Small Businesses

Tenant makes empanadas at WHEDco's Bronx CookSpace.

Creating pride of place with safer, healthier and more vibrant neighborhoods, and creating opportunities for financial security!

We believe that healthy, vibrant neighborhoods emerge where culture and commerce intersect. We envision sustainable economic opportunities based on a community’s needs and local assets, and public spaces that reflect a community’s collective memory and experience.

Our Small Business Development programs and Community Development approach focus on working with local residents to create places where people will be proud to live, work and shop.

Small Business Development

WHEDco empowers low-income New Yorkers to create their own economic opportunities by starting small businesses. We offer a variety of programs that help people build careers out of the work they are already doing, or to access new opportunities to start small businesses.

WHEDco has helped thousands of people build bridges out of poverty, creating good jobs while increasing the quality and safety of the services they provide.

  • Home-based Childcare Microenterprise: WHEDco helps women to start and grow successful childcare businesses. These businesses provide children with nurturing environments in which to learn and grow, while enabling parents to seek and maintain employment.
  • Bronx CookSpace: WHEDco helps men and women grow successful businesses in the food industry by providing affordable commercial kitchen space in our Urban Horizons building to emerging food companies.
  • Commercial Revitalization: WHEDco works with local merchants and residents in the South Bronx and continues to revitalize the commercial corridors near its building.


COVID Resources

US Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Small business owners in New York are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

SBA is working directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program offers working capital loans of up to $2 million to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

Restaurant Response Program

The nonprofit, Rethink Food announced a restaurant response program wherein it will provide a $40,000 grant for 30 New York City-based restaurants at risk of closing operations due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The expectation is that restaurants accepted to participate in the program will use the funds to prepare meals for affordable price points, and temporarily operate on a distributor model to help mitigate the effects of any food shortages.

NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus.

It will give grants and interest-free loans to NYC-based nonprofits that are trying to meet the new and urgent needs that are hitting the city. Priority will be given to direct service providers addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture, because New York is the cultural capital of the nation. Your gift will help nonprofits with a variety of needs, including protective equipment, cleaning supplies, technological assistance, and support for financial losses.

Free Small Business Technical Assistance

Start Small Think Big is a nonprofit that provides free legal, marketing, and financial services to under-resourced entrepreneurs and can help you with the NYC funding applications. Visit their COVID-19 resource page for more information.

Start Small Think Big will be providing ongoing Virtual Office Hours to help answer any and all questions during this time. Reach out to the Finance team at or the Legal team at to help respond to your questions.


NYC Food Request from the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy

The Mayor’s Office of Food Policy is exploring the capacity of NYC businesses to make, provide, and deliver meals within New York City and provide other foods/groceries. The initial ask is for 25,000 meals on a consistent basis. Please indicate if you can offer Kosher, Halal, or other cultural or ethnic options.

If you are interested, fill out this form:

Facebook Small Business Grant Program

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate. Sign up to receive updates for when this program opens.

Free Legal Assistance for Business Owners

WHEDco works with non-profit legal service providers to help existing small business owners and entrepreneurs access high-quality legal services at no cost to them. Talk to a Small Business Attorney for free on topics such as:

  • Selecting a legal entity (LLCs and Corporations)
  • Business formation, including creating bylaws, operating agreements, and investor agreements
  • Writing basic contracts between clients and vendors or independent contractors
  • Drafting your websites Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy for your website
  • Employment policies and Human Resources matters
  • Trademarking and copyrighting

You can also get help with commercial lease matters through Commercial Lease Assistance Program (CLA). Even if you are not having an issue, CLA can help you:

    • Understanding what is in your lease…
      • What do you actually owe every month
      • How much will your rent go up next year
      • Who has to pay if repairs are needed
    • Negotiating, changing or ending your lease
    • Drafting oral and unwritten agreements
    • Addressing landlord harassment/breach of contract

Call WHEDco at 347-973-0945 to set up an appointment with a lawyer.


Upcoming Events

Thurs, March 3 at noon: Q+A on Instagram Live
Join us on Instagram @southernblvd on Thurs, March 3 from 12–12:30PM to find out about your rights as a commercial tenant and ask questions affecting your business.

Thurs, March 10 at 6pm: Commercial Lease Assistance Webinar via Zoom
Join us on Zoom on March 10 from 6–7PM for an in-depth webinar on how to understand your lease, your rights & responsibilities as a tenant, and how to get free help through the CLA program.
Register at: or call 347-973-0945

Tues, March 15: Legal Clinic – Speak to a Lawyer One-on-one for Free
Schedule an appointment on March 15 to speak with a lawyer one-on-one for free. Appointment times:
2:00 PM | 2:30 PM | 3:00 PM | 3:30 PM
To make an appointment, call: 347-973-0945

Takeout COVID

Help support and save NYC restaurants and bars through this website. Order food, cocktails, wine, and beer for delivery or take-out and keep your local favorites in business! They are working hard to keep these lists up-to-date, but please check with individual businesses to confirm their hours, menus, and availability.

