

Help us help small businesses!

Is your East Village business open or fulfilling orders online? Fill out this form to get on the map!

PAUSE Restrictions:

Our essential local business are our heroes: keeping us supplied and fed, feeding the frontlines, filling our prescriptions and notarizing our documents. We have suffered devastating losses: a beloved pharmacist, restaurant workers, essential workers and family members. Let’s keep this foremost in our minds as we work to find a way forward.

Restaurants / Bars:

ONLY takeout / delivery orders are permitted from restaurants and bars that serve food. Please order directly if possible! THANK YOU to those who are operating responsibly, or remain closed and are forgoing needed income for the greater good. Please remember that Sidewalk Consumption is in violation of State Liquor Authority policy, Department of Health regulations, and social distancing regulations.


  • Alcoholic beverage sold for off-premises consumption may be sold in any closed or any sealed original container.  Provided that:
    • The sale of each container shall be accompanied by the purchase of food;
    • Sales should be consistent with municipal open container ordinances.
  • SLA complaint line: 518-474-3114 extension 2 or

DOHMH (Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) Guidance:

Community groups are working on ways to permit open spaces when it’s safe to do so. Meanwhile, please yield the sidewalks to your neighbors!

Retail, Construction, Personal Services, Entertainment:

We’re still on PAUSE New York: only essential businesses’ staff may go into work. 100% of nonessential businesses’ staff must stay at home. Not sure of your status? See also FAQs.

ONLY essential or emergency construction is permitted (one employee / worker per site is exempt from this restriction).

Non-essential shop owners may work from their shops to fulfill orders, provided only one employee is in the store at a time. No customers are permitted inside. SBS suggests posting a sign to inform customers, neighbors and enforcement officials.

Reopening Guidelines Phase One (start date TBD): Construction, manufacturing and non-essential retail will reopen under industry-specific guidelines. Non-essential retail will look very much like it does now, with shipping and curbside pickup permitted: the main difference is that more than one employee will be permitted inside the store once a safe-operation plan is in place.

All personal care services: barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing salons, nail salons, hair removal services, etc. remain closed. Purchase a gift certificate to help keep your favorite salon afloat! Personal care artists: please check in with your licensing organizations for the latest updates and take trainings to help you prepare.

All nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, concert venues and gyms are closed. If you have the means, please keep your memberships current or ask for a donation receipt instead of a refund on tickets to help support your favorite venue.

Legal Assistance:

For assistance with commercial lease matters, contact Cooper Square Committee. There is a moratorium on eviction proceedings and pending orders. See these FAQs from the Commercial Lease Assistance Program.

Fill out this intake form to receive a free 45-minute consultation from the New York City Bar Association’s Small Business Remote Legal Clinic on loans & grants, contracts & force majeure clauses, employment law matters, real estate and commercial leasing issues, and insurance issues.

Financial Aid:

Many of our local merchants applied for these programs very early on. Some have now received nominal funding from the EIDL, PPP funds are flowing and EIDL loan offers are starting to trickle in. Sadly, there are many scams afoot: please exercise reasonable caution with your inbox.

Reach out NOW for one-on-one assistance in navigating the process, deciding next steps, or giving your offer the smell test:

The initial funding for the bank-administered Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been replenished as of April 27. If you already applied, your lender should be in touch with you. Businesses can review Fundera’s regularly-updated list of providers and helpful links to find a lender, or contact your point-of-purchase provider.

Many small business owners who wouldn’t normally qualify for unemployment may benefit from the Pandemic Unemployment Program (PUA).

We urge merchants to express interest in or apply for any programs for which you think you may qualify. Your applications not only put you in line for additional funding when it’s appropriated, they also serve to demonstrate need.

Comptroller Stringer’s office has compiled a list of private grants and resources.

Renaissance Economic Development Corporation has extensive small business lending expertise, including their own program targeted for our neighborhood, with interest forms in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean.

SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 (including EIDL Advances). Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. SBA 24/7 hotline: (800) 659-2955.

Sign up to receive the latest information from NYC Small Business Services

  • NYC 0% Interest Loan Pre-application surveys remain open (for businesses with 1 – 99 employees).
  • The NYC Payroll Support Grant program (for eligible businesses and nonprofits with 1 – 4 employees) is no longer accepting applications.
  • Nightlife workers and businesses can check out the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation programs.
  • Licensed beauty industry professionals can apply for a one-time $500 grant from the Professional Beauty Association.

Helpful Information:

Post NYC: Stop the Spread of Coronavirus and “What You Need to Know”

Review the NYC Coronavirus Fact Sheet for Business Owners, FAQs and Safety Guidelines for Restaurant Service (where not overruled by mandated closures).

Price gouging for goods or services needed to limit the spread of COVID-19 is illegal. Examples include:

  • Cleaning products
  • Diagnostic products and services
  • Disinfectants (wipes, liquids, sprays)
  • Face masks
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medicines
  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soap
  • Tissues provides gift cards to local businesses. 100% of proceeds go directly to the business!

We’re here for our local businesses in this difficult time. Please let us know how we can help you:

Please check back with this page for updates and sign up for our email list!

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