Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh today announced the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program for small businesses in the City of Syracuse that have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. The Syracuse Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) will create a dedicated $500,000 fund to provide zero-percent interest, 180-day emergency loans to small businesses in the City. Applications will be available beginning Monday, March 23.

“The hardships being experienced by small businesses and their employees are crippling. They will have both short and long-term impacts, and we need to act now to help,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “SEDCO is a valuable, flexible, and fast-moving tool we can deploy to help small businesses, the backbone of our economy, make it through this difficult time.”

The Emergency Relief Program, unanimously approved by the SEDCO Board of Directors today, will offer up to $25,000 loans to small business applicants in order to address the financial impact caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The average loan size is anticipated to be around $10,000. SEDCO is a non-profit, local economic development organization staffed by the City of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood and Business Development. This new loan program will provide business owners in need of a short-term, immediate solution for working capital.

Small businesses are experiencing immediate and extreme negative consequences due to the reduction in public access, foot traffic, and the limits on public gatherings and on-site work. The emergency loan program will be available to small businesses to cover ongoing expenses, help prevent staff reductions, offset losses, and help companies sponsor sick pay for workers as necessary.

In addition to locally available financing from SEDCO, the City of Syracuse is actively tracking other resources offered to small businesses, including:

For those who are unable to access or utilize these resources, the City of Syracuse and SEDCO are providing the Emergency Relief Program as a viable alternative.

Beginning Monday, March 23, those seeking financing can find the SEDCO application online at, and submit it electronically via email at or by mail to SEDCO; 201 East Washington Street, Syracuse, NY 13202. If absolutely necessary, individuals can submit applications in-person at the Central Permit Office, located at the same address above. This will require scheduling a time to drop off the application and materials by calling 315-448-8600.

The SEDCO program will be structured to provide loans in an efficient and timely manner given the circumstances of COVID-19. The selection process will include a review of the application by a loan committee, and applicants will be informed of a loan decision for funding within seven (7) days after the submission date.

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