We have received some concerning inquiries from the membership about this article and want to clear it up.
This transaction by the State Comptroller is part of the portfolio that invests in NYS businesses. It is completely allowable by law and as an investment, a return is expected.The NYS Employee Retirement System was last valued at 217 billion dollars. It has grown to such high marks through the guidance and leadership of Tom DiNapoli without whose protection the pension system would be in considerably worse shape than it is now. Once again, this is not a totally unusual move for the fund as it normally invests in our own businesses in New York and is continuing to do exactly that.
Pursuing Additional $100 Million Allocation
April 27, 2020
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund (the Fund) is putting $50 million toward the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a component of the latest coronavirus relief package. Under the PPP, employers can secure loans that will be forgiven by the federal government if employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
The Fund’s commitment will supplement PPP loans being administered by Pursuit (formerly New York Business Development Corporation). Returns to the Fund will be consistent with U.S. Treasury securities.
“New York small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges that have put more than a million men and women out of work,” DiNapoli said. “We’re doing what we can to help small businesses keep employees on their payroll, even if they may have paused operations. PPP loans are critical to New York businesses trying to survive through this public health and economic crisis. We are continuing to look for opportunities to help New Yorkers that are consistent with our fiduciary responsibility to the pension fund.”
The Comptroller’s office and the Fund have a long relationship with Pursuit having provided funds for business loans to help more than 1,000 qualifying New York businesses in all 62 counties retain jobs and expand. The Fund’s allocation to Pursuit redirects a large portion of the existing available loan program funds to address the immediate crisis. Additionally, the Fund is exploring the possibility of providing another $100 million toward PPP through its existing program with Pursuit, pending approvals from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and others.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is a lifeline for businesses during this unprecedented challenge,” said Patrick J. MacKrell, President and CEO of Pursuit. “This vital financial support will allow us to provide increased access to the program for businesses across New York State, especially those that experienced difficulty accessing the program through their bank of account. We are grateful to Comptroller DiNapoli for our longstanding relationship and his commitment to supporting small businesses through the fund.”
To help make sure the Fund’s allocation benefits New York’s “main street” businesses, it has set certain parameters with Pursuit, including:
- Exclusive availability to New York businesses.
- No loan minimum, with maximum loan set at $350,000.
- 25 percent of loans are targeted for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises.
Prior to the Fund’s allocation, Pursuit has processed PPP loans totaling nearly $200 million to small businesses. PPP loans are federally guaranteed. New York businesses can sign-up to apply for PPP through Pursuit at pursuitlending.com/pppapply.
For more information on the PPP visit the SBA. The latest $484 billion relief package included an additional $310 billion for the PPP.
About the New York State Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation. The Fund’s fiscal year ends March 31.