Photo Courtesy of Benny Polatseck/Mayoral Photography Office
“This loan fund will unlock opportunities for businesses hit hardest by the pandemic by offering flexible and affordable financing to help businesses recover and grow,” said SBS Commissioner Kim.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Eric Adams and City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin Kim on Monday announced the creation of the $75 million NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund, the largest public-private loan fund directed at small businesses in the city’s history.
Approximately 1,500 local businesses will be served by the fund — with loans up to $250,000 at a market-leading rate of 4 percent — unleashing unprecedented resources at a critical time in the city’s economic recovery for small businesses too often underserved by financial relief programs. Flexible terms address historic barriers to ensure broad access to the fund by eliminating credit score minimums, not requiring application fees, serving start-up and growth-stage businesses, and leveraging the deep roots of local organizations to reach businesses in BIPOC and immigrant communities.
“This loan fund will unlock opportunities for businesses hit hardest by the pandemic by offering flexible and affordable financing to help businesses recover and grow. Our team and dedicated partners are committed to ensuring local small businesses, particularly those too often excluded from pandemic-era relief, use this fund to propel themselves forward,” Kim said.
The Opportunity Fund is made possible through a historic partnership between the City of New York and Goldman Sachs, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF), and local community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
Adams noted that small businesses powered New York City through the pandemic, and they are leading the way during this recovery. The new Opportunity Fund will support a more inclusive and diverse economy by enabling business owners to:
- Apply for loans ranging from $2,000 to $250,000;
- Pay a below-market fixed interest rate of 4 percent, regardless of loan size;
- Pay only interest for the first six months for start-up businesses, regardless of loan size;
- Use the loan to refinance existing high-interest debt, expand their customer base, hire new employees, and more; and
- Access free long-term business supports through SBS.
CDFI partners, including Accompany Capital, Ascendus, BOC Capital, Harlem Entrepreneurial Fund (HEF), NDC, Pursuit Community Finance, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, and Trufund, will provide application assistance and no-cost financial advice, utilizing a novel model of local engagement to reach businesses in greatest need. Additional CDFIs can apply to partner on the fund. To further the fund’s reach in hard-hit communities, SBS will launch a major door-to-door outreach campaign throughout the five boroughs.
To be eligible for a loan, businesses must have less than $5 million in annual revenue and be located within New York City. Applications to the Opportunity Fund opened online Monday, and those interested can learn more about the Fund by calling SBS’s hotline at (888) SBS-4NYC. In addition, the City will offer webinars to help businesses learn about the application process and the steps involved. The webinars began on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our city, and any public-private partnership that works to support and sustain them is a positive step in the right direction,” said City Councilman Bob Holden (D-Maspeth). “I applaud the mayor and SBS for creating this program to help keep our small businesses alive and thriving.”