WHDC Updates

The CARES Act & More: Info for Nonprofits and Small Businesses

January 13, 2021


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. Small businesses (less than 100 employees) can get free face coverings for their staff at NYC distribution partner locations.

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 HERE. 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.

  • Paycheck Protection Program: (resumed January 11, 2021) Loans to 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) tax-exempt organizations with up to 500 employees. These low-interest Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, generally for two and a half months of average payroll costs (limits apply), may be forgiven entirely if the borrower limits salary reductions to no more than 25% and maintains staffing levels for eight weeks after getting the loan. The SBA has created a Lender Match tool to get small businesses connected. To apply for loan forgiveness visit PPP Loan Forgiveness.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): SBA disaster lending program for loans of up to $2 million with interest set at 2.75% for nonprofits (and grants of a quick $10,000). Payments of principal and interest may be deferred for up to four years.
  • $10,000 Emergency Grants: An EIDL applicant may request that up to $10,000 of the amount it has applied for be given as a grant, which the SBA is required to pay within three days after the SBA receives the EIDL application provided that the applicant certifies, under the penalty of perjury, that it is an eligible entity, i.e., an ESOP, small agricultural cooperative, or private nonprofit organization.
  • 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 will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loan Program: Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. 
  • 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).
  • NYC Restaurant Revitalization Program: Restaurants apply for funds to pay restaurant workers who have been unemployed or under-employed due to COVID-19.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: Provides grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses that have suffered physical damage as a result of recent looting.
  • NYS New York Forward Child Care Expansion Incentive Program: Support for expanded classrooms that allow for more social distancing and other resources.
  • Main Street Lending Program: To support lending to small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 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.