Jun 10, 2020

New York Forward Loan Fund – New York State’s Financial Aid to Reopening Businesses

COVID Reopening Sign

On Tuesday, May 25 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State has established a new loan program to assist COVID 19 impacted small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords. The program, called the New York Forward Loan Fund (the “NYFLF”), is a $100 million fund intended to help these impacted small businesses cover the costs associated with re-opening,   after the NYS on PAUSE COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift to allow regions to move thru the various phases of re-opening.

NYFLF is intended for (1) small business and non-profits with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and a gross income of less than $3 million per year; and (2) small landlords (who have seen a loss of rental income), with a focus on minority and woman-owned businesses. However, certain small businesses are specifically excluded: corporate-owned franchises; not-for-profit social clubs; branch banks; pay day loan stores; pawn shops; astrology, palm reading; liquor stores, night clubs; adult bookstores, massage parlors, strip clubs; Track waging facilities; trailer-storage yards; and marijuana dispensaries.

Pre-applications opened on May 26, 2020, with priority access to regions that have already been given the green light to re-open (see more about the application process below).


It is important to note that businesses that have already received COVID-19 financial aid from either the U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), are not eligible for NYFLF loan.

The Loan

As mentioned, this NYFLF program is designed to help small businesses cover the costs that come with post COVID-19 reopening. These costs include, but are not limited to: (1) inventory; (2) marketing; and (3) changes related to new social distancing guidelines under the New York Forward plan. Applicants will be required to detail anticipated use of funds when they apply.

Applicants can not, however, utilize this funding to refinance previous debts or an existing loan.

Eligible businesses/non-profits may borrow the lesser of (a) $100,000; or (b) their total average revenue from a 3-month period in 2019 or January to March 2020. As for landlords, they may borrow the lesser of (a) $100,000 or (b) projected reduction in 3-months net operating income based on actual reductions in net operating income for the month of April or May 2020.

The NYFLF loan is not forgivable, however, the interest rates offered are quite low, at a fixed annual rate of 3% for small businesses and landlords, and 2% for nonprofits. The NYFLF is re–payable on a monthly basis within 5 years, with only interest to be paid during the first year, and principal and interest for the remainder of the term. There will be no application fee or prepayment penalty for an early payoff of the loan. Moreover, no collateral is required to obtain a NYFLF loan.

On a separate note, if you are a small business owner who was impacted by looting and experienced damage to your storefront, you may be eligible to receive a grant of up to $10,000 from the recently announced New York City Small Business Emergency Grant Program. The grant program has already raised the initial amount of $500,000, and New York City intends to begin providing the grants to small businesses, starting in the Bronx. New York City is also providing emergency legal support, incident report support, and insurance claim support. Not much information has yet been provided as to the application process or access to the support services. We intend to provide further information once published.

How to Apply

Pre-applications open on a rolling basis as regions and industries are phased to reopen, with a target of 2-3 weeks from application to closing to receiving funds once loan is approved. The applications are not on “first come first serve” basis, but rather priority is to be given to industries and regions that have reopened.

Notwithstanding the above, we encourage applicants to start the application process and have the documentation ready, as the NYFLF is limited in funds. Five Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIS) have already started to process pre-applications on June 1, 2020.[1]

Click here for a table with NYFLF Loan Eligibility Requirements.

New York Forward Loan Fund

We hope that you find this NYFLF information useful during these complicated times. If you have question regarding the NYFLF please reach out to any one of us:

Anne E Pitter: 212-907-9772

Alexandra M. Davidson: 212-907-9726

Hen Feder: 646-887-9523

Additional resources:

  • For more information about New York City Small Business Emergency Grant Program

[1] Accion East, Community Preservation Corporation, National Development Council, Pursuit and TruFund Financial Services.  However, you are requested by NYFLF not to apply to the participating CDFI lender directly.

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