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City launches small business grant serving 10,000

Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Doris announced a $100 million grant this week aimed at helping small businesses recover from the pandemic. Partnered with the mayor’s office, SBS is focusing on low to moderate income communities with this grant. It is projected to serve 10,000 small businesses.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Without them, our city will not move forward in our recovery efforts,” said Doris in a press release. “This grant will ensure our small businesses have the aid needed to recover from these extraordinary times and build back better.” 

Applications opened Dec. 8 and there will be many who qualify. As long as they were in business before Oct. 1, 2019, can demonstrate revenue loss between 2019 and 2020 and have not received a federal grant. Many politicians are talking about fostering an equitable recovery from a pandemic that is still going on, and despite the many federal and state programs that have started to help, not everyone has access to them.

“The Covid-19 pandemic created a near-extinction-level crisis for Black-owned small businesses in New York City. In response to this, we launched Together We Thrive; our mission is to help Black business owners receive the help they need to succeed,” said Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City. “We are so excited for our partnership with SBS for the NYC Small Business Resilience Grant as it will equitably provide opportunity for these businesses to not only survive, but to thrive.

United Way and other organizations are eager to work with the city to help the small businesses that they know need the most help. Carver Community Development Corporation is partnering with the SBS to make sure it reaches their clients, many of whom are minority and women-owned businesses.

“Through this grant program, businesses located in low-to-moderate-income areas or in one of the hardest hit industries will receive critical resources necessary to help stabilize business operations and stimulate growth, which will ultimately help our communities recover and thrive.” said Lloyd Doaman, executive director of Carver Community Development Corporation. 

Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation, remarked that it was unfortunate that small businesses have encountered challenges in obtaining grants. “They are local job creators and economic sustainers,” Yoo said. “The NYC Small Business Resilience Grant will put resources in the hands of mom-and-pop shops to ensure they are included in the road to economic recovery.”

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