Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine ad on Wednesday a new countywide LinkNYC campaign, in partnership with the Hebrew Free Loan Society, to offer $2 million in interest-free loans to small businesses that have suffered financial hardship during the pandemic.
The collaboration, known as the Small Business Booster Loan Program, is designed to jumpstart struggling small businesses by offering up to $50,000 in interest-free loans that can be used for expenses like equipment, rent, utilities, payroll and marketing. The program will also serve as a vital lifeline for people who cannot access business credit.
“These loans are transformational for stores, mom-and-pop businesses and entrepreneurs across the county,” Levine said in a communiqué.
“This partnership with the Hebrew Free Loan Society ensures businesses don’t have to close. They are helping to create a stronger economy and fuel a more vibrant urban landscape. And without the cloud of vested interests hanging over businesses, they will be better able to focus on growing the products, services and creative efforts that make Manhattan unique.”
The Hebrew Free Loan Society is a non-sectarian lender, so you do not need to be affiliated with Judaism to participate in the loan program.
Levine’s Office, which has made more than $300,000 in loans since the program’s inception in February, said the impact has been significant. He pointed to a loan given to the Harlem Cycle gym, which had been closed for 15 months during the pandemic, as an example. The funds helped owner Tammeca Rochester keep a dozen employees on payroll, plus he was able to open a second location.