Helping Main Street through Coronavirus

A message from Vision Long Island and
the Long Island Main Street Alliance…

Helping Main Street through Coronavirus

Day 44 of shutdown – Tuesday April 28, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 44. 

On the Federal level SBA loans were open again – and folks had more delays and many of the same problems again.   In NYS the Governor started to outline the phased approach to reopening the local economy with a Committee of 100 and the Mckinsey Company advising them.   Folks also continue to have problems accessing their unemployment benefits.   Today’s community profiled is Elmont.  Our Communities Helping Communities segment brought us to downtown Hicksville.

Here are some updates:

• The Small Business Administration resumed accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) yesterday from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. For more information, visit the SBA’s website here.

A message from the SBA:

The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications on Monday, April 27 at 10:30AM EDT from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. This will ensure that SBA has properly coded the system to account for changes made by the legislation.

We encourage all approved lenders to process loan applications previously submitted by eligible borrowers and disburse funds expeditiously.  All eligible borrowers who need these funds should work with an approved lender to apply. Borrowers should carefully review PPP regulations and guidance and the certifications required to obtain a loan.

For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, visit: sba.gov/paycheckprotection

They SBA also announced that:

The EIDL application will not reopen
The applications already received, in the queue are being processed on a first come first serve basis.

Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most SBA lenders for LI and the region.

• Resentment is growing on Main Street over bailout winners and losers

• Problems continue as small businesses seek to access the Payroll Protection Program

• The IRS has an Employee Retention Tax Credit.  Check it out here.

• Senator Schumer also called on the Federal Reserve to open up Main Street lending programs to Cities and Counties.

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing on his plans and criteria to end the shutdown and open up the economy.

• A 100 member Advisory Board has been formed but not announced yet.

• The Governor also announced a new testing protocol.

• The Mckinsey Company will be assisting with planning the recovery.

• NYS Unemployment the highest since the great depression.

• For folks complaining about brick and mortar stores charging an extra dollar or two for hand sanitizer note that Amazon has been sued for price gouging with essential items spiking as high as 1,000%.

•The stories of community level philanthropy are heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.  Today’s profile is in downtown Hicksville

• Pink Tie has set up a Pink Tie Delivers system to bring food to local pantries across Long Island.   The launch started last week bringing food to the Salvation Army in Hempstead.  This week we head to a Mastic Beach pantry supported by the William Floyd Community Summit.  Check out how you can help.

• The LI Main Street Alliance’s “We’re Open” Facebook page is live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• LISTnet is hosted a webinar with Vision and the LI Main Street Alliance on adapting to the technology of working at home.  Here is the video link of the session.

•  NYS Assemblywoman Judy Griffin hosted an event with local chambers and the LI Main Street Alliance on programs that can help small business.   You can check out the call here. (Access password: 1j@44H@5)

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• Island Harvest provides free referrals and free assistance for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) over the phone, and you do not have to go to the Department of Social Services. Island Harvest can walk you through the online application by telephone or complete a short intake and submit the online application for you. Give them a call at 631-873-4775 for assistance.

• Check on the status of your IRS Economic Impact Payment.

• Walking is important during this shutdown and is a form of self care.

• AARP has announced a Livable Communities Challenge Grant for local community efforts.

• NYS Senator Anna Kaplan is hosting a webinar on Wednesday April 29th at Noon with Robert Piechota of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and others.

• Newsday is hosting another Webinar Wednesday April 30th at 10am with the SBA and the LIA to sort out the challenges accessing SBA programs.

• The Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers of Commerce has a survey to complete for small businesses.   Check it out here.

• A proposal to remove local zoning and hand it over to Albany has been floated in Newsday and LI Business News.   It is unclear to date who is behind this effort presented in the middle of a pandemic with real people focused on human needs.   LI Builders Institute is quoted on the record opposed to this measure along with countless municipal leaders, chambers and community organizations.  Stay tuned for more on this.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue assisting 11 hospitals!https://www.gofundme.com/f/feed-the-nurses-pm-shift

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we wrap up this through this fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 580 local businesses in nearly 50 downtown communities and they need your help.

RECENT NEWS FROM GOVERNMENT

• Big businesses and institutions were the first to access SBA programs with little to nothing left for small businesses.

• Local pharmacies will play a role in Coronavirus testing.

• Most June elections are cancelled.

• NYS Department of Labor Launches New Streamlined Application for New Yorkers to Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Without Having to First Apply for Unemployment Insurance

• Sen. Schumer calls on FDA to crack down on unregulated home coronavirus test kits

• US Senator Schumer announces New York hospitals and providers to receive an additional $4 billion+ in ‘hot spot’ money to keep the fight against COVID-19 going.

• County Executive Curran announced that Nassau is expanding testing in Hempstead and Freeport, and next week will open a testing site in Elmont. Testing will be provided by appointment only, and for more information or to make an appointment, call 516-396-7500

• US Senator Kirstin Gillibrand sent out a memo outlining some cases of fraud concerning SBA applications – please review and report and suspicious activity:
1)     Emails impersonating SBA to a borrower regarding PPP loan applications. SBA DOES NOT communicate with borrowers regarding specific PPP loan applications. All PPP loan correspondence should be between the lender and the borrower. 
2)     Emails impersonating SBA asking for borrowers to complete and sign attached documents to “complete” their disaster “Grant Application.” SBA does not process grants. All EIDL loan processing now occurs through the EIDL portal, and legitimate loan approval emails clearly reference the original confirmation #. If additional documentation is required (95% of loans do not require more documentation), it is electronically handled in the portal. EIDL Advances process with NO action required on the part of the applicant.
3)     These phishing emails are sophisticated, with SBA logos and styling consistent with legitimate SBA communications. If in doubt, the borrower may contact our office. 
Report any suspected fraud to OIG’s Hotline at 800-767-0385 or online here.

• Senator Schumer’s release on $2 trillion Federal rescue package with $112 billion headed to NYS

• US Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand urge the Trump administration to protect frontline transit workers and update safety guidelines.

• Senator Schumer proposed a “Heroes Fund” of $25,000 for all first line responders as part of the newest Federal Stimulus package.

• Governor Cuomo’s April 28th message

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s April 28th message

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s April 28th message

 NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky introduced a bill supported by US Congresswoman Kathleen Rice for mortgage relief for homeowners. 

• The NYS Department of Labor has addressed their massive backlog to move over $2 billion of benefits to New Yorkers.

• NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has developed a Covid-19 Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers with links and resources for residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses. Check it out here.

• 10 Town Supervisors are urging NYS to push back the property tax deadline

• NYS Senator Anna Kaplan hosted a webinar on Facebook Live to help small business owners to make sense of the different relief programs that now exist to help during this difficult time. If you missed it live, you can watch it here.

• Here is the executive order from the Governor on compliance for face coverings.

• NYS is coordinating over 300 private labs to prioritize virology testing.

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses.

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran hosted a Coronavirus State of the County on News 12 Long Island you can watch it here.

• Long Island Towns are calling on the Governor to provide a delay in property tax payments.

• An agreement has been reached on replenishing SBA lending programs
This includes $320 billion for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, including $60 billion which would be set aside for small lenders and community financial institutions and $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand led a webinar on the components of the agreement along with future and took many folks questions including those from Long Islanders.

• Nassau County will delay collection of licensing fees from some contractors whose licenses have expired past June. 

• Huntington Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals [ZBA] Meetings to Continue to be Held Remotely and Live-Stream

• Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin Announces Re-Opening of Town Marinas and Unveils New Safety Guidelines for Boating Season During COVID-19 Pandemic

• Town of Hempstead Board Announce Economic Stimulus Plan to Help Workers Recover After COVID-19 Crisis – Pledge $40 Million Investment for Town Road Improvements

• North Hempstead provides an update on their efforts against COVID-19

• Farmingdale has released its latest list of open businesses

• A message from Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro

• The Village of Valley Stream is Supporting Small Business

• PSEG Long Island is warning you to look out for scams and fraud feeding on the pandemic

• AT&T is providing updates to their COVID-19 response along with resources.

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS

• US Senator Kristin Gillibrand has provided this thorough Q&A on the CARES Act.

• The US Chamber of Commerce has produced a guide to the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program which is very useful.

• The US Senate has provided this resource guide for small businesses and the CARES act.

• A Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act.

• The Federal Reserve unveiled the details of its Main Street lending program.
Here is a direct link to the Federal Reserve and initial documents.

• The NYS Department of Labor has instituted a new system to spread out applications.  Check out the PSA that explains their new guidelines to get folks their benefits.

• The SBA Paycheck Protection Program is an important program and details are coming forward.

• With the passage last Friday of the CARES Act, small business owners and nonprofits can get up to a $10,000 advance on an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

• Also check the Suffolk Chambers and Nassau Chambers website for important news and links.
Newsday and the LIA hosted a webinar with NYS SBDC and you can check it out here

• The LI Main Street Alliances “We Are Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• Our friends at LISTnet have a Coronavirus support page.

• National Federation of Independent Businesses is holding webinars on small business loans and has videos of past ones on their site.

• If you are in the construction industry here is a very thoughtful webinar from the KOW consulting group on changes underway.

• Updated information regarding REVISED SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan application can be found here.

• SBA’s Coronavirus landing page has been updated as well, and has important information including on the SBA Bridge Loan Program

• Property and casualty insurance premiums were waived for small business

• The Small Business Association announced an automatic deferment for loans from previous disasters

• All nonessential construction is shutdown

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses

• NYS has developed a Shared Work program for folks to apply for partial unemployment to supplement a reduced work schedule

• Dining Bonds created to help local small businesses

• The free New York State business advisement services of the Small Business Centers at Stony Brook University and Farmingdale are also available to assist

• Facebook has grants for small businesses

• Kiva has grants for small business

• Amazon has a grant fund for small business

• Verizon has set up a small business recovery fund

• The US Chamber of Commerce has a small grant program for small businesses employing between 3-20 people is already oversubscribed after a few hours open. Check it out

• The State established a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers in need with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance next week. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up at www.nysba.org/covidvolunteer

• If you are at home do you dream about going back to your office or workplace?   If you are a boss or a manager here is what you should know from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration about making your workplace safe upon return.

• National Grid has created a targeted grants to help manufacturers who need assistance to develop new products or implement lean manufacturing, to produce critical items to support the pandemic response.

• Grants for Artists impacted by Coronavirus.

• Grants for Restaurant workers.

• The LI Herald has created a grant program that counts towards 50% discounts on advertising your business.

• SCORE Long Island is available to assist businesses with their SBA applications

• Read the Editorial from Stuart Richner of the Herald calling for a Small Business Stimulus to lead us into the recovery.

