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City Launches $100M Small Business Resilience Grant for Hard-Hit Sectors and low to Moderate Income Communities

December 8, 2021

The $100 million grant is projected to serve 10,000 small businesses

Builds on over $500 million in assistance to small businesses throughout the pandemic

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris today announced the $100 million NYC Small Business Resilience Grant to provide immediate funding to small businesses in the arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food sectors and in low to moderate income (LMI) communities to help them recover from the pandemic.

“Small businesses served New Yorkers tirelessly throughout the pandemic—they are the backbone of our economy and the heart of New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This historic investment will ensure the hardest-hit small businesses have the support needed to emerge stronger from the pandemic and help build a recovery for all of us.”

The grant is the latest critical component of the City’s response to the needs of small businesses during the pandemic. Today SBS also released the report, Supporting NYC Small Business Recovery and Growth describing the agency’s rapid response and mobilization during the pandemic to create a Small Business Recovery Plan, focused on promoting equitable economic growth, lowering operating costs, cutting red tape, and helping businesses to increase revenue through innovation.  In the execution of this plan, SBS helped businesses to stay resilient by providing over 337,000 services to small businesses, including, handling more than 75,000 calls to its hotline, visiting over 175 commercial corridors, and hosting 865 webinars to some 56,800 attendees. Since March 2020, SBS has also helped more than 10,000 businesses connect to $623 million in local, state, federal, and private funding to weather the crisis and build back stronger. 

The NYC Small Business Resilience Grant builds on this financial support through a program intentionally designed to reach the communities and sectors hardest hit by COVID. SBS is partnering with the Asian American Federation, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Business Outreach Center Network/BOC Capital Corp., Carver Community Development Corporation, LISC, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, NYS Latino Restaurant & Nightlife Association, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way of New York City to reach small business owners across neighborhoods and communities in NYC’s five boroughs. 

"The City is committed to a fair, just, and inclusive recovery for all,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Co-Chair of the Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity. “It was imperative that we offer another round of relief to small businesses, so they can continue to serve their communities for years to come.

“There is no recovery without a Recovery For All of Us. Through this significant investment, we aim to empower the small businesses of New York City—especially those who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Vicki Been, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. “We are very grateful for the support we have seen from our dedicated, action-oriented community partners. Your commitment deepens the City’s ability to reach the beloved neighborhoods of our city to better understand their needs and help community leaders steward the City’s resources to best support their communities.”

“When we set out to build a recovery for all of us, small businesses were front and center because of the essential role they play as the lifeblood of our local economy,” said Lorraine Grillo, the City’s Senior Advisor for Recovery. “This grant reaffirms that commitment and builds on the wide range resources and opportunities our city has and will continue to provide for small business owners.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Without them, our city will not move forward in our recovery efforts,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services and Co-Chair of the Small Business Subcommittee of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. “This grant will ensure our small businesses have the aid needed to recover from these extraordinary times and build back better.” 

Neighborhood businesses have been a lifeline for New Yorkers during the pandemic. The Resilience Grant is their lifeline to revive them from the economic hardships of this past year,” said Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Peter A. Hatch. “We license and educate more than 59,000 businesses to help them succeed. This grant targets businesses hardest hit by the pandemic to help them – and their workers – thrive.”

“Small businesses are a key driver of our economy and they are the heart and souls of our communities. These small business grants will help support business owners as well their families and employees especially in underserved neighborhoods hard hit by the fallout from the COVID pandemic,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Rachel Loeb. “This program is an important next step in our recovery for all.”

"The diversity of NYC's local arts, entertainment and hospitality businesses is what sets our city apart as a global creative capital," said the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Anne del Castillo. "The NYC Small Business Resilience Grant offers our small businesses in the creative community who are still struggling to get access to critical support to help them thrive once again."

“While we are seeing a real come back in the nightlife and hospitality industries, many are still struggling on the road to recovery," said Ariel Palitz, Executive Director of the Office of Nightlife. "This Small Business Resilience grant specifically aims to support our arts, entertainment and food venues and will be extraordinarily helpful as they continue to get back on their feet.”

