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.

Nonprofit Pandemic Recovery Initiatives

Empire State Development has created a tool where businesses can search for the pandemic recovery initiative that is right for them.  This tool allows businesses to search by entity type (for instance, nonprofit), industry type, and other criteria to return the pandemic recovery initiatives that are most relevant to their organization. 

Types of initiatives include grant programs, tax credits, and loan funds. Visit the Empire State Development website for more information. 

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.  

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.