The City of New York recognizes that many workers have been impacted by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. We want to ensure that all those impacted have access to support services during this time. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has hosted free webinars to provide information and access to available resources, and included the below list of government and community resources.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps with funding programs, counseling, federal contracting certifications, and disaster recovery. They can also connect you to partner organizations, lenders, and other community groups that help small businesses succeed.
- The New York State Department of Labor has information about applying for unemployment insurance.
- The Empire State Development (ESD) Division of Small Business and Technology Development is a part of New York State's primary economic development agency. It supports the growth and expansion of small businesses with under 100 employees, as well as the innovation and commercialization of new technologies. It offers various programs and initiatives, such as loans, grants, tax credits, mentoring, and technical assistance. It also oversees the Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), which funds research centers and networks that collaborate with industry partners and the Life Sciences Division, which helps with the commercialization of biotechnology. Learn more: New York State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI); and Alternative Lender Directory.
- Department of Consumer and Worker Protection provides updates on NYC worker laws and rights, including paid sick leave.
- Department of Social Services provides emergency shelter for those who need it; connects New Yorkers in temporary housing to suitable permanent housing.
- Human Resources Administration (HRA) provides New Yorkers in need with essential benefits such as Food Assistance, cash assistance, energy, and Emergency Rental Assistance to prevent and eviction and homelessness. Through its Community Food Connection, it provides groceries to cook at home, or community kitchens, which provide hot meals. HRA’s Office of Civil Justice provides free legal assistance to those facing eviction, help with an immigration matter, wage theft and other workplace violations, and it offers temporary housing, emergency shelter, and supportive services for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence and their children.
- The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) offers a wide variety of free and high-quality services to help New Yorkers start, operate, and grow small businesses, and connect to good jobs. SBS offers free business courses and legal assistance; financing assistance; help to understand government regulations and apply for permits; certification as an M/WBE and assistance in selling to government; recruitment and training resources; connections to job training, resume help, and career opportunities via Workforce 1 Career Centers.
Find out more about how the City can help your business by calling our hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC or visiting nyc.gov/business.
- The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and Next Street, a leading provider of solutions supporting small businesses, announced the launch of a new platform connecting small businesses with trusted resources they need to open, grow, and maintain their business. The user-friendly platform - NYC Funds Finder - is where small businesses can review funding options, including loans and grants, and request free 1-on-1 financing assistance from the SBS team.
- ACCESSNYC is a city-run portal for NYC residents to determine their eligibility for more than 30 economic programs and benefits.
- COBRA allows people to keep health insurance after leaving a job. Most people on strike should keep their employer health insurance, but if you think you have lost coverage or choose to leave your employment, you can explore COBRA options.
- GetCoveredNYC helps New Yorkers enroll in health insurance with dedicated specialists who can assist you in your language. Complete the form to receive free health insurance enrollment assistance from a specialist.
- Fair Fares NYC is a city program created to help New Yorkers with low incomes manage their transportation costs. Eligible New York City residents receive a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares as well as MTA Access-A-Ride paratransit trips.
- IDNYC is a free municipal identification card for New York City residents, regardless of immigration status. IDNYC cardholders enjoy benefits and discounts offered by business and cultural institutions across the five boroughs.
- NYC Financial Empowerment Centers offer free, secure and confidential financial counseling over the phone. You can book an appointment at http://nyc.gov/TalkMoney.
- Families with dependents who earned $80,000 or less and individuals who earned $56,000 or less in 2022 can use NYC Free Tax Prep. At select in-person tax prep sites, knowledgeable IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparers can help self-employed filers complete an accurate tax return. Use the NYC Free Tax Prep map to find sites that offer self-employed/Schedule C assistance.
- NYC Well is available 24/7 to connect New Yorkers to a range of free mental health support services. It can be reached online, by calling 888-NYC-Well (692-9355) or texting “WELL” to 65173. NYC Well also offers a free guide with information on how New Yorkers can gain access mental health services while staying home. Also, the NYS Office of Mental Health offers resources and support for New Yorkers experiencing anxiety about COVID-19.
- The Entertainment Community Fund offers a broad spectrum of programs, a calendar of workshops, support groups online resources, social services, a health care clinic, finding housing, health insurance, referrals to health care resources, and emergency financial assistance to support the needs of all who work in the entertainment industry whether on camera, behind the scenes or below the line.
- Behind the Scenes provides mental health tools for those in the creative industries.
- Freelancers Hub is a community space designed to help New York City's freelancers thrive with access to free coworking space, educational workshops, legal and financial clinics, benefits assistance, and community events.
- The Dramatists Guild Foundation works to serve playwrights, lyricists and book writers and composers, at all stages of their careers. Our programs are designed to help theater grow and flourish by giving dramatists everything they need to make their best work through immediate financial support and other professional development fellowships, awards and resources.
- The "Who Represents Me: NYC" online service allows New York City residents to easily find their city, state and federal elected officials.
- Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are private, federally certified financial organizations that aim to bring economic equality to underserved communities. CDFIs are banks and credit unions that offer loans to small and medium size businesses.