CDFIs Covid-19 Response: Around the State

Last week, the CDFI Coalition launched a rapid-response questionnaire to help NYS prepare for applications for disaster recovery funds from the US Small Business Administration. Thanks to all who responded.

We recently updated our Coronavirus Resources page, with links to Federal, State and NYC sites.

In addition, we surveyed more than 80 CDFIs in New York State to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting them and their communities. Here are some examples of how the crisis is playing out across the Empire State:

  • Long Island – “Our clients are small businesses in the service industry, mom and pop stores with 5 employees or less and $500k or less in revenues, all of whom were forced to close down.  Since Long Island has a high number of COVID 19 cases, we are uncertain at this time when and if these businesses can re-open.”
  • Buffalo – “We are one of only 17 venture-funding CDFIs, so we specialize in high-growth companies who are often in product development or early revenue-generation phase. The economic impacts have been a slow-down that has caused them to lay people off (or cut heavily into their cash or lines of credit to continue paying current workers), pursue deferral wherever possible for the business and the management teams personal debt/expense obligations, stoppage of work, and in the worst cases preparation for shutting down the business altogether.”
  • Westchester – “We have heard from a lot of entrepreneurs who have no other source of income but themselves, so their need is less about keeping the business going than it is about keeping a roof over their head and food on the table so they can restart the business in the future. We’ve had clients ask our loan officers if they knew where they could get assistance to get food because they had no money to pay for it.”
  • North Country – “Our small businesses in the rural North Country of NYS are being decimated. Between closure and the anticipated cancellation of all travel plans for the foreseeable future, we know that the mid to long terms needs will be massive. Our small office of four staff are overwhelmed with calls, email and teleconferences to begin to respond to the needs. We have at the same time had to immediately invest and implement new technology, including purchasing laptops and new software to be able to operate. All of this was unbudgeted and in addition to anticipated work.”
  • Chautauqua -“10% of our low credit score high risk borrows cannot make their monthly payment.”
  • Rochester – “We have offered a one-month forbearance to all 200 of our small business borrowers, with no interest accrued during March and no payments for April 1, as a first step to give us some time to develop a more comprehensive response. This will cost us $45,000 a month in lost interest revenue. A significant number of our borrowers have closed or severely limited their businesses.”

The magnitude of this crisis is unprecedented in its scope and scale. Please continue to share your experiences, needs and best practices using the form below. We’ll pass it along.

Thank you for all you’re doing to keep our communities strong.