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April 27, 2021 - 2:33pm

Press release:

Amid the opening up of the Small Business Administration (SBA) "Save Our Stages" online application for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer confirms about 6,000 applications have already been filed in the first five hours of the program, with more than 8,000 additional applications being worked on.

He is urging New York stages and other venues and cultural institutions to ready their paperwork, log on to the SBA.gov website for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program and file an application for their relief.  

“Knowing the SBA has already received 6,000 applications, with over 8,000 additional requests in the works, for stages and venue relief shows both the need that exists, but also the desire to bring back a variety of venues, entertainment and arts options that make New York one of the greatest states – and strongest economies,” Senator Schumer said. “So, I am urging New York stages to ready their documents, log onto the SBA site and file applications for their relief. The shows will go on!”

Schumer successfully fought to include $15 billion in the end-of-year COVID-19 relief bill in December for the "Save Our Stages" (SOS) program to provide national assistance for independent live venue operators, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions such as live performing arts organizations and museums that have been significantly impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

The American Rescue Plan that passed into law in March included an additional $1.25 billion for the program following Schumer’s efforts to add more money to the national pot. Schumer says that New York will receive the lion’s share of the total national pot and that the legislation will provide temporary relief not only to the venues, but also to the employees, promoters, managers, producers, and entertainers that support them.

Specifically, the COVID relief package created a new Small Business Administration (SBA) grant program which independent live venue operators, promoters, producers, talent representatives, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions are eligible for.

To be eligible, an entity must have experienced at least 25 percent lost revenue due to COVID-19. Schumer said the SBA grants are designed to provide up to six months of financial support that could be used to keep employees paid and New York’s prized cultural hubs open for business.

“Independent venues, like theaters and concert halls, are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force across our economy,” Schumer said. “Our local stages, from those on Broadway to the ones in Binghamton, Buffalo, and everywhere in between, were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to fully reopen—so they need this SOS relief, and I want to make sure they apply.” 

Specifically, the new program includes the following components:

  • Creates a new grant program at the Small Business Administration to provide assistance to independent live venue operators, promoters, producers, talent representatives, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.
  • Permits recipients to use grants for various costs, including those associated with COVID-19:

                 -- Rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases; and

                 -- PPE procurement, capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines.

  • Grants are narrowly targeted and appropriately calculated to provide 6 months of operating assistance for small and independent live venue operators and their industry partners.

                 -- Grants are equal to the lesser of 45 percent of gross revenue during 2019; or

                 -- $10 million.

  • To ensure the hardest hit of eligible applicants receive assistance, there are two priority application periods. The first 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 90 percent of gross revenue can apply. The next 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 70 percent can apply. A reserve of 20 percent of overall appropriated funds, $3 billion out of the $15 billion provided, will remain available for all other eligible entities to apply for after 28 days.
  • There is a $2 billion set-aside of funds for eligible entities with 50 or fewer employees to ensure smaller applicants are not left out.
  • An entity is still eligible for a grant if they have received a PPP loan prior to implementation of the program, but the entity may not receive a PPP loan and a grant after implementation of the program.

More details on the SBA program, including the application, can be found here.

January 13, 2021 - 4:37pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is announcing a webinar hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to discuss the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

“I first want to commend the SBA for their tireless work to support our small businesses and our communities," Jacobs said. “One of my top priorities since taking office has been to deliver economic relief to support millions of American small businesses.

"When we passed the most recent COVID-19 aid package, not only did we deliver $284 billion to support the Paycheck Protection Program, but we also enacted additional provisions such as the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act that continue to represent our commitment to a strong American comeback."

This legislation allocated $15 billion to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which offers up to $10 million in grant funding to eligible organizations. The webinar will take place on Jan. 14th at 3 p.m. EST, and will cover eligibility, accessibility of grants, and the application process. 

Please be advised this webinar will fill up fast, if additional sessions become available an update will be provided.

To register for the webinar, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shuttered-venue-operators-grant-webinar-registration-136050549857?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery  

In addition, the Paycheck Protection Program is currently open to both first time recipients and applicants seeking a second draw. The funding is being distributed through Community Financial Institutions.

To be eligible for a second loan, a borrower must meet the following criteria:

1) Received a first-time loan and has or will use the full amount for authorized uses;

2) Has no more than 300 employees, and

3) Can demonstrate at least a 25-percent reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.

July 8, 2020 - 3:52pm

Press release:

Standing at the Union Tavern restaurant in Irondequoit and on the heels of a successful five-week, short-term extension for the original Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer unveiled the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, or "P4" Act, which seeks to provide additional relief for New York’s smallest businesses that have been severely impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schumer explained that his proposed legislation would provide much-needed relief to Rochester-Finger Lakes small business owners by extending the PPP loan period to the end of the year and providing the option for a second PPP loan for eligible small businesses that are in need of additional assistance to survive.