• Here is a video with Leg. William Doc Spencer on safely supporting Main Street businesses

• Rose Walker visited local downtowns to remind residents to patronize businesses that are struggling right now.

• Legislator Laura Schaefer has a series of videos on her Facebook page promoting takeout and delivery to independent small businesses.  Here is one for West Hempstead.

 Nassau County Minority Affairs Director Lionel Chitty provides an update on small business disaster loans.

• If you are searching for hand sanitizer for your organization, community or business you can order a batch here at reasonable prices.

• Nassau County and Suffolk County are surveying small businesses: The Nassau County survey is here.  The Suffolk County survey is here.

• RXR has set up a series of volunteer resources to help your business during the shutdown.  Check it out.

• LI Business News and Newsday have done a great job reporting on the need to support local businesses.  Here are a couple of recent stories spotlighting downtown businesses and the LI Main Street Alliance members:

Eating on the Run at LIBN
Survey of Downtown Businesses Shows Potential Closurees at Newsday
How to keep the money from the federal small business bailout at Crane’s New York (Subscription required)

RESOURCES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT / SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

• Senator Schumer, Gillibrand and Congressional delegation deliver $18 million for housing and community development for Long Island’s Counties and local municipalities.

• The NYS Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has weblinks for assistance here.

• Newsday has set up a page on their website for free messages for community organizations.   

• New grant resource for folks who provide meals to children from No Kid Hungry

• If you are a school providing meals during the Coronavirus crisis grants are available.

• The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation has grants for to nonprofit organizations serving low-income individuals, families and communities in New York State.

• The American Heart Association has grants for efforts to access healthy food and active living.

BILLS BILLS BILLS

• Some tips on bills you need to pay and some that you don’t as this crisis gets prolonged

• The IRS has created a Q&A page with information on what you need to do with your taxes

• Up to date information in accessing unemployment from NYS DOL

• If you filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, you do not need to prove you are searching for employment to make a claim. Department of Labor Commissioner Reardon has signed a new order that limits all work search activities for all unemployment claimants. No activities are required during the pandemic to receive unemployment benefits.

• Life Insurance payments deferred – For a 90-day period, New Yorkers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums. Late payments will be payable over a one-year period. Additionally, consumers and small businesses experiencing Coronavirus-related financial hardship may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for a 60-day period. This includes auto, homeowners, renters and other kinds of insurance. (No late fees will be assessed and there will be no negative impact to your credit.)

• Pharmacies will now offer free home delivery to New Yorkers. All NYS major pharmacy chains, pharmacies have agreed to offer free home delivery to help reduce long lines for prescriptions at their facilities

• Student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can obtain relief for loans not covered by the CARES Act. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance programs. New York student loan borrowers should visit the Department of Financial Services’ website at dfs.ny.gov for more information about available student loan relief.

• Resources for displaced bartenders.

• Resources for displaced hospitality workers.

• If you are an artist the NYS Foundation for the Arts has Emergency Grants.

• If you are a photographer there are small grants available.

• PSEG has a Coronavirus page that is updated regularly

• There is now a 90 day waiver on mortgage payments which is a relief to the thousands of Long Islanders that had those bills hanging over their head during an extended forced shutdown.

• Freddie Mac is prohibiting evictions on properties where their loans are in place

• All NYS Department of Motor Vehicles licenses, ID’s and registrations are extended.   All offices closed and transactions are shifted to online service.

• AT&T suspends collection activities during the Coronavirus crisis

• PSEG Long Island Halts Service Shut Offs

• National Grid Halts Service Shut Offs

• Verizon Suspends Collection Activities

 Geico postponed collectons during Coronavirus shutdown

• Folks can check out this stimulus calculator that tells you what you might receive in the form of a direct payment from the Federal government.

• You may be able to temporarily stop making your student loan payments.

• If you are struggling with various bills to pay and worry about automatic payments from your bank account here is guidance on how to stop them.

• Got credit card debt?  Here is an updated list of banks that are providing relief to customers affected by the Coronavirus.

• Got wireless bills?  AT&T and Verizon have given guidance on how to handle them – here is Sprint’s

• Auto insurance bills?  Many car insurance companies are providing discounts and credits to customers as a result of the dramatic reduction in driving that’s been taking place during the pandemic.  Check with your provider to see if they’re offering one, and if there are any steps you need to take in order to receive the discount.

• National Grid has updated information about their billing.

• Curious about the process for Federal Coronavirus Recovery Checks? The first round of federal relief payments began going out today, so if the federal government had your direct deposit information from a recent income tax filing, you should check your bank account!

• NYS has updated its essential list of businesses again. Check out the latest.

• NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has developed a Covid-19 Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers with links and resources for residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses. Check it out.

HUMAN NEEDS

• New York State will provide child care scholarships to essential workers. Child care costs will be covered for essential staff whose income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level — or $78,600 for a family of four. Essential workers (including health care providers, law enforcement, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others) can use these scholarships to pay for their existing care arrangement.
If an essential worker needs child care, they can use the below link to begin the application process (select by language spoken)

• Folks need FoodIf you are in need of food Island Harvest has their food locater and is working round the clock to continue supplies to those in need

• Domestic Violence is up 10%:  Many experts in the area of domestic violence prevention have pointed out lately that Isolation and unemployment are a recipe for disaster in a household with a history of intimate partner violence. If you need help, contact the Safe Center 24/7 at 516-542-0404 or the NY Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline at 800-942-6906. If you are in any personal crisis, you can also call the Long Island Crisis Center 24/7 hotline at 516-679-1111.

• How is your mental health? A mental health hotline is available to New Yorkers who need it. We can’t underestimate the impact this pandemic is having on mental health. Over 6,000 mental health professionals have volunteered their time to help with New York’s Coronavirus response. For free emotional support, consultation and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314

• If you are pregnant?  Many pregnant women and their families are facing uncertainty about what the COVID-19 outbreak means for their ability to have a safe, supported delivery in Nassau County hospitals.   In response to these concerns, Nassau County has launched a hotline: 516-4UR-CARE. Pregnant patients can call this line and get answers and advice about how to have a safe childbirth under COVID-19 conditions.

• Salvation Army has a Coronavirus hotline for their services of food, counseling and other emergency services

• Stay Clean – NYS is supplying their hand sanitizer to front line providers on an as need basis.   Here is the request form.

• New York State has a Coronavirus hotline and website for information or to schedule a test.  Please call 888-364-3065 or navigate here.

• If you lost your health care, NYS has reopened its health exchange.

• If you are a Senior check out the AARP Thursday conference call with info on social security, tax deadlines and other services.

• Supervisor Bosworth and the Town of North Hempstead launched a new program to provide our seniors with remote companionship during these isolating times. The “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program matches volunteers with seniors in the Project Independence program, and is designed to provide a sense of reassurance and comfort. To participate or to volunteer, call 311 or 516-869-6311

 If you are a Veteran and struggling through these difficult times you can have virtual Coffee with a Veteran each day at noon until Apr 30.   Email Dave-rogers1969@live.com to sign up.

• If you are a senior every Thursday AARP has a live Q and A call to help you manage the Coronavirus crisis.

• If you live in the Huntington area very thorough Coronavirus Resource Guide is available from the Office of Legislator William Doc Spencer.

• If you are a pet owner the CDC has some guidance.  The USDA reported today that two pet cats in New York have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (they’re expected to recover.) There is no evidence that domestic animals can pass the virus on to humans, but it seems apparent that the cats did contract the virus from humans they came in contact with. As a result, the CDC has issued new guidance for pet owners: don’t let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household, keep cats indoors when possible, walk dogs on a leash, staying 6 feet away from other people and animals. Avoid dog parks or places where a large number of people and dogs gather.  

HELP NEEDED

• Island Harvest is seeking food donations from commercial food establishments impacted by the coronavirus.

• Blood donations are needed: The New York Blood Center said it is in urgent need of donors, since coronavirus concerns have resulted in “critically low blood and platelet appointments” across Long Island. The NYBC has six centers in Nassau and Suffolk and said safety protocols are in place as they urge healthy individuals, who have not been exposed to coronavirus, to donate. The NYBC said if you are unsure if you can donate, you can ask their experts at 800-688-0900 or navigate to their webpage here.

St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center is calling for people to make appointments to donate blood.

• New York is calling for qualified health professionals and related professionals to supplement hospital capacity on a temporary basis to help treat seriously ill coronavirus patients.

HELP WANTED

• Tens of thousands of Long Islanders are out of work.   There are many service industry positions seeking temporary or permanent employment.   Here are some:

7-11 (looking to add 20,000 jobs)
Aldi (5,000 open positions)
Amazon (looking to add 100,000 employees)
CVS (looking to hire 50,000 employees)
Dollar Tree/Family Dollar (25,000 full- and part-time associates)
Domino’s (looking to hire up to 10,000 employees)
Pepsi (bring another 6,000 people on board)
Pizza Hut (over 30,000 open positions)
ShopRite
Stop & Shop
Walgreens (fill roughly 9,500 full- and part-time positions)
Walmart (adding 150,000 temporary positions)

General Listings:

Indeed
Long Island’s Craigslist
New York Jobs

Simply Hired

• If someone is looking for a procurement opportunity through the state you can fill out this form here.

• If someone is looking for a procurement opportunity with the federal government check out this source

HOME & STIR CRAZY

• Folks are at home with their families and children for extended periods.   It’s important to know how to talk to your kids about Coronavirus so they don’t think we are living in an episode of the Walking Dead.  Here is also some guidance from PBS.

• If you are trying to figure out what to do at home with your kid while they have very limited hours with their teachers online.  Western Suffolk BOCES has produced an online toolkit for learning.

An added bonus to the toolkit is an activity with Mo Willems, Author of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” and many other cool stories

• If you are home and desperately trying to figure out what to do with your child that is remotely productive here are 16 simple things that count as learning.

• Turn off your Zoom call once you are done.

• Bored at home – Fifty libraries in Nassau County now offer digital cards, allowing residents to explore their hometown library’s book, music and art collections online from the comfort of their couch.

• How to make your own face mask.

• If you need some info on how to make your own mask.

• Can’t find hand sanitizer and need to make your own?  Here is one recipe.

• Need to boost your immune system? The Long Island Press has some ideas.

• If you like doing yoga:  Girls Inc is hosting Family Virtual yoga on Friday April 17th at 5:30. 

• How to make homemade disinfectant spray and wipes.

• Check out a virtual landscape art exhibit from the Westbury Arts Council

• Always wanted to learn to play guitar but never had time?  Fender is giving free lessons from the next three months.

