Financial and Legal Resources for Businesses

Public Financial Resources for Businesses:

NY Forward Loan Fund 
Pre-application for the New York Forward Loan Fund will be open on May 26, 2020 at Noon Eastern Daylight Time. Priority will be given to industries that have been reopened. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen. While New York City has not yet been cleared to reopen from NYS on PAUSE, small businesses can now complete the NYFLF pre-application and get in queue. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen. To expedite your full application once the region/industry is eligible, we recommend you have ready the recently filed tax returns and evidence of legal formation of business entity (Articles of Incorporation and/or bylaws) for the participating lenders. To be eligible, small businesses must have 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and gross revenues of less than $3 million per year, and have been in business for at least one year as of the date of loan application. Further, applicants are ineligible if they received SBA funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Small business loan amounts are the lesser of (a) $100,000 or (b) up to 100% of average monthly revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or first quarter of 2020. Eligible use of funds include working capital, inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities, rent and supplies. Interest rate for the loans is 3% for small businesses and small landlords and 2% for nonprofits, and are for a five-year term with interest-only payments due during the first twelve months. Further, no collateral is required and there are no application fees or prepayment penalties. Click HERE for more info. Check out Empire State Development’s NYFLF presentation and FAQ Document for more detail, or contact a Pace University SBDC Business Advisor at sbdc@pace.edu to arrange a free virtual meeting to discuss this and other small business financial programs.

Resources from NYC Department of Small Business Services HERE

For info about the CARES Act, scroll to bottom

Other SBA resources: 

SBA Express Bridge Loan
If you already have a relationship with the SBA you can access $25K quickly. Find out more here.

SBA Debt Relief
The SBA will pay the Principal, Interest and fees on certain loans that you might already have with them for 6 month. Check out here.

Private Grant and Loans:

Alice Emergency Grants for Small Business HERE.

Enter to win the 1010WINS Small Business Challenge, and win $10,000 to help get your business back on its feet! 

NEW interest-free loan opportunity!! Assemblymember Robert Carroll and Councilman Brad Lander are partnering with the Hebrew Free Loan Society on the Small Business Angel Fund, which offers two types of interest free loans to Brooklyn Businesses: 1) 0% interest loans up to $25,000 for small businesses in the area which are currently operating and need support to get through this time of reduced revenue 2) loans of $3,000-$7,500 for independent contractors and small business owners who have been required to close or cease operating due to the State’s PAUSE order. Small businesses located in Brooklyn’s City Council District 39 will be eligible to apply for the loans. Businesses must have normal revenues of of $1M or less and 15 or less employees to qualify. No guarantors or collateral are required. Click HERE to apply! NOTE: if you are in the East side of our district, you can still apply for this same loan by going directly to Hebrew Free Loan Society and checking out their loan programs. 

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has created the Bring Back Brooklyn Fund, a community-driven, small business loan program, with 65% earmarked for Minority and/or Women-owned Business Enterprises — groups that have been shut out of most loan opportunities. Learn more at bringbackbrooklyn.org.

Free Legal Advice

NFBID is launching a partnership with Start Small Think Big to offer FREE legal and marketing resources and consultation of our businesses. For more info, click HERE

NYC Businesses Solutions Center experts are available to help business owners identify available financing, including financing from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or local philanthropic financing for nonprofits

NYC Department of Small Business Services’ COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic (the CV-19 Clinic) will offer pro bono legal consultations to help entrepreneurs in New York City determine the best path forward for their small businesses in these particularly challenging times. Request an appointment here.

The Law Offices of Jordi Fernandez is offering Pro Bono Law advice about the expectations in landlord/tenant court. More info:  Jordifernandezlaw.com

United Energy Consultants is offering Energy Consulting to anyone that needs help managing energy with deregulated suppliers or Con Edison (various utilities): www.uecnow.com, peter@uecmow.com

WE NYC is offering one on one consultations with female entrepreneurs. Click HERE.

SCORE stands ready to provide personalized advice for all your business questions. Visit the Exhibit Hall to get free information and resources from SCORE partners.You can also participate in peer discussions to connect with other small business owners and experts. Click HERE for more info. 

If your business needs help with a commercial lease issue in New York City, you may be eligible for free legal services. Visit nyc.gov/commlease to learn more. 

Legal Advice for Restaurants:

Hospitality Executives Leadership Panel is offering resources on current talent, grants, regulations, and ways to increase efficiency relating to coronavirus, as well as complimentary personalized consulting sessions for any hospitality small business that has been impacted by Covid-19. HospitalityPanel.org

Helbraun & Levey LLP is offering general legal information for bars and restaurants. Subscribe to Helbraun & Levey’s nightly newsletter to further assist you with your legal questions and concerns. https://helbraunlevey.com/coronavirus/

Figure 8 Logistics is offering a 30-minute consultation for restaurants with questions about building their delivery and takeout business. www.figure8.deliveryhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/scottlanders

Empowered Hospitality is offering free 30-minute calls to help restaurant operators in need of HR guidance. Schedule a call using this link. This COVID-19 web page has key information: https://www.empoweredhospitality.com/covid-19.html

American Capital AMC Group is offering Pro Bono advice for PPP applications and forgiveness planning: Email Alex@americancapitalgrp.com. More information can be found here: www.americancapitalgrp.com

The Cares ACT

The SBA resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27 at 10:30am. The money has not run out… yet. We encourage you to apply ASAP. The SBA is no longer accepting new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), but will continue to process applications in the order in which they came in.

