LISC National
Covid-19 Resources

Neighborhood Business Resources


National CARES Act

CARES Act Eligibility
The most succinct guide we have found to navigating the CARES act, and finding which government sponsored programs you are eligible for.
The National CARES Act Guide for Freelancers
This guide breaks down the CARES act, addressing how to receive your stimulus check, providing simplified explanations to unemployment benefits, loan relief, and new loans available through the CARES act.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
PPP Application Form
PPP Initial Terms
Video Summary of the Paycheck Protection Program
A two part video summary provided by a law instructor at UC Berkeley, for those who learn best through audio listening.
PPP Frequently Asked Questions
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
SBA Disaster Loan Application


NYS Specific Resource Links

NYS Deemed Essential Businesses

ESD FAQ Covid for Business

NYS Dept of Health on Corona

NYS Unemployment Assistance

Know Your Rights
Know your rights when it comes to Covid Testing, Insurance, Unemployment, Mortgage/Rent, Utilities, Price Gouging


Consumer Credit Counseling Financial Check Ups

Offering free financial check ups through a Certified Financial Counselor.

Call 716.712.2060 to speak with someone directly


Small Business Emergency Grants

Covid-19 Small Business Recovery Grant - A Partnership between Verizon and LISC. $2.5 million available, grants up to $10,000 per business.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program


WNY Retail Resource Support

Dining at a Distance - A complete list of restaurant offerings & services during Covid

GiveBuffalo - Another list of restaurant offerings & services during Covid

StepOut Buffalo Community Update Board - Offering news of all kinds of businesses, including services that may be open during this time.

Covid-19 Impact Calculator - A well put together, and concise calculator to help businesses assess their financial standing and how covid-19 will affect them.

Steps for Local Retailers - Gives an outline of steps retailers can take through Covid-19

Timely Gift Certificates - No fee e-gift certificate creation

James Beard Food & Bev Relief Fund - Financial assistance to small, independent restaurants


E-Commerce Support

Woo Commerce Online Store Tutorial (for Wordpress)

Woo Commerce Online Video Tutorial (for Wordpress)

Squarespace E-Commerce Tutorial (for Squarespace)

Overview of Popular E-Commerce Platforms


Advice from Law Firms

Underberg & Kessler on Paid Sick Leave 

Employment Law Considerations in the Workplace 

Stoel Rives Coronavirus Resource Center


Marketing during Covid

Locable Blog on Marketing Small Business/Communities during Covid-19

Special Training Report on Covid-19 for Retail Business


Business Resilience

Facebook's Business Resource Hub 

Business Resilience Toolkit

Small Business Resilience Quick Action Guide

Here is also an interesting NPR link related to how small business can weather the storm, and some outcomes that may arise.

Virtual Meetings 101 (Zoom based)


Business Operations & Business Insurance

Perkins Coie Coronavirus Guidance for Businesses

Tonkon Torp Guidance on Business Interruption Insurance

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance Emergency Funds - Press Release & Info

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance Direct Website

FEMA COVID-19 National Business Emergency Operations Center


The Reality of Covid-19 as a Timeline

Interactive Link to Show Length of Virus


Commercial District Ideas:

  • Stock the Freezer - Restaurant idea
  • Encourage community members to buy gift certificates at local restaurants to be used later in the year
  • Help restaurants connect to food delivery services or more take-out options
  • Yoga studios/music teachers doing videoconference sessions through this time to engage customers at home
  • Retail businesses enhancing their online shopping experience. or finally getting moving on creating one
  • Small-Medium businesses intensifying their social media presence
  • Offer facetime, skype, or chat channel services for selling virtually face-to-face, answering questions, providing the same customer service interaction you would get in a M&P atmosphere at location
  • When people work remotely, they are more susceptible to online shopping, checking in with social media more often, etc. Encourage businesses to take advantage of this.
  • Develop a cleaning protocol w/a local cleaning service and go out one-on-one to businesses; develop a pledge “Downtown Cares About Your Health” with on-site messaging available to promote enhanced cleaning and other measures
  • Encourage businesses to publish their commitment to public health, outlining their actions for offering a clean facility and healthy staff
  • Keep customers updated on new experiences or products you'll offer when things subside
  • Coffee shops who roast  can set up a customer membership for "subscribe & save" delivery or pick-up of beans, get people to order for the next couple weeks
  • Small grocers can offer to receive online grocery lists and shop for their customers to pick-up products or deliver them
  • Promote the value and reliability of locally sourced and local supply chains
  • Stay in touch with customers by livestreaming. Show what you are doing to stay in business and get excited about the strategies you've come up with to meet customer needs during this time. Ex: Coffee shop that welcome people to connect with them every morning at 8am for the local news downtown, the local history story of the morning, the morning joke, or a meet your barista spotlight, etc.
  • Look into business interruption insurance
  • Local physicians to offer telemedicine services
  • Breweries can keep offering trivia nights by livestreaming and using an app that polls people's responses, customers being encouraged to drink their brews while participating or getting extra points for posting a picture of them and their brews at home.