Brooklyn Elected Officials Launch Loan Program for Small Businesses

Councilmember Brad Lander and Assemblymember Robert Carroll, in partnership with the Hebrew Free Loan Society and The Change Reaction, will offer 0%-interest loans to small business owners and independent contractors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

BROOKLYN, NY -- Two local elected officials are teaming up with local philanthropists to make 0%-interest loans available to Brooklyn small business owners and independent contractors affected by the economic shutdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Councilmember Brad Lander and Assemblymember Robert Carroll will partner with the Hebrew Free Loan Society and The Change Reaction to administer a new interest-free loan program to provide assistance to small businesses in their districts.

The Greg Perlman and Michael Clark Small Business Angel Fund will offer two types of interest- free loans to Brooklyn businesses: 1) 0% interest loans up to $25,000 for small businesses in the area which are currently operating and need support to get through this time of reduced revenue, and 2) loans of $3,000-$7,500 for independent contractors and small business owners who have been required to close or cease operating due to the state’s PAUSE order.

“One of the heartbreaking parts of this crisis has been walking past the darkened doors of many beloved neighborhood businesses,” said Councilmember Brad Lander. “In conversations with small business owners in my district, I’ve heard over and over how difficult it is to get and then use the federal relief programs for small businesses. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of Greg Perlman and Michael Clark of The Change Reaction, and the partnership of the Hebrew Free Loan Society, we are grateful to be able to offer another source of funds to help fill the gaps in federal and city assistance to help some of our beloved local businesses weather this devastating storm.”
“Covid-19 has not only impacted the health of New Yorkers but greatly impacted our small businesses,” said Assemblymember Robert Carrroll. “I speak with a variety of small businesses everyday and without fail each business owner reminds me of how important working capital is to re-starting their business. Greg Perlman and Michael Clark of The Change Reaction, and the partnership of the Hebrew Free Loan Society, have answered the call of our small businesses and have generously offered to assist by providing zero interest small business loans. These loans will be invaluable to businesses that have been shutout of other government programs.”

Small businesses and independent contractors located in the 39th City Council District (CM Lander) or the 44th NY Assembly District (AM Carroll) who have experienced financial hardship attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to apply for the loans. Loans will be repayable in equal installments over the course of 24 to 36 months, after a grace period of three months. Businesses must have normal revenues of $1M or less and 15 or fewer employees to qualify. For both types of loans, no guarantors or collateral are required. Individuals seeking loans must fill out an application that includes authorization to obtain a credit report. On-time rent for the twelve months up to and including March 2020 is a requisite of eligibility. Applicants will be contacted within two business days of applying, and decisions on most loans will be made within five business days.

“What we’re trying to do here is provide a simple, streamlined process to continue helping local small businesses in need,” said Greg Perlman, founder of The Change Reaction. “We all have a role to play in supporting the most vulnerable during this crisis. My business partner, Michael Clark, and I have decided to substantially increase our philanthropy during this crisis because if not now, when? I’m glad that in partnership with Council Member Lander, Assemblymember Carroll and the Hebrew Free Loan Society we can provide some relief.”

The Brooklyn-based Small Business Angel Fund is part of a bicoastal effort by The Change Reaction to partner with local elected officials and community organizations to support small businesses. Los Angeles Council Member John Lee partnered with The Change Reaction to begin distributing loans to small businesses in his L.A. council district earlier this month.

More details and the application for the loan can be found here: lander/small-business-loan-fund/

The application form for the loans is here: