Resources for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
Last updated July 8 at 11:30 pm EDT
Help us help small businesses!
NY Forward Reopening Guidelines:
Our essential local business are our heroes. 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 find our way forward.
Restaurants / Bars:
Please order takeout and delivery directly from restaurants if possible! Support establishments that are operating responsibly.
Restaurants are open for OUTDOOR DINING. Here’s the latest information on no-fee self-certification for outdoor seating: sidewalk cafes and parking lanes where permitted. Outdoor seating cannot exceed business frontage and is subject to other restrictions (bike lanes, bus stops, crosswalks, etc.). Please visit FAQs for VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Smoking of any kind (vaping, hookah, etc.) is NOT permitted in outdoor dining areas.
Our local businesses have been given only days’ notice to comply with many new rules. If you feel comfortable doing so, try sharing the guidance and FAQs above with them before making a complaint.
According to the most recent Executive Order, businesses selling or serving alcohol to be consumed at the business or elsewhere must ensure that everyone within 100 feet of their business is:
- in compliance with open container, face-covering and social distancing rules
- following all existing rules, regulations and laws
Businesses that cannot follow these guidelines must stop selling alcohol until they can. Violations could result in having a license suspended or revoked, with fines up to $10,000 per violation. Patrons can also be fined for breaking open container and social distancing rules.
STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY Guidance:
- 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 Enforcement@sla.ny.gov
DOHMH (Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) Guidance:
- Discourage groups from gathering inside and at entrance.
- Manage lines inside and outside by keeping customers 6 feet apart.
- NYC social distancing complaint line
Construction, Retail, Personal Care:
NYC is in Phase Three!
Construction, manufacturing, retail and personal care providers are open under industry-specific guidelines.
Retail merchants: fill your safe-operation plans and keep them onsite. You have the right to vend on the sidewalks within 3 feet of your shop, provided the display does not exceed 5 feet and the merchandise mirrors what you sell inside. Please let us know if you have questions.
Retail customers please note: many local shops have reduced hours. Please call ahead or check your favorites’ Instagram accounts, and respect the shop’s rules for PPE and occupancy. Online ordering and curbside pickup are still available!
Health Care: Some local acupuncturists and dentists have reopened by appointment. All are operating under stringent guidelines. Check with your provider.
Licensed Hair Care artists: fill your safe-operation plans and keep them onsite. Boost consumer confidence with industry-specific training. Hair Care customers please note: many salons are working by appointment only, with limited accommodations for walk-ins.
Fitness & Entertainment:
All nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, concert venues and gyms remain closed. Many are streaming performances and classes. 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.
For questions on reopening or to report employers that are not following guidelines, see multi-lingual information on workers’ rights or call the hotline: (212) 436-0381
The moratorium on pending eviction proceedings and orders has been extended until August 20. Please note that the courts are operating with reduced capacity and have a backlog of cases. 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.
Many of our local merchants applied for these programs very early on. Some have now received nominal funding from the EIDL and EIDL loan offers are trickling in. Sadly, there are many scams afoot: please exercise reasonable caution with your inbox.
The PPP program has been extended til August 8! If you’ve kept your staff on payroll and have not yet applied, please contact us to connect with a local lender who can guide you through the process, or contact local non-profit lender Fundera directly. New less-restrictive PPP loan forgiveness requirements may help you take advantage of this program.
SBA is now ACCEPTING NEW APPLICATIONS for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 (including forgivable EIDL Advances.) No one want to take on debt right now, but the loans are similar to a mortgage, with a low interest rate and a long repayment period. If access to capital is all that stands in your way, please check it out!
NOTE: 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.
Another option is the New York Forward loan program.
Reach out NOW for one-on-one assistance in reviewing your options, deciding next steps, and evaluating your offer:
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.
- 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.
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
- Hand sanitizer
- Paper towels
- Rubbing alcohol
HelpMainStreet.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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