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NYC to offer historic $75 million ‘Opportunity Fund’ to aid small businesses

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Mayor Adams and corporate leaders have announced that they’ve partnered to create a $75 million loan fund for small businesses to access up to $250,000 in low-interest loans to stay afloat and grow.

The financing, which will come out of the city’s newly created Small Business Opportunity Fund, will be floated through $50 million from Goldman Sachs and $25 million in taxpayer revenue.

The city estimates that approximately 1,500 local businesses will receive loans at a 4% interest rate through the fund.

Adams, who unveiled the fund’s creation at the Nohble street wear store in the Bronx, framed it as being inextricably linked to the struggles many businesses faced during the height of COVID.

“I remember watching small businesses remain open, and many women- and minority-owned businesses did not close. They did not go away from the needs of the city,” he said. “You can not telework if you are delivering food products, health care products and some of the other basic supplies. They remained open, and we are forever in debt to them.”

He framed the new loan fund as part of a broader push from his administration to make the lives of small business owners easier, and touted his policies of cutting the fines and red-tape associated with running a mom-and-pop and his executive order creating a Small Business Advisory Commission as part of that mission as well.

Asahi Pompey, Goldman Sachs’ global head of corporate engagement, described the simple rationale behind the banking firm’s move as “a good investment.”

“That’s the reason that we are committing our capital — both our commercial capital and our philanthropic capital — to meet the needs of New York City’s small businesses,” she said. “Time and time again, our surveys find that flexible capital is what they need. That is their consistent challenge — especially business owners of color.”

Other partners in the fund include the Community Reinvestment Fund and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, which, according to its President Shamina Singh, will also provide “assets and insights” for the initiative.

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