Bronx Community College (BCC) Business Resource Center

This database is designed to provide an easily searchable resource of information and tools that will help Bronx small business owners, employees, and local residents suffering from the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.

SBA Coronavirus Relief Options

The CARES Act signed at the end of March 2020 contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Find more info about the loan programs here.

Spring Bank SBA Loans Available

Spring Bank will be able to offer Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans through the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. As an SBA Preferred Lender with delegated authority to make 7(a) loans, the bank will be able to offer loans offered through the Paycheck Protection Program provision of the CARES Act. 

Here are key points of the program:

  • All eligible businesses and nonprofits in operation on or before February 15, 2020 with fewer than 500 employees are eligible
  • Loan proceeds may be used to maintain payroll, rent, business related debt costs.
  • Loan amounts are the lesser of average monthly payroll during the last 12 months x 2.5 or $10MM
  • The portion of the loan that is used for eligible purposes during the first eight (8) weeks after funding is eligible for forgiveness
  • No SBA guarantee fees
  • No personal guarantee
  • No collateral requirement

These loans are intended to assist struggling small businesses across the country. The money can be used for payroll, rent, utility or mortgage expenses as well as interest costs on other debt obligations incurred before February 15, 2020. As more details are available, Spring Bank will be updating their website. For more details from the SBA please go to: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources.

Bronx Business Continuity Loan (BBCL)

The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) and the Office of the Bronx Borough Present has established the Bronx Business Continuity Loan (BBCL) with the goal of providing recovery financing to businesses of the Bronx. The Bronx Business Continuity Loan Fund was created to help sustain video businesses through these challenging times caused by the Covid19 pandemic.

The use of these funds will provide local emergency business financing and bridge loan funding until government contingency financing is in place.

Eligible Companies:
For-profit entities, including service, retail and manufacturing companies operating in the Bronx and nonprofit organizations in the Bronx.

Eligible Uses:
– Payroll expense
– Commercial Mortgage / Rent
– Equipment lease options
– Insurance premium expense
– Misc. business discontinuance expense

More information, visit the BOEDC’s Facebook page or contact BOEDC’s Loan Officers:
Rafael Roger at or 347-524-4739
Pedro Barry at or 347-297-0071

BMHC List of Resources for Musicians, Dancers, Artists

The Bronx Music Heritage Center works with many musicians, dancers, artists, and small non-profits whose livelihood will be adversely affected by schedule changes due to coronavirus (COVID 19). They have compiled are some links and contacts to resources that may provide tips and suggestions to help get through this time.

Free Financial Counseling

Neighborhood Trust offers any NYC business free access to their phone-based financial coaching program, TrustPlus, for three months. TrustPlus financial coaches can help with everything from stretching resources and budgeting to debt management. They can also help displaced employees access and navigate newly available public resources. To learn more about how you can give your staff access to TrustPlus for free, contact Brendon Kinney at

Facebook Small Business Grant Program

Facebook is offering a $4000 grant for the recipients in the US ($2500 cash, $1500 in optional ads credits) to help during this challenging time. To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Be a for-profit company
  • Have between 2 and 50 employees
  • Have been in business for over a year
  • Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
  • Be in or near a location where Facebook operates

 Click here to apply. The deadline is May 5th, 2020 at 11:59pm (EST).

Save Small Business Fund

The Save Small Business Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, will be offering grants of $5,000 to small businesses in economically vulnerable communities. Eligible businesses employ between 3-20 employees (including owners) and have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application process will only take about 10 minutes. You can access the application when it becomes available on Monday, April 20 at 3pm ET, by clicking here.

COVID-19 Business for All Grants

Hello Alice with the support of Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, Ebay, and others is offering $10,000 emergency grants, being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by this pandemic. If your business has been severely impacted by COVID-19, please complete the full COVID19 Business for All Grant application to apply for immediate support in the form of $10,000 grants. Click here to apply or contact​ with any questions. 

"Up and Running" on eBay

ebay has launched the Up and Running accelerator program to help retailers without an online presence transition to selling online. Through this program, new eBay sellers will receive:

  • A free Basic eBay Store for three months
  • No selling fees through June 30 (up to 500 orders)

To get started, click here.

Restaurant Strong Fund

Samuel Adams and the Greg Hill Foundation have launched the Restaurant Strong Fund to aid individuals who were employed full-time at a restaurant, bar, cafe or nightclub and impacted by COVID-19 closures. Click here to apply