NYC SBS Loan/Grant Deadline is Tomorrow, April 3rd!: COVID-19 Transportation Update - Thursday, April 2, 2020

Thursday, April 2, 2020

NYC Medallion Industry

Matt Daus was quoted in the New York Post yesterday regarding the dire state of the taxi industry amid COVID-19:

“This industry was on the brink before this happened, and this virus has just pushed it totally over the edge,” said Matthew Daus, a former TLC commissioner who’s now a lawyer with Windels Marx. “I hope we don’t see more bankruptcies, but I’m afraid a lot of people might go under and file for bankruptcy protection. This will be worse than 9/11 economically, especially for the black cars and luxury livery.” Click Here to Read More

NYC Department of Small Business Services Loan and Grant Program for COVID-19 – Tomorrow is the Deadline To Apply for the Grants Program!!!

Transportation companies in NYC should act quickly to apply for the NYC grant and loan programs being offered for businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York City Department of Small Business Services (“SBS”) has announced programs to provide relief for small businesses in NYC seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. The NYC Small Business Continuity Fund Program is a loan program for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees that have seen sale decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate loss of revenue. The small business must demonstrate the ability to repay the loan and have no outstanding tax liens or judgments. The NYC Employee Retention Grant Program is a grant available to businesses with fewer than 5 employees that can demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak has reduced revenue by at least 25%. For the grant program, the business must have been operating for at least 6 months and have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments. For smaller transportation companies in NYC, the SBS grant will pay up to 40% of payroll costs for 2 months – up to $27,000. PLEASE NOTESBS has announced that the NYC EMPLOYEE RETENTION GRANT PROGRAM will cease accepting applications as of 5:00 PM on Friday, April 3, 2020!

Critical Updates on The CARES Act Announced Today!

Today, the US Treasury Secretary made 2 critical announcements about the Paycheck Protection Program loans.  The PPP loans will have an interest rate set at 1%. The SBA had indicated in its guidance that the PPP loans would be .5% Secondly, the Treasury Secretary indicated that the loan funds would be issued on the “same day” that the loan is approved. Small businesses and sole proprietors may begin applying for the PPP loans beginning tomorrow. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals may not apply until Friday, April 10, 2020. The PPP loans are being handled by an existing SBA lender, or through any federally-insured depository institution, federally-insured credit union, or Farm Credit institution. Other regulated lenders will be available to make the PPP loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the PPP loan program. In an effort to be of assistance, we have prepared a summary of Frequently Asked Questions about the PPP loan program. Since the loan amount is based on payroll costs (plus the amount of an SBA Economic Disaster Assistance Loan that was made after January 31, 2020), transportation companies will need to provide documentation of their payroll costs with the loan application. The PPP loan program offers loan forgiveness up to 100% of the loan amount. Payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities payments made in the 8 weeks after getting the loan may be forgiven. You will owe money if you do not maintain your staff and payroll. The deadline for submitting PPP loan applications is June 30, 2020. There is a finite amount of funds for the PPP loans, so transportation companies need to prepare today to be ready to go tomorrow!

If you have any questions about the federal programs or other assistance programs, please reach out to MATT DAUS at or (212) 237-1106To assist the industry at its time of need, our team is providing free advice to industry members!

NYS Budget Bill

The portion of the NYS Budget Bill dealing with transportation and environmental issues was passed today. There are two items related to COVID-19: 

  • Authorizes the MTA to borrow money and issue negotiable notes, bonds or other obligations to offset decreases in revenue due to COVID-19 (Part LLL)
  • Allows the MTA to use funds collected from Congestion Tolling (central business district tolling lockbox fund) to offset decreases in revenue due to COVID-19 in 2020 through 2021 (Part MMM).

In addition, the NYS budget bill includes legislation addressing unlicensed operation of ground transportation to and from airports (Part H). In brief, the bill amends the Motor Vehicle and Traffic Law, § 1222-b, to add alternate and enhanced penalties to crack down on illegal street hails at the airports. 
The budget bill does not include legislation that was in the initial version that would have effectively established the “ABC” test as the standard for determining classification of individuals who work for app companies.

Separate COVID-19-related legislation that may impact transportation companies and small businesses pending the NY Legislature include the following: 

  • AB 10182  Extends the renewal of driver's licenses, non-driver identification cards and inspections of motor vehicles for three months. Pending.  NOTE: Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.8, which closed DMV Offices. In response, DMV announced that all licenses, non-driver ID's, and registrations with an expiration date of March 1, 2020 or later are extended. Inspections due in March 2020 are extended until further notice.
  • AB 10208  Establishes the Coronavirus Pandemic Small Business and Not-For-Profit Organization Loan Program. Pending.
  • SB 8110  Establishes the small business containment assistance program; makes an appropriation therefor. Pending.
  • SB 8109  Suspends mortgages and loans from state-chartered banks and state-chartered credit unions for small businesses and restaurants that have closed or reduced services due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Pending.
  • SB 8118/AB 10183  Amends the General Business Law; prohibits negative credit reporting on consumers who have suffered financial harm as a result of the declared state of emergency relating to the coronavirus. Pending.
  • SB 8119  Amends the transportation Law; relates to paratransit services within the state and city of New York during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Pending.
  • SB 8122  Authorizes the New York city department of finance to extend until June 15, 2020, the deadline for the filing of applications and renewal applications for certain real property tax abatement programs in the interest of the health and safety of the public due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Pending.
  • SB 8125  Suspends all rent payments for certain residential tenants and small business commercial tenants if such tenant has lost employment or was forced to close their place of business and certain mortgage payments for landlords of such tenants in the state for ninety days following the effective date of this act in response to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Pending.