"Our small businesses will play a crucial role in the recovery of our New York City communities from the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Roberto Perez. "I commend SBS for collaborating with community partners to connect small businesses in low and moderate income communities with financial support provided by the NYC Small Business Resilience Grant. New York City will build back stronger and fairer."

“Supporting small businesses has been central to our city’s recovery. This Resilience Grant will provide much-needed, immediate relief to business operators in the communities hardest hit by COVID-19,” said Kapil Longani, Counsel to the Mayor. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Doris’ leadership and commitment to finding creative, equitable solutions for the small business community, which is a critical part of the fabric of New York City.”

“The small businesses in the arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food sectors contribute to New York City’s vibrancy and are important pillars to its economy, said Magalie Desroches Austin, Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. “These sectors and the low and moderate income (LMI) communities, which were most at risks and severely affected by the pandemic, have limited access to financial resources. This targeted $100 million NYC Small Business Resilience Grant will ensure these small businesses and M/WBEs have the resources they need to continue to operate and participate in the City’s recovery.” 

“Small businesses have been challenged during the pandemic like never before, including intensifying competition from online alternatives.” said John Paul Farmer, Chief Technology Officer of New York City. “These grants will provide much-needed support to local businesses, including thousands of minority and women-owned enterprises that provide jobs and build wealth in our communities. Stronger small businesses mean a stronger New York City.”

Small businesses must be in the arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food sectors or located in an LMI neighborhood as defined by census tract data. Eligible businesses can apply to receive a $10,000 grant. The grant can be used for payroll and benefits, mortgage, rent, utilities, and other operating costs.  

Businesses who would like to apply for the grant must: 

  • Have been in operation before October 1, 2019 
  • Demonstrate revenue loss between 2019 and 2020 
  • Not have received a federal grant from the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant program or the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.  

Businesses can learn more about the NYC Small Business Resilience Grant at Grant applications open today, December 8, 2021. 

“To ensure an equitable recovery for New York City, we must provide more relief and support for our small businesses, which were hit hard and are still experiencing hardships,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “The NYC Small Business Resilience Grant will go a long way, particularly in underserved communities, as we rebound from the devastating impacts of the pandemic. I encourage all businesses that quality to apply for this grant.”

"Our treasured small businesses are integral to the identity of New York City. In our pursuit of a just and equitable pandemic recovery, we must commit to investing in programs and services that support small business owners across the five boroughs," said Council Member Carlina Rivera. "I applaud the Department of Small Business Services on the launch of the NYC Small Business Resilience Grant, which will bring much-needed assistance to our hardest hit communities."

“The Covid-19 pandemic created a near-extinction-level crisis for Black-owned small businesses in New York City. In response to this, we launched Together We Thrive; our mission is to help Black business owners receive the help they need to succeed,” said Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City. “We are so excited for our partnership with SBS for the NYC Small Business Resilience Grant as it will equitably provide opportunity for these businesses to not only survive, but to thrive.” 

At Carver, we are excited about partnering with the New York City Department of Small Business Services to provide much needed grant funds for small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. For over 73 years, Carver has provided access to capital and banking services to Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and consumers across the Greater New York City region. Through this grant program, businesses located in low-to-moderate-income areas or in one of the hardest hit industries will receive critical resources necessary to help stabilize business operations and stimulate growth, which will ultimately help our communities recover and thrive.” said Lloyd Doaman, Executive Director of Carver Community Development Corporation. 

As New York's small businesses struggle to recover from the impacts of the COVID pandemic, access to grant capital is sorely needed to rescue many of those in our most vulnerable communities, said Valerie White, Executive Director of LISC NYC. “We said applaud the Mayor and Commissioner Doris for recognizing and responding to the critical needs of small businesses through this infusion of capital.  We look forward to building on our long and productive partnership with SBS by working together to facilitate the relief and recovery of minority owned businesses in NYC.” 

