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Suffolk seeks up to $5 million in loans for small businesses, nonprofits, landlords

A person walks along closed stores and restricted

A person walks along closed stores and restricted seating on Main St. in Sag Harbor on Tuesday. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Suffolk County officials said they are seeking to secure up to $5 million in loans for small businesses, nonprofits and landlords through a new state program aimed at helping those entities reopen after the coronavirus shutdown.

The Suffolk County Economic Development Corp. is expected to vote Thursday on whether to contribute $250,000 to the New York Forward Loan Fund in an effort to qualify for up to $5 million in loans from the fund, county officials said.

“This pandemic has hit our main street businesses the hardest, and as we begin to reopen, we need to do all that we can to help them get back on their feet,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement. “This program will provide our small businesses with the flexibility they need to come back stronger than ever.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo established the economic recovery program last week to provide up to $100 million in loans to small businesses, nonprofits and landlords that have not received federal loans from the Paycheck Protection or Economic Injury Disaster programs.

Nassau officials said Monday they planed to contribute $500,000 to the program in a bid to get $10 million to distribute across the county.

Nassau and Suffolk counties are eligible to access 18% of the fund, according to Empire State Development, the state's primary economic development agency.

Nonprofits and small businesses must have 20 or fewer full-time employees to qualify. The loan program will focus on funding businesses owned by women and minorities and those located in low- to moderate-income areas, a county official said.

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Loans will be targeted for landlords with fewer than 200 rental units, and priority will go to landlords with low- to moderate-income tenants, according to Empire State Development.

The maximum loan is $100,000. Loans can be used for costs related to reopening, including marketing and refitting to comply with social distancing guidelines.

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