Stringer outlined a set of recommendations for the city to help small and immigrant-owned small businesses apply for and receive PPP funding.
In the first round of PPP last year, only 12 percent of the 1.1 million businesses in the city received a loan, compared to other states such as North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, where more than 20 percent of businesses received a loan.
“New York City’s small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open and the lights on,” Stringer said. “PPP should have been a lifeline for these businesses, but they were drastically shortchanged.
“Too few of our businesses were able to access the first round of funding,” Stringer added, “so we need to step up at the local level and use every tool at our disposal to proactively ensure our small businesses are not shut out of the next wave of PPP loans.”
The mayoral candidate recommended building a multilingual and multiethnic team to conduct outreach to immigrant-owned businesses. He also suggested compiling and disseminating a list of all financial institutions that are administering the PPP so businesses know exactly where to go.
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS), in partnership with business improvement districts (BIDs) and other business groups, should create a door-to-door outreach team and reach every commercial corridor to provide help with paperwork, Stringer said.
He also recommended that SBS launch a business hotline to walk businesses through the application process or connect them with a lending institution.
The comptroller suggested that the city work more closely with community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs), which he said proved highly effective. He said those institutions should receive city funding to hire experts in PPP paperwork.
Stringer noted that only 5 percent of freelancers received PPP fudning in the last disbursement, so the city should work with the Freelancers Union to improve outreach. Finally, he suggested amplifying the PPP program through television, radio, social media and public transit ads to encourage more businesses to apply.
“The city should start implementing our recommendations immediately,” Stringer said, “to make sure New York small businesses get their fair share of funding, can remain open and our economic recovery stays on track.”