April 23, 2021
Over $155 million will be allocated to small businesses across the City
NEW YORK—Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris announced that over $155 million will be allocated for small business recovery and job training in emerging markets in New York City's Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22).
Since the beginning of the pandemic, SBS has launched 28 initiatives to help small businesses and jobseekers stay resilient, including a hotline that has helped over 57,000 callers and resources connecting 5,000 businesses to over $142 million in funding. Through the City's 'Fair Share: PPP' program, 4,174 businesses received assistance in applying for $294 million in PPP. The FY22 Executive Plan is expected to reach 40,000 businesses across the five boroughs.
"Small businesses knit New York City together – and they were hit hard last year, even as Wall Street made record profits. But help is on the way," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "These investments will keep New York City the most vibrant city in the world and help build a recovery for all of us."
"Small businesses are the backbone of NYC's economy, their survival is imperative to the City's future," said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force. "Our work is far from finished, but the City is committed to a fair, just, and inclusive recovery for all small businesses."
"As the City continues on its journey to recovery, it is critical that we make small businesses the central focus of our relief efforts," said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services and Co-Chair of the Small Business Subcommittee of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. "SBS will continue to strive for an inclusive recovery, ensuring all small businesses have the resources they need to get back on their feet."
In the new fiscal year, the following new and existing programs will help to boost the resilience of small businesses across the City, create more job opportunities in emerging markets and revitalize commercial corridors."
The NYC Small Business Recovery Loan program is a $100 million fund, partly funded with private capital, dedicated to helping small businesses retain staff and keep their doors open. Using census tract data to target communities hardest hit by COVID-19, New York City will provide low-interest loans of up to $100,000 to approximately 2,000 small businesses.
The $100 million Small Business Grant Program will provide direct support to small businesses to boost our recovery and put New Yorkers back to work. It will include $50 million in rental assistance for small businesses in the arts, entertainment, recreation, food services, and accommodation sectors, and an additional $50 million focused on small businesses in low- to moderate income communities, using census tract data, to hire staff or meet unpaid expenses incurred since March 2020.
The existing Commercial Lease Assistance program will receive $10.4 million to provide expanded free legal services to help businesses sign, change or terminate leases, or address a commercial lease issue. This funding will help to expand outreach to small businesses in the 33 hardest hit neighborhoods identified by the Mayor's Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity (TRIE) that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City will allocate $5 million to establish a small business recovery "one-stop shop" service to help businesses meet requirements for opening/reopening inspections, licensing and permitting as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
The Career Pathways Initiative will receive $2.5 million to support training in the technology, healthcare, industrial, and food service sectors, with a special focus on connecting underrepresented groups to careers such as web development, data analysis, commercial driving, cable installation, nursing and medical assistant.
Apprentice NYC will receive $1.5 million. This initiative recasts a traditional workforce development approach to address 21st century skills, allowing workers to learn while they earn in careers in healthcare, tech, manufacturing, and food service.
HireNYC Construction Careers will receive $1.5 million that connects NYCHA residents and low-income New Yorkers to the construction trades through pre-apprenticeship training. This strategy leverages the City's investments in capital construction projects to help maximize the number low income New Yorkers and NYCHA residents that enter the trades. This funding will also assist manufacturing businesses in developing blueprints to manufacture more products locally and reduce operating costs.
The Avenue NYC Commercial Revitalization program will receive $1.2 million to expand outreach into more neighborhoods, exclusively in low- to moderate income neighborhoods with a focus on the 33 hardest-hit neighborhoods defined by TRIE that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Shop Your City advertising campaign will receive $1.1 million to support businesses by encouraging New Yorkers to shop locally.
“New York City’s small businesses endured the very worst of COVID-19. They showed their incredible resiliency and unparalleled flexibility as they adjusted to the most challenging circumstances imaginable this past year. Now, as we stand on the precipice of a reopened and rejuvenated New York, they are eager and hungry to kickstart our great city’s recovery—and New York City stands ready to do all it can to help,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “I’m thrilled by today’s announcement that more than $159 million dollars will be allocated within New York City’s FY2022 budget towards small business recovery and economic resilience programs, including investments in small business grants and loans, green job training, and much more. Thanks to New York’s unparalleled small businesses and our city government’s commitment to supporting their recovery, New York City will come back stronger and more vibrant from COVID-19.”
"To fully recover from the massive hit that the pandemic has inflicted on New York City's small businesses, we need action at all levels of government," said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. "I applaud the Mayor and City for this latest bold investment in rebuilding our small businesses so they can prepare to reopen safely and with the resources they need."
