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PR- 216-09
May 13, 2009


Program to Help 400 Small Businesses Having Trouble Qualifying for Traditional Financing Get Loans and Keep their Doors Open

Helping Small Businesses Meet the Challenges of the Economic Downturn Is Part of the City's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today announced the first round of small businesses to receive loans through the recently expanded NYC Capital Access Revolving Loan Guarantee Program. The expanded program helps struggling small and micro businesses that cannot access traditional financing get loans to purchase inventory, equipment or insurance, or to pay salaries and expenses. The first 28 recipients included in the first round of loans - which totals $940,000 - range from retailers and hairstylists to ice cream vendors and garment manufacturers. The businesses, located in all five boroughs and ranging in size from one to 80 employees, are receiving loans from $1,500 to $250,000. Helping small businesses meet the challenges of the national economic downturn is an important part of the City's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. The Mayor was joined at the announcement, which took place at the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union in Bushwick, Brooklyn, by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh, Council Members Thomas White, Jr. and David Yassky, and Luis Guevara, President of Q Sweaters Inc., a garment manufacturer and loan recipient.

"With many small businesses finding it hard to get the bank loans they need to run their businesses and pay their employees, we've taken steps to help those that have been turned away, often for reasons beyond their control," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Together with the private sector lenders we've partnered with, our NYC Capital Access Revolving Loan Guarantee Program is helping businesses in all five boroughs weather these tough times and avoid having to lay off employees or shut down altogether."

"New York City's vitality depends on the success of our small businesses, and helping them grow must remain a top priority," said Speaker Quinn. "Thanks to this remarkable program, businesses will remain afloat and will continue to pump money into our city's economy. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and the City's Economic Development Corporation and Department of Small Business Services for their commitment to supporting our small businesses."

"Right now, this loan will definitely help me, as we are short on rent and other expenses," said Q Sweaters, Inc. President Luis Guevara. "Thanks to the City's loan program and the Brooklyn Coop, our business is still alive and hopefully this season it will get busy again and we will make it through this difficult period."

In October 2008, Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn announced the City was expanding the NYC Capital Access Revolving Loan Guarantee Program as one of 18 initiatives to help New York City businesses and residents face current economic challenges. The expansion enabled the City offer loans to small businesses and nonprofits - in addition to the micro businesses already covered by the program - to help them meet payrolls or other pressing expenses. The City is dedicating $5 million to the program, which guarantees up to 40 percent of eligible loans from participating lenders to small businesses with up to 100 employees. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for nearly 50 percent of the City's workforce. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital, leasehold improvements and equipment purchases. The initial cycle of $5 million in guarantees will generate an estimated $13 million in loans and help roughly 400 businesses and more than 700 employees. The program was developed by New York City Economic Development Corporation in cooperation with the City's Department of Small Business Services.

"Businesses in my district have been hit hard from the economic challenges that have been occurring, and I'm pleased that these loans will help those that have been struggling in keeping their businesses up and running," said Council Member Erik Martin Dilan. "I thank the Speaker, the Mayor and my Council colleagues for their diligence and commitment in preserving the heart and soul of this great city."

"City government must provide every possible tool to help small businesses survive and prosper during this economic downturn," said Council Member Yassky, who chairs the City Council's Small Business Committee. "Small businesses are the backbone of our City's economy, and I applaud the Administration's efforts to support investment opportunities for those small businesses that define the dynamism and character of our neighborhoods, and serve as the economic engine of our entire City."

"During times like these, it's important for the City to support both small businesses and the microlending organizations like Accion and Seedco, which provide access to working capital for mom and pop shops that are looking to expand or purchase new equipment that is vital to the continuation of their business," said Council Member White, Jr., who chairs of the Council's Economic Development Committee.

"Generating nearly one million dollars in loan activity in the first two months of the program is a significant achievement," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Pinsky. "I am extremely pleased that we are able to provide these vital entrepreneurs, who are the backbone of the City's working community, some of the key resources they need to cope with the current difficult economic climate."

"Thanks to Capital Access we can help even more businesses access the financing they need to start, operate or expand," said Small Business Services Commissioner Walsh. "We encourage entrepreneurs and business owners to take advantage of our no-cost financing assistance provided through our NYC Business Solutions Centers - where account managers can help you develop the financial documents you need for a loan application."

