Launched in 2020, the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) supported New York State small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees, nonprofits, and small residential landlords that experienced a loss of rental income. Through the fund, five local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) provided loans up to $100,000 to eligible New York organizations to cover expenses related to reopening, such as inventory purchases, marketing or refitting for social distancing.
In addition to serving local small businesses and other eligible entities, the fund purchased eligible loans made through the program from participating CDFIs. This unique structure enabled the participating CDFIs to overcome balance sheet constraints and deploy a higher volume of loans.
The NYFLF processed more than 1,500 loans between May 2020 – October 2021 and distributed $85 million in COVID relief.
60 Decibels, a measurement company that helps organizations around the world better understand their clients, suppliers, and beneficiaries, was engaged to evaluate the impact of this program. Using feedback gathered directly from program participants, 60 Decibels produced a report – New York Forward Loan Fund Insights. This report can be used by CDFIs, financial institutions, policymakers and others as we work together to create future programs that support small businesses.
Highlights from the report include:
- 54% pf respondents had never borrowed money for their business prior to the NYFLF loan
- 68% of respondents indicated that they could not have easily found an good alternative to the NYFLF loan
- 68% of respondents said that they can better manager their finances now than before receiving the loan