To apply for the PPP quick HERE.  See below for more in-depth information and guidance about the PPP.

If you already applied, you don’t have to take further action — if your application is eligible, it will still be in queue with your lender. If you have not yet applied and are eligible, we encourage you to start assembling the required documents (2019 Profit and Loss, 2019 taxes (if completed), quarterly payroll reports such as 941s or 944s, 1099’s, copies of state issued ID) and submit as quickly as possible. We expect there will be a huge influx of applications, and, as like last time, the money may run out quickly. 

On 5/19, the SBA released these FAQs around the PPP loan program.

If your bank or lender cannot help you with PPP, NFBID recommends finding another bank or a non-bank lender who can help submit your application, such as Pursuit LendingSpring BankPayPal, IntuitSquare, Kabbage, or  Lendio.

For specific questions about the various SBA loan programs, email diastercustomerservice@sba.gov or call 1 (800) 659-2955. The line is open 24/7. 

HERE is a list of alternative lenders taking PPP loan applications. 

Need help with applications? SBA resource partners are available to help guide you through the loan application process. Here is the contact for our nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC)s:

Brooklyn SBDC
Pace University SBDC

Guidance on the PPP:

If you need capital to cover the cost of retaining employees, the Paycheck Protection Program might be right for you. Here are some high-level information points:

This program will provide cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency.

If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers remain employed, as well as help affected small businesses and our economy snap-back quicker after the crisis. So, essentially, the loan can be converted to a grant, if you are able to restore payroll to pre-virus levels. 

Loans are up to 250% of average payroll from last year.

Small businesses and other eligible entities will be able to apply if they
were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.

Updated PPP Guidance: THE SBA SPEAKS by Andrew Fine and Megan Shaw
 
Just when you thought that the PPP couldn’t get any more complicated, the SBA released a new set of “Interim Final Rules”. Fortunately, these rules actually shed some light on some of the longstanding questions surrounding the PPP. While the document itself is 19 pages, we’re here with the SparkNotes.(editor’s note: what happened to Cliff Notes?) The major takeaways for business applicants are:  
 
1. 75% Rule Applies to Total Loan. As most of you likely know, the SBA previously issued guidance requiring that 75% of the total PPP loan proceeds be used towards covered payroll costs. Other guidance, however, framed this 75% rule in terms of the amount to be forgiven, tempting the question: does the 75% rule apply to the total loan, or only to the amount I hope to have forgiven?
 
We have been advising clients to err on the side of caution and assume that the rule requires 75% of the total loan to be applied towards payroll costs, regardless of whether you hope to apply for loan forgiveness. Well, we’re glad we took that approach, because the SBA just confirmed: 75% of the total PPP loan proceeds must be used towards covered payroll costs, regardless of whether you’re hoping to apply for loan forgiveness.
 
If you are applying for loan forgiveness, banks will be requesting records to show how the entirety of the loan amount was spent. If less than 75% of the total PPP loan was spent towards payroll costs within the 8 week covered period, that will likely preclude borrowers from receiving any loan forgiveness at all.
 
We don’t like it, and we don’t agree with it. But at least the SBA has clarified its stance here.
 
2. Guaranteed Payments Count as Payroll Costs. This is a big one. Corporations and LLCs with multiple owners may include guaranteed payments as part of their payroll costs under the PPP. Previously, there was ambiguity surrounding whether ‘guaranteed payments’ to owners of the borrower entity could be covered under the PPP, which would have been bad news for business owners. Fortunately, the SBA has answered yes, guaranteed payments can count as payroll costs, even though owners of the borrower entity aren’t technically employees. This is provided that the guaranteed payments are paid in exchange for actual managerial services.
 
3. Independent Contractor Certification. The SBA clarified that it will be the responsibility of the borrower, and not the bank, to determine who qualifies as an independent contractor, and who qualifies as an employee. This distinction is important under the PPP, since independent contractors cannot be paid using PPP proceeds (rather, independent contractors would apply for their own relief under the PPP). This means that borrowers must be very careful that their independent contractor versus employee distinctions are accurate, as mischaracterizations could potentially subject borrowers to criminal penalties. Our labor team remains available to advise you on these distinctions should you require assistance.
 
4. What if I have no employees? Self-employed individuals are eligible to apply for relief under the PPP. Normally, the PPP loan amount is calculated by taking 2.5 times the average monthly payroll cost for the prior year. This, of course, wouldn’t work for applicants with no employees. The SBA finally shed light on how those loans are to be calculated. Here are the steps:
 
1. First, you would find your 2019 IRS Form 1040 Schedule C net profit amount. If this amount is over $100k, you would reduce it to $100k. If this amount is zero or less, the applicant would not be eligible to receive the PPP loan.
 
2. Second, you would calculate the average monthly net profit amount (divide step 1 by 12); and
 
3. Third, multiply the average monthly net profit from step 2 by 2.5.