COVID-19 Crisis Resources for Small Businesses

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to take shape, people are stepping forward to help small businesses in a big way. The federal and state government are taking steps to provide for emergency small business loans, lending institutions are offering extensions on loans, and organizations like ours are establishing a revolving loan fund to help business owners weather this storm.

Federal Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering two loan programs to help small businesses in New York State during the Coronavirus outbreak:

SBA Paycheck Protection Program – Loans

As part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), an additional $484 billion aid package signed on April 24, 2020 and the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act sign June 5, 2020—the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides $659 billion of loan funds to support small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other eligible entities impacted by COVID-19.

Loans of up to $10 million will be available to cover eligible expenses including funds to pay workers, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, insurance, paid sick or medical leave, utilities, and payroll- related costs incurred from February 15, 2020 – December 31, 2020. For more information and to apply visit here. 

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program – Loans

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program provides small businesses and non-profits with low-interest 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 due to COVID-19. To learn more about this program, visit the Empire State Development page here

New York State Programs

In the spring, Governor Andrew Cuomo authorized the launch of the New York Forward program, which includes loans and other valuable resources for the reopening of New York State businesses.

New York Forward Loan Program – Loans

The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small residential 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 residential landlords that have seen a loss of rental income.  The NYFLF is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with guidelines (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan.  To learn more about this program, visit the Empire State Development page here.

Local Resources

Schenectady Small Business Assistance Program – Grants

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided the City of Schenectady with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) stimulus funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to prevent, prepare, and respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Schenectady and the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region announced a Small Business Assistance Program to award $250,000 in grants and technical assistance to local small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will offer small business grants up to $10,000 to help businesses adapt to the challenges of pandemic. Learn more and apply at the City of Schenectady page.

Capital Region Advancement Fund – Loans

The Capital Region Advancement Fund was created to provide low-interest loans to help area businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that demonstrate negative COVID-related impact such as reduction of revenues, employee layoffs, change in capital expenditures or disruption to expansion/growth plans are encouraged to apply. Learn more and apply at the Capital Region Chamber page.

COVID-19 Small Business Continuity Program – Grants

To assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region has teamed up generous supporters, Neil and Jane Golub, the Capital Chamber, Citizens Bank, Berkshire Bank, KeyBank, and local community organizations to launch the COVID-19 Small Business Continuity Program. The program provides grants in amounts up to $20,000 to local small businesses to help them stay afloat during this crisis. At this time, our grant program is not longer accepting applications. 

Community Loan Fund COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program – Loans

To assist our borrowers through this difficult time, the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region is offering a three-month loan payment deferment and providing emergency relief low-interest loans. These small business loans can be used for general operating expenses.

To be eligible, businesses must be:

● Existing Loan Fund borrowers in good standing.

● Located in one of the 11 Capital Region counties: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington.

Interested in emergency relief?

To learn more about our emergency relief program and how to apply, contact a member of our lending staff at (518) 436-8586 or complete this form and a member of our staff will contact you.

Banks and Traditional Lending Institutions

Recognizing that many banking customers are facing challenges meeting their normal financial obligations, numerous banks have offered to increase daily debit card spending limits, waive penalties for early CD withdrawals and consider loan forbearance or “skip a payment” programs. To investigate what your bank offers and what you might be eligible for, contact your individual financial institution.

Keep in mind that many banks are operating only limited branches and there may be delays in getting to your call.