Specifically, "P4" second loans will allow for businesses to access funds worth 250 percent of monthly payroll costs, up to a maximum of $2 million. Small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 100 employees, sole proprietors, independent contractors, self-employed borrowers, and rural and historically underserved communities will be eligible for this second round of assistance, in an effort to get critical federal aid to the most in-need businesses that have lost 50 percent or more of revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These second PPP loans would be fully forgivable similar to the first PPP loans as long as all requirements are met in the use of funds. Schumer said that the next stimulus package must target assistance to hard-hit Rochester-Finger Lakes small businesses like Union Tavern, and those in historically underserved communities.

Citing data from the New York State Department of Labor, Schumer further explained that the private sector job count in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region fell by 88,100 or 19 percent, to 374,500 during the 12-month period ending in May 2020.

”The PPP has been a lifeline for Rochester-Finger Lakes Region small businesses struggling to stay afloat during these turbulent times, and last week, I fought to ensure that the program would continue to support our hard-working New Yorkers for at least another month,” Senator Schumer said. “However, as New York seeks to recover from the crisis, we need to do even more for businesses hardest-hit by the pandemic.

"This legislation will bring much-needed changes to the existing PPP program to make loans more accessible to the smallest businesses and nonprofits in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region that are struggling the most and make a second round of relief possible for businesses that need the extra support.”

The senator said that his "P4" legislation will reserve 20 percent of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees and ensure priority processing for such businesses and nonprofits, in conjunction with priority processing for underserved and rural borrowers across the Rochester-Finger Lakes region, including veterans. To further make sure that the funding is reserved for the hardest-hit small businesses, the "P4" loan will not be available to publicly traded companies.

Schumer noted that Rochester-Finger Lakes Region labor statistics show that for the 12-month period ending May 2020, the private sector job count in the Rochester metro area fell by 88,100, or 19.0 percent, to 374,500. Schumer explained that this data points to a critical need for federal support to revive the region’s economy, including aid to help small businesses weather the crisis and to put them on a road to recovery as the lynchpins of our communities.

Schumer was joined by leading Rochester-Finger Lakes region stakeholders including Melissa Marquez, CEO of the Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union who share these sentiments and recognize the importance of this critical legislation for PPP reform that targets hurting businesses.

As one of the Rochester region’s few Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) approved by the Federal Small Business Administration (SBA) to make PPP loans, Genesee co-op has assisted dozens of minority-owned small business secure a PPP but estimates they have only met 20 percent of the need that now exists among minority or un-banked small businesses in the Rochester region.

The Senator was also joined by Kelly Bush, co-owner of the Union Tavern and president of the Rochester Chapter of the NYS Restaurant Association, Mark Taylor, CEO of Apogee Exhibits in Macedon, which employs 25 workers and makes trade show displays and marketing materials for clients across the country, and Mark Cuddy Artistic Director of Geva Theatre Center.

They shared their firsthand experiences with the Paycheck Protection Program with Senator Schumer and joined him in his push for additional aid for hurting Rochester-Finger Lakes region businesses.

Kelly Bush, co-owner of the Union Tavern and President of the Rochester Chapter of the NYS Restaurant Association said, “As a small business owner facing a shuttered business in early March, securing a PPP was a game changer to help us survive through those first few months. But with realities still beyond our control and continued future uncertainties, enabling us to access a second PPP would be a lifeline for our business and countless others in the Rochester Finger Lakes region that cannot operate at regular capacity due to the pandemic. We appreciate Senator Schumer pushing this legislation to support of our industry so that small businesses can keep their doors open and employees on the job.”

Mark Taylor, CEO of Apogee Exhibits in Macedon, said, “We are part of the live events industry. An industry that contributes over 100 billion dollars to the economy when these events take place. When conventions and other events happen it sets into motion the work of countless small business owners, their employees, and sole proprietors. From carpenters and electricians and other trades, to hotels and hospitality, and other small businesses such as restaurants. All of these small businesses are crucial to restarting our economy, but they'll need additional help. We appreciate Senator Schumer for his advocacy of the small businesses of our economy and our nation."

Mark Cuddy, artistic director of Geva Theatre Center, said, “On March 12th Geva Theatre Center sold its last ticket as theaters closed down across the country. That means we have had zero ticket revenue for almost four months, and will not for the next 4-6 months. Even when a time comes for reopening we will be reduced in capacity to 35-40 percent of seats. We cannot survive in this model. Our 52 resident full-time staff and over a hundred guest artists cannot survive. Their families cannot survive. The restaurants and hotels who serve our patrons cannot survive. The PPP loan was a lifeline, and Senator Schumer’s Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program would be a remarkable ray of hope for our most vulnerable sectors.”

