Counties and Localities Implement Emergency Economic Assistance Programs in Response to COVID-19 Crisis

Updated March 30, 2020

By: Jeffrey B. Scheer and Richard L. Weber

The COVID-19 crisis has hit small businesses particularly hard, with emergency measures including the shutdown of on-site operations, loss of income and mounting expenses. In addition to the efforts of the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) to provide emergency economic assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19, local governments and economic development entities around the state are now implementing emergency assistance programs. Examples of these programs include:

  • New York City: On March 8, the New York City Small Business Services Office announced that the city will provide relief for small businesses across the city harmed by COVID-19. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees with sales decreased of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit; The city is also offering small businesses with fewer than five employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.
  • Chautauqua County: The County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) is providing low-interest loans not to exceed $10,000 to businesses throughout Chautauqua County. This emergency funding can be used for working capital needs, and the normal application and securitization requirements are being relaxed.
  • Erie County: On March 17, Erie County Council and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority announced the creation of zero-interest loan programs for small businesses and civic institutions as part of the newly-created “COVID-19 Response Fund”.
  • Monroe County: The Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation is offering zero-interest loans up to $10,000 for working capital to retail, health care, restaurants, real estate, technology, personal/professional services, construction, small manufacturers and other businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
  • Onondaga County: On March 20, County Executive Ryan McMahon announced $500,000 for a program of immediate, zero-interest bridge loans to small businesses.
  • Capital Region: Co-led by the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, the Capital Region COVID-19 Response Fund provides flexible resources to 501(c)(3) organizations working with local communities, including one-time operating grants.
  • City of Binghamton: Mayor Richard David announced that the city’s Local Development Corp. is offering up to $15,000 in short-term, no-interest loans. A pool of $350,000 is being made available. This relief is available for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
  • City of Syracuse: The Syracuse Economic Development Corporation is in the process of directing $500,000 toward a program of zero-interest loans that will target small businesses hurt by the economic slowdown. The loans are available to companies with 50 or fewer employees, and it is anticipated that the average loan would be around $10,000 (though the program is designed to allow loans up to $25,000).
  • City of Oswego: On March 20, Mayor Billy Barlow announced $250,000 in emergency business loan relief for small businesses. The program designated 25 $10,000 loans, interest free with no payments until September 2020.
  • City of Auburn: As of March 19, developing a potential “emergency loan program” in conjunction with organizations such as the Cayuga Economic Development Agency and the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce (details forthcoming).

It is anticipated that additional programs will be implemented as the emergency continues.

Attorneys at Bond, Schoeneck & King can help you determine if your business qualifies for these and other emergency economic aid programs. Please contact Jeffrey B. Scheer, any of the attorneys in the Business and Transactions Practice Group or the attorney at the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.