Pandemic Relief Info for Nonprofits and Small Businesses


West Harlem Development Corporation recognizes the strain on businesses caused by the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to pass on relevant resources to help guide our fellow nonprofits and small businesses through it all.

Want to know when your business can reopen? Check out the New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool. Want to know how your business should reopen? Check out the NYC Business Reopening Guide and use this NYS Safety Plan Template. Ground-floor storefront businesses who want to use outdoor spaces on a temporary basis should apply to the Open Storefronts program. 

As you develop your organization’s response, particularly for multi-service organizations, consider organizing your plan specific to the following primary areas of work:

  • Clients Served – assessing vulnerability and establishing prioritization
  • Staff – identifying essential roles, HR policy, internal communication
  • Facilities and Operations – safety, signage, supplies, and protocol modification
  • Financial – cash flow/payroll, performance implications, emergency expenses

NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has compiled a thorough list of information for business owners and M/WBEs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Guide helps nonprofits, small businesses and self-employed individuals check eligibility and prepare to file for a loan. The informational resource compiled by Candid is updated regularly as is the NYC SCORE Coronavirus Funding Support list. Another useful resource is Seyfarth’s Nonprofit Guide to the CARES Act. If you have a small food business, GetFood NYC has created a resource just for you.

A highlight of some of the business-related elements of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and more is below.

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): SBA disaster lending program for loans with interest set at 2.75% for nonprofits. Payments of principal and interest may be deferred.
  • City Artist Corps Grants: support NYC-based working artists who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The program will distribute one-time $5,000 grants to over 3000 artists to help sustain their practice and engage the public across New York City’s five boroughs.
  • NYS ESD’s Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program: Provides grant funding to small and micro businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations impacted by the pandemic.
  • Shuttered Venue Operators Grant: Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
  • Restaurant Revitalization Fund: The American Rescue Act established the RRF to provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.
  • NYC Restaurant Revitalization Program: Restaurants apply for funds to pay restaurant workers who have been unemployed or under-employed due to COVID-19.
  • New York Forward Loan Fund: NYS has launched a new loan program for small businesses, non-profits, and small landlords who have not received funds from PPP or EIDL. The loan maximum is the lesser of $100,000 or average revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or Q1 of 2020. The loans will carry a 3% interest (or 2% for non profits) and amortize in 5 years. Repayment includes an interest-only period during the first 12 months.
  • SBA Debt Relief Program: The SBA is authorized to pay six months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all 7(a), 504, and Microloans reported in regular servicing status (excluding Paycheck Protection Program loans).
  • SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program: The focus of this program is to reach, and support underserved small businesses, including micro and rural businesses, with emphasis and those owned by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • Tax Credits for Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave: Refundable tax credits to reimburse employers for the costs of providing paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave to employees unable to work because of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • NYS New York Forward Child Care Expansion Incentive Program: Support for expanded classrooms that allow for more social distancing and other resources.
  • Reimbursements for “Reimbursable Employers”: This benefit is for nonprofits that have elected to be “reimbursable employers” (you are probably not one of these, and if you are, you know who you are) for purposes of state unemployment insurance taxes.
  • Payroll Tax Credit: The employee retention payroll tax credit is a benefit for organizations that don’t get Paycheck Protection Program loans.
  • Industry Stabilization Fund: Loans to nonprofits with 500 to 10,000 employees (e.g., hospitals and universities) at 2% interest and no payments due for the first six months.


Because some small businesses have started to feel an impact related to coronavirus, the NYC Mayor announced this past weekend that there will be assistance to small businesses to help them adapt to changing customer behavior. Businesses may qualify for low-interest loans and employee retention grants:

We will continue to post relevant information, including on financial assistance, as more details become available.

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