As the broad and long-lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic came into focus across New York State, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reached out to NYS CDFIs to find out how we were responding – and how they could help.
Their questions included:
- Are there specific economic impacts that your members have repeatedly heard from customers?
- Has there been a significant increase in the demand for specific services and products, if any?
- What assistance, if any, have CDFIs been able to provide?
- Have you heard of any programs both from public/private/nonprofit sector that CDFIs have been able to draw assistance from that can help address the needs of their customers?
Linda MacFarlane, Chair of the Board of Directors of the NYS CDFI Coalition, responded in part:
“Primarily CDFIs are concerned about having sufficient funds available to meet the operating needs of small businesses – to offset drop in business. As consumers stop going out in public, are confined to home for two weeks or more at a time, or are in a contained geographic area, businesses are seeing a significant reduction in consumer spending. Nonprofit organizations are experiencing restrictions on services and programming. Grant funding or very low interest rate loans are needed to sustain MWBE and small business borrowers.”
CDFIs’ requests for assistance include:
- Reallocation of funding from some ESDC programs to support their borrowers;
- The small business revolving loan fund, due for repayment beginning in 2020 for many CDFIs, could be extended so CDFIs can continue to use those funds.
- Other lending programs have restrictions based on geographic area or use of loan proceeds, CDFIs are asking for those restrictions to be lifted to meet emergency needs of small businesses.
Help us help you – let us know if you have specific requests for assistance in meeting the needs in your community. We’ll compile your information and send it along. Likewise, please feel free to share any resources that you have developed to serve your borrowers (best practices, guidelines documents) that might be helpful to others.
Finally, the New York Fed recently launched the Coronavirus Resource Center where individuals, businesses, and non-profits can find out what support is available to them at the federal, state, and city level.
We hope you are doing the best you can to withstand the outbreak, and to begin preparing for the day when our businesses can start opening again. Please, let us know what we can do to help.
Please respond to this survey by end of day on Friday, March 27.