Business Assistance Resources | Downtown Alliance

Business Assistance Resources

There are a number of organizations that provide financial planning advice and low-cost financing to small businesses. There are also groups that provide one-on-one counseling and seminars on such topics as preparation of business plans, starting or growing a business, marketing and procurement. For the most part, this assistance is free of charge.

The following is a list of the key organizations working with small businesses and the services they offer.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Resources For Small Business Owners and The Self Employed

The SB/SE Tax Center is the “Go To” page for everything small business. Visit the SB/SE Tax Center by going to Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center. For a summary of the IRS’s available resources for small business owners read the IRS Small Business Resources Guide. Small business owners, especially new sole proprietors, may also find a wealth of information covering their federal tax responsibilities on

New York City Paid Sick Leave

Starting April 1, 2014, certain employers must comply with New York City's Earned Sick Time Act (Paid Sick Leave Law).  For more information, please visit the City of New York website:

Con Edison Energy Surveys and Incentives

Con Edison provides free energy surveys as well as incentives for energy upgrades for small businesses, religious facilities, educational facilities and other not-for-profit customers in New York City with average peak monthly electric demands of 100 kW or less.  Con Edison may pay up to 70% of the cost of certain upgrades.  For more information,  please call  1-877-870-6118 or visit

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Incentives for Small Business

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers incentives to small businesses or non-profits to upgrade lighting, heating, cooling and refrigeration as well as free or low-cost energy assessments. Please call 212-505-6050 for more information or visit


NYC Business Acceleration (NYCBA)
The NYC Business Acceleration (NYCBA) provides a free service to help entrepreneurs and business owners navigate government requirements when they open or are in operation. Client managers can help coordinate government services and provide plan reviews, consultations and inspections from the NYC Department of Buildings, Fire Department, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Department of Environmental Protection. NYCBA also helps businesses impacted by natural disasters or unforeseen crises.

New York City Business Express
New York City Business Express is the one-stop, online tool for the license, permit, tax, incentive information and applications you need, for any business in New York City. The New York City Business Express Incentives Estimator provides a customized list of City, State, and Federal incentives for which your business may qualify.


Training Funds
The New York City Department of Small Business Services offers training funds that provide up to $400,000 to allow New York City employers to invest in training their workforce. Awards can cover up to 70% of the total cost of training, and can be at a job site or off-site. For more information about how to apply for training funds, please contact the Lower Manhattan Business Solutions Center by calling (212) 618-8914.

Lower Manhattan Business Solutions Center
An office of the New York City Department of Small Business Services and operated by Next Street Financial, the Business Solutions Center offers free advisory services to both start-up and operating small businesses. These services include course training, seminars, legal and accounting advice, accessing to capital, recruitment and one-on-one advisory.


TruFund Financial Services
TruFund Financial Services offers affordable financing and technical assistance services to businesses.


Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (MCC) is a membership-based nonprofit founded in 1920 that offers marketing services, networking, seminars and other services for businesses. The MCC offers a discount on membership for businesses located in the Downtown Alliance Business Improvement District.


New York City Economic Development Corporation
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is responsible for promoting economic growth throughout the city.  The EDC can be a resource for information on real estate development, incentives and other city business assistance information.


United States Small Business Association
An independent agency of the federal government created to serve the needs of small businesses.


New York City Health Insurance Link
New York City Health Insurance Link is a web site designed to help individuals and small businesses in New York City find affordable health insurance options that meet their specific needs and budgets. The site shows a wide range of plans and enables users to compare the benefits and costs of available plans offered by every New York City insurance carrier and does so on an impartial basis.


New York State Small Business Development Center
With 24 centers throughout the state, the New York State Small Business Development Center provides management and technical assistance as well as access to a vast network of resources to start up an existing New York state business.


Service Corps of Retired Executives
The New York Service Corps of Retired Executives is a national nonprofit offering free counseling and training services to business owners through a network of volunteers.


Workshop in Business Opportunities
Workshop in Business Opportunities offers a flagship, 16-week free workshop, "How to Build a Growing Profitable Business."


Women's Venture Fund
The Women's Venture Fund provides business services and training geared towards women entrepreneurs.


New York City Investment Fund
A private fund, founded in 1996, that offers financial support for non-profit and for-profit entrepreneurs in New York City. 


Nonprofit Finance Fund
The Nonprofit Finance Fund, founded in 1980, serves the needs of nonprofits nationwide by providing financial services, loans and advisory services.