Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the launch of the $100 million Forward Loan Fund to help small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said they will take a smart, targeted approach in loan distribution and will prioritize women- and minority-owned small businesses that were not able to obtain federal COVID-19 relief loans. Eligible companies are those with less than $3 million in gross annual revenues and with 20 employees or less. Cuomo also said that helping small businesses is a top priority because they are the engine of the state economy.
The governor also announced the launch of a pilot program where 52 independent pharmacies will conduct 7,000 COVID-19 tests per week. The state government also partnered with the Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University to offer a comprehensive online training curriculum on contact tracing. It will be offered through the National Governors Association at no cost to all states.
Cuomo also announced that the Mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island regions could reopen next week if the number of COVID-19 deaths continues to decline. He also reminded New Yorkers to vote on the state’s Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest.