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COVID-19: Resources for Small Businesses the American Rescue Plan

COVID-19: Resources for Small Businesses the American Rescue Plan
May 4, 2020
Press Release

Congress has taken a number of steps to help small businesses weather the economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For the latest information about relief programs available through the American Rescue Plan, click here

For a summary of the small business provisions of the American Rescue Plan, click here


On March 27th, 2020 Congress passed the bipartisan CARES Act which provided more than $376 billion in relief for struggling small businesses, mainly in the form of forgivable payroll loans, disaster grants, and debt relief for current borrowers.   Impacted small business owners are advised to visit the SBA's website for more information on how to apply for a disaster loan.

On April 23rd, Congress appropriated additional funding to replenish these programs and further assist small businesses. 

There are two Small Business Administration programs that New York small businesses, in particular, should be aware of: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) initiative.

Information about the SBA Paycheck Protection Program
The CARES Act established a new guaranteed loan program at SBA for small businesses to cover payroll during the immediate crisis. The Paycheck Protection Program:

  • Provides 100 percent guaranteed, low interest, no fee loans of up to $10 million with repayment deferred for at least six months

  • Forgives up to 100% of the loan if the borrower has retained the same number of employees as when they received the loan. 

Who is Eligible? 
Small and Medium sized businesses up to 500 employees, non-profits, independent contractors and the self-employed. This includes churches but only to cover payroll costs of an associated business, like a thrift store.

How are Loans Made?
The SBA’s network of 2,500 7(a) lenders will be used to process these loans. There is also authority to fast track additional lenders to process and disburse these loans to reach as many small businesses as quickly as possible.

Updated May 18
The Small Business Administration has put out its application and instructions for forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program loans. It is online here.  

This Frequently Asked Questions document from SBA on PPP is also helpful.  

Information about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan initiative
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and 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%.

SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.

To apply for SBA COVID-19 EIDLs, click here. For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail

* * IMPORTANT UPDATE - on EIDL * * As of May 4, the SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis. The agency is not accepting new EIDL applications at this time, but when it is able to do so another announcement will be made.


Find a Local Lender

UPDATE January 13: The SBA has provided the following list of confirmed active PPP lenders in our community.

You may click here to see some of the local financial institutions that participate in SBA lending programs. These participating SBA Lenders serve all of New York unless otherwise noted.

More Help: Contact a Local Small Business Development Center

There are several Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) that serve New York's 7th Congressional District that can help small businesses navigate SBA's assistance program. 

Important: during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is highly encouraged to email these entities for assistance, rather than calling. See contact information below.

Information on all SBA coronavirus relief options is online here.

Brooklyn Small Business Development Center
NYC College of Technology
25 Chapel Street, 11th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201  
Email Address:

Manhattan SBDC
Center: (212) 618-6655
Pace University
163 William Street, Room 328
New York, NY 10038  
Email Address:

Queens-York SBDC 
Center: (718) 262-2880
City University Of New York
York College, 94-50 159th Street
Jamaica, NY 11451-9902  
Email Address:
Queens – LaGuardia
Center: (718) 482-5303

LaGuardia Community College
30-20 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101 
Email Address:

You may also always contact the Congresswoman for assistance in navigating SBA programs.