The Westchester business community, like many others worldwide, is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. “Small businesses depend on people going about their daily routines. That’s not possible right now,” says Westchester County Executive George Latimer.
With business having to close or reduce hours to help with safety, fear of eviction or loss of revenue are common. In hopes of quelling as many fears and obstacles as possible, County Executive George Latimer’s office offered resources small business can utilize in this time.
- Westchester County Economic Development’s official COVID-19 updates can be found here.
- Information from the U.S. Small Business Administration on Disaster Assistance low-interest loans can be found here.
- Community Capital New York is also offering low-interest loans of up to $10,000 for qualified small business owners.
- United Way of Westchester and Putnam is offering up to $50,000 in grants for Westchester nonprofits.
- Governor Cuomo also expanded paid sick leave to all New Yorkers. Information can be found here.
- The New York Department of Labor has linked this handy page for a quick how-to guide for applying for unemployment insurance benefits for those suddenly finding themselves without work.
- The governor has also suspended state debt collection for at least 30 days without penalty to aid those who may find themselves unable to make payments during this time.
- Significantly, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has also issued guidelines for those seeking to defer their tax payments due to COVID-19.
In addition to the above resources, Mr. Latimer has also designated every Saturday going forward a “Small Business Saturday.”
“We need to support small businesses for the next two or three months to protect our local economies,” says Bridget Gibbons, Westchester County’s Director of Economic Development. Suggestions for patronage at this time include ideas like buying a gift certificate that you can use later or calling your local restaurant to place an order for pickup.
“I urge everyone to log on to their local business group’s website or social media page to get details about which local merchants are ready to serve the public safely,” says Gibbons.