• Are you and your kids are glued to screens and losing your mind?   Here are 100 non electronic things you can do to keep your kids occupied during the lockdown.

• If you are stir crazy with kids at home the Cradle of Aviation uses a video service to bring the museum to residents.

• Bored at home?  East End Arts is providing virtual access to artists.

• The Staller Center for the Arts has a virtual tour of  many instruments and their outreach activities

 Pet ownership is up – here is a piece on how pet ownership helps address isolation particularly for older adults.

• Do you miss Dinner and a movie?   The Cinema Arts Center offers free cooking videos to pair with your favorite independent films they can virtually screen.  Check out the story.
Here is the direct link.

• Need Chocolate Activity Kits for kids?  Chocolate Works provides decorating kits, easter oreos and other home kits to make with you kids.   For every one you buy Pink Tie donates one to local food pantries in Hempstead and Medford!

INNOVATION UNDERWAY

• Folks are answering Governor Cuomo’s call for ventilators, masks:

The Business Incubator Association has created an invitation to ventilate.   

The LI Racing Association folks have a go fund me page to increase production of their reusable n95 masks.

A Long Island Distillery is making hand sanitizer.

D’Addario, a Long Island musical instrument maker, pivots from making drumheads to face shields

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORTATION & SUSTAINABILITY

• SUEZ – who manages Nassau’s major sewage treatment plants in Cedar Creek and Bay Park is urging residents to NOT flush wipes down the toilet but instead place in garbage.  

• One benefit of Coronavirus: traffic is down and more folks walking, biking

• Environmental regulation impacted as EPA Suspended all Environmental Rules

• PSEG Long Island Continues to Storm-Harden the Grid

• The MTA has announced partnership with Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgents Care to provide COVID-19 Testing for Heroic MTA workers.

• MTA Board Unanimously Ratifies Family Benefits Agreement Recognizing Heroic Sacrifice by Frontline Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

• MTA Announces Virtual Board Meeting to Be Held on April 22

• LIPA provides update on coordination plan and current projects and initiative

• NICE buses in Nassau County will switch to a reduced schedule. The service will operate on a Saturday schedule from Monday-Saturday, and Sunday service will be unchanged. This does not apply to the Elmont Flexi Shuttle, the Mercy Medical Community Shuttle, the Port Washington Shuttle, and the n19, n57, and n80 routes, which will all continue to run normally

• Good news – in a throwback that was really just 45 days ago – here is a profile on the hamlet of Bay Shore and the benefits of their two decades work of revitalization.

• More Good news – Consensus emerging on the superblock project in the City of Long Beach due to collaboration with a local developer and community organizations.

• A Video session that speaks to Multifamily development weathering the storm better than other forms of development.   

• Alfonso Castillo, Newsday’s transportation reporter did a nice profile on the challenges facing LI’s bus system that has been bringing essential workers to work and residents to health services. 

• VHB has put together a thoughtful resource guide on transportation, real estate and energy.   Check it out.

OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

• Nassau County Map of updates from Across the County

• Suffolk County Map of confirmed Coronavirus cases

• NYS has an established COVID tracker web site that provides data regarding the virus outbreak in the state, including a breakdown of fatalities by age, ethnicity, risk factors, etc.

• Thinking Globally?   Here is a website documenting the world impact of Coronavirus.

• Thomas Friedman wrote a thoughtful opinion piece on how to get the economy back on track without sacrificing public health.

• Inspirational op-ed from LIBN editor Joe Dowd

• Gary Labarbara from the NYS Building Trades Council speaks about safety for construction workers.

• Celebrities have time on their hands and are letting us know how they feel including Ben Stiller, Danny Devito, Cardi B, Robert Deniro and Madonna encouraging folks to stay home.  Sean Penn was looking to send in the military.  Arnold Schwartzeneger was telling folks to stay home while smoking a cigar in his hot tub, Neil Diamond even wrote a song called “Hands Washing Hands” sung to the tune of Sweet Caroline.

• Lots of social media chatter and online bullying regarding social distancing.  According to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, NCPD received 700 calls with only 12 unfounded or easily resolved with a warning.   In Huntington Inspector William Scrima, commander of the Suffolk County Police Second Precinct said “We have gotten a number of calls about people and businesses who are not following social distancing guidelines. Many of the calls are unfounded, others are at businesses that people mistakenly believe are not designated essential.  We have encountered a few non-essential businesses that are open and a few gatherings of people in public areas. All have complied with the guidelines, when notified by our officers.”

• The Tourism industry has been severely impacted.  Here is a video with Kevin Wood from the Village of Port Jeff interviewing a representative from Danfords hotel.

• Do you care about your grocery store worker?   Check out RWDSU President Stuart Applebaum interviewed at the AFLCIO podcast on conditions for workers.

• If you are into civic freedoms and civil liberties the International Center on Not for Profit Law has a global civic freedoms tracker tied to the Coronavirus crisis

Vision Long Island Director wrote an op-ed in LIBN about the importance of supporting Main Street businesses and each other.

HOW CAN I HELP?

There are hundreds of thousands unemployed in NY but there are many more as folks can’t or haven’t navigated the system for benefits to date.

That is not simply an eye catching statistic but real people with lives upended.

For the folks that are still working I hope you are:

1) humble, sober and aware of the fact that right now millions of americans are in pain,
2) if you have resources to help local folks – patronize open small businesses to limit further job loss,
3) donate to local food pantries,
4) donate other resources directly to real people you may know in need and
5) if you have resources to give to groups make it very local groups who are on the ground and getting them needed help in this time.

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY

• We are starting to see some Corporate Philanthropy develop that has been missing through this crisis.   Stay tuned for a more thorough report.

Locally
– The Long Island Community Foundation has set up a Coronavirus fund for community services and organizations.
– Pink Tie and the LI Nets have developed a Pink Tie delivers program – more on that in the coming days.
– Trader Joe’s has been making donations to local food pantries
– The Long Island East End Group purchased 15,000 masks for distribution to front line providers.
– The Estée Lauder Companies provided 10,000 hand sanitizer bottles (8 ounces each) per week for 4-5 weeks
– Owners of Shinn Estate Vineyards donate $100,000 to Eastern Long Island Hospitals
– LI Jobs with Justice Solidarity Fund
– Long Island Ambulatory Surgery Center donated a Ventilator
– In addition the United Way, The Townwide Fund of Huntington and the 1763 Foundation are all raising money to distribute to folks that meet their guidelines.  
– The Long Island Chinese American Association volunteers, donated 10,000 masks and delivered lunch to first responders.
– Jim Hagedorn from Scotts Miracle-Gro donated $110,000 worth of protective equipment for first responders. 
– $250,000 New York Jets for direct worker assistance
– $250,000 Bank of America for direct worker assistance
– The Knapp Swezey Foundation has donated $500,000 to Patchogue charities.

• The United Way has a fund to assist low income wage earners who were either (1) laid off or (2) furloughed from their jobs due to COVID-19.  People can search for assistance here.

Nationally
– JP Morgan Chase has committed $50 million
– Lowes has announced $25 million in grants and in-kind donations
– Citi Foundation has announced a $15 million fund
– Google has announced $15 million in cash grants
– Citizens Bank has announced $5 million
– Anna Wintour has set up a fund for folks in the fashion industry who are displaced.
– A number of grants for displaced local artists are starting to emerge
– Bank of America has dedicated a $100 million fund nationwide.
– Verizon has set up a small business recovery fund.

• While we have not seen much in the corporate philanthropy department one fantastic exception has been the LI Community Foundation.   They have distributed $450,000 to a number of local organizations helping real people.   Check it out.

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks stay tuned daily for updates on the range of actions taken to get us through this public health and economic crisis. 

We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org or call 631-804-9128.  

You can read previous editions of Long Island Main Street News here.

IMPORTANT WEBSITES TO TRACK:

Northwell Health Digital Resource Center

The US Small Business Administration

New York State Department of Labor

NYS Department of Health

CDC Website

Occupational Safety and Health

New York City

Nassau County

Suffolk County

Town of Hempstead

Town of North Hempstead

Town of Oyster Bay

Town of Babylon

Town of Brookhaven

Town of East Hampton

Town of Huntington

Town of Islip

Town of Riverhead

Town of Shelter Island

Town of Smithtown

Town of Southampton

Town of Southold

City of Glen Cove

City of Long Beach

MTA Information

School Closings

AARP’s Updates on the Coronavirus

Island Harvest’s Food Pantry Tracker

Suffolk County Alliance of Chamber’s Disaster Relief Information

Global Dashboard of Infection Data

Worldometers Coronavirus totals in the US

Previous Messages

Day 1 of shutdown – Monday, March 16th, 2020

We have been getting many calls these last two weeks and talking to a number of small businesses in our downtowns.   Simply put the real experiences folks are going through range from not great to potentially life altering.

So the world has changed radically in the last two months. At our LI Main Street Alliance meeting in late January there were updates from 20 communities that were experiencing or looking forward to investments in their downtowns and many more revitalization plans on the way. The local businesses were functioning well even through the winter which is always a tough time for any business.

With the advent of Coronavirus we have seen and are hearing a 40-50% reduction in most restaurants, bars and local services. The grocery store and pharmacies may be mobbed but the independent small businesses you love may not be there or radically restructured in the coming months.

We recognize that the major focus of our national media coverage has been – correctly – the health impacts of the virus and things we can do to limit its spread. Where it has veered into economics it’s been a discussion of the stock market on Wall Street.

What hasn’t been covered much is the economic impact to real people on Main Street of the shut down efforts to date and those that are upcoming.

It is really simple the bulk of our economy is centered around residents and business owners spending money and the supply chains that follow. If folks aren’t out downtowns have trouble functioning.

Tonight at 8pm the first wave of quarantine efforts will commence which will shut down restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theatres and limit gatherings of more than 50 people. 

We will be getting into more details in the coming days on ways that Main Street businesses can survive this crisis and what you can do to help them before any further governmentally imposed quarantine is put in place.

What folks can be doing to help their Main Street right now before large scale quarantine’s are in place is to:

1)  Regularly select take out or delivery services to independent small businesses.   Where possible order services or products from their websites in the absence of showing up at their door. 
  
2) Purchase gift certificates from your local stores or restaurants in order to get them desperately needed cash given the pending shut down of day to day activities.

3) Lobby for the Federal government to fast track SBA loans without red tape.  If this requires partnering with local government, who know these communities better, to help administer them make it happen.  Loans of up to $2 million  are available but need to be implemented quickly.

