Governor Hochul Announces $150 Million New York Forward Loan Fund 2 to Provide Flexible Loans to New York State Small Businesses

July 20, 2023

Partnership With Mission-Driven Community Lenders Will Strengthen Small Businesses and Non-Profits Through Access to Capital and Support Services

Expanded Eligibility Will Allow More Small Businesses to Qualify for Loans

Interested Businesses Can Pre-Apply Here

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the New York Forward Loan Fund 2 program for qualifying small businesses and nonprofits. After expanding criteria for qualifications and with even greater resources allocated for the program, the enhanced fund represents an even bolder commitment to New York State’s small businesses. Qualified recipients with fewer than 100 employees and less than $5 million in gross annual revenue can apply for loans up to $150,000 with affordable, fixed-rate interest rates. Part of New York’s broader State Small Business Credit Initiative efforts led by Empire State Development, the fund will be in place for the next eight years and will focus on helping small businesses and nonprofits, particularly those in low-income and historically underbanked communities and rural areas access flexible working capital to cover a wide range of expenses, from payroll and marketing to facility renovations. Additionally, free support services from experts will work with businesses throughout the life of the loan.

“New York’s small businesses are the lifeblood of our state’s economy and vital to growing and strengthening New York State,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “With expanded eligibility, this new and improved New York Forward Loan Fund will build on the success that the first fund achieved supporting small businesses during the pandemic and continue to help even more small businesses grow and thrive across the state."

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The New York Forward Loan Fund 2 was designed to be a stable, flexible resource for New York’s small business community across the state to access capital when they need it. This innovative program will match small businesses to strong, statewide CDFI lenders who can provide individualized service and technical assistance, especially for business owners who have credit needs that are too small for most banks.”

The New York Forward Loan Fund was initially designed to provide hands on support and access to flexible, affordable credit to the smallest businesses across New York who lacked access to affordable credit options in response to COVID-19. New York State needed to create its own program to address inequities in distribution of funds and because smaller loans were not widely available in the market at affordable rates. The original fund processed over 1,700 loans and distributed $97 million in pandemic relief to small businesses and served as a life-line, especially for women and minority-owned companies. More than 50 percent of loan recipients had never applied for a business loan prior to the New York Forward Loan Fund.

Read the full press release here.