December 7, 2020

Council Member Borelli, is requesting that Mayor De Blasio and SBS Commissioner increase eligibility for programs recently announced during the “Recovery Agenda: City Launches Small Business Support for Hard-Hit Low and Moderate Income Communities.”

On November 25, the administration issued a statement entitled “Recovery Agenda: City Launches Small Business Support for Hard-Hit Low and Moderate Income Communities.”  In it, three programs were announced, designed to provide relief to small business owners affected by the pandemic.

The first program, called the “NYC LMI Storefront Loan,” businesses are eligible only in zip codes defined by HUD as Low and Moderate Income.  While this does include more than half of the zip codes in the city of New York, it does not include any in areas now designated as Orange of Red zones by the state of New York, or in other words, the locations where businesses face the most severe shutdowns.  Thus a successful high-end salon in one part of New York City that is operating in a near normal fashion would be eligible for this zero-interest loan, but a business action shut by the pandemic in an orange zone cannot.  I hope you would reconsider this as the program enters its second phase on December 14.

The third program in the package is the “Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant.”  While I am sure all of these commercial areas are deserving of the city’s financial support, none are currently located in orange or red zones, and thus are not facing the current closure of many of their businesses. It is my hope that this could be amended to include commercial districts currently faced with such challenges, and those that were affected by micro-cluster closures previously this fall.