4) Lobby to create small grants and other resources for our local Main Street businesses.  A Small Business Stabilization Fund, like the one created in Seattle as part of their Coronavirus response, provides grants of $10,000 and is a helpful stopgap measure to keep smaller operations running.     The Federal or NYS government should put an aid package together that will help keep the lights on for medium scale local businesses, those that might not be small enough for a grant but may not qualify for an SBA loan.   

5) Lobby to pass the NYS Small Business Savings Accounts legislation that has stalled in Albany for the last five years.   If that was passed five years ago local businesses now under a State of Emergency could access those tax free accounts that are in the form of an IRA to make payroll and operational costs through this difficult time.   The entire idea, sadly ahead of its time, was to have these stores access capital in times of emergency or recession. 

In the coming weeks Vision and the Long Island Main Street Alliance and our local partners will be working to ensure that the impact to our local downtowns is minimized and resources come forward to help local businesses and communities through this crisis. 

Seven and a half years ago we worked successfully with our friends on the South Shore as their lives were turned upside down through Sandy.   We will work now to ensure that the same concerns from last time – lack of consistent information, glacially slow public response/support from government programs and lack of private resources moving directly to real impacted people is not repeated.   There are good, professional staff within government and volunteers outside government in the private sector looking to assist.

We will get through this but it will require our collective support from the community level on up.   Please contact us to join the LI Main Street Alliance and tell us if you are willing to help at ea@visionlongisland.org

Day 3 of shutdown – Wednesday March 18, 2020

The last month of the Coronavirus public health and  economic crisis and resulting shutdowns of the last few days have been devastating to Main Street businesses, workers, associated industries and varying supply chains. 

We have communicated with over 120 independent small business and have heard their experiences as they were down on average 40-50% before the shutdown this week.   Of the business that are still open many are now over 80% down.  Some small businesses are temporarily closed and some considering permanent closure.   Unconfirmed projections of tens of thousands have been laid off this week due to the forced closures.   The March unemployment report will start to tell the story of the folks seeking fast tracked unemployment insurance.

Here are a few brief notes on what is going on around the island in response to the shutdown:

The very good news is that larger government entities that had been battling in a polarized fashion for years now have been working together in a bipartisan manner to bring resources from Washington.   NYS has also mobilized to put multiple testing sites in Jones Beach, Stony Brook with more to come. 

The other bit of good news is that the media is now starting to focus on the impacts to our downtowns, local businesses and workforce in addition to public health needs and the status of Wall Street.  This is happening because local businesses are stepping up to tell their story as our the many folks who patronize these establishment.  The “Shop Local” spirit that has been emerging for many years is rallying at this point.

The more we can get information out from local communities to the broader public and to policy makers of the real needs, resources and the experiences of residents and local businesses the better the wide ranging governmental decisions will be.

Residents and business owners are overwhelmed during this time but Vision and the members of the LI Main Street Alliance are looking to keep you updated with links, resources and real people to assist in pulling together through this unprecedented crisis.  

You can help by patronizing small businesses by takeout, delivery  or gift certificates.  You can also help many in need by donating to a local food pantry.  You can also ask larger national and regional companies that do business on Long Island what their commitment is to corporate philanthropy during this time of need. 

We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available to folks.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org.  

Stay healthy, safe and while we can be physically distant let’s keep our communities and Main Streets together!

Day 4 of shutdown – Thursday March 19, 2020

A whirlwind of community activity, lots of conflicting information and folks looking for answers to many questions they have about their present situation and of course deep anxieties about the future.  

Here are some updates as we learn them:

Details are emerging on the prospect of applying for SBA Loans: Not for profits are also eligible for these disaster loans. NYS applied for disaster declaration earlier this week and and the Federal government just approved them so the portal should be open to apply.

The Office of Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, Small Business Development Center in Farmingdale, Nassau County IDA, Suffolk County IDA, the Town of Babylon IDA, and Town of Brookhaven IDA have also all issued memorandums with tip sheets that help guide people through the Federal process.

In short, folks should get their paperwork together and apply for these loans if it makes sense for your business or non-profit.

No word yet on any grants available like the limited ones other cities have put in place.

Communities are banding together in ways we have not seen since Sandy which is beyond heartening. 

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks.   We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org or call 631-804-9128.  

Day 5 of shutdown – Friday March 20, 2020

The hits just keep coming….

So the day started with a shutdown of barber shops, nail salons, tattoo parlors for 8pm on Saturday night.    By noon the notice was a complete shutdown of all businesses for all but essential services by 8pm on Sunday night.  Thankfully there is a multipage guidance document on essential services that includes a number of business categories with food delivery from restaurants and bars allowed. 

Lots of misinformation and confusion today from all corners as local communities brace for more regulations. 

Projections have that 500,000 jobs have or soon will be lost to this public health crisis.    Very possible that more lives will be destroyed by the economic impact of these measures than that of the virus.

For now we have to recognize that we are all moving forward with a public health crisis and an economic crisis disproportionately impacting small businesses simultaneously.

Vision has now spoken with over 160 independent small businesses in 25 communities and the ones still open share that they are close to 90% down. 

Here are some of the actions today to be reported:

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks.  

We will be getting video information out to people in the coming week so stay tuned.

We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org or call 631-804-9128.   

 

Day 8 of shutdown – Monday March 23, 2020

Ok so Monday, day 8 of the Coronavirus economic shutdown shows a real can-do approach from local community and small business leaders across Long Island who are helping each other by supporting local shops where possible and mutual aid all around.

There is much more communication between local leaders and the larger government response with lots of conference calls and virtual meetings, which is heartening.

We have now spoken to close to 225 small businesses in downtowns across Long Island and the damage is extensive.

Folks were critical that our first four community updates were Nassau downtowns (Hicksville, Farmingdale, Westbury & Mineola), so we now have updates from four Suffolk ones – Kings Park, Northport, Lindenhurst and Babylon.   Watch for more in the coming days.   

Here are some recent highlights from:

• The Treasury, IRS and Labor Dept. announced a plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave.

• The Small Business Association announced an automatic deferment for loans from previous disasters.

• The most confusing issue over the weekend was what businesses are considered essential and which ones aren’t.  With rumors circulating and information changing this guidance document from NYS is very helpful.   
To request an exemption of get clarification from your potential nonessential status please fill out the form here.

• The Federal Center for Disease Control set up a website to combat rumors on the Coronavirus.

• Governor Cuomo continued his daily updates from with a discussion of federal coordination on hospital beds, medical equipment, number of cases, new testing opportunities and lots of other information.  The Governor also discussed a more refined governmental strategy in response to help the economy.

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is holding a virtual Town Hall on his Facebook page at 6:30 this evening.   Watch it live here.

• SUEZ – who manages Nassau’s major sewage treatment plants in Cedar Creek and Bay Park is urging residents to NOT flush wipes down the toilet but instead place in garbage.  

• Two hospitals on Long Island are selected as temporary hospitals.

• All NYS Department of Motor Vehicles licenses, ID’s and registrations are extended.   All offices closed and transactions are shifted to online service.

• NYS has put out a call for health related emergency personnel.

• National Grid has canceled their public meetings on short and long term energy supply options but holding them in a virtual format.

• Communication on the local level is happening:

Nassau County held a conference call to discuss their study on the economic impact of the Coronavirus.   The Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers held a conference call to coordinate with local small businesses.

The Long Island Main Street Alliance is having conference calls with leaders of local downtown revitalization efforts to assess impacts.

Stay tuned for updates….

• Town of Hempstead Town Hall is closed with a hotline open to answer questions and concerns.

• The Town of Huntington closes parks and asks public to report violations of social distancing behavior.

• Dining Bonds created to help local small businesses.

• Folks are at home with their families and children for extended periods.   It’s important to know how to talk to your kids about Coronavirus so they don’t think we are living in an episode of Walking Dead.  Here is some guidance from PBS.

• Thomas Friedman wrote a thoughtful opinion piece on how to get the economy back on track without sacrificing public health.

• Celebrities have time on their hands and are letting us know how they feel including Danny Devito, Robert Deniro and Madonna encouraging folks to stay home.  Sean Penn was looking to send in the military.  Arnold Schwarzenegger was telling folks to stay home while smoking a cigar in his hot tub, Neil Diamond even wrote a song called “Hands Washing Hands” sung to the tune of Sweet Caroline..  

• We are starting to see some Corporate Philanthropy develop that has been missing through this crisis.   Stay tuned for a more thorough report.

– Pink Tie and the LI Nets have developed a Pink Tie delivers program – more on that in the coming days.
– Trader Joe’s has been making donations to local food pantries
– A number of grants for displaced local artists are starting to emerge
– Bank of America has dedicated a $100 million fund nationwide
– In addition the United Way, The Townwide Fund of Huntington and the 1763 Foundation are all raising money to distribute to folks that meet their guidelines.  

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks.  

We will be getting video information out to people in the coming week so stay tuned.

We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org or call 631-804-9128.

Day 9 of shutdown – Tuesday March 24, 2020

So Tuesday, day 9, of the Coronavirus economic shutdown gave us a clearer picture of what is happening in local communities.  

We held two conference calls, one from each county with chamber, civic, and local government leaders to hear about 40 community updates.   There is a tremendous amount of local effort and organizing in each community to help folks move through this crisis.  Food is getting out to seniors and schoolkids, communication through local villages and networks is occurring virtually with a rally around the small businesses that are open for takeout, delivery and other services. 

We will have a complete writeup from most of these downtowns for tomorrow’s edition but for now here is some important news for folks:

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing on the increased numbers and desperate need for hospital beds in New York State. As cases of the virus spike, the state’s response is quickly reaching a critical point with over 25,000 confirmed positives currently in NYS with a statewide death toll of 210.  Almost 15,000 of the confirmed cases are currently located in New York City.  3,324 patients are currently hospitalized for treatment, with 756 of those being located in intensive care units.  The rate of hospitalization is now at 23%.
• New York State has a Coronavirus hotline and website for information or to schedule a test.
• 30,000 New Yorkers have responded to the call for retired nurses and doctors along with medical school students.   If you want to serve you can go here.
• NYS is supplying their hand sanitizer to front line providers on an as-need basis.   Here is the request form.
• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will be doing a Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday March 25th at 6:30pm
• Nassau & Suffolk County need Emergency Personal protective Equipment – Drives are underway.   Info is below in the links and here.
• Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin provided a video update on essential services.
• Island Harvest continues their work and has a food locater on their website – folks should check that out.
• The Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers has resources on their website so folks should check that out.    Nassau Chambers is updating theirs as well so another resource.
• If you are stir crazy with kids at home the Cradle of Aviation uses a video service to bring the museum to residents.
• We are starting to see some Corporate Philanthropy develop that has been missing through this crisis.   Stay tuned for a more thorough report…..

