Lt. Gov. Tregenza A. Roach Esq., in his capacity as the chairman of the Virgin Islands Banking Board, informs the public that the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York is now making COVID-19 financial relief programs available through local banks in the territory.
“Announced by the president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, these relief programs will provide aid to individuals, households, non-profit organizations and small businesses. Through its Community Lending Programs, the Bank of New York will make $1 billion in community Investment Cash Advance Disaster Relief Funding available to its members.
The territory’s banks including Banco Popular, FirstBank, Oriental, and Merchants Bank, which are all members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s district.
“Participating banks across the district are able to access these relief programs and provide critical financial relief to residents and small businesses,” said the lieutenant governor.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s relief programs include:
- $1 billion in short, medium and long-term Disaster Relief Funding discounted borrowings
- $5 million in small business recovery grants
- $1 million in 0 percent borrowings for small businesses
- $500,000 in charitable donations
- Acceptance of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans as eligible collateral
“Following hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, similar disaster relief funding options were made available for the Virgin Islands. The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York made $5 million available in homeowner and small business recovery grants. In total, the USVI was granted approximately $974,000 in homeowner recovery grants to 98 individual households plus $600,000 in small business grants to 58 small businesses,” said Roach.
“During these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are encouraged to contact their local bank to explore available options that can provide financial relief. Many of these options are not automatic; they must be requested directly with the banks,” said Roach.
For additional information on COVID-19 relief programs, contact the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation on St. Croix at 773-6449 or 774-2991 on St. Thomas.