"We welcome with open arms the great news that more than $155 million will be allocated for small business recovery and job training in response to the issues and concerns our small business community has raised. We look forward to these funds reaching the many minority small-business owners in New York City who have faced massive challenges because of COVID-19's outsized burden in our neighborhoods. These same business owners, despite seeking financial assistance at much higher rates, were less likely to receive government and private funding. In the new fiscal year, these programs will help to encourage new waves of support for small businesses across the City, fueling the survival and resurgence of our small businesses while creating new and much-needed job opportunities," said State Senator Robert Jackson.
"Small businesses are at the heart of New York City – they give the city its character, its street life, and its energy, and they are an anchor for our middle class. But those same small businesses have borne the brunt of this pandemic; they are hurting, and they need help. I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio and his administration for making these funds available, so that more of our beloved small businesses will be able to make it through to the other side of this crisis," said State Senator Liz Krueger.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and it is critically important that we continue to create programs that help create and sustain their existence despite the current pandemic. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for these initiatives which signal to New York's small business community that their elected officials have not forgotten about them," said State Senator Kevin Parker.
"When our small businesses fail, our communities bear the brunt, and when they thrive, our communities flourish," said State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. "We must do everything in our power to make sure that small businesses have access to recovery funding. Small businesses were the first to close their doors last year and these programs will bring relief and mitigate barriers brought on by this continuing crisis."
"As the Chairman of the Senate's Committee of Banks, I know how important it is to support small businesses, especially Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (MWBE), and all of those struggling due to the pandemic. I applaud the city for offering loans, grants and resources to help these entrepreneurs not only stay afloat but also thrive and become better than ever," said State Senator James Sanders Jr.
"Thank you Mayor de Blasio for coming to the aid of our struggling small businesses. As we begin to reopen and recover, responsible elected leaders are stepping up to ensure those who suffered financially have every avenue to survive this pandemic," said State Senator Diane Savino.
"The loans and grants announced by the mayor today will help end the structural exclusion many MWBEs and other small businesses faced on an accelerated basis during the pandemic," said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. "In addition, this will help jump start the economy by creating more jobs and revitalizing commercial corridors. More than that, this plan promises to help increase equity; something prior administrations were not able to address even before the pandemic. I thank the Mayor, OMB and SBS for executing this plan to help our most vulnerable residents and small businesses."
"Our small business community is the backbone of New York City's economy and we need to do all we can to help businesses recover from the devastating losses of the past year," said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz. "These grants, loans and other workforce development initiatives will bring hope to so many people across the city who are eager and ready to get back to work and to prove just how resilient our business community can be in overcoming the challenges of the pandemic."
"Small business recovery is a crucial part of New York's recovery. I applaud the Mayor's effort to infuse 100 million dollars into small businesses to help them recover from this pandemic," said Assembly Member Harvey Epstein.
"Our small businesses need all the help they can get," said Assembly Member Nathalia Fernández. "We need to do everything we can to ensure that our small business community can come back stronger than ever. These programs are a necessary step toward helping our city recover from the pandemic and get our economy back on track."
"Now, so much more than ever before, our small business community needs all the help it can get. It's no secret that we want the New York City we all knew and loved, from before the pandemic, to bounce back. I believe these new programs will allow us to do just that," said Assembly Member Michael Reilly.
"This pandemic has done irreversible damage to our small business community, however hope is not lost. Programs like these will ensure viability and recovery for our small businesses. I thank the Mayor for allocating these resources. When our small businesses rebuild, our city will not just recover but thrive," said Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez.
"Our city's small businesses are the lifeblood of thriving communities. Small business owners and workers were devastated by the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. We absolutely need these grants, loans, and job creation programs - and more - to forge forward with an economic recovery program that benefits all New Yorkers," said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon.
"The COVID-19 pandemic devastated small businesses in the arts, hospitality, and restaurant industries in New York City. The launch of small business economic support programs that provide millions of dollars in grants and loans will help our city in the recovery process. I applaud the Mayor's office, the Office of Management and Budget, and the NYC Department of Small Business Services for considering the needs of underrepresented groups and communities that were hurt the most by the COVID-19 pandemic when they created this program," said Assembly Member David Weprin.