– Pink Tie and the LI Nets have developed a Pink Tie delivers program – more on that in the coming days.
– Trader Joe’s has been making donations to local food pantries
– A number of grants for displaced local artists are starting to emerge
– Bank of America has dedicated a $100 million fund nationwide.
– The Long Island East End Group purchased 15,000 masks for distribution to front line providers.
– In addition the United Way, The Townwide Fund of Huntington and the 1763 Foundation are all raising money to distribute to folks that meet their guidelines.  

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks.  

We will be getting video information out to people in the coming week so stay tuned.

We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org or call 631-804-9128.  

Day 10 of shutdown – Wednesday March 25, 2020

The big news today was the final agreement on a multitrillion dollar aid package which will have at least $40 billion go to New York.  Of course this is heartening and we are hopeful these resources will go to the right places particularly to help people truly dislocated from their jobs, small businesses restart and the front line providers through this crisis.

We have connected with over 250 small businesses in over 40 downtowns with lots of community activity emerging and there will be more on that tomorrow but for now here are some updates.

• The Federal government agreed on a $2 trillion Coronavirus rescue bill.

• NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo provided another of his daily updates on the ongoing health crises in NYS while speaking from the Capitol Building in Albany.  The major bit of bad news was an additional 5,146 confirmed cases of Coronavirus across New York.

But a particular good bit of news was the recent success from New York’s call for volunteer health workers to help out with surging COVID-19 cases.  He noted that 40,000 healthcare workers have answered that call, including students and retirees, and will work on the front lines of the ongoing crises.  Meanwhile, more than 6,000 mental health professionals have signed up to provide free online mental health services to New Yorkers.  People can call 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment if they find themselves in need.

You can view the entire press conference here.

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will be doing a Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday March 25th at 6:30pm

• Due to the large influx of NYC residents seeking to isolate on the east end the Supervisors of Southold and Southampton have requested a travel ban be put in place for only essential personnel.  

• The Town of Huntington is planning for remote meetings

• The LI Main Street Alliance encourages small businesses and not for profits to register for a free webinar held by the Queens Chamber of Commerce on how to apply for the SBA Economic injury disaster loan. 

• Freddie Mac is prohibiting evictions on properties where their loans are in place.

• There is an unprecedented number of unemployment applications.  The website has been overloaded and call times are very long.

• The IRS has created a Q&A page with information on what you need to do with your taxes.

• Nassau County and Suffolk County are surveying small businesses on COVID-19’s impact:

The Nassau County survey is here.

The Suffolk County survey is here.

• New York State has a Coronavirus hotline and website for information or to schedule a test.  Please call 888-364-3065, or navigate to here.

• 30,000 New Yorkers have responded to the call for retired nurses and doctors along with medical school students.   If you want to serve you can go here.

• NYS is supplying their hand sanitizer to front line providers on an as need basis.  Here is the request form.

• Nassau & Suffolk County need Emergency Personal protective Equipment – Drive is underway.   Info is here.

• If someone is looking for a procurement opportunity through the state you can fill out this form.

• We are starting to see some Corporate Philanthropy develop that has been missing through this crisis.   Stay tuned for a more thorough report…

– Pink Tie and the LI Nets have developed a Pink Tie delivers program – more on that in the coming days.
– Trader Joe’s has been making donations to local food pantries
– A number of grants for displaced local artists are starting to emerge
– Anna Wintour has set up a fund for folks in the fashion industry who are displaced.
– Bank of America has dedicated a $100 million fund nationwide.
– The Long Island East End Group purchased 15,000 masks for distribution to front line providers.
– In addition the United Way, The Townwide Fund of Huntington and the 1763 Foundation are all raising money to distribute to folks that meet their guidelines.  

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks.  

We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org or call 631-804-9128.  

Day 11 of shutdown – Thursday March 26, 2020

So we are at day 11 of the shutdown and a great deal of confusion continues.

Vision & the LI Main Street Alliance participated in a webinar with 500 Long Islanders on grants to local government and not-for-profits.  There are calls tomorrow for info on how to apply for SBA Disaster loans as well.  Links for all of those calls are below.

The layoffs continue but some clarity on the Coronavirus stimulus package from the federal government is starting to emerge.

We are also seeing some more community to community level philanthropy, which continues to be just beautiful.  Unfortunately, we have also seen continued hoarding and strange to bad behavior from folks.  Crisis brings out the best and worst in people and we are still early in this, so hopefully some behavior can be corrected.

The Governor’s call for manufacturing masks and ventilators is being met with creativity from many small businesses, and the donation drives for personal protective gear for front line providers is yielding results.

It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working around the clock and are the true heroes in this.

As we head into the weekend, please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.  We have spoken to nearly 270 in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help too.

So here are some updates for today:

• Unemployment Numbers are trickling in, and they don’t tell the full story

Over 3.3 million Americans have applied for unemployment in the past week alone. That number includes 80,000 in NY, but there are many more as folks can’t navigate to the website as it keeps crashing due to volume. 

That is not simply an eye catching statistic, but real people with lives upended. For the folks that are still working, Vision hopes that you are:

1) Humble, sober and aware of the fact that right now millions of Americans are in pain.
2) If you have the resources are attempting to help local folks by patronizing open small businesses in an effort to limit further job losses.
3) Donating to local food pantries.
4) Donating other resources directly to real people you may know who are currently in need.
5) Looking to local groups to donate resources if you are able as they are the ones on the ground and giving help where it’s needed most.

• Folks are answering Governor Cuomo’s call for ventilators, masks:

The Business Incubator Association has created an invitation to ventilate.   

The LI Racing Association folks have a gofundme page to increase production of their reusable n95 masks.

A Long Island Distillery is making hand sanitizer.

• The NYS Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has weblinks for assistance here.

• Folks can check out this stimulus calculator that tells you what you might receive in the form of a direct payment from the Federal government.

• The LI Main Street Alliance encourages small businesses and not for profits to register for a free webinar held by the Queens Chamber of Commerce on how to apply for the SBA Economic injury disaster loan.   

Newsday and the LIA will be doing a business resource call as well.   You can register here.

The free New York State business advisement services of the Small Business Centers at Stony Brook University and Farmingdale are also available to assist.

• Gary Labarbara from the NYS Building Trades Council speaks about safety for construction workers.

• Some tips on bills you need to pay and some that you don’t as this crisis gets prolonged.

• Facebook has grants for small businesses

• Kiva has grants for small business

• Folks need Food: If you are in need of food Island Harvest has their food locater and is working round the clock to continue supplies to those in need

• Blood is needed:
The New York Blood Center said it is in urgent need of donors, since coronavirus concerns have resulted in “critically low blood and platelet appointments” across Long Island.  The NYBC has six centers in Nassau and Suffolk and said safety protocols are in place as they urge healthy individuals, who have not been exposed to coronavirus, to donate.  The NYBC said if you are unsure if you can donate, you can ask their experts at 800-688-0900.

• Domestic Violence is up 10%:
Many experts in the area of domestic violence prevention have pointed out lately that Isolation and unemployment are a recipe for disaster in a household with a history of intimate partner violence.  If you need help, contact the Safe Center 24/7 at 516-542-0404 or the NY Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline at 800-942-6906.  If you are in any personal crisis, you can also call the Long Island Crisis Center 24/7 hotline at 516-679-1111.

• How is your mental health?

A mental health hotline is available to New Yorkers who need it. We can’t underestimate the impact this pandemic is having on mental health. Over 6,000 mental health professionals have volunteered their time to help with New York’s Coronavirus response. For free emotional support, consultation and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314

• National Grid is having virtual hearings on short and long term energy supply solutions

• PSEG has a Coronavirus page that is updated regularly

• The IRS has created a Q&A page with information on what you need to do with your taxes.

• Nassau County and Suffolk County are surveying small businesses:
The Nassau County survey is here.
The Suffolk County survey is here.

• New York State has a Coronavirus hotline and website for information or to schedule a test.  Please call 888-364-3065, or navigate to here.

• 30,000 New Yorkers have responded to the call for retired nurses and doctors along with medical school students.   If you want to serve you can go here.

• NYS is supplying their hand sanitizer to front line providers on an as need basis.  Here is the request form.

• Nassau & Suffolk County need Emergency Personal protective Equipment – Drive is underway.   Info is here.

• If someone is looking for a procurement opportunity through the state you can fill out this form.

• We are starting to see some Corporate Philanthropy develop that has been missing through this crisis.   Stay tuned for a more thorough report…

– Pink Tie and the LI Nets have developed a Pink Tie delivers program – more on that in the coming days.
– Trader Joe’s has been making donations to local food pantries
– A number of grants for displaced local artists are starting to emerge
– Anna Wintour has set up a fund for folks in the fashion industry who are displaced.
– Bank of America has dedicated a $100 million fund nationwide.
– The Long Island East End Group purchased 15,000 masks for distribution to front line providers.
– In addition the United Way, The Townwide Fund of Huntington and the 1763 Foundation are all raising money to distribute to folks that meet their guidelines. 

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks stay tuned daily for updates on the range of actions taken to get us through this public health and economic crisis. 

We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org or call 631-804-9128.  

Day 12 of shutdown – Friday March 27, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 12 and there was both good and bad news.

The good news was the passage by the House of the $2 trillion stimulus which should bring $40 billion to New York.   The bad news was the Governor halted all “nonessential construction” with the exception of hospitals, infrastructure and affordable housing projects.   

For folks that are busy trying to sort out home schooling while trying to make ends meet there are at least two more weeks of this experience.   The Governor has kept the schools closed until at least April 15th.  

The Governors call for manufacturing masks and ventilators is being met with creativity from many small businesses and the donations drives for personal protective gear for front line providers is yielding results.

It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes in this.

The SBA and NYS DOL unemployment websites are continue to be overloaded with requests.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

Vision & the LI Main Street Alliance participated in a webinar with Long Islanders & Queens businesses on how to apply for SBA Disaster loans as well.  More on that on Monday.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head into the weekend please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to nearly 275 in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help too.

Here are some of the events of the week:

• $2 trillion Federal rescue package clears House.

• All nonessential construction is shutdown.

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses.

• School closures continue until at least April 15.

• Governor Cuomo’s Friday March 27th message.

• Status of accessing unemployment with 1000% increase in requests.

• If you filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, you do not need to prove you are searching for employment to make a claim.  Department of Labor Commissioner Reardon has signed a new order that limits all work search activities for all unemployment claimants.  No activities are required during the pandemic to receive unemployment benefits.

• One benefit of Coronavirus: traffic down is down and more folks walking, biking.