Details on the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, or "P4," appear below. "P4" loans:

  • May be as large as 2.5-times monthly payroll costs, just as under initial PPP loans, but may not be any larger than $2 million. (Affiliated businesses with separate locations may pursue separate P4 loans, but in aggregate the loans may not exceed $2 million.)

Allow borrowers to apply for forgiveness as early as eight weeks after the loan is disbursed and they have fulfilled payroll requirements, rather than make them opt-in to eight weeks or wait until the earlier of 24 weeks or Dec. 31, which needlessly increases the cost of the loan as interest accrues, tying up money that could be deployed for paychecks.

  • Are not available to publicly traded companies.
  • Except as otherwise mentioned, are subject to the same terms, conditions, and forgiveness criteria as initial PPP loans.
  • Provide lenders a minimum processing fee of $2,500 per P4 loan to ensure lenders do not lose money by processing small-dollar loans or cherry pick larger loans.

To increase access to PPP (initial and P4) assistance to underserved businesses, the bill reserves the lesser of $25 billion or 20 percent of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees, along with priority processing for such firms, harmonized with priority processing for underserved and rural borrowers.

The bill also requires SBA within five days to issue guidance, as required by the CARES Act, which instructs lenders to give priority in loan processing and disbursement to underserved and rural borrowers, including veterans. It also requires SBA to update the PPP loan application to collect demographic information on PPP recipients.

May 4, 2020 - 4:03pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today applauded the announcement that agricultural producers, for the first time, are now eligible for the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. 

“America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers need the same help that other American businesses need during this unprecedented time,” said Secretary Perdue. 

SBA’s EIDL portal has been closed since April 15. However, the Agency is able to reopen the portal today, in a limited capacity, as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act.

The legislation, which was signed into law by the President one week ago, provided additional critical funding for farmers and ranchers affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In order to help facilitate this important change to EIDL Loan and EIDL Advance assistance eligibility, SBA is reopening the Loan and Advance application portal to agricultural enterprises only.

For agricultural producers that submitted an EIDL loan application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will move forward and process these applications without the need for reapplying.

All other EIDL loan applications that were submitted prior to April 15 will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis.

March 20, 2020 - 2:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, SBA, COVID-19, Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

From the U.S. Small Business Administration:

Given the trying times we’re dealing we wanted to give you some updates you can pass along to your businesses. The first question businesses should be asking is of their current bankers and landlords. Are they able to defer payments for a few months? On current SBA Loans banks do have the authority to provide a deferment. Given the situation, we hope that landlords and other lenders would provide deferment as well.

Next, New York State has been approved and declared a State eligible for C for the novel coronavirus. Businesses can apply for these loans at: www.sba.gov/disaster

Disaster Loan Fact Sheet

It is a good idea for folks to have 3 years of tax returns, P&L from last year, Balance Sheet, Monthly Cash Flow and a listing of their liabilities (Mortgages, loans, etc.) together before applying. These loans do not replace lost sales but can cover fixed costs such as rent, utilities and payroll (if keeping employees).

I am doing a webinar with the Better Business Bureau and Lynn Oswald from our NCCC SBDC on Wednesday, March 25th from noon to 1 p.m. Please join us from the webinar as we’ll explain more about the Disaster Loan program and give other tips and resources for business survival in this trying time. Link to register.

Our Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Mentors and Women’s Business Center are operating during this time. Most are doing appointments via phone or web conference, but are available for businesses who have questions.

Please let me know if you need anything or have any further questions.

Best regards,

Greg Lindberg

Small Business Administration

March 20, 2020 - 11:15am

Statement from Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association:

“We are happy to announce that all New York small businesses, including restaurants, are now eligible for low-interest loans through the federal Small Business Administration.

"Up until (now), New York businesses were unable to apply for these much needed loans due to communities not being listed as 'disaster areas.' Through continued conversations with Empire State Development and representatives from the federal SBA program, we’ve conveyed how serious the situation is for New York restaurants.

"Many have already shut their doors and will not be able to reopen. While this is a great first step, we need to find additional ways to save the restaurant industry. When this pandemic is over, going out for a nice meal will help us all feel normal again. But some restaurants simply won’t make it.”

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: “We can’t thank Governor Cuomo and state officials enough for forgiving interest and penalties on late sales tax payments," Fleishut said. "For some restaurants, this little bit of breathing room could mean the difference between paying employees and shutting their doors forever. That being said, this relief is temporary, and we’ll continue to advocate for additional ways to help restaurants survive during this crisis.”

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