With the second round of federal government-issued Paycheck Protection Program loans open to business owners, City Comptroller Scott Stringer has announced a plan to ensure New York mom-and-pop shops get a fair shake — citing the meager amount of businesses that received loans during the first round.
According to Stringer’s office, just 12 percent of New York’s 1.1 million businesses received PPP loans, which are forgivable if the majority is used for employee paychecks — but sparsely populated states like North Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa saw more than 20 percent of their businesses receive funds.
In Brooklyn, 53 percent of businesses received funds, according to the comptroller’s office.
“Too few of our businesses were able to access the first round of funding — so we need to step up at the local level and use every tool at our disposal to proactively ensure our small businesses are not shut out of the next wave of PPP loans,” Stringer said.
The city’s chief bean counter called on the city to increase its outreach to small businesses to assist them with applying for the federal loans.
Stringer, who is running for mayor, said the city should create a door-to-door outreach team in collaboration with Business Improvement Districts to reach out to every merchant along specific commercial corridors, and build a multi-lingual team for outreach and support to different ethnic groups across the city.
To increase general awareness of the program, the city should spread the word about the relaunch of the program through an advertising campaign, Stringer said.
Analysis by the non-profit news website The City found that many micro-businesses in New York — businesses with 10 or fewer employees, were largely left out of the first round of checks mainly due to the complex application process.
Stringer called on the city to work with Minority Depository Institutions and Community Development Financial Institutions, which he said proved effective at providing loans to small businesses through the pandemic so far.
“The city should start implementing our recommendations immediately to make sure New York small businesses get their fair share of funding, can remain open, and our economic recovery stays on track,” Stringer said.
Brooklynites looking for more information about applications for PPP loans can visit the state’s website here.