"It feels good for politicians to say "small businesses are the backbone of our local economy" but talk is cheap. And for me, it's personal. I will never get over all the small businesses we lost during this time. Losing one was losing too many; the fact that we lost many keeps me up at night. I appreciate the Mayor's commitment here. We must do everything we can to make our neighborhood a place where small businesses can thrive, no matter what. Talk is cheap. Recovery will be expensive. Let's get it right and get New York City back on its feet," said Council Member Justin Brannan.
"In order to have a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need small businesses to have all the resources they can have to thrive. So many small businesses shut down during the pandemic, but now it's time to support them and give our entrepreneurs the funding they need in order to secure a stronger financial future for their families and city. Since I have been in office, I have been on the ground surveying businesses in my community to see exactly what they want and need to get back on their feet. Businesses need a commitment to public safety. Businesses need to have clean streets. Businesses need more loan and grant opportunities. In the last few weeks, this administration has doubled down their support for all of these initiatives, creating a fantastic environment for small businesses to take critical steps forward to revive and thrive in a post pandemic world. I support the Recovery for All of Us initiative from Mayor Bill de Blasio to allocate $155 million to small businesses throughout the city. This initiative offers solid support for businesses that closed to reopen, job training for those out of work, investing in green jobs, and loan and grant opportunities. They mirror my own fight to keep the streets clean while making sure we foster an environment where small businesses can have the resources to flourish," said Council Member Darma Diaz.
"It was only a year ago that our city was the epicenter for a global public health crisis that completely altered our way of life. Businesses were forced to close, employees were laid off, and the impact of COVID-19 is still felt by many in our city. This has been an incredibly challenging time for all of us, especially our women and minority-owned businesses that are battling two pandemics. One pandemic is COVID-19 and the other is systemic inequality that has been further exacerbated by our current crisis. The funding for small businesses in the Mayor's FY'22 Executive Budget is a step in the right direction in ensuring our mom and pop stores receive the necessary financial support to remain open. We must invest in our small businesses with innovative technology and opportunities for them to strive. I look forward to working with my Colleagues on a budget that reflects the support of our small businesses," said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson.
"After a terrible year of being closed down, limited operation or being hit with draconian fines by city inspectors, our small businesses need all the help they can get. These programs are a welcome step in the right direction toward recovery. Let's continue to make city government more nurturing to small business owners in the wake of the pandemic and let's all shop locally," said Council Member Robert Holden.
"If we are going to get this RECOVERY moving strong our City has to be nimble and creative in the ways we pump up and help our small businesses," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "By trying this capture all approach that includes, Green Jobs & Manufacturing, a NYC Small Business Loan Fund, Commercial Lease Assistance Program we are setting up our small business for future success. Our small businesses are the heart of this City's economy and if we want to bring the City back full strength we have to focus on the needs of small business. Especially those hardest hit. Thank you to the Mayor for focusing on our small business."
"Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners have faced unprecedented challenges to keep their doors open to provide for their families and support their communities. We are racing against the clock to provide a lifeline that would help accelerate the recovery of our commercial corridors — particularly immigrant, women, and Black-owned businesses. Through the Department of Small Business Services, we are answering that call by expanding access to capital, a community of experts, while creating opportunities that will ensure New York City comes back stronger than ever before," said Council Member Farah N. Louis, Co-Chair of the Women's Caucus.
"I applaud Mayor de Blasio, OMB, and SBS on their initiatives to aid in NYC's economic recovery. Small businesses are a crucial part to the thriving culture and diversity of our beloved city. These critical resources will help to ease the burden of our small businesses financially, and also provide an opportunity of growth for all New Yorkers," said Council Member Alan Maisel.
"Small businesses are the backbone of New York City. As the son of a small business owner, I know the trials of keeping them afloat—regardless of the impact of a pandemic. I've been glad to steward supportive policies for these establishments, and thank the Mayor and SBS for investment in their future," said Council Member Keith Powers.
"Small businesses are the backbone of a thriving Big Apple. These programs accelerate our economic recovery from the pandemic as commercial corridors will benefit from these initiatives. I applaud the Administration for administering and creating grants and loans to support New Yorkers," said Council Member Paul A. Vallone.
"We must do everything possible to help our businesses recover from this pandemic. Small businesses are a big part of the engine that moves our NYC economy, and there we will be no economic recovery if our small businesses are left behind. Any and all recovery plans must be inclusive of all of our small businesses! As a partner of SBS, the New York Women's Chamber of Commerce is committed to assisting the City in its efforts to create and implement the necessary programs to help our small businesses restart, recover and thrive," said Quenia Abreu, President, New York Women's Chamber of Commerce.
