Dunkirk announces small business support in response to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the City of Dunkirk would like to provide our local businesses with as much support as possible. There are many non-profits, small business organizations, chambers, and local, state, and federal agencies working hard to help our small businesses. The City’s Planning and Development Department is ready to help point local businesses in the right direction in order to access funding and loan support during these trying times.

Mayor Rosas stated, “I want to assure all businesses in the City of Dunkirk that I will do all that I can to assist them through these troubled times and I have directed our Development Department to reach out to our business community to see how we can assist them with meeting the eligibility criteria for different programs at the local, state, and federal level. We are in this together and we will come out of this a stronger community.”

Below is a list of local, state, and federal programs specifically identified to support small businesses. The full detailed business support list can be found on the City’s website at www.dunkirktoday.com. The business support list will give further details on who to contact, how to access the programs, and applications that are available. The City will also be sending out postcards to all residents and businesses in order to further connect businesses to the support they need. Any comments or questions regarding this announcement should be addressed to Director of Planning and Development, Rebecca Wurster, at rwurster@cityofdunkirk.com or (716) 969-6955.


City of Dunkirk Small Business Loan Program

Loans available between $2,000 to $25,000

Eligible Activities: operating capital, purchase of land or buildings, construction or renovation, up-fit tenant improvements, and/or purchase or equipment or inventory.

City of Dunkirk CDBG Allocations

Supporting community non-profits performing essential services.

Workforce development and training services for displaced workers.

Retrofitting community facilities for medical or quarantine uses.

Supporting food and other essential supply deliveries to elderly and other vulnerable populations and;

Supporting various interrupted or at-risk core governmental functions.

Chautauqua County Website


CCIDA Emergency Working Capital Loan Program

Low-interest loans not to exceed $10,000.

Can be used for working capital needs.


A website geared toward promoting local restaurants and retail businesses.

Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Resources and Information

Website resources at: www.chautauquachamber.org

Chamber Facebook Group.

Weekly Chamber & Manufacturers Association: Coronavirus & Business Call.

NCCF Chautauqua County Crisis Response Fund

Grants are available to 501c3 organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution (schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities).

Chautauqua Opportunities for Development (CODI)

Term loans up to $50,000

Secured and unsecured Micro Business loans up to $5,000.

Line of Credit Loans at prime rate plus 2% interest.

Credit Savings Loan program.

Business Consultation Services.


Empire State Development Support

Business Resources: https://esd.ny.gov/esd-covid-19-related-resources.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance

Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

A business can apply for up to $2 million and the interest rate will be 3.75% (2.75% for nonprofits that qualify).

Funds can be used for fixed debts, payroll, and other bills.


SBA Paycheck Protection Program

Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.

Loan payments will be deferred for six months.

If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.


Additional resources from state agency and federal government partners:

NYS Department of Labor Shared Work – can provide an alternative to laying off employees during business downturns by allowing workers to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks: https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/employerinfo/shared-work-program.shtm

NEW Information on enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers under the recently-based CARES Act

NEW microsite– https://nyhirenow.usnlx.com/ in response to changes in the labor market as a result of COVID-19. This site list jobs in demand now- many with an Urgent need!

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 & Unemployment Assistance (Updated 3.26.2020) https://labor.ny.gov/ui/coronavirus-faq.shtm

NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Information https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home


SBA Debt Relief

The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.

The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.

The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork.

Up to $25,000, fast turnaround, and will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan

Tax Provisions

Loosens Rules on Retirement Accounts. A temporary pause for 2020 on the mandatory minimum distributions from retirement accounts allowing capital to stay invested instead of being forced to cash out. The bill also waives the 10% penalty on coronavirus-related early distributions from 401(k)s and IRAs, which applies to distributions up to $100,000 made at any time during 2020.

Employee Retention Tax Credit: Employers that face closure orders or suffer economic hardship due to the coronavirus crisis that continue to pay employees that are furloughed may be eligible for a 50% credit on up to $10,000 of wages paid to those employees.

Delays Payroll Tax Payments for Employers: Employers would be able to delay the payment of their 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022, leading to approximately $300 billion of extra cash flow for businesses.

Restores Supports for Businesses Suffering Losses: The bill also allows businesses to carry back losses from 2018, 2019, and 2020 to the previous 5 years, which will allow businesses access to immediate tax refunds.

Encourages Businesses to Invest in Improvements: The bill would fix cost recovery for investments in Qualified Improvement Properties, which will allow businesses that made these investments in 2018 and 2019 and receive tax refunds now.

Unemployment Provisions

Expanded Unemployment Benefits: Temporarily expands unemployment benefits to cover the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, etc. during the public health emergency. The bill also includes support to state and local governments and nonprofits so they can pay unemployment to their employees.

More Money for a Longer Period for More Workers: Adds a $600/week across-the-board payment increase through the end of July. In addition, for those who need it, the bill provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond what states typically allow.

Additional Emergency Relief

$425 billion for loans, loan guarantees, and investments in support of lending facilities established by the Federal Reserve for the purpose of providing liquidity to businesses, states, or municipalities through purchasing obligations or other interests directly from issuers of such obligations or other interests.

The bill cuts red tape to ensure that banks have room to provide the resources businesses need.

Additional Funding of Existing Programs

The Rural Business Cooperative Service is receiving an additional $20.5 million to facilitate making $1 billion in lending authority available for the Business and Industry loan guarantee program, which provides financing to business owners that might not be able to qualify for a loan on their own.

The Reconnect Pilot is receiving $100 million to provides grants for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) receives $5 billion to provide communities and states with funding to provide a wide range of resources to address COVID-19, such as services for senior citizens, the homeless, and public health services. Funding will be distributed using the CDBG formula.

The Dislocated Worker National Reserve is receiving $345 million to help states and communities to respond to the workforce impacts and layoffs resulting from the coronavirus.

State and Local Preparedness Grants receive $1.5 billion in designated funding for state and local preparedness and response activities. When combined with the first supplemental, Congress has provided $2.5 billion for state and local needs.

The Child Care and Development Block Grant receives $3.5 billion in grants to states for immediate assistance to child care providers to prevent them from going out of business and to otherwise support child care for families, including for healthcare workers, first responders, and others playing critical roles during this crisis.

The Community Services Block Grant program receives $1 billion in direct funding to local community-based organizations to provide a wide-range of social services and emergency assistance for those who need it most.


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