COVID-19: Updates & Resources

 

State & City Mandates:

  • On March 16, 2020, Mayor de Blasio signed an executive order stating: as of 8 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020, bars and restaurants are limited to take out and delivery only. If you are not already on a delivery platform, consider joining one or advertising phone orders on your social media channels. Offer contact-less delivery. If you or your customers prefer, you can offer to leave food just outside their doors instead of waiting for them to open the door for you.
  • Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues are closed until further notice.
  • If your restaurant has a State Liquor Authority (SLA) permit, you are allowed to sell wine and liquor for takeout or delivery. 
  • Bars that sell food will also be able to sell wine and liquor for takeout or delivery. Bars that do not sell food will not be able to sell liquor for takeout or delivery. 
  • As of March 20, 2020: New York State Sales Tax Late Fees Waived. Cuomo announced sales taxes could be paid late with no penalty. Details here.
  • New York State Commercial & Residential Evictions Suspended: All filings for commercial & residential evictions for New York State are suspended for the next 90 days, by Executive Order of the Governor. Learn more here.
  • Governor Cuomo Issues Guidance on Essential Services Under The 'New York State on PAUSE' Executive Order. Learn more here.
  • As of March 21, 2020 Cuomo’s order requires all barbershops, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors and piercing shops to close indefinitely.
  • As of April 2, 2020 all New York City playgrounds will be closed. However, parks and park restrooms are still open. Please maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when outside and avoid congregating in groups. The Parks Department is continuously disinfecting park restrooms. Restrooms located within City playgrounds are closed until further notice. To learn more about NYC Park closings, click here.
  • As of April 6, 2020: All schools and non-essential business are to remain closed for an additional two weeks through April 29th. Increased Maximum Fine for Violations of the State's Social Distancing Protocol from $500 to $1,000.
  • As of April 15, 2020 The Governor has released Executive Order 202.17 that requires face coverings/masks be worn by all New Yorkers over the age of two in public settings, such as grocery stores and other essential businesses, where proximity may not allow for the six-foot social distance buffer.  This order takes effect 8 PM, Friday, April 17, 2020 and will remain in effect until May 15, 2020.
  • As of June 8, 2020 Governor Cuomo announced that NYC to begin Phase 1 reopening. Phase 1 is limited to construction, Retail (curbside or in-store pickup), Manufacturing, Wholesale, and Agriculture. To learn more about each phase, click here.
  • Phase 2 officially begins Monday, June 22. Re-openings include: Outdoor dining will be allowed (here's the plan to make that happen safely, but opening streets for tables may not be fully in play until July). In-Store retail (this does not apply to malls, which will remain closed in Phase 2). Salons and barbershops. Real estate services (this includes apartment showings, but only in unoccupied or vacant apartments). Car dealerships. Commercial building management. Offices (though many companies will keep working remotely, office will be reopening with new safety guidelines). Playgrounds (with "social distancing ambassadors"). Houses of worship can reopen at 25% capacity. The subway remains open with overnight closures for cleaning. Buses require passengers to enter & exit through rear door. 
  • Each business or entity, including those that have been designated as essential under Empire State Development's Essential Business Guidance, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan. This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must made available to the New York State
    Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. 
  • Phase 3 officially begins Monday, July 6. Re-openings include: Dog runs, tattoo parlors, spas, including massage parlors
    Personal care salons (hair salons reopened in Phase 2, but Phase 3 will see the reopening of nail salons, tanning salons).
    The Parks Department is reopening basketball, handball, tennis, bocce and volleyball courts. Regular rush hour service will resume on the Staten Island Ferry. Out of an abundance of caution, indoor dining is postponed indefinitely. 
  • Phase 4 officially begins Monday, July 20. Re-openings include: higher education institutions and outdoor arts and entertainment. Phase 4 will not include indoor activity in malls, restaurants or cultural institutions at this point. Indoor dining is postponed indefinitely.
  • As per Governor Cuomo, bars that have outdoor seating are required to sell food. The State Liquor Authority investigators will enforce the rules and local authorities are expected to do the same. Any establishment that receives three violations will be shut down, and particularly egregious violations could result in the immediate loss of a liquor license or closing before a third violation.
  • On August 24, gyms will be allowed to open but to a third of their total capacity, and people would be required to wear masks at all times. The state would also require air filters that help prevent airborne transmission of viral particles and sign-in forms to assist with contact-tracing efforts. Local governments will also need to inspect gyms to make sure they meet the state’s requirements before they open or within two weeks of their opening.
 

Public Resources:

  • Get the latest information and updates on COVID-19 from the NYC Department of Health. To receive real-time New York City COVID-19 updates, text “COVID” to 692-692. Visit the Department of Health’s website for a full list of measures everyone needs to take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes regular and proper hand-washing, social distancing, and isolating yourself if you feel sick.
  • If you witness overcharging in businesses, please report to the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs by calling 3-1-1 and saying “overcharge” or by visiting 311.nyc.gov and searching “overcharge.”
  • New York City public schools will be closed to students and staff on until at least April 20. Schools will move toward a new Remote Learning Model for all school days until Spring Recess. K-12 students can go to any public school to pick up to-go breakfast and lunch meals between 7:30am-1:30pm at the building’s main entrance. To find a location near you, click here.
  • The "One Shot Deal" emergency assistance program through the Human Resources Administration (HRA) helps people who can't meet an expense due to an unexpected situation or event. Emergency assistance is provided for, but not limited to, the following situations: homelessness, eviction or dispossess, utility disconnection/shutoff, fire disaster, domestic violence, and circumstances that affect the health and safety of the individual or family. Learn more here.
 

