Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than $2.3 million has been awarded to support 61 businesses and residential landlords with COVID-19 related costs and expenses through the New York Forward Loan Fund. Of the 61 loans, 54 were provided to minority- and women-owned businesses; ten loans were provided to residential landlords; two loans were awarded to veteran-owned businesses; and one loan supported a non-profit organization. Applications are still being accepted and businesses from qualifying industries, including agriculture, construction, food services, retail, education services, manufacturing and transportation, are encouraged to apply.
“The pandemic’s impact on small businesses was especially damaging and we’re not going to leave them behind – they are the backbone of New York’s economy and central to our recovery.” Governor Cuomo said. “The New York Forward Loan Fund is providing critical assistance to alleviate lost revenue and offset reopening-related expenses, getting these businesses back on their feet and contributing to New Yorkers’ efforts to build back our state and local economies even stronger than before.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses and industries across New York State – especially our small businesses and particularly minority- and women-owned companies. Through the New York Forward Loan Fund, we are proud to support those who were otherwise unable to receive federal assistance while creating stronger relationships between small business owners and the state’s network of Community Development Financial Institutions. I would encourage any eligible small business or residential landlord in need of assistance to apply for this low-interest funding.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, ” Like their tenants, many small landlords have been dealt a severe financial blow by the pandemic. HCR committed $10 million to the New York Forward Loan Fund for small landlords to support those who were deeply impacted by the COVID crisis and who are devoted to serving their tenants by keeping their buildings in decent, safe and sanitary condition. It is especially critical that we provide help to those who serve low- to moderate-income tenants so that we can help to stabilize the small rental housing stock across New York State. This program will provide much-needed financial assistance in our communities at a time when it is most needed.”
The New York Forward Loan Fund was created to provide working capital loans to small businesses—focusing on MWBEs—small residential landlords and non-profit organizations that did not receive funding from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The fund continues to accept and process applications; to date, more than 9,300 eligible applications have been received – over 60% of which were from MWBEs.
One of the small businesses that accessed funds is A Bead Just So, a full-service bead store Ballston Spa, Saratoga County. Founded in 2013, the store sells a variety of beads for jewelry-making, provides jewelry repair services, and regularly hosts classes and events. Through the New York Forward Loan Fund, the business accessed a $27,577 working capital loan from Pursuit Lending that helped retain five jobs and support the business’s reopening.
A Bead Just So Owner Kate Fryer said, “I’ve poured my heart and soul into my specialty craft shop and having to close – while understandable — was devastating. I missed seeing my customers and providing each one with the personal touch that makes my business distinct and my work so rewarding. The New York Forward Loan Fund was both my last resort and the perfect fit. No other program offered the freedom, flexibility and small business-friendly terms I needed to pay the rent, order inventory and finally reopen my store.”
Eligible small businesses and small residential landlords can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan with a 3% fixed interest rate; while eligible non-profits can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan at 2% fixed interest. The maximum loan amount is $100,000. Loan funds can be used for working capital including payroll, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities and costs associated with refitting physical space to follow social distancing guidelines. More information is available online at nyloanfund.com.
Seven banks have pledged support for the New York Forward Loan Fund: Apple Bank, BNB Bank, Evans Bank, HSBC, M&T Bank, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. Additionally, the fund has received philanthropic commitments from the BlackRock Charitable Fund, Citi Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. The New York Forward Loan Fund was established with support from Calvert Impact Capital. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is administering the fund, and Connect2Capital is hosting applications.