Yonkers Launches New Small Business COVID Assistance Programs

Real Estate In-Depth | July 2020

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano

YONKERS—Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced on July 7 the creation of two new business assistance programs geared toward assisting Yonkers businesses that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including those serving in low income or highly distressed areas.

Eligible businesses will be provided funding through the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency and Community Development Block Grants, managed by the city’s Planning and Development department.

“Now more than ever, we want to ensure our local businesses are given the tools and resources needed to navigate the storm created by COVID-19,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, who also serves as Chairman of the Yonkers IDA. “Through partnerships among our city agencies, community-based organizations and Yonkers IDA, Yonkers can provide relief to those who are the backbone of our local economy. Together, we can strengthen and restore our small business community.”

The Yonkers Business Assistance Program is divided into two categories based on funding and business size which includes providing grants of up to $10,000 for businesses with five employees or less, and a combination of grants and loans up to $25,000 for businesses with up to 50 employees:

1. Micro-Enterprise Stabilization Fund – MESF (for businesses with five employees or less):

The MESF is a fund created to provide grants to support microenterprises financially impacted by COVID-19. The fund will provide grant capital up to $10,000 to eligible entities to assist in meeting urgent needs, particularly those in low income or highly distressed areas. Funds may be used for ongoing operational costs such as payroll, vendors, utilities, and rent. Additionally, the grant is eligible to a business whose owner or 51% of its employees have low or moderate income. The fund is made possible by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Community partners including Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), The Acceleration Project (TAP) and Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) will screen and provide assistance to applicants.

2. Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (YIDA) Small Business Grant and Loan Stabilization Fund (for businesses with up to 50 employees):

New York State has created a new state disaster emergency loan program which aims to support the short-term viability of both small businesses and not-for-profit corporations, with fewer than 50 employees, by allowing the YIDA to provide grants of up to $10,000 for businesses to pay for personal protection equipment such as masks, distanced-work stations, customer protection measures, etc.

Interest free loans of up to $25,000 also will be made available for emergency expenses required to keep businesses operational as a result of and during the pandemic.

The Yonkers Small Business program applications and detailed eligibility requirements can be found at www.yonkersny.gov and at www.yonkersida.com