Small Business Resources:

  • KIVA is offering up to $15,000 in zero-interest loans for small businesses. Apply here
  • Business For All is offering grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis. Apply here
  • The Paycheck Protection Program loan helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Apply here 
  • The Hebrew Free Loan Society is offering interest free loans of $2,000 - $5,000 for individuals, including small business owners suffering business losses, due to COVID-19. Apply here.
  • The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) helps booksellers and comic retailers with unforeseen emergency financial needs by paying third-party vendors. Apply here.
  • The NYC Hospitality Alliance has compiled a number of resources on their website.
  • One Fair Wage Help: The One Fair Wage Campaign is securing an emergency fund for restaurant workers. Application also available in Spanish. Apply here.
  • Bartender Emergency Assistance Program: Financial assistance for bartenders experiencing financial hardship. Membership is not a required to apply. More info here.
  • The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation as a list of extra resources. . Learn more here.
  • The Comptroller's Office has compiled a list of resources for tenants, merchants, property owners, non-profits, homeowners, seniors, and freelancers. View here.
  • NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) is offering support programs in the wake of COVID-19, and ask that you take a moment to complete this short survey to share any disruptions your business is experiencing, and sign up for further information.
  • Commercial and Residential Evictions ​are suspended state-wide for the next 90 days.
  • Federal Tax Credits and Waivers for workers and small and medium size businesses effected by the Coronavirus are being released. Details available here.
  • The Hispanic Federation is offering grants of $10,000-25,000 to member agencies and Hispanic non-profits
  • Robin Hood announced that it will accept applications on a rolling basis for grants to nonprofits (501(c)(3) only) providing or expanding emergency assistance to vulnerable populations
  • The next round of Verizon / LISC small business grants will open August 31
  • Renaissance is offering emergency loans covering Manhattan Chinatown, Koreatown, Jackson Heights, Flushing, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, and other neighborhoods
  • The Citizens Committee Neighborhood Business Grant will provide grants of $5,000 - $10,000 to help small businesses maintain payroll and operations and will prioritize businesses owned by people of color, immigrants, and women and proposals that focus on adapting businesses to the challenges of COVID-19
  • Brooklyn Alliance Capital is offering grants for purchase of PPE and zero-interest Bring Back Brooklyn Loans of up to $10K
  • The Brooklyn Community Foundation is offering Immediate Response Grants of up to $10K on a rolling basis to organizations on the front line of helping to address the social, health, and economic impacts of the coronavirus on Brooklyn's most vulnerable communities
  • Red Backpack Fund (Spanx) will provide 1000, $5000 grants, at least 200 each month, May-September. Applicants should be majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits with less than $5m revenues and fewer than 50 employees (but at least one additional non-paid employee on staff). Applications are open through September 15
  • Shea Moisture is offering three separate programs totaling $1M to businesses supporting communities through Covid-19 and Black-owned businesses facing Covid-19 hardship, as well as an E-Lab (with a potential funding opportunity) for women of color entrepreneurs
  • Freelancers Relief Fund will offer financial assistance of up to $1,000 per freelance household to cover lost income and essential expenses not covered by government relief programs.
  • Fiserve has introduced a Back2Business Grant Program that supports our small business recovery work across Brooklyn. The program is accepting initial registration from applicants at this time. 
  • The Zakat Fund is offering support to 501(c)(3) organizations working to support residents of the NYC metropolitan area
  • CovidCap, launched by Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, provides a centralized listing of Covid-related loans and grants for small business and nonprofits. Registration is required
  • GrantSpace aka Candid Learning has also compiled a searchable database of Covid-relief programs and other resources.
  • The Brooklyn Chamber has compiled a compliance checklist for open restaurants. Learn more here.
  • If you feel that your business has been unfairly targeted for a violation, please email: bcc-covid@brooklynchamber.com
  • Clover is launching a Back2Business Grant Program offering $10,000 grants to businesses to support our small business recovery work across Brooklyn. The program is accepting initial registration from applicants at this time. Learn more here
  • To contact the SBA regarding any questions or concerns, call their hotline at 800-659-2955.
  • To contact SBS for business assistance email convid19biz@sbs.nyc.gov or call their hotline at 888-727-4692
 

Utility Resources:

  • ConEd and National Grid has suspended shut-offs for any customers who may have difficulty paying their utility bills. For employees who experience reduced hours (by 50% or more for full-time personnel) or layoffs due to COVID-19, they may be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits from New York State. Note that the standard seven day waiting period has been lifted and affected employees can begin to apply for and drawing benefits immediately.
  • Major cellphone carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, & Verizon are complying with the Federal Communications Commission's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" as most mainstream providers released their response to COVID-19. To learn more, visit your carrier’s website.
 

Social Media Resources:

  • Yelp COVID-19 Response: Yelp is giving away $25 million for small businesses, primarily in the form of advertising credit. Learn more here.
  • Facebook Small Business Grants Program: $100 million in both cash grants and advertising credits will be distributed to 30,000 businesses. Get more information here.
  • For convenience stores: A new app is looking to present bodegas as alternative to large grocery stores. My Bodega Online lets New Yorkers order groceries and sandwiches from their neighborhood bodegas for delivery, and it’s free to use. This new app will not take a commission from bodegas.
  • American Express' #ShopSmall initiative, has downloadable & customizable social posts for your business Instagram to encourage your followers to take the pledge, too. #StayHome and #ShopSmall by ordering delivery, shopping online, or buying a gift card to use later. To download these marketing materials, click here
  • Show your business with Waze Local to reach drivers nearby and daily commuters in your area.
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