NEW YORK — The repercussions of the terrorist attacks continue, as small retailers and manufacturing businesses in Downtown Manhattan face tough economic times following a dramatic decrease in tourists and customers to the area.

To help buoy small retail and manufacturing businesses affected by the World Trade Center attack, the Alliance for Downtown New York, Seedco and Asian Americans for Equality have launched a $6 million assistance program.

The effort, called the Lower Manhattan Small Business and Workforce Retention Project, was established with support from The Ford Foundation, the September 11 Fund, and The New York Times 9/11 Neediest Fund. The project will provide wage subsidies, technical assistance, service enhancements, loans and grants to lower Manhattan employers with fewer than 50 workers located below Canal Street.

One small business owner, Sammy Castro, who owns Samuel’s Hats on Nassau Street, which participated in the Downtown Alliance’s storefront improvement program, is just one example of a retailer who said he plans to apply for a grant to help his business survive this period of economic uncertainty.