COVID-19 Response

Nonprofit COVID-19 Resources


The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been a pandemic of historic proportions, one that has required extreme public health measures, causing many New Yorkers to stay at home and most businesses to close.  Inevitably, these measures have resulted in severe and unprecedented economic hardships, especially to nonprofits.  


A number of federal and State initiatives are available to assist nonprofits and other entities impacted by the COVID-19 virus.  This page provides a high-level overview of the various forms of assistance that nonprofits can call on in their continuing efforts to support the New York State communities.

New York Shared Work Program

The Shared Work Program gives nonprofits an alternative to laying off workers during business downturns by allowing them to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial Unemployment Insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, nonprofits can reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group. 


Information on the Shared Work Program can be found on the Department of Labor website.  Nonprofits can visit the Employer Eligibility and Application page, which includes a comprehensive fact sheet and video on the benefits of the program.   Nonprofit employees can visit the How to File a Claim page to learn about the types of benefits they may be eligible to receive while on a shared work plan.  

New York Forward Loan Fund


The $100 million New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) provides flexible and affordable loans to help small businesses, focusing on minority and women owned small businesses, that did not receive federal COVID-19 assistance. The state will take a smart, targeted approach for distributing these loans, focusing on businesses with 20 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in gross revenues. 


An overview of the NYFLF can be found on the Empire State Development website.  Interested nonprofits can access Information on How to Apply, and Frequently Asked Questions. 

Pandemic Unemployment Insurance

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU) is a new federal program that is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. PUA provides financial assistance for Americans who are unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic but do not qualify for traditional unemployment insurance.  A detailed overview of eligibility, benefits and the application process is available on the Department of Labor website.


The Department of Labor has launched an updated streamlined application.  While it is best to apply online, you can also call (888) 209-8124 to apply using an automated phone system. The Department of Labor has thousands of representatives working seven days a week to process your claim as quickly as possible.


Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 Loans

As part of the $2 trillion federal stimulus bill (CARES Act) passed on March 27, New York State nonprofits and other small businesses are eligible for a number of relief benefits from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  Information about these programs is available on the Empire State Development website.  Nonprofits are strongly encouraged to Apply Now as funding is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.  Key programs include:


  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides $659 billion in loans to small business, nonprofits, sole proprietors and other eligible entities with fewer than 500 employees. Loans of up to $10 million can be obtained to cover certain business costs including employee payroll, rent, insurance, paid sick or medical leave, interest on mortgage obligations and utilities.  A video overview of the PPP for Nonprofits is available.


  • The Subsidy Loan Program (SLP) benefits for businesses with existing SBA loans.  Eligible businesses can apply for the SBA to pay interest and principal payments for 6 months on their existing SBA loans.


  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) provides small businesses and nonprofits with low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help overcome other financial losses due to COVID-19. 


Assistance is available.  New York's statewide community network of Small Business Development Centers, Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers and Community Development Financial Institutions are waiting to help guide your business through the SBA loan application process. 


  • The New York Small Business Development Centers (NYSBDC) provide small business owners and entrepreneurs in New York with the highest quality, confidential business counseling, training, and business research at no cost


  • Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers (EAC) provide instruction, training, technical assistance and support services to new and aspiring entrepreneurs in local communities statewide.



Federal Emergency Management Agency DR-4480 Public Assistance

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding may be available under the COVID-19 major disaster declaration (DR-4480).  The current COVID-19 FEMA disaster grant can provide funding to private non-profits, local governments and other eligible entities for actions taken before, during, and following a disaster to save lives, protect public health and ensure the safety of citizens.


Visit the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services websites Active Declarations page for more information, including online Applicant Briefings and the Private Non-Profit (PNP) Eligibility Guidelines.