The participating lending institutions in the program are Citibank, Accion USA, Inc., Seedco Financial Services, Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union and Nonprofit Finance Fund. To apply for a NYC Capital Access Loan, contact any one of the lenders directly. For more information on the program, call 311.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and our communities," said Group Executive Vice President of Citi Peter Knitzer. "We are pleased to join with Mayor Bloomberg and New York City Economic Development Corporation to participate in this program to help provide New York City's small businesses with the capital, financial expertise and business support they need to remain as vibrant and successful as ever."

"As the only local financial institution serving Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Cooperative is on the front lines of the economic downturn," said Brooklyn Cooperative Chief Executive Officer Samira Rajan. "Among our members, just in the last three months, we have seen businesses applying for loans in order to make their weekly payroll, others filing for bankruptcy, and workers out of a job who see entrepreneurship as a way to make ends meet in this tough climate. The credit union could not have met these needs without the support of the Cap Access program. By focusing its resources directly on this community, the Bloomberg Administration is demonstrating that even the smallest businesses in New York City deserve our attention and support."

"This partnership puts ACCION USA in a stronger position to provide New York City's small businesses with essential capital," said ACCION USA President and CEO Gina Harman. "The result will be businesses that are able to weather the financial turmoil and create and sustain employment in their communities."

"Due to the Capital Access program, Nonprofit Finance Fund is able to extend additional capital to nonprofits who are managing through these difficult times," said Nonprofit Finance Fund Northeast Region Vice President Kristin Giantris.

The City's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit Recently, the City has announced:

  • Three new Financial Empowerment Centers offering free, one-on-one financial coaching.
  • Stimulus funding to help the City provide summer jobs for 51,000 young New Yorkers.
  • The opening of New Hope Walton Project, housing for low-income residents in Harlem
  • New affordable housing at Gateway Building, a long-vacant structure in the South Bronx.
  • The Harlem Business Assistance Fund to help businesses relocate to the 125th Street area.
  • The expansion of NYC Business Express to help businesses obtain permits and licenses.
  • New international cruise activity, growing New York City's 13,000-job cruise industry.
  • Steps to help New York City's bioscience companies compete for Federal funding.
  • The "Nine in '09" campaign to promote economic activity in diverse neighborhoods.
  • A Center for Economic Opportunity program put 4,000 low-income New Yorkers in jobs.
  • Stimulus-funded community development projects that will strengthen neighborhoods.
  • Stimulus-funded Housing Authority projects that will create jobs for 3,255 New Yorkers.
  • The start of construction of 103 units of affordable housing in Brownsville.
  • A plan to protect area character and expand commercial opportunities in Sunset Park.
  • The opening of Home Depot in the South Bronx creating 200 new permanent jobs.
  • Legislation that will green buildings and create 19,000 construction jobs.
  • The latest round of training funds to help small businesses train their employees.
  • The final tally of 1,673 additional jobs created at the new Yankee Stadium.
  • The placement of 50 laid-off New Yorkers into positions at entrepreneurial companies.
  • New York City achieved a record 5,000 job placements through the first quarter of 2009.
  • Help for a beer distributor to create 55 permanent and 30 construction jobs in the Bronx.
  • Green projects at the Brooklyn Navy Yard are creating more than 1,700 permanent jobs.
  • Comprehensive initiatives to support the nonprofit sector and its 490,000 jobs.
  • Federal stimulus transportation projects that will create or preserve 32,000 jobs.
  • New automated water meter readers that could help businesses retain or create 550 jobs.
  • New programs to provide training and resources for City's future entrepreneurs.
  • Steps the City is taking to help small businesses adapt to conditions and avoid layoffs.
  • More than 50,000 New Yorkers claimed the City's Child Care Tax Credit in its first year.
  • 11 new initiatives to support the financial services sector and promote entrepreneurship.
  • A plan for Coney Island that will create 6,000 permanent and 25,000 construction jobs.
  • A plan to create 400,000 jobs over the next six years in the 2009 State of the City speech.


Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

David Lombino/Janel Patterson (EDC)   (212) 312-3523

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