COVID-19 Resources & Impacts for Businesses

As the regional chamber of commerce, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is committed to providing employers with the latest information and resources to help you deal with COVID-19 and its impact on business, our community, state and nation.

Latest Update: 4/6/20

UPDATE: NYS on PAUSE Executive Order Extended Until 4/29

Governor Cuomo extended his New York State on PAUSE Executive Order today until April 29th. As a result, all employees of non-essential business are required to continue to work from home until that time. All schools in New York will also remain closed until April 29th and the Governor is reminding New Yorkers to keep a six-foot distance from others when in public.

Additional guidance on the Governor’s extended Executive Order can be found HERE.

The list of businesses deemed essential and how to apply for a waiver can be found HERE:

4/3/20 Update: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is NOW OPEN and Accepting Applications

  • About: PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
  • Bonus PPP Resource: Helpful breakdown (guide/FAQ/checklist) provided by the US Chamber of Commerce to assist businesses in navigating the program.
  • For more quick links on PPP, visit our blog HERE.

Summary of Additional Available Aid Packages: 

Small Business Administration

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance
    • About: This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans
    • About: Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  • SBA Debt  Relief
    • About: Provides a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local Initiative Support Corp. (LISC)

  • Verizon-LISC COVID-19 Recovery Fund
    • About: Provides grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.

National Restaurant Association

  • Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
    • About: Provides grants to restaurant industry employees who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment.

Given the fluidity of this situation, please feel free to reach out to us with questions at and even more importantly, if you are willing to share best practices.

COVID - Resources Business Assistance Section Header

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance

4/3 /20 SBA: Overview and Eligibility

4/3/20 SBA: Application

Express Bridge Loans

4/3/20 SBA: Overview

4/3/20 SBA: Program Guide

4/1/20 U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Guide to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Additional Debt Relief


3/18/20 Partnership Blog: SBA Disaster Loans and How to Apply: COVID-19

ZOOM – $0-19.99*
Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Web Conferencing/Webinar | Security/EncryptionIn response to COVID-19: free for educators to move toward virtual learning

ZOOM PHONE – $14.99
Services Provided: Audio/Phone | Security/Encryption

SLACK – $0-12.50
Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Instant Messaging | Information Storage/Sharing | Security/Encryption

Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Web Conferencing/Webinar |Instant Messaging*In response to COVID-19 through July 1: free for educators, recording limit removed on the free plan, free trial extended to 30 days, Loom Pro price adjusted to $5/month

RING CENTRAL – $24.99-49.99 PER USER*
Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Web Conferencing/Webinar | Audio/Phone | Instant Messaging*In response to COVID-19: Three months free RingCentral Office for K12 educators, health providers and non-profits

Services Provided: Video Conferencing | Web Conferencing/Webinar | Audio/Phone | Instant Messaging*In response to COVID-19: some organizations may be eligible for access to free emergency remote work toolkit.

From The Blog