• Environmental regulation impacted as EPA Suspended all Environmental Rules.

• Here is an inspirational op-ed from LIBN editor Joe Dowd.

• New grant resource for folks who provide meals to children from No Kid Hungry.

• Salvation Army has a Coronavirus hotline for their services of food, counseling and other emergency services.

• Bored at home?  East End Arts is providing virtual access to artists.

• Folks are answering Governor Cuomo’s call for ventilators, masks:

The Business Incubator Association has created an invitation to ventilate.   

The LI Racing Association folks have a gofundme page to increase production of their reusable n95 masks.

A Long Island Distillery is making hand sanitizer.

• The NYS Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has weblinks for assistance here.

• Folks can check out this stimulus calculator that tells you what you might receive in the form of a direct payment from the Federal government.

• The LI Main Street Alliance encourages small businesses and not for profits to register for a free webinar held by the Queens Chamber of Commerce on how to apply for the SBA Economic injury disaster loan.   

Newsday and the LIA will be doing a business resource call as well.   You can register here.

The free New York State business advisement services of the Small Business Centers at Stony Brook University and Farmingdale are also available to assist.

• Gary Labarbara from the NYS Building Trades Council speaks about safety for construction workers.

• Some tips on bills you need to pay and some that you don’t as this crisis gets prolonged.

• Facebook has grants for small businesses

• Kiva has grants for small business

• Folks need Food: If you are in need of food Island Harvest has their food locater and is working round the clock to continue supplies to those in need

• Blood is needed:
The New York Blood Center said it is in urgent need of donors, since coronavirus concerns have resulted in “critically low blood and platelet appointments” across Long Island.  The NYBC has six centers in Nassau and Suffolk and said safety protocols are in place as they urge healthy individuals, who have not been exposed to coronavirus, to donate.  The NYBC said if you are unsure if you can donate, you can ask their experts at 800-688-0900.

• Domestic Violence is up 10%:
Many experts in the area of domestic violence prevention have pointed out lately that Isolation and unemployment are a recipe for disaster in a household with a history of intimate partner violence.  If you need help, contact the Safe Center 24/7 at 516-542-0404 or the NY Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline at 800-942-6906.  If you are in any personal crisis, you can also call the Long Island Crisis Center 24/7 hotline at 516-679-1111.

• How is your mental health?

A mental health hotline is available to New Yorkers who need it. We can’t underestimate the impact this pandemic is having on mental health. Over 6,000 mental health professionals have volunteered their time to help with New York’s Coronavirus response. For free emotional support, consultation and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314

• National Grid is having virtual hearings on short and long term energy supply solutions

• PSEG has a Coronavirus page that is updated regularly

• The IRS has created a Q&A page with information on what you need to do with your taxes.

• Nassau County and Suffolk County are surveying small businesses:
The Nassau County survey is here.
The Suffolk County survey is here.

• New York State has a Coronavirus hotline and website for information or to schedule a test.  Please call 888-364-3065, or navigate to here.

• 30,000 New Yorkers have responded to the call for retired nurses and doctors along with medical school students.   If you want to serve you can go here.

• NYS is supplying their hand sanitizer to front line providers on an as need basis.  Here is the request form.

• Nassau & Suffolk County need Emergency Personal protective Equipment – Drive is underway.   Info is here.

• If someone is looking for a procurement opportunity through the state you can fill out this form.

• We are starting to see some Corporate Philanthropy develop that has been missing through this crisis.   Stay tuned for a more thorough report…

– Pink Tie and the LI Nets have developed a Pink Tie delivers program – more on that in the coming days.
– Trader Joe’s has been making donations to local food pantries
– A number of grants for displaced local artists are starting to emerge
– Anna Wintour has set up a fund for folks in the fashion industry who are displaced.
– Bank of America has dedicated a $100 million fund nationwide.
– The Long Island East End Group purchased 15,000 masks for distribution to front line providers.
– In addition the United Way, The Townwide Fund of Huntington and the 1763 Foundation are all raising money to distribute to folks that meet their guidelines. 

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks stay tuned daily for updates on the range of actions taken to get us through this public health and economic crisis. 

We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org or call 631-804-9128.  

Day 15 of shutdown – Monday March 30, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 15 and there were a slew of developments today and over the weekend.

Here is some of the news this weekend and today:

• The shutdown continues for at least two more weeks for nonessential businesses and schools.   Fines are being put in place for folks who violate social distancing regulations.   

• Clarity is emerging on the new regulations associated with SBA loans and webinars are being held on that topic by SBA and others.

• US Senator Chuck Schumer announced that the total package of Federal Assistance will direct $112 billion to New York State. 

• The Governors call for manufacturing masks and ventilators is being met with creativity from many small businesses and the donations drives for personal protective gear for front line providers is yielding results.

• All elections have been postponed until after June 1 which includes school board, library board, and other levels of government

It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes in this.

The SBA and NYS DOL unemployment websites are continue to be overloaded with requests.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit, that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head into the week please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.  We have spoken to over 300 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help too.

Day 16 of shutdown – Tuesday March 31, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 16 and here are some updates for today:

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   

The SBA and NYS DOL unemployment websites are continue to be overloaded with requests.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head into the week please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 320 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help too.

Day 17 of shutdown – Wednesday April 1, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 17.  We were supposed to have our annual LI Complete Streets Summit today focused on the connection between walkability, traffic calming and health.  That was obviously postponed and it may end up on a video program so stay tuned.   Its wild how the world has changed. 

Here are some updates for today:

The SBA and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head to the end of the week please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 335 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 18 of shutdown – Thursday April 2, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 18.  Folks are scrambling to access unemployment benefits, small business owners and community organizations are sorting out the different SBA grant programs.   Just about everyone is seeing what bills they can pay and those they can’t.  Communities are still coming together to assist each other in need and rally around the small businesses that are open.  

Here are some updates for today:

• The NYS Department of Labor has instituted a new system to spread out applications.  Check out the PSA that explains their new guidelines to get folks their benefits.

• NYS Unemployment claims surge to 366,000 with over 6.6 million Americans out of work. (Subscription required)

• US Senator Kristin Gillibrand has provided this thorough Q&A on the CARES Act.

• The US Chamber of Commerce has produced a guide to the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program which is very useful.

• The US Senate has provided this resource guide for small businesses and the CARES act.

• Governor Cuomo provided his daily update which among many other critical information outlined the need for ventilators.  There was also had a heartwarming moment with his brother Chris Cuomo, who has the virus. 

• Governor Cuomo also explained that producing virus protection gear is a business opportunity.  (Subscription required)

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone outlined the radical increase in number of positive cases in Suffolk County and expressed support for the small business community.

• Clarity is emerging on the new regulations associated with SBA loans and webinars are being held on that topic by SBA and others read the story below on the SBA website for upcoming webinars to help navigate these important programs.   A call was held today at 4:30 but stay close to the SBA website for current information.

• The SBA Paycheck Protection Program is an important program and details are coming forward.

• With the passage last Friday of the CARES Act, small business owners and nonprofits can get up to a $10,000 advance on an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

• Amazon has a grant fund for small business

• Facebook has a grant fund for small business

• NICE buses in Nassau County will switch to a reduced schedule beginning April 5th. The service will operate on a Saturday schedule from Monday-Saturday, and Sunday service will be unchanged. This does not apply to the Elmont Flexi Shuttle, the Mercy Medical Community Shuttle, the Port Washington Shuttle, and the n19, n57, and n80 routes, which will all continue to run normally.

• Legislator Laura Schaefer has a series of videos on her Facebook page promoting takeout and delivery to independent small businesses.  Here is one for West Hempstead.

• If you are struggling with various bills to pay and worry about automatic payments from your bank account here is guidance on how to stop them.

• If you are in the construction industry here is a very thoughtful webinar from the KOW consulting group on changes underway.

• If you are searching for hand sanitizer for your organization, community or business you can order a batch here at reasonable prices.

• If you are searching for something to do with your kids Chocolate Works has chocolate pizza and candy sushi kits.  For every one you buy they will donate one to a local food pantry.

• If you are trying to figure out what to do at home with your kid while they have very limited hours with their teachers online:
Western Suffolk BOCES also has produced an online toolkit for learning.

• Not the time to head south. Florida is setting up checkpoints for New Yorkers fleeing coronavirus.

• Forty Long Island downtown communities participated in the LI Main Street Alliance conference calls for Nassau and Suffolk this week providing updates on local philanthropy and response to the crisis.   Watch for a “We Are Open” Facebook page sharing all of the local businesses still operating in your local community in the coming days.   Also check the Suffolk Chambers and Nassau Chambers website for important news and links. Newsday and the LIA hosted a webinar with NYS SBDC and you can check it out here.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes in this.
Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: Schaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov  

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head to the end of the week please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.  We have spoken to over 355 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 19 of shutdown – Friday April 3, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 19.  Folks are still scrambling to access unemployment benefits.  Small business owners and community organizations are sorting out the different SBA grant programs and getting paperwork squared away.

Communities are still coming together to assist each other in need and rally around the small businesses that are open.   Folks are looking for facemasks also as earlier guidance was telling the public they weren’t needed.

Here are some updates for today:

• Governor Cuomo provided information on the NYS budget that was agreed upon with the Senate and the Assembly.  Some small wins for the LI Lobby Coalition.  

• Forty Long Island downtown communities participated in the LI Main Street Alliance conference calls for Nassau and Suffolk this week providing updates on local philanthropy and response to the crisis.   The LI Main Street Alliances “We’re Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in your local community.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most active SBA lenders.

• Given the massive confusion regarding face masks here is a guidance document from NYC Department of Health.  (note these regulations do not apply to LI but still useful background)

• The Suffolk County online Coronavirus case tracker is back up and running.

• Our friends at LISTnet have a Coronavirus support page.

• Kudos to the United Way who have successfully fundraised for assistance for low income workers and families.

• National Federation of Independent Businesses is holding webinars on small business loans and has videos of past ones on their site.

• Turn off your Zoom call once you are done.

• Bored at home?  The Staller Center for the Arts has a virtual tour of many instruments and their outreach activities

• Hungry at home?  Hunger solutions NY provides information on SNAP, WIC, School meals and other programs that may supplement food pantries that are overwhelmed.

• NICE buses in Nassau County will switch to a reduced schedule beginning April 5th. The service will operate on a Saturday schedule from Monday-Saturday, and Sunday service will be unchanged. This does not apply to the Elmont Flexi Shuttle, the Mercy Medical Community Shuttle, the Port Washington Shuttle, and the n19, n57, and n80 routes, which will all continue to run normally.

