The city has awarded $1.14 million in grants to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis, according to the Department of Small Business Services. The average grant received from the Employee Retention Grant Program, which offers grants as large as $27,000 to businesses with under five employees, was about $9,000.

The city approved 155 applications and doled out nearly half of the funds to businesses already. The remaining $600,000 was expected to be given out by the end of March.

About 466 small businesses applied to the grant program, and the zero-interest loan program has seen more than 10,000 pre-applications. The SBS plans to disburse another $8.7 million in grants.

The SBS is still processing pre-applications for its loans. After the screening, businesses will need to fill out a formal application. The city agency is expecting to disburse around $20 million in loans.

The Mayor said in March these grant and loan programs will not by themselves be able to meet the full demand of businesses across the city, which have seen revenue plummet or go to zero after the Government ordered 100% of the State’s workforce to work from home, a decision that left many small businesses scrambling. De Blasio has called on the federal government to intervene and provide additional aid.

Source: Crain’s New York Business

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