Downtown Alliance offering grants to cover rent for ‘essential’ small businesses

The Downtown Alliance has launched the Small Business Rental Assistance Grant, which will provide $10,000 grants to 80 small businesses with storefronts within the district (note map) that are currently open as “essential.” The funds can be applied to April or May rent.

Businesses can apply starting Friday, May 1, at 9a at The application will be open until May 15 or until funding is exhausted.

The entire fund is $800,000 with the Downtown Alliance contributing $250,000 from redirected funds within its annual budget, and the balance coming from Brookfield Properties, Silverstein Properties and The Howard Hughes Corporation. The individual grants will offer a single direct payment.

Businesses must meet the following requirements and provide appropriate documentation:

  • Currently be open and providing an “essential” service as defined by Governor Andrew Cuomo in the PAUSE order of March 22
  • Located on the ground floor within the BID’s boundaries
  • Be an independent business with five or fewer locations in New York City
  • Fewer than 20 employees as of March 1, 2020
  • Gross annual revenue below $1.5 million
  • Current lease at their current location through December 31, 2020
  • Provide proof of using this grant towards rent

Required documentation will include: 2019 4th Quarter 941, relevant lease agreement pages and the main pages from the business’ most recently filed IRS business tax return, showing its annual gross revenues.

The Alliance is also putting efforts toward educating local business owners about available funding opportunities, convening working groups, communicating which businesses are open to residents and spotlighting essential workers who are making a difference. Efforts will continue with dedicated marketing programs and initiatives to help turn the lights back on across the neighborhood.