Covid-19: Assistance for Employers & Employees

For the full slate of COVID-19 Resources, see here.

Lots of resources below, including (in order):

  1. Federal Resources (Grants, loans & unemployment)
  2. City & State Resources (Dept of Small Biz programs, rent relief, tax extensions)
  3. Corporate support (Google, Facebook, JP Morgan Chase & Bank of America)
  4. Nightlife & Hospitality Resources
  5. Telecom & Utilities Resources (Con Ed National Grid, Spectrum, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T)
  6. Legal assistance, including with commercial leases

Support for Small Businesses & Their Employees {Federal Level}

CARES ACT

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the Senate unanimously passed an unprecedented $2 trillion bill to address the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The House approved it on Friday, March 27, and it was signed into law by the President on March 27, 2020. Overall details here.

Payroll Protection Program

Payroll Protection Program allows businesses with up to 500 employees to apply for a forgivable loan of up to $10,000,000. These loans can be obtained from any participating SBA lender.

Because the funding under the Payroll Protection Program is limited and administered on a first come, first served basis, we strongly recommend you apply for a loan from an SBA approved lender as soon as possible.

  • Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
  • Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.

Review the US Dept of the Treasury Payroll Protection Program Borrowers Fact Sheet here.

IRS Tax Filing Extension

The IRS has extended its payment deadline to July 15, 2020 and has other special provisions for businesses and individuals.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The US Small Business Administration will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. Details here.

UNEMPLOYMENT, REDUCED WORK HOURS & PAID SICK LEAVE

New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance for persons who are out of work due to the coronavirus, quarantine, and any associated policies. Please visit the NY State Unemployment Insurance website where you can apply for unemployment insurance. Employers should offer the additional step of providing employees with a letter explaining the Coronavirus was the cause for their termination.

The Shared Work Program lets you keep trained staff and avoid layoffs. Employees can receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. Full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are eligible. Details here.

An emergency paid sick leave bill giving mandatory sick leave for many employees with COVID-19 or under government-order quarantine related to the outbreak has passed in the State Senate. Stay tuned for the roll out.

Support for Small Businesses & Their Employees {City & State Level}

New York Forward Loan Fund

The NYFLF is aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE. The NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits, and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income. Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund are now open.  Priority will be given to industries and regions that have begun reopening. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen. Learn more here.

DEPT OF SMALL BIZ SERVICES: BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has set up an Assistance for Businesses site. The City will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. There are two options:

Business Tax Filing Extensions

The New York City Department of Finance (DOF) recognizes that taxpayers and return preparers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak may be unable to meet certain New York City filing and payment deadlines. Therefore the City of New York will allow for a waiver of penalties for DOF-administered business and excise taxes due between March 16, 2020, and April 25, 2020. Additional information can be found here.


Rent Relief

New York City’s court system has suspended all eviction proceedings, in addition to other ‘non-essential cases’, beginning March 17 and a 90-day moratorium on evictions for commercial and residential tenants (through June 20).

Support at the Corporate Level

Google

Google is providing a set of communications and remote work tools and other resources for small businesses to manage their online profiles. Here are details on their $800+ million commitment to help small and medium businesses, health organizations and governments.

Facebook

Facebook has offered $100 million in cash grants and credits to help small businesses.


JP Morgan Chase

  • JP Morgan Chase has announced a $50M philanthropic fund to address economic and public health challenges. An initial $15M commitment will provide $5M for immediate healthcare, food and humanitarian relief, $2M to existing nonprofit partners, $8M for small businesses affected in US, China and Europe. The remaining $35M will go towards financial health, jobs and skills, small business growth and neighborhood development.
  • Chase Home Lending is also working with customers who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 are able to request a 90-day payment forbearance, with no related late fees and no negative impact on their credit reports as a result of deferring payment.
  • Chase has also paused all new foreclosure activities for the next 60 days.


Bank of America

Bank of America has committed $100 million in support to local communities facing challenges related to Covid-19 around the world with a focus on neighborhood level support.

Support specific to the hopsitality & nightlife industry

NIGHTLIFE OPERATORS-SURVEY

The NYC Office of Nightlife is gathering information on lost income from COVID-19-related business closures and event cancellations in bars, live music venues, nightclubs, lounges, restaurants, and other social and cultural spaces. If you are a worker, performer, contractor, or business owner in New York City nightlife, please provide details for your canceled shifts, gigs, events, and other lost business income, revenue, or work opportunities so that we can share details with city-wide policy makers about the impacts of these closures.

Please click here to take the survey: http://bit.ly/nycnightlifecovidsurvey

BARTENDERS & HOSPITALITY WORKERS

If you are a bartender or hospitality worker, you may also be eligible for a grant through the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. See here for more information.

NYC Hospitality Alliance

The NYC Hospitality Alliance has put together an extensive list of resources including employment opportunities, financial aid to businesses, food donations, support, online ordering/gift cards.

Core

The "Children of Restaurant Employees" program is offering grants to restaurant employees medically diagnosed with Covid-19 to provide ongoing support to children with working parents.

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation

RWCF is offering grants to support individual restaurant workers and non-profit organizations serving restaurant workers in crisis, as well as zero-interest loans for restaurants. Find out more here.

Utilities and Telecommunications Support

Con Edison is waiving late fees and ensuring no interruptions in service. Learn more on their response to the ongoing crisis.

National Grid. There will be no interruptions to gas service throughout New York City. Learn more on their commitment to consumers and businesses including their emergency measures.

Spectrum is committed to helping the community by partnering with school districts, opening WiFi hotspots for public use, offering high-speed internet for low income households, offering free internet an Wi-Fi for 60 days to teachers, Pre-K to 12 and college student households. Learn more here.

Comcast is offering their Essentials internet service free for 60 days for new qualifying customers here. On-the-go Xfinity hotstops are available to anyone who needs them for free – here is a map.

Verizon is operating at limited locations and hours but is open for business. Late fees, activation and upgrade fees are waived until 5/13/2020. Find out more.

AT&T is waiving wireless coverage fees and overage charges for voice, data and text as of 3/13 for the next 60 days. Find out more. They are also providing free public access to WiFi hotspots – look for “att-wifi” or “attwifi” in the list of available network on your smartphone or laptop.

Legal Assistance

SBS Remote Legal Clinic

Through its Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP), the City Bar Justice Center (CBJC)'s COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic (the CV-19 Clinic) will offer pro bono legal consultations to help entrepreneurs in New York City determine the best path forward for their small businesses in these particularly challenging times.

New York City's entrepreneurs and small businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis can receive free, limited-scope legal advice. Topics include: loans & grants, contracts & force majeure clauses, employment law matters, real estate and commercial leasing issues, and insurance matters.

Request an appointment here.


Legal Aid Society

The Legal Aid Society is providing pro-bono legal advice to businesses impacted by COVID-19. As businesses may experience lost income due to the current threat, The Legal Aid Society can review leases to determine what a business' rights and obligations are in case of disaster, negotiate payment plans for arrears, get business documents in order for loan applications, etc.

For assistance, small businesses should contact Legal Aid Society at either (212) 426-3002 or (212) 426-3004 or email The Legal Aid Society's Community Development Project at communitydevproject@legal-aid.org.