COVID-19 Assistance

*** PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE REGULARLY FOR ONGOING UPDATES ***

COVID-19 Impact Report

Issued on March 19, 2020, this Initial Economic Impact Report summarizes the information and feedback we have compiled during the first few days of this crisis from our many proactive activities.   Please take some time to read this insightful report which is telling the story of unprecedented impacts on our business community – across all sectors and in every neighborhood.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is here for you and your business during this immensely challenging time. Please view our video of resources.

If you need assistance from the Brooklyn Chamber related to COVID-19, please fill out this brief intake form.  

Brooklyn Chamber Resources

Our Small Business Hotline - Connect with your peers and with us at the Chamber. In real time! Available for free through The Brooklyn App (in the App Store or Google Play) under ‘Channels‘

Neighborhood Level Data
The Brooklyn Chamber has activated 5 neighborhood channels on The Brooklyn App that offer hyper-local info on businesses. More business listings are coming soon!

Email Address for COVID-19: BCC-COVID@brooklynchamber.com

Form to Request COVID-19 Business Assistance - Takes 2 minutes!

Small Business Task Force

Twice a week, we convene businesses across 10 different economic sectors in Brooklyn to gather real-time data. Our initial impact assessment report is available here.

Federal Government Stimulus 

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the Senate unanimously passed an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus bill to address the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The House approved it on Friday, March 27, and it was signed into law by the President on March 27, 2020. Click for details.

Federal Financial Support 

US Small Business Administration Loans 

  • SBA is offering Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help small businesses and nonprofits through the disaster recovery period. Criteria are:

  • Credit History – Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA and show the ability to repay the loan. 
  • Collateral – Collateral is required for all EIDL loans over $25,000. SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral but will require the borrower to pledge collateral that is available. Rates range from 2.75% (for nonprofits) to 3.75%. Filing Deadline December 21, 2020Link to the application portal or contact SBA by phone: (800) 659-2955 or emaildisastercustomerservice@sba.gov 

IRS Tax Filing Extension 

The IRS has extended its payment deadline to July 15, 2020 and has other special provisions for businesses and individuals. 

State and City Financial Assistance Resources  

New York City Resources 

Please sign up here to receive financial assistance info from New York City’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS). The City of New York has developed a list of resources related to the following: employment, food assistance, health and medical assistance, financial assistance, rent arrears and public assistance, and emotional support and spiritual care. 

NYC Department of Small Business Services Assistance

SBS is leading the charge in NYC to provide information and support to small businesses. The following financial resources are available: 

Zero-Interest Loans

  • Loans of up to 75K to help businesses that experience a sales decline associated with COVID-19. The working capital will help businesses remain afloat during this potential decrease in economic activity. Similar to SBA disaster loans, which have long repayment terms, these loans would be structured so that businesses have time to recover. Non-profits are not eligible. Criteria are below:
    • Small business with fewer than 100 employees
    • Have at least one location that has experienced loss, damage and/or interruption in NYC
    • Demonstrates decrease in sales: a minimum of 25% decrease
    • Demonstrate the ability to repay and will be vetted through an application underwriting process. 

Employee Retention Grant 

  • Up to $27K cash grant. The purpose of the grant is to retain employees - applicable to businesses with under five employees. The application is here. Criteria for businesses, including non-profits, are:
  • Are located within the five boroughs of New York City
  • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue
  • Employ 1-4 employees in total across all locations 
  • Have been in operation for at least 6 months
  • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgment
  • Expanded list of acceptable revenue documents to make it easier for businesses to apply (P&Ls without a CPA verification, point-of-sale screenshots and transactions data from banks) for all existing and future applications
  • Standardized payroll calculations (8 weekly paychecks, 4 bi-weekly paychecks or 4 bi-monthly paychecks for each employee)
  • Now accepting March documents to demonstrate revenue loss criteria of 25% 

NYC Small Business Continuity Fund 

  • Businesses must be located within the five boroughs of New York City
  • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue
  • Employ 99 employees or fewer in total across all location
  • Demonstrate ability to repay the loan
  • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments.
  • Access the pre-application via this link. 

*** For tech support with SBS Covid-19 assistance program applications, submit this form ***  

New York City Guidance for Non-Profits  

Information on business continuity and budget and payment concerns for health and human service providers under contract with the City. Find out more here. 

Empire State Development Corporation  

Visit the ESDC’s Covid-19 FAQ page for small business assistance around state regulations and general guidance. For business related questions, contact them here. 

