NEW YORK — The first round of loans and grants — totaling more than $600,000 — have been given to small business owners in lower Manhattan. These loans, grants and wage subsidies are being awarded to area businesses, including retailers and manufacturers, who were affected by the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

The program — known as the Lower Manhattan Small Business and Workforce Retention Project — ultimately will award more than $6 million in assistance. The project was established with support from The Ford Foundation, The New York Times Company 9/11 Neediest Fund and Seedco’s existing loan and grant funds to provide wage subsidies, technical assistance, service enhancements, loans and grants to employers with fewer than 50 workers located below Canal Street.

The Downtown Alliance, Seedco and Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) are identifying needy businesses and allocating the appropriate resources.