"The city's focus on small business recovery is crucial to our economy. The Chamber is happy to see initiates like these included in the city budget that are focused on cutting red tape, providing rental assistance, and aimed at helping our small businesses," said Linda Baran, President and CEO, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.
"In these challenging and extraordinary times, where every bit of assistance is needed we are very pleased to learn of these millions of resources and programs are being made available to all the small businesses across the city so that we can start making our long way back to recovery," said Wellington Z. Chen, Executive Director, Chinatown BID/Partnership.
"Times of crisis also provide opportunities for creative change. We saw that happen during the Great Depression and we are seeing it now in New York City during the pandemic. The City of New York has in a new and more substantive fashion not only recognized the importance of small business in this city, the new and innovative programs that have been developed and are being proposed provide the promise of very real immediate relief and systemic change in the foreseeable future," said Prof. Wallace Ford, Medgar Evers College.
"The Queens Chamber of Commerce wholeheartedly supports and is grateful for the allocation of grants and loans that are being announced today by the administration. We have worked side by side with SBS Commissioner Jonnel Doris and his team over the past year and look forward to continuing the work together. As we see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel we look forward to having the resources we need to support our small business turnaround throughout Queens County," said Thomas J. Grech, President and CEO Queens Chamber of Commerce.
"It has been a long, hard, frustrating, devastating year for small businesses like ours," said Joanne Kwong, president of Pearl River Mart, the longtime Asian emporium in downtown Manhattan. "For those of us still hanging on, we continue to fight in large part because we want our neighborhoods and city to survive, and the programs announced today are a welcome lifeline from the City letting us know that we're not fighting alone. As the backbone of NYC's economy, we look forward to doing our part to get the City back on its feet."
"The various programs NYC launched today will go a long way in restoring our small business ecosystem and will truly help to address the devastating effects of this pandemic on our economy. As one of the City's leading small business advocacy organizations, we see this investment is an acknowledgement that small businesses are a key component to an equitable recovery," said Randy Peers, President & CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
"New York City's restaurants and other small businesses have been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and that's why the de Blasio administration's new economic recovery program is critical in bringing support, such as grants, loans and commercial lease assistance to struggling businesses. The truth is, we need our small business community to recover for our city to recover, and that's why we commend the de Blasio administration for providing relief to support their recovery," said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, NYC Hospitality Alliance.
"As we enter the pandemic recovery stage, The New Bronx Chamber of Commerce welcomes this allocation of essential funding from the Administration. Our partnership with Commissioner Jonnel Doris and staff has thus far resulted in much-needed services for Bronx small businesses, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with SBS to support the evolving needs of these businesses," said Lisa Sorin, President, The Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
"The NYC BID Association applauds the Administration for allocating substantial resources toward small businesses and neighborhood commercial corridors. These critical investments will rejuvenate our communities and help local merchants breathe life into New York City's recovery. We look forward to working with the Department of Small Business Services to promote and implement these important new programs," said Jennifer Tausig and Bob Benfatto, co-chairs, The BID Association.
"We are in the final stretch of the pandemic," said Jessica Walker, President and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. "The programs being announced today, coupled with critical support from the federal government, will help many small businesses make it to the other side of this crisis and begin to generate stable revenues again."
As a small MWBE I am elated that SBS, OMB and Mayor DeBlasio have developed this program to uplift small businesses which are the backbone to rebuilding New York City and its neighborhoods. This program will provide a lifeline to struggling small businesses and will also assist in reopening doors of businesses which have shuttered during the pandemic. It will assist in putting individuals back to work which in turn will provide much needed financial support that is crucial to economic development within our communities. Not only is this a win for small businesses – it is also a win for New York," said Melba Wilson, Owner of Melba's Restaurant and President of the Hospitality Alliance.
"The updated budget to support our city's small businesses is beyond impressive. Mayor de Blasio is making a bold commitment to an often overlooked, but vital sector of our economy with the budget, which will ensure that our City's entrepreneurs emerge stronger from Covid-19. It is not a surprise to anyone that this pandemic had a devastating impact on all small businesses, but in particular Asian stores which had to close much earlier due to anti-Asian racism. These investments to support the critical economic engine of our city means that mom-and-pop stores now have help to bounce back. Thank you, Mayor and Commissioner Doris for listening to the many, many stories of anxiety and sacrifice from small business owners, and for making bold investments to rebuild their livelihood and the small business sector. AAF looks forward to working with Commissioner Doris to show our Asian small businesses that they are valued and needed," said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director, Asian-American Federation.