New York State Liquor Authority 
Guidance for establishments that continue to sell liquor for off-premises consumption can be found here. 

New York State Department of Labor  

New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits. 

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining (WARN) Act requires businesses to provide early warnings of closures and layoffs. 

The Shared Work Program gives partial Unemployment Insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. 

Emergency Measures 

The following have been put into place or are currently under development:

  • Rent Relief

New York City’s court system has suspended all eviction proceedings, in addition to other ‘non-essential cases’, beginning March 17 and a 90-day moratorium on evictions for commercial and residential tenants (through June 20).

  • Sales Tax Filing Extension

Late fees waived for sales tax payments due on March 20.

  • Paid Sick Leave and Job Protection for Workers 

    NYS has comprehensive rules of job protection, access to pay, and paid sick leave, which varies by employer sizeReview here for employer responsibilities and resources. An update was made on March 26 to the paid sick leave law – the State has indicated that the number of days required (5 or 14 depending on employer size) are calendar days and not business days as was previously stated. 

  • Survey for Nightlife Workers, Freelancers and Businesses 

NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has a survey open until March 27 at 5PM to gather information on workers, performers, businesses and contractors on loss of income, revenue, business closures and event cancellations. 

  • Free Meals to Children 

NYC Department of Education is committed to providing children three free meals a day. Find a school near you to sign up. 

Utilities and Telecommunications Support 

Con Edison 

Con Edison is waiving late fees and ensuring no interruptions in service. Learn more on their response to the ongoing crisis. 

National Grid 

There will be no interruptions to gas service throughout New York City. Learn more on their commitment to consumers and businesses including their emergency measures. 

Comcast 

  • Access free WiFi: 
    • Comcast is offering their Essentials internet service free for 60 days for new qualifying customers here. 
    • On-the-go Xfinity hotstops are available to anyone who needs them for free – here is a map 

Spectrum 

Spectrum is committed to helping the community by partnering with school districts, opening WiFi hotspots for public use, offering high-speed internet for low income households, offering free internet an Wi-Fi for 60 days to teachers, Pre-K to 12 and college student households. Learn more here. 

Verizon  

Verizon is operating at limited locations and hours but is open for business. Late fees, activation and upgrade fees are waived until 5/13/2020. Find out more. 

AT&T 

AT&T is waiving wireless coverage fees and overage charges for voice, data and text as of 3/13 for the next 60 days. They are operating at limited locations and hours. Find out more. They are also providing free public access to WiFi hotspots – look for “att-wifi” or “attwifi” in the list of available network on your smartphone or laptop.

Private and Corporate Support 
 

NYC Hospitality Alliance 

The NYC Hospitality Alliance has put together an extensive list of resources including employment opportunities, financial aid to businesses, food donations, support, online ordering/gift cards. 

Google  

Google is providing a set of communications and remote work tools and other resources for small businesses to manage their online profiles. Here are details on their $800+ million commitment to help small and medium businesses, health organizations and governments. 

Facebook 

Facebook has offered $100 million in cash grants and credits to help small businesses 

JP Morgan Chase 

JP Morgan Chase has announced a $50M philanthropic fund to address economic and public health challenges. An initial $15M commitment will provide $5M for immediate healthcare, food and humanitarian relief, $2M to existing nonprofit partners, $8M for small businesses affected in US, China and Europe. The remaining $35M will go towards financial health, jobs and skills, small business growth and neighborhood development. 

  • Chase Home Lending is also working with customers who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 are able to request a 90-day payment forbearance, with no related late fees and no negative impact on their credit reports as a result of deferring payment. 
  • Chase has also paused all new foreclosure activities for the next 60 days. 

Bank of America 

Bank of America has committed $100 million in support to local communities facing challenges related to Covid-19 around the world with a focus on neighborhood level support. 

Renaissance Economic Development Corporation Small Business Relief Loan 

Working capital loans of up to $50,000 for a 6-48 month term at 3% fixed rate for businesses located in: Flushing, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Murray Hill, Woodside, College Point, Bayside, Manhattan Chinatown and Lower East Side, Manhattan East 32nd Korean Town and Brooklyn Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, and Sheepshead Bay. Find out more. 

Crowdfunding Platforms / Gift Card Purchases 

KIVA 

KIVA is a lending platform that crowdsources funds and offers loans to small businesses. They are currently offering 0% interest small business loans up to $15,000, with a grace period of up to six months. Find out more about their support. 

