Is your business affected by COVID-19? Here’s some information that could help!

Requirements for Businesses

Effective starting Sunday, March 22nd, Governor Cuomo has mandated a 100% workforce reduction for non-essential businesses. To see if your business qualifies as essential, click HERE. Due to government mandates, this may allow eligibility to file business interruption claims with your insurance provider. For tips on making an insurance claim, click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page. 

Information and resources for businesses:

CARES Act:

For information on the CARES Act, click HERE.

NYC Resources:

For the latest guidelines, tips and FAQs for small businesses from the City of New York, please click HERE or sign-up for updates by e-mail.

OTHER GRANTS AND LOANS:

The Verizon-LISC Small Business Recovery Fund is offering grants of up to $10,000 to help businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19. Eligible expenses under the grant program include payroll, rent, utilities, outstanding debt to vendors and other immediate operational costs. Applications are due by Saturday, April 4th, 11:59 p.m. ET. Apply HERE.

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

Alice Emergency Grants for Small Business HERE.

The Thryv Foundation’s Small Business COVID-19 Grant Program will award grants between $2,500 and $15,000 to qualifying small business applicants. Grants will be made on a first-come, first-served basis and applications must be submitted by April 30, 2020. Apply HERE.

Facebook will be offering grants for small businesses. Click HERE for more info and to sign up to receive updates. 

Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan – Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS) | Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS). Click HERE for more info.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s(SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. As of (3/20) NYC counties are eligible to receive this funding. 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. 

FOR BARS AND RESTAURANTS: 

SLA Guidance:

Alcohol pickup and delivery: SLA has issued new guidance that allows bars and restaurants to sell alcohol to customers for pickup or delivery, under the following conditions:

  • The alcohol must either be in its original container (e.g., a sealed bottle of wine) or in a sealed container (e.g., a mixed cocktail poured into a to-go cup with a tight fitting lid). 
  • Wine and spirits must be sold together with food.  Beer and cider does not need to be sold alongside food.  So a customer must make a food order in order to buy wine or spirits, but does not need to make a food order to buy beer or cider.  The food must be consistent with the menu that you originally submitted to SLA.
  • If you are a bar or restaurant delivering alcohol yourself (i.e., not via a third-party service) it can be done on foot, by bicycle, or in any vehicle owned, leased, or rented by your business or an employee, as long as you have a copy of your liquor license in the vehicle. 
  • Safekeeping.  If you do make the decision to temporarily close your doors, you are not required to place your license in safekeeping with SLA, even though under normal circumstances you would be required to.  This suspension of the safekeeping requirement will last for 90 days, unless it gets extended in the future.
  • Returns.  Alcohol purchased by a bar or restaurant between 3/1/20 and 3/17/20 may be returned to the wholesaler or manufacturer who you purchased the alcohol from in return for credit, at the option of the wholesaler or manufacturer.  Wholesalers and manufacturers are not required to accept returns for credit, but if they do, they are required to do so for everyone. In other words, wholesalers and manufacturers are not allowed to pick and choose which bars and restaurants they accept returns for credit from, and which they do not.

 SLA Guidance on restrictions, to-go, and delivery HERE

 Guidelines on returning liquor HERE

Resources for Bars and Restaurants:

Restaurant Response Program: Rethink Food is offering up to $40,000 to 30 NYC restaurants that partner to extend the nonprofit’s mission. Learn more here.

ROC Relief: Restaurant Opportunities Center is offering financial assistance to restaurant workers. Application here.

RWCF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund: Financial assistance will go to both affected restaurants and affected staff. Applications will be available soon. Learn more here.

James Beard Foundation Relief Fund: Applications are coming out soon, but restaurants under 100 employees will be eligible. You can get more info here

Resources from Private Companies:Yelp COVID-19 Response: Yelp is giving away $25 million for small businesses, primarily in the form of advertising credit. Learn more here.

Mainstreet and Kabbage are two platforms where businesses can set up and sell giftcards for freee. Selling giftcards is a great way to let loyal customers support you while you’re unable to remain open.

The NYC Hospitality Alliance’s 9-Point Mitigation and Support Plan HERE

If you need legal help the NYC Bar Association can give legal assistance. Click on this link to call or sign up for help. For info about the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, click HERE. 

Need Advice, Free?

Many business owners just don’t know what to do — Lay off employees? Hang in there or wait for maybe insurance help? You can get one to one advice from the SBDC – Small Business Development Centers. They are funding through the Federal Small Business Administration and have access to lots of resources. Give them a call. 

Brooklyn SBDC – Website 
Pace Uni SBDC – Website

Don’t forget, you can also reach out to the North Flatbush BID with any questions at info@northflatbushbid.nyc.

 Sales Tax, Evictions, and Rent Deferment

The New York State budget director says New York State will forgive interest and penalties for late payment of sales tax due March 20 (official statement HERE). 

A federal bailout package is in-formation and will likely pin any individual payouts to 2018 Federal tax filings- so, please encourage any staff, family, individual to check that they filed for last year.


There is currently a 90-day moratorium in place on evictions for commercial and residential tenants. We have heard of successful negotiations that are happening with business/ landlord rent arrangements. NFBID recommends reaching out to your property agent to discuss, as soon as possible, and keep a record of when you called, emailed and wrote. HERE is a template letter you can use. Also call your insurance and your credit card company and see what they are offering and keep a record of that, as well. 

Con Edison has stopped shutoffs of electric, natural gas or steam service due to non-payment resulting from the health crisis, and is waiving new late-payment charges for all customers. https://www.nationalgridus.com/covid-19 

You can pay your Mortgage and NYS taxes late, up to 90 days. The announcement does have some catches so you can learn more from the Governor’s Press Release.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that tax day will be delayed from April 15 to July 15. Read more here.

Disinfection guidance for commercial or residential buildings: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/disinfection-guidance-for-commercial-residential-covid19.pdf

Unemployment and Alternatives:

Filing for unemployment: For employees who experience reduced hours (by 50% or more for full-time personnel) or layoffs due to COVID-19, they may be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits from New York State. Note that the standard seven day waiting period has been lifted and affected employees can begin to apply for and draw benefits immediately.

Click HERE to file for unemployment. NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.

If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name. If your last name starts with A – F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G – N, file your claim Tuesday. For last names starting with O – Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday or Friday. 

HERE is a step by step process to file a claim online. 

Shared Work: New York State’s Shared Work Program provides an alternative to laying off workers during business downturns by allowing them to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial Unemployment Insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, you can reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group. Learn more by clicking HERE.