In late December, Mizuho Americas closed on a $15 million loan to the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF), a major economic recovery program launched in 2020 by Governor Cuomo to help small businesses, particularly those that are minority- and women-owned, access much-needed credit amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help companies keep their workforces employed during the crisis, many of the smallest businesses have fallen through the cracks, unable to take advantage of these federal loans due to some of its strict parameters. That’s where the NYFLF steps in, targeting the state’s businesses with 20 or fewer full-time employees (which represent 90% of all businesses) as well as nonprofits and small residential landlords that have seen a loss of rental income.
The fund is providing working capital loans so that these businesses have access to credit as they reopen, which will be crucial in helping not only individual business owners and their employees, but the state’s broader economic recovery. Additionally, at least 60% of the loans will be made to businesses owned by women and/or people of color, as such enterprises often face the greatest challenges to accessing liquidity.
The NYFLF is a partnership led by the State of New York and five Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with support from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, and Calvert Impact Capital. The participating CDFIs include ACCION East, Community Preservation Corporation, National Development Council, Pursuit and TruFund.
Additionally, in a separate transaction, Mizuho recently deposited $15 million in Bronx-based Ponce Bank, a minority-owned depository institution, certified SBA Lender, and CDFI, through the CDARS program. The funding will provide much-needed liquidity to support Ponce’s efforts to provide financial services in underserved neighborhoods.
“As a longtime member of the New York business community, Mizuho sought out these opportunities to put our financial expertise and resources to use supporting individuals and businesses during this unprecedented crisis,” said Head of Community Relations Lesley Palmer. “Both of these community development transactions reflect our ongoing commitment to help meet the credit needs of underserved communities.”