NYC’s ‘Opportunity Fund’ to supply pandemic relief to small businesses


NYC Mayor’s Office | Flickr

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

New York City launched applications for small businesses to receive pandemic relief funding through a new loan program called the “NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund” on Jan. 23.

Through the city’s Department of Small Business Services, $75 million will be distributed to approximately 1,500 local businesses in the five boroughs.

The Small Business Opportunity Fund is a part of a public-private partnership between Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Mastercard Inc. Additionally, eight different community development financial institutions are also a part of the partnership, according to Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin Kim in a news conference.

Small businesses may apply for loans up to $250,000 at a market-leading rate of 4%. Businesses must make a revenue of less than $5 million and will be allowed to use the loan to refinance higher-interest debts.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the financial help arrives at a time when the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching a crucial point in time. He added that the loan fund is the city’s way of “giving back” to the small businesses that kept the city going.

“Our efforts to cut red tape and jumpstart our recovery are already delivering results: We saw 13,600 new businesses open in the first half of 2022, including 1,800 new storefronts,” Adams said, according to a press release. “This new loan fund will help us build on that progress and represents the next great step forward in our city’s partnership with our entrepreneurs and small business owners.”

Goldman Sachs will provide financial aid through its “One Million Black Women” initiative. It is a series of investments that focus on building infrastructure in the lives of Black women — including but not limited to healthcare, education and housing.

Asahi Pompey, who is the global head of corporate engagement for Goldman Sachs, acknowledged that a huge obstacle for small-business owners of color is a lack of access to loans. She cited data that the bank gathered from over 15 surveys of small-business owners across the nation in 2022.

“We are determined to ensure that affordable capital reaches last-mile lenders who prioritize serving under-resourced small business owners,” Pompey said. “Through One Million Black Women, we are focused on advancing targeted capital solutions with proven impact, and we are honored to partner with Mayor Adams and Small Business Services in this effort.”

Adams made his priority to jumpstart the city’s economy clear early on in his tenure. During his first days in office, he signed Executive Order 15, which led to the creation of a Small Business Advisory Commission.

In February 2022, Adams released his budget proposal, where New York City’s economic restoration was at the forefront. In his proposal, his plan included a $79 million allocation toward creating 100,000 summer youth jobs.

More than 4,000 businesses in the private sector — including but not limited to retail chain stores and banks — shut down in New York between the years 2019 and 2021, according to the city’s comptroller office. 

However, in the same released data, the private sector gained 13,800 new jobs in May 2022, signaling that economic recovery for New York is possible.

Applications for the loans are available online at