• If you are searching for hand sanitizer for your organization, community or business you can order a batch here at reasonable prices.

• If you are searching for something to do with your kids Chocolate Works has chocolate pizza and candy sushi kits.  For every one you buy they will donate one to a local food pantry.

• If you are trying to figure out what to do at home with your kid while they have very limited hours with their teachers online:
Western Suffolk BOCES also has produced an online toolkit for learning.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes in this.
Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: Schaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov  

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head to the end of the week please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.  We have spoken to over 355 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 22 of shutdown – Monday April 6, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 22.  With the stay at home measures going until at least April 29th we are luckily halfway through this journey.  The stories of community level philanthropy is so heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day to help lift our spirits as we struggle with the real stress and pain this process has taken folks through.

Here are some updates for today:

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing today.
The shutdown is extended to April 29th, which includes schools and nonessential businesses.  New hospitalizations and ICU admissions are going down slightly for a second day in a row and new deaths are declining. Other states have delivered ventilators which also helps relieve some of the stress from the health care system.

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is holding another virtual Town Hall this evening.
Each day at 5pm Nassau County updates numbers of Coronavirus cases here

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone holds daily briefings and the latest is here
Suffolk County is constantly updating their Coronavirus cases here

• The LI Main Street Alliances “We Are Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• If you have filled out and submitted your SBA application but have questions on your status and timing of support a number to call is 1-800-659-2955

Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most active SBA lenders.

Some outreach materials are not in Spanish but the applications are available at the SBA website

SCORE Long Island is available to assist businesses with their SBA applications

• Read the Editorial from Stuart Richner of the Herald calling for a Small Business Stimulus to lead us into the recovery.

• If you are a Veteran and struggling through these difficult times you can have virtual Coffee with a Veteran each day at noon until Apr 30.   Email Dave-rogers1969@live.com to sign up.

• If you are a school providing meals during the Coronavirus crisis grants are available.

• Bored at home – Fifty libraries in Nassau County now offer digital cards, allowing residents to explore their hometown library’s book, music and art collections online from the comfort of their couch.

• How to make your own face mask.

• How to make homemade disinfectant spray and wipes.

• Check out a virtual landscape art exhibit from the Westbury Arts Council

• Always wanted to learn to play guitar but never had time?  Fender is giving free lessons from the next three months.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes in this.

At 7pm last night fire departments and communities islandwide shouted out to all of the frontline providers selflessly assisting their neighbors.

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head into the fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.  We have spoken to nearly 400 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 23 of shutdown – Tuesday April 7, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 23.  One of the big issues continues to be the confusion regarding SBA loans and stimulus and local banks being overwhelmed with applications for the Payroll Protection Program.  More outreach is needed on the community level to access these resources.   Folks should take advantage of the SBA webinars available in the coming days. 

The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day today check out Caroll’s Kitchen in Huntington Station.  

Here are some updates for today:

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing today and he covered the status of Coronavirus cases in the state as well as planning for economic recovery.

• Over 30 downtowns participated in today’s LI Main Street Alliance Nassau & Suffolk conference calls and key issues were access to SBA programs, food insecurity, unemployment and keeping spirits up amidst economic dislocation.   Main Street leaders are banding together with creative ideas to celebrate Easter, support their neighbors and their small businesses.
The community profiled today is the City of Glen Cove

• The LI Main Street Alliances “We Are Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities. Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• The biggest issue is getting access to the two key SBA programs.  Here is information directly from them:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.

• Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where their bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most active SBA lenders.

• Unemployment is still one of the most critical issues facing tens of thousands of Long Islanders.   Here is the latest guidance from the NYS Department of Labor regarding their backlog.

• Nassau County DA Madeline Singas has a Coronavirus scam hotline.

• Seeking inspiration at home?  Here is a listing of 2500 virtual museum tours.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes in this.

At 7pm tonight fire departments and communities islandwide will shout out to all of the frontline providers selflessly assisting their neighbors.

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov  

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head into the fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 400 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 24 of shutdown – Wednesday April 8, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 23.  One of the big news items of the day is that Senator Schumer is proposing a $25,000 heroes fund for frontline providers as part of the next Federal stimulus.

There is still massive confusion regarding SBA loans and stimulus and local banks being overwhelmed with applications for the Payroll Protection Program.  More outreach with local officials who know their small business community is needed on the main street level to access these resources.   Folks should take advantage of the SBA webinars available in the coming days.  

Lots of scams are floating about and Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, PSEG and others have hotlines to report this activity.

The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day today check out music playing in downtown Westbury. 

Here are some updates for today:

• Senator Schumer proposed a “Heroes Fund” of $25,000 for all first line responders as part of the newest Federal Stimulus package

 Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing today and he covered the status of Coronavirus cases in the state.  He launched an ad campaign encouraging NYers to stay home.

• Over 30 downtowns participated in yesterday’s LI Main Street Alliance Nassau & Suffolk conference calls and key issues were access to SBA programs, food insecurity, unemployment and keeping spirits up amidst economic dislocation.   Main Street leaders are banding together with creative ideas to celebrate easter, support their neighbors and their small businesses.
The community profiled today is the Village of Freeport
The LI Main Street Alliance’s “We’re Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• The biggest issue is still getting access to the two key SBA programs.   Very little outreach has been done to the small business community to help folks understand the benefits of these programs.    Here is information directly from the SBA:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most active SBA lenders.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue, assisting 7 hospitals!

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• If you are a senior, every Thursday AARP has live Q and A call to help you manage the Coronavirus crisis.

• Supervisor Bosworth and the Town of North Hempstead launched a new program to provide our seniors with remote companionship during these isolating times. The “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program matches volunteers with seniors in the Project Independence program, and is designed to provide a sense of reassurance and comfort. To participate or to volunteer, call 311 or 516-869-6311

• Student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can obtain relief for loans not covered by the CARES Act. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance programs. New York student loan borrowers should visit the Department of Financial Services’ website at dfs.ny.gov for more information about available student loan relief.

• Resources for displaced bartenders.

• Resources for displaced hospitality workers.

• If you are an artist the NYS Foundation for the Arts has Emergency Grants

• If you are a photographer there are small grants available

• The LI Herald has created a grant program that counts towards 50% discounts on advertising your business.

• Newsday has set up a page on their website for free messages for community organizations

• If you are home and desperately trying to figure out what to do with your child that is remotely productive here are 16 simple things that count as learning.

• Unemployment is still one of the most critical issues facing tens of thousands of Long Islanders.  Here is the latest guidance from the NYS Department of Labor regarding their backlog.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes in this.

At 7pm tonight fire departments and communities islandwide will shout out to all of the frontline providers selflessly assisting their neighbors.

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov  

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head into the fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 400 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 26 of shutdown – Friday April 10, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 26.  One of the big news items of the day is the Federal Reserve bringing another $1.2 trillion back to our Main Streets.  Read an article of that below. Other big change is the revamp of the NYS unemployment system which, just went into effect. Hopefully this starts to address the massive backlog of claims from real folks.

There is still massive confusion regarding SBA loans and stimulus and local banks being overwhelmed with applications for the Payroll Protection Program.  More outreach with local officials who know their small business community is needed on the main street level to access these resources.  Folks should take advantage of the SBA webinars available in the coming days.  

The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.  Today check out the myriad of actions from community members and businesses in Patchogue. 

Here are some updates:

• The Federal Reserve unveiled the details of its Main Street lending program.
Here is a direct link to the Federal Reserve and initial documents.

• Senator Schumer, Gillibrand and Congressional delegation deliver $18 million for housing and community development for Long Island’s Counties and local municipalities.

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing today and he covered the status of Coronavirus cases in the state.  

• Lots of social media chatter and online bullying regarding social distancing.  According to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, NCPD received 700 calls with only 12 unfounded or easily resolved with a warning.   In Huntington Inspector William Scrima, commander of the Suffolk County Police Second Precinct said “We have gotten a number of calls about people and businesses who are not following social distancing guidelines. Many of the calls are unfounded, others are at businesses that people mistakenly believe are not designated essential.  We have encountered a few non-essential businesses that are open and a few gatherings of people in public areas. All have complied with the guidelines, when notified by our officers.”

• Over 30 downtowns participated in this week’s LI Main Street Alliance Nassau & Suffolk conference calls and key issues were access to SBA programs, food insecurity, unemployment and keeping spirits up amidst economic dislocation.   Main Street leaders are banding together with creative ideas to celebrate easter, support their neighbors and their small businesses.
The communities profiled today are the Village of Greenport and City of Long Beach.

• The LI Main Street Alliances “We’re Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities. Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• One of the biggest issues is still getting access to the two key SBA programs.  Very little outreach has been done to the small business community to help folks understand the benefits of these programs.  Here is the directly from the SBA:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.

• Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where their bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most active SBA lenders.

• Unemployment is still one of the most critical issues facing tens of thousands of Long Islanders.  
The State Department of Labor will immediately begin making $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers from the federal CARES Act. This is significant because New York is the first state to be offering the benefits right away, and many other Americans won’t see these benefits for several weeks. New York is also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks. A reminder for those who have difficulty enrolling for UI: any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid all benefits due.
Here is the latest guidance from the NYS Department of Labor regarding their backlog.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue, assisting 7 hospitals!

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• Good news – in a throwback that was really just 45 days ago – here is a profile on the hamlet of Bay Shore and the benefits of their two decades work of revitalization.

• More Good news – Consensus emerging on the superblock project in the City of Long Beach due to collaboration with a local developer and community organizations.

• A Video session that speaks to Multifamily development weathering the storm better than other forms of development.   

• The Tourism industry has been severely impacted.  Here is a video with Kevin Wood from the Village of Port Jeff interviewing a representative from Danfords hotel.

• Got credit card debt?  Here is an updated list of banks that are providing relief to customers affected by the Coronavirus.

• Got wireless bills?  AT&T and Verizon have given guidance on how to handle them – here is Sprint’s

• Auto insurance bills?  Many car insurance companies are providing discounts and credits to customers as a result of the dramatic reduction in driving that’s been taking place during the pandemic.  Check with your provider to see if they’re offering one, and if there are any steps you need to take in order to receive the discount.

• National Grid has updated information about their billing.

• Curious about the process for Federal Coronavirus Recovery Checks? The first round of federal relief payments began going out today, so if the federal government had your direct deposit information from a recent income tax filing, you should check your bank account!

• NYS has updated its essential list of businesses again. Check out the latest.

• If you are at home do you dream about going back to your office or workplace?   If you are a boss or a manager here is what you should know from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration about making your workplace safe upon return.

• National Grid has created a targeted grants to help manufacturers who need assistance to develop new products or implement lean manufacturing, to produce critical items to support the pandemic response.

