NewsApr 30 2020

Emergency Relief: COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s public and private sectors have developed plans to provide relief for individuals and small businesses facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  We are committed to helping our community of entrepreneurs navigate this time of uncertainty.

The following information provides details about governmental and private sector emergency resources and programs that may be relevant to companies and individuals. We have also included a list of related charitable and volunteer opportunities.

Financial Relief Programs

  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released a new FAQ, loan documentation and additional guidance for borrowers and lenders looking to participate in the Main Street Lending Program.
  • Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund opened May 26, 2020. New York is making $100 million available to small businesses, with a focus on MWBEs and those with 20 or fewer employees that didn’t receive federal PPP loans. Small businesses and nonprofits that are in industries and regions that have not yet reopened can begin preparing a pre-application here. (May 26,2020)
  • The SBA and Department of Treasury issued a press releaseand the application for loan forgiveness. The SBA will also issue regulations and guidance for borrowers and lenders. Access the application here. (May 15, 2020)
  • The Federal Reserve released an updated term sheet and FAQ for the TALF program. (May 12, 2020)
  • The Small Business Administration issued a new FAQ extending the deadline for safe harbor under the necessity certification requirement until May 14, 2020. An employer that repays its PPP loan by the safe harbor deadline will be eligible for the Employee Retention Credit. (May 6, 2020)
  • The SBA resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020. An updated FAQ is available here.
  • The Federal Reserve Board announced it is expanding the scope and eligibility requirements for the Main Street Lending Program. An FAQ with additional guidance is available here. (April 30, 2020)
  • The CARES Act provides benefits for businesses with existing Small Business Administration loans. Eligible businesses can apply for the SBA to pay interest and principal payments for 6 months on their existing SBA loans. Learn more here.
  • Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses. More information about eligibility available here.
  • The James Beard Foundation is providing micro-grants to independent food and beverage small businesses in need due to COVID-19. Click here to learn more.

For Individuals

  • Governor Cuomo extended the special enrollment period for health insurance through June 15, 2020. New Yorkers without health insurance can apply through NY State of Health and must apply within 60 days of losing coverage. (May 4, 2020)
  • Cash relief under the CARES Act: Americans will see direct relief in the form of Economic Impact Payments.
  • Child Care Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act is being temporarily amended to include a new entitlement to up to 12 weeks of leave to employees if they are unable to work (in person or remotely) due to a need to care for a child due to a public health emergency. Employees who worked for the employer for at least 30 days prior to the FMLA leave are covered. Eligible employees include rehired employees if they were laid off not earlier than March 1, 2020 and had worked for at least 30 of the last 60 days prior to the layoff.
  • Paid Sick Leave: Governor Cuomo signed legislation to provide immediate assistance to New Yorkers subject to a mandatory or precautionary quarantine order to minimize the hardship they are experiencing through no fault of their own.Under the new law, workers are guaranteed job protection and financial compensation while they, or their minor dependent child, are under an order of mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. The provisions of the quarantine legislation take effect immediately. Guidance materials are available here.
  • Unemployment Assistance: U.S. Department of Labor publishes guidance on pandemic unemployment assistance. For workers facing unemployment or furlough, the CARES Act added significantly to state benefits. Employees should apply through their states. In New York, the 7-day wait period is waived. More information available here.

For Nonprofits


  • NYS phased reopening: New York City will enter phase one of reopening on June 8. Find the state’s guidelines for Phase One-eligible businesses here. (May 31, 2020)
  • Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order modifying workplace restrictions at non-essential businesses in Phase Two industries. (May 29,2020)
  • The New York City Council passed a bill to provide additional relief for small business owners. The bill restricts fees charged by third-party food delivery services during, and for 90 days after, a declared emergency that prohibits on-premises dining. (May 13, 2020)
  • Governor Cuomo extended his Executive Order on residential or commercial tenant evictions to August — a period of sixty days beginning on June 20, 2020. The Order also suspends late fees or charges for late payment of rent from March 20, 2020 through August 20, 2020. Residential and commercial tenants may use security deposits as rent payments. (May 7, 2020)
  • Governor Cuomo outlined a phased plan to re-open New York starting with construction and manufacturing. New York will re-open on a regional basis as each region meets the 12 criteria necessary to protect public health. Governor Cuomo also issued additional guidance and announced re-opening advisory board. (April 28, 2020)


  • Employer Payroll Taxes: The CARES Act allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit for Employers subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship: Employers that do not take a PPP loan are eligible to receive a refundable payroll tax credit of 50% of wages paid against the employment taxes for each quarter (not to exceed $10,000 for all quarters in qualified wages with respect to any single employee). To be eligible, the employer must have (i) fully or partially suspended operations as a result of a government authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings due to COVID-19; or (ii) experienced a greater than 50% reduction in quarterly gross receipts measured on a year-over-year basis. Provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by employers whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of government order.
  • The IRS issued revised guidance on qualified wages eligible for the Employee Retention Credit and other clarifications. (May 7, 2020)
  • Tax Help in the CARES Act

Workforce and Reopening

  • The CDC released new guidance on safely reopening office buildings. COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings is available here. (May 29, 2020)
  • The NYC Department of Health issued updated guidance for cleaning and disinfection for offices planning to reopen. (May 29, 2020)
  • The CDC released new interim guidance for employers on reopening. Additional CDC resources for reopening are available here. (May 20,2020)
  • New York City and state are hiring employees and supervisors for COVID-19 contact tracing. Learn more about New York City opportunities here. NYS Contact Tracing initiative opportunities can be found here.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor FAQ

Other Relevant Resources

For more information regarding any of the opportunities above, please contact Ashanti Pratt at [email protected].

Updated as of 06/08/20