“Small businesses are not out of the woods when it comes to surviving the pandemic. Continued aid is essential, especially for the businesses serving communities with limited financial resources to which this initiative is targeted,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO, Partnership for New York City.

“The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce is happy to partner with the Administration on any resources available to help support small businesses,” said Linda Baran, President and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and member of the Mayor’s Small Business Sector Advisory Council. “The importance of keeping small businesses viable and open as they navigate these trying times is essential.” 

While our businesses continue to face numerous challenges due to the COVID pandemic and are in a fragile state, all financial support City Hall can provide is a win for our small businesses.  We look forward to working with the Department of Small Business Services and Lendistry to get the money into the hands of our businesses ASAP” said Lisa Sorin, President Bronx Chamber of Commerce and member of the Mayor’s Small Business Sector Advisory Council.

The federal Payroll Protection Program and the state’s small business grant program have been a lifeline to save many struggling small businesses during the COVID crisis,” said Jessica Walker, President and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and member of the Mayor’s Small Business Sector Advisory Council“But the fact is some businesses were unable to take advantage of those funding programs, particularly in communities of color. The Mayor’s grant program aims to fill this void by helping the business owners who need help now more than ever.” 

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of neighborhoods in Queens and throughout New York City. Though the worst of the pandemic is behind us, the devastation of the past two years has deeply impacted small businesses, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet,” said Thomas Grech, President and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and member of the Mayor’s Small Business Sector Advisory Council. “We are so thankful to the de Blasio administration for their efforts to help small businesses, particularly those in our diverse communities who have not been able to access other forms of government aid. We look forward together to ensure our small businesses come back stronger than ever." 

“Many of our small businesses still face a multitude of challenges on the road to recovery, including rent arrears, worker shortages, and falling revenue overall,” said Randy Peers, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and member of the Mayor’s Small Business Sector Advisory Council.  “The provision of grant funds specifically targeted to some of our smallest businesses, will go a long way to ensure that they can get back on their feet and continue serving their communities.” 

“Immigrant small businesses create jobs in our community and contribute far more than meets the eye. They are local job creators and economic sustainers. We saw how important they were during the pandemic, when they stayed open to ensure New Yorkers had food, medicine, and other necessities,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation and member of the Mayor’s Small Business Sector Advisory Council.  “Unfortunately, many immigrant small business owners have encountered numerous challenges in obtaining funds to stay afloat during this difficult period.  The NYC Small Business Resilience Grant will put resources in the hands of mom-and-pop shops to ensure they are included in the road to economic recovery. We are delighted to collaborate with the SBS and Commissioner Doris and his team to assist Asian American small businesses.” 

“As immigrant business owners across the city continue to recover from the pandemic and lead the way in New York’s recovery, we welcome the creation of the NYC Small Business Resilience Grant program,” said Jessie Lee, managing director of Renaissance Economic Development Corporation. “Renaissance has worked throughout this unprecedented economic disaster to bolster LMI small businesses with low-interest loans, grants and multilingual technical support. We thank the Department of Small Business Services for recognizing that struggling businesses still need assistance from government as well as the nonprofit sector in order to fully participate in an equitable recovery.”  

“Like all small businesses, Latino restaurant and nightlife businesses have been struggling to stay open & serve New York. We are grateful to Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Doris for all the support they have offered during the pandemic, and applaud their investment in this new $100MM grant program,” said Jeff Garcia, President of the NYS Latino Resturant & Nightlife Association and member of Mayor’s Small Business Sector Advisory Council. “We are excited to be their partner in making sure Latino business owners access and are awarded these $10,000 grants.”

“Business Outreach Center Network is proud to join the NYC Dept. of Small Business Services to ensure that these Resilience Grants reach diverse community businesses and create positive economic and social impacts. As an organization dedicated to underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs, we recognize the ongoing needs in hard hit sectors and LMI communities and the importance of this program,” said Nancy Carin, Executive Director, Business Outreach Center Network, Inc. 


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