WeFunder 

WeFunder has launched a disaster loan program providing loans ranging from $20,000 to $1 million with repayment deferrment until 2021. Funding comes via investments as little as $100 from a customer base of 400,000+ investors. Find out more here. 

Help Main Street 

Support your favorite local businesses! Help Main Street is a gift card website set up to support small businesses by purchases of gift cards. Businesses can sign up here. Neighbors can make purchases here. Gift cards are redeemable at anytime. 

Private Foundations

Nonprofits

Nonprofit Finance Fund 

The NFF is offering emergency no-interest loans to human service and arts organizations. Find out more here. 

New York Community Trust 

The NY Community Trust’s Covid-19 Response and Impact Fund will help nonprofit service providers manage their needsFind out more about their grants and loans. 

Trinity Church Wall Street 

Trinity is offering one-time emergency grants of $25,000 for grantees working with communities disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Find out more here. 

Robin Hood Foundation 

Robin Hood is accepting applications for grants to support non-profits that serve vulnerable populations, provide emergency assistance (e.g. food or shelter), at-risk at gaps in government contracts and others, for an average grant size of $45,000. Find out more here. 

New York Community Trust 

The NY Community Trust’s Covid-19 Response and Impact Fund will help nonprofit service providers manage their needs. Find out information about their grants and loanshttps://www.nycommunitytrust.org/covid19/#nonprofits 

Brooklyn Community Foundation 
The Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund is accepting applications on a rolling basis for grants of up to $10,000 in the following priority areas: anti-stigma efforts to address xenophobic, anti-Asian harassment and discrimination, support of vulnerable populations, meals delivery to the elderly, food access, and support for workers, especially low-wage workers. Find out more on their website. 

Core 

The 'Children of Restaurant Employees’ program is offering grants to restaurant employees medically diagnosed with Covid-19 to provide ongoing support to children with working parents. 

New York Foundation for the Arts 

NYFA has partnered with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to provide one-time medical needs grants of up to $5,000. 

Hispanic Federation-New York Presbyterian 

The Hispanic Federation alongside New York-Presbyterian has pledged $2 million for immediate emergency assistance via this grant. and an additional $8 million in a subsequent round for broader community support. 

Support to restarant and bar workers

USBG National Charity Foundation 

For support to bartenders, or the spouse or children of a bartender, the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program is offering grants. You do not need to be a USBG member to apply. Learn more here. 

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation 

RWCF is offering grants to support individual restaurant workers and non-profit organizations serving restaurant workers in crisis, as well as zero-interest loans for restaurants. Find out more here. 

Legal Assistance 

  • The Brooklyn Bar Association is compiling a comprehensive list of consumer and homeowner legal assistance and hosting weekly 4PM confidential support group calls each Thursday via ZoomFind out more here. 
  • Legal assistance and referrals are available via the New York City Bar Legal Referral Service. Find out more here. 

Volunteer Critical Services, Donate, and Sell 

  • To safely volunteer to support fellow New Yorkers, visit this page 
  • To offer goods, services, or space for use: 
  • Fill out this form on the New York State website 
  • >Fill out this form on the New York City website 
  • To sell or manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) to NYS visit this page 
  • Here are some of the procurement opportunities you may be able to access 
  • If you are a health or mental health professional, or affiliated with a School of Medicine, Nursing or Public Health, and are eager to get involved 
  • If you have a business idea or want to learn to sew/manufacture, connect with the Empire State Development at: covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov

What else can you do?

 

Hotlines & Complaint Forms 

  • To submit a price gouging complaint, visit the Attorney General website and fill out this form. 
  • Call the NYS Department of Health Covid-19 toll-free hotline: 1-888-364-3065 
  • Kings County Clerk: (347) 404-9123 
  • Coronavirus Court Hotline: (833) 503-0447 
  • To receive text updates from the City, text COVID to 692-692 
  • Tenants Rights Hotline (English and Spanish): 212-979-0611 

Public Transit Information 

 

MTA/Metro-North/LIRR/Access-A-Ride

As of March 25, the MTA has operated on a “MTA Essential Service Plan” preserving AM and PM peak hours to get first responders and essential personnel to their destinations. Find out more about subway, bus, ferry, LIRR and Metro North service here. 

MTA is available 24/7 on Twitter at @NYCTSubway, and @NYCTBus, and via phone at 511.  

Citi Bike 

Citi Bike is offering free access to its bike-share program for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic and free month-long memberships of the bike-share service for healthcare workers, transit workers, and first responders.