COVID-19 Updates and Resources
COVID-19 Updates: Shifting Gears Towards NY Forward
[Last updated 6/1/20]
- June 8: NYC Phase I Reopening – Governor Cuomo announced that NYC is on track to begin Phase I reopening on Monday, June 8. Businesses in the following industries will be allowed to reopen in Phase I:
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
- Retail - (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
- Wholesale Trade
- Preparing Your Business For Reopening – In order to ensure the safety of the public and employees, NYS has published guidance with mandatory requirements and recommended best practices to help businesses plan and implement their reopening. These guidelines apply to both essential businesses that were previously permitted to remain open and non-essential businesses that are permitted to reopen. We recommend Phase I businesses and those that will be allowed to reopen in later phases to review the documents listed below to prepare for the reopening:
- NYS Industry-Specific Guidelines - NYS has published guidance with mandatory requirements and recommended best practices to help businesses plan and implement their reopening. The guidelines are industry-specific. The NYS guidelines can be found on the NYS website. After reviewing the guidance specific to your industry, please also affirm that you have read and understand your obligation to operate in accordance with the guidance by submitting this webform here.
- NYS Mandatory Reopening Safety Plan - Each reopening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. Businesses can develop their own plan or fill out this template from NYS to fulfill this requirement. The plan does not need to be submitted to NYS, but businesses must keep a copy of the plan on their premises and must make available to the NYS Department of Health or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
- Guidelines From Other Agencies – In addition to the NYS guidelines, please also check to see if your business is required to follow guidelines from other government agencies, such as ADA, CDC, EPA, OSHA, NYS DOH, and NYC DOHMH.
NY Forward Loan Fund - NYS has launched a new loan program for small businesses, non-profits, and small landlords who have not received funds from PPP or EIDL. The loan maximum is the lesser of $100,000 or average revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or Q1 of 2020. The loans will carry a 3% interest (or 2% for non profits) and amortize in 5 years. Repayment includes an interest-only period during the first 12 months. Please visit the NYS website for more information and the application form.
We recently released a COVID-19 Business Recovery Survey to help us get a further understanding of how your business or organization’s recovery efforts and the challenges you anticipate facing as we begin to reopen LIC. Please fill out this survey to help us learn more about how we can best help you!
Additional COVID-19 Updates: (Updated 6/1/20)
- Last week, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA) of 2020, with legislation intended to provide federal support for pandemic-related economic losses, including insurance claims. Details on the act are available here.A COVID-19 Relief Package signed into law by the Mayor, extends the license, permit, consent or registration expiration dates and renewal application deadlines covered by Emergency Executive Orders (EEO) 107 and 110. Click here to read more from the NYC Hospitality Alliance.
- Mayor Signs Delivery Cap, Personal Liability, Tenant Harassment Into Law – Yesterday, May 26, the Mayor signed into law a new COVID-19 Relief Package, which included a number of items business should be aware of:
- Delivery fee caps on third-party delivery services
- Suspension sidewalk café fees
- Commercial tenant protection from harassment and personal liability
- Suspension of renewal requirements for NYC licenses and permits during COVID-19
- Updates on PPP – Yesterday, May 28, the House passed a bill to ease restrictions on the PPP and loan forgiveness with bi-partisan support. The Senate version of the bill has not yet been passed. The House version of the bill would:
- Reduce the 75% payroll requirement to 60%
- Extend the 8-week Covered Period to 6 months
- Push back the June 30 rehiring deadline
- Extend the repayment period
- Allow PPP recipients who get loan forgiveness to defer payroll taxes
- Unemployed Workers Hotline – The Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) has launched a hotline to provide free advice to New Yorkers who find themselves unemployed due to COVID-19 and would like to learn more about unemployment and other government benefits. Please contact the Unemployed Workers Project hotline at 347-521-5720 or fill out the interest form here.
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Application - The SBA released the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application which the businesses who already received funds from PPP must complete to determine the forgiveness amount. Please review and try to fill it out to ensure you have all them information ready to be submitted to your lender. Since the PPP loans are serviced by individual lenders, the Loan Forgiveness Application process may vary from lender to lender. We recommend reaching out proactively or look out for further instructions on how to submit this application from your specific lender.
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Clarifications - The PPP Loan Forgiveness Application also clarified some of the confusions related how loan forgiveness works. Please refer to the document for all the information, but here is a list of the key items:
- Businesses now have to option of using the first day of the first payroll period immediately after the PPP Loan Disbursement Date as the beginning of the 8-week period, in addition to using the actual PPP Loan Disbursement Date.
- For the purpose of PPP Loan Forgiveness, “rent or lease payments” include those for real or personal property.
- Loan Forgiveness now covers eligible expenses paid or incurred during the 8-week period.
- *DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 8* NYC Department of Small Business Services is re-launching their Neighborhood Challenge program as "Neighborhood Challenge: Connect & Recover" starting today! The re-launched neighborhood challenge program is an online open innovation platform that enables us to crowdsource your local challenges, build upon those submitted by others, and facilitate collaboration with the tech community on implementing viable pilot projects. Initial challenge submissions for the storefront business campaign will be due by June 8th. Click here for more information.
- Small Group Webinars to Address PPP Questions - We are hosting a number of Small Group Webinars focus on helping businesses understand the PPP application process and address questions related to the loan forgiveness. Interested businesses can sign up for the webinars via SBS Connect.
- Help on Taking Your Business Online – GoDaddy, the website hosting company, is offering two years free web-hosting and has published a step-by-step guide to help small businesses begin selling online during this time when the stay-at-home order is still in effect and people are spending more time on the internet.
- Legal/Commercial Lease/Insurance Assistance - For businesses seeking legal guidance related to commercial lease, insurance, and other areas, the resources below might be useful:
- The Department of Small Business Services operates the Commercial Lease Assistance Program, which can help review leases to determine what a business’s rights and obligations are, negotiates payment plan for arrears, etc. Click here for more information.
- The City Bar recently launched a new Small Business Remote Legal Clinic via the City Justice Center’s Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19 as it relates to navigating insurance related claims, contracts, leases, and accessing State and Federal programming. Click here for more information.
- Wear Masks or Face Coverings in Public - Amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo has issued a new Executive Order requiring everyone in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in the public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation. This Executive Order will go into effect on Friday, April 17th. Click here for more information
Grant and Loan Assistance Programs
As we shift toward recovery and the new normal, we want to encourage you to support local LIC businesses through this difficult time. You can support local LIC businesses by ordering in food, picking up taking, ordering from a caterer or purchasing a gift card to use later on. Please join us in promoting the below campaign and together, we will come back stronger than ever.
If you are currently open and operating for delivery/takeout or offering any special promotions, please let us know that way we can do anything we can to help direct customers your way. Reach out directly to Carla Nicdao at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to use the hashtag #SupportLICLocal on your posts!
LIC Community Support
Our community needs the support of each other and, together, we will get through this. Members of the LIC Community have come together to create a LIC COVID-19 Relief Group that is focusing on certain areas of donations and volunteers. We have created a resource highlighting how you can get involved and for requests from LIC-based nonprofits.
If you're an LIC-Based nonprofit and want to add information to our page about your organization, please reach out to Carla Nicdao at email@example.com.
COVID-19 Prevention Tips and Resources
- Stay home if you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
- Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
- If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
- Consider telecommuting, biking or walking to work if possible.
- Consider staggering working hours. For example, instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., change some work hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.
- Get your flu shot. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.