NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim on Monday January 23rd, announced the groundbreaking 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.
“Small businesses kept us going through the pandemic, and they are leading the way during our economic recovery. Now, we are giving back with the NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund,” said Mayor Adams. “Our efforts to cut red tape and jumpstart our recovery are already delivering results: We saw 13,600 new businesses open in the first half of 2022, including 1,800 new storefronts. This new loan fund will help us build on that progress and represents the next great step forward in our city’s partnership with our entrepreneurs and small business owners.”
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), and fulfills a key commitment in Mayor Adams’ “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery.”
Since day one of his administration, Mayor Adams has focused on helping small businesses thrive as they are crucial to New York City’s economic recovery.
The Opportunity Fund further builds on the Adams administration’s historic efforts to help small business, including Executive Order 2, also known as “Small Business Forward,” which identified over one hundred reforms to reduce fines, extend cure periods, and eliminate violations. In addition, in May, the mayor signed Executive Order 15, which ordered the creation of a Small Business Advisory Commission. These efforts are delivering tangible results. According to the latest research from the city’s Economic Development Corporation, 13,600 new businesses opened in the first half of 2022, including 1,800 new storefronts.
“Small businesses are the engines of our economy, and the NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund will give business owners across the five boroughs the fuel they need to thrive,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “This innovative public-private partnership will not just help over 1,000 businesses but also have lasting ripple effects in the lives of workers and in the health of our neighborhoods where these businesses operate.”
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 open online today, 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 will be offered weekly beginning on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.