STATEN ISLAND, NY — Mayor Eric Adams and New York’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) on Monday announced the creation of a groundbreaking $75 million “Opportunity Fund” that will allow small business owners to apply for loans Loans ranging from $2,000 to $250,000 and pay a sub-market fixed interest rate of 4% regardless of loan size. The mayor said the program, which will serve about 1,500 participants, will provide unprecedented resources at a critical time in the city’s economic recovery.
“Small businesses have gotten us through the pandemic and they are leading the way during our economic recovery. Now we’re giving back with the NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund,” noted Adams in a press release. “Our efforts to cut red tape and boost our recovery are already showing results: 13,600 new stores opened in the first half of 2022, including 1,800 new storefronts. This new loan fund will help us build on those advances and represents the next big step in our city’s partnership with our entrepreneurs and small business owners.”
The Opportunity Fund is made possible through a partnership between NYC and Goldman Sachs, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, the Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF) and local financial institutions for community development (CDFIs) and is part of Adams’ Blueprint for Economic Recovery ‘ and ‘Small Business Forward’ initiatives, which identified over 100 reforms to reduce pandemic-related fines, extend healing periods and eliminate violations for small business owners.
Start-up companies that receive Opportunity Fund support only pay interest for the first six months, regardless of loan size, and longer-term companies can use the loan to refinance existing high-interest debt, expand their customer base, and hire new ones employees and more.
“Flexible terms remove historical barriers to ensure broad access to the fund by eliminating minimum credit scores, no application fees, supporting early stage and growth stage companies, and leveraging the deep roots of local organizations to support companies in BIPOC and Reaching out to immigrant communities,” the mayor’s press release said.
According to SBS Commissioner Kevin D. Kim, the loan fund aims to unlock opportunities for companies hardest hit by the pandemic by offering flexible and affordable financing to help them recover and grow.
To be eligible for a loan, businesses must have annual sales of less than $5 million and be based in New York City. Applications for the Opportunity Fund will open online starting Monday, and those interested can learn more about the fund by calling the SBS hotline at (888) SBS-4NYC. Additionally, the city will offer webinars to help businesses learn about the application process and steps involved. Webinars will be offered weekly, beginning Tuesday, January 24th.
“The NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund is a critical step in the right direction for small businesses in the city,” said North Shore Councilwoman Kamillah Hanks. “As a Council Member, it is my duty to ensure our small businesses have the resources they need to thrive. This fund will provide the necessary financial support and access to resources to help small businesses recover and grow. I am proud to support this initiative and look forward to seeing its positive impact on our local economy.”
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