COVID-19 Impact: Where to Find Help

U.S. Small Business Administration

Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Apply at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster. SBA’s federal disaster loan program has been approved for all counties in New York State. Low-interest loans for working capital are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the state. For information on the program, how to apply, and a webinar, go to the Empire State Development Corporation’s website, https://esd.ny.gov.

SBA works with local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses, through its 68 District Offices and Resource Partners, such as SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. To locate the office nearest you, go to https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance.

New York

The United Way established a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund to will New Yorkers help with bills, rent and food. Call 1-866-211-9966 and give them your ZIP code.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Robin Hood Foundation (robinhood.org) reactivated its Robin Hood Relief Fund to help provide stability to the communities it has been dedicated to serving for more than 30 years. The fund will provide general operating support to nonprofit organizations to continue to run their organizations and provide services, and emergency cash assistance to individuals in need as identified through our community partners. For more information and to apply, go to https://www.robinhood.org/relief-fund-application/.

Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a $75 million NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund to provide grants and interest-free loans to New York City-based small and mid-size nonprofits (with priority given to direct social service providers, such as those supporting essential healthcare and food insecurity) to help them respond to emerging needs, cover losses associated with the disruption of their operations, and help them continue their critical work. Eligible organizations must be 501(c)3 nonprofits based in New York City; already recipients of City and/or State government funding; have annual operating budgets under $20 million; and have a track record of robust programming and services for New York residents. For more information and to apply, go to https://www.bloomberg.org/program/public-health/Coronavirus-response.

New York City Department of Small Business Services has a web page for small businesses impacted by the Conoravirus-related shutdown. Go to https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-outreach.page.

New York State Helpful Links for Manufacturers and Suppliers

  • To submit information regarding Personal Protective Equipment procurement, complete this form: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/procurement-form.
  • For any new business idea, or for information on adapting your business, email covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov,or call 212-803-3100.
  • For information on making a donation of goods, services, and space, visit https://apps.health.ny.gov/pubpal/builder/survey/nys-covid19-tracking-offers
  • For questions, contact the state’s hotline at 646-522-8477 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or emailCOVID19Supplies@exec.ny.gov with the subject line “QUESTION RE:”
  • For non-supply related information, call the general COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

Louisiana

New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) announced a dedicated relief fund to meet the needs of gig economy workers who have been directly impacted by a loss of income due to closures and cancellations associated with COVID-19. NOLABA committed the first $100,000 to initiate the fund, with the goal of increasing its assets to a minimum of $500,000. As of today, March 24, the relief fund has surpassed $335,000 with additional donations from Baptist Community Ministries (BCM), Gulf Coast Bank, and 211 engaged New Orleanians, including Saints (NFL team) and Pelicans (NBA team) owner Gayle Benson, who personally donated $1 million to create the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund in response to the Coronavirus situation, with $100,000 allocated to the Gig Economy Workers’ relief fund.

As of 2017, gig economy workers represent more than 8 percent of the workforce in Orleans Parish, including rideshare drivers, musicians, arena workers, and festival production staff. Gig economy workers tend to lack access to minimum wage, paid sick leave, overtime pay, and standard employee benefits, making them particularly susceptible to changes within the economy.

AFRICA

Ventures Platform, a Nigeria-based Pan-African VC fund, pledged both financial and structural support to tech founders, developers, and enthusiasts who can use their skills to develop technologies that can help the government in the fight against COVID-19, resulting in the #COVID19InnovationChallenge.

Ventures Platform also announced a partnership with the Lagos State Government through its agency, The Lagos State Science Research, and Innovation Council (LASRIC), to find tech-enabled solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ventures Platform and LASRIC will provide funding and rapid operational assistance to the selected teams and startups alongside technology and business industry experts.

Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), one of the largest innovation incubators in Africa, is offering funding and engineering support to tech projects aimed at curbing COVID-19 and its social and economic impact. CcHub’s CEO, Bosun Tijani, said his platform will provide between US$5,000 and $100,000 to companies with COVID-19-related projects touching on such areas as last-mile communication, support for the infected and the most vulnerable, production of essential medical supplies and support for disrupted food supply-chains.

EquaLife Group, an East Africa-focused venture builder, announced a US$20 million Debt Relief Fund to assist businesses hit by the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis. EquaLife says loans will be structured using a template loan agreement, with tenures of six to 24 months depending on the identified need(s) of the organization. Loan sizes will range from $200,000 to $2 million, with interest rates targeted between 5 percent and 10 percent annually. The group says additional resources will be made available ‘pro-bono’ to the invested portfolio companies to ensure that they are able to navigate the financial difficulties they are facing.