By Ilana Siyance
On Friday May 22, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the New York Forward Loan Fund, in which the state will dole out $100 million in relief for nonprofits, small landlords and mom-and-pop small businesses. The initiative is particularly geared towards small businesses owned by minorities and women, and others who were left out of the funds made available by the federal government. “The federal definition of small business has what many could consider large businesses, but we’re going to focus on true small businesses,” Cuomo said.
As reported by Crain’s NY, the governor specified that the state’s flexible and affordable loan program will be made available to companies with no more than 20 employees, which make an annual revenue that is less than $3 million. Those businesses which have already received money from the Small Business Administration will not be eligible for these state funds. The federal government, through the SBA, has pumped money into the economy via two huge programs aimed at helping small businesses struggling due to the extensive shutdown caused by the pandemic. While federal funds are still available now, Cuomo said that many minority-owned small businesses have been denied these funds. “Minority-owned businesses face a far greater risk and have received less in federal relief,” said Cuomo. Businesses interested in applying for the state loan should visit esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans.
“Small businesses are the engine of the New York economy, but they are now facing some of the toughest challenges in this pandemic,” said Governor Cuomo. “Helping our small businesses is a top priority, and we are starting the New York Forward Loan Fund and making more than $100 million available to provide loans to small businesses, focusing particularly on minority and women owned businesses that have faced even greater risks and received less in federal relief throughout this pandemic.”
New York State will start giving out the COVID-19 pandemic relief loans as of May 26. The loans will be distributed through banks, including community development financial institutions, which lend to smaller companies that have reportedly had trouble attaining funds from the large mainstream banks. Cuomo did not yet mention where the state will get the millions for the fund, particularly while the state is going through its own budget crisis. Cuomo has frequently said that the State’s financial woes will escalate if it doesn’t receive added relief from Washington.