• Grants for Artists impacted by Coronavirus.

• Grants for Restaurant workers.

• The LI Herald has created a grant program that counts towards 50% discounts on advertising your business.

• Do you care about your grocery store worker?   Check out RWDSU President Stuart Applebaum interviewed at the AFLCIO podcast on conditions for workers.

• If you live in the Huntington area very thorough Coronavirus Resource Guide is available from the Office of Legislator William Doc Spencer.

• Are you and your kids are glued to screens and losing your mind?   Here are 100 non electronic things you can do to keep your kids occupied during the lockdown.

• Do you miss Dinner and a movie?   The Cinema Arts Center offers free cooking videos to pair with your favorite independent films they can virtually screen.  Check out the story.
Here is the direct link.

• Need Chocolate Easter Bunnies?  Chocolate Works provides Easter Bunny decorating kits, easter oreos and other home kits to make with you kids.   For every one you buy Pink Tie donates one to local food pantries in Hempstead and Medford!

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

At 7pm fire departments and communities islandwide shout out to all of the frontline providers selflessly assisting their neighbors.

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov  

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we wrap up this through this fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to well over 400 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 29 of shutdown – Monday April 13, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 29.  One of the big news items of the day was the Governor’s announcement of strategies to reopen the economy and get people back to work.

There is still massive confusion regarding SBA loans and stimulus funds.  Local banks are overwhelmed with applications for the Payroll Protection Program with a number of stories of delays and confusion. 

More outreach with local officials who know their small business community is starting to happen on the main street level to access these resources.   NYS Senator Anna Kaplan hosted a webinar today and US Representative Kathleen Rice is hosting one tomorrow with SBA staff.

The LI Main Street Alliance will host one with the LI Director of the SBA on Wednesday so stay tuned for those details as well.  We encourage folks to take advantage of these and other SBA webinars available in the coming days.   

The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.   Today check out a print shop owner produce free we are open signs for local businesses in his community and adjacent downtowns.

Easter weekend and Passover week was spirited despite the shutdown with alternative visits by the easter bunny, socially distant egg hunts and virtual services.  We cover a round up of community driven activities.

Here are some updates:

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing today and he covered the status of Coronavirus cases in the state and strategies needed to reopen the economy. 

• Over 45 downtowns participated in this week’s LI Main Street Alliance Nassau & Suffolk conference calls and key issues were access to SBA programs, food insecurity, unemployment and keeping spirits up amidst economic dislocation.   Main Street leaders are banding together with creative ideas to celebrate easter, support their neighbors and their small businesses.
The communities profiled today are downtown Bethpage and the hamlet of East Meadow.

• The LI Main Street Alliances “We’re Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 45 local communities. Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• One of the biggest issues is still getting access to the two key SBA programs.  Very little outreach has been done to the small business community to help folks understand the benefits of these programs.  Here is the directly from the SBA:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where their bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most active SBA lenders.

• Unemployment is still one of the most critical issues facing tens of thousands of Long Islanders.  
The State Department of Labor will immediately begin making $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers from the federal CARES Act. This is significant because New York is the first state to be offering the benefits right away, and many other Americans won’t see these benefits for several weeks. New York is also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks. A reminder for those who have difficulty enrolling for UI: any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid all benefits due.
Here is the latest guidance from the NYS Department of Labor regarding their backlog.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue, assisting 7 hospitals!

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• How is your mental health through this crisis?
Join Newsday’s Associate Editor Joye Brown for an informative discussion on mental health during the coronavirus pandemic with William C. Sanderson, PhD, Professor of psychology and Director of the Anxiety and Depression Clinic at Hofstra University and Ronald Brenner, MD, Chief of Behavioral Health Services at Catholic Health Services.
Tue, Apr 14, 2020 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM EDT
You can register here.

• Emails, fraudulent calls, and fake online ads are common tactics scammers are using to exploit the coronavirus, and the uneasiness everyone feels. While the Justice Department recently pledged a crackdown on these scams.  People’s United Bank has a page to  learn more about them.

• Worried about being evicted?  The Nassau/Suffolk Law Services has created an informative document on the existing rights of tenants through this crisis.

• Alfonso Castillo, Newsday’s transportation reporter did a nice profile on the challenges facing LI’s bus system that has been bringing essential workers to work and residents to health services. 

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov  

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we wrap up this through this fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to well over 400 local business in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 30 of shutdown – Tuesday April 14, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 30.

There is still confusion regarding SBA loans and stimulus funds.  Local banks are overwhelmed with applications for the Payroll Protection Program with a number of horror stories of delays due to the backlog. 

More outreach with local officials who know their small business community is starting to happen on the main street level to access these resources.   NYS Senator Anna Kaplan hosted a webinar yesterday and US Representative Kathleen Rice hosted one today with SBA staff. The LI Main Street Alliance will host one with the LI Director of the SBA on Wednesday.  We encourage folks to take advantage of these and other SBA webinars available in the coming days.   

The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.   Today check out an owner of an insurance company transformed his office into a food pantry.

Here are some updates:

US Representative Kathleen Rice held a conference call today with NY SBA representatives.  She fielded questions from local businesses focused on the administration of the relief programs with local banks and SBA staff.

 Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing today and he covered the status of Coronavirus cases in the state and strategies needed to reopen the economy. 

• A new executive order requires Face coverings for employees of essential businesses.

• Over 50 downtowns communities  are participating in this week’s LI Main Street Alliance Nassau & Suffolk Zoom meeting with SBA LI representatives.  Here is a link to the Zoom call

The community profiled today is downtown Manhasset

• The LI Main Street Alliances “We’re Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities. Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• One of the biggest issues is still getting access to the two key SBA programs.   Very little outreach has been done to the small business community to help folks understand the benefits of these programs.    Here is information directly from the SBA:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most SBA lenders for LI and the region.

• NYS Senator Anna Kaplan hosted a webinar on Facebook Live to help small business owners to make sense of the different relief programs that now exist to help during this difficult time. If you missed it live, you can watch it here

• NYSERDA and the Business Council are hosting an upcoming webinar for employers to understand different federal and state resources that can assist your business, covering topics like stimulus programs, SBA programs, the CARES Act, and Federal and State Leave Laws and related HR issues. The webinar will take place on April 16 from 9:30 to 10:30 and you can register at this link.

• Unemployment is still one of the most critical issues facing tens of thousands of Long Islanders.  
The State Department of Labor will immediately begin making $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers from the federal CARES Act. This is significant because New York is the first state to be offering the benefits right away, and many other Americans won’t see these benefits for several weeks. New York is also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks. A reminder for those who have difficulty enrolling for UI: any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid all benefits due.
Here is the latest guidance from the NYS Department of Labor regarding their backlog.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue assisting 11 hospitals!

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• NYS has established a COVID tracker web site that provides data regarding the virus outbreak in the state, including a breakdown of fatalities by age, ethnicity, risk factors, etc.   Here is a link to the web site: 

• Can’t find hand sanitizer and need to make your own?  Here is one recipe.

• Need to boost your immune system? The Long Island Press has some ideas.

• If you like doing yoga:  Girls Inc is hosting Family Virtual yoga on Friday April 17th at 5:30.    

• If you are into civic freedoms and civil liberties the International Center on Not for Profit Law has a global civic freedoms tracker tied to the Coronavirus crisis

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

• Our transit workers are also front line providers including those that run our train, bus and ferry systems.   Thursday at 3pm is a “Sound the Horn” tribute to those that keep these modes of travel running through the pandemic.  Check it out.

• Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   
The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.
For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 
As we wrap up this through this fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 425 local business in over 45 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 31 of shutdown – Wednesday April 15, 2020

The big news of the day is a new regulation to have all residents wear facemasks in public.

There is still confusion regarding SBA loans and stimulus funds.  Local banks are overwhelmed with applications for the Payroll Protection Program with a number of horror stories of delays due to the backlog. Statewide only 2% of small businesses have had SBA loans move through the process. More outreach with local officials who know their small businesses is starting to happen on the community level to access these resources.  

The LI Main Street Alliance hosted one with 100 participants from over 50 communities with the SBA NY Office today.  The link and a write up will be available tomorrow.  We encourage folks to take advantage of these and other SBA webinars available in the coming days.   

The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.   Today check out local Greenport businesses assist securing facemasks for frontline providers.

Here are some updates:

 Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing today and he covered the status of Coronavirus cases in the state and strategies needed to reopen the economy.  The big news is the requirement of face masks for everyone in public.

 Over 50 downtowns communities  participated in this week’s LI Main Street Alliance Nassau & Suffolk Zoom meeting with SBA LI representatives. 

The community profiled today is the hamlet of Middle Island

• The LI Main Street Alliances “We’re Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities. Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• One of the biggest issues is still getting access to the two key SBA programs.   Very little outreach has been done to the small business community to help folks understand the benefits of these programs.    Here is information directly from the SBA:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most SBA lenders for LI and the region.

• NYSERDA and the Business Council are hosting an upcoming webinar for employers to understand different federal and state resources that can assist your business, covering topics like stimulus programs, SBA programs, the CARES Act, and Federal and State Leave Laws and related HR issues. The webinar will take place on April 16 from 9:30 to 10:30 and you can register at this link.

• Unemployment is still one of the most critical issues facing tens of thousands of Long Islanders.  
The State Department of Labor will immediately begin making $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers from the federal CARES Act. This is significant because New York is the first state to be offering the benefits right away, and many other Americans won’t see these benefits for several weeks. New York is also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks. A reminder for those who have difficulty enrolling for UI: any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid all benefits due.
Here is the latest guidance from the NYS Department of Labor regarding their backlog.

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form..
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• Suffolk County Police have been working with local restaurants to get out food to local residents in Huntington Station.

• To check on the status of your IRS Economic Impact Payment.

• If you need to apply for gig work during this economic crisis here are some tips.

• The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting a Free Legal & Financial Planning Webinar that covers changes to Medicaid, the Cares act and other info.  Check it out.

• The State established a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers in need with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance next week. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up at www.nysba.org/covidvolunteer

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue assisting 11 hospitals!.

• Our transit workers are also front line providers including those that run our train, bus and ferry systems. Thursday at 3pm is a “Sound the Horn” tribute to those that keep these modes of travel running through the pandemic.  Check it out.

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   
The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we enter this fifth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 475 local businesses in over 45 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 33 of shutdown – Friday April 17, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 33. 

The big news is that the shutdown will continue for another month at least for New York State.  Many folks are struggling to access unemployment benefits and SBA programs have temporarily run out of funding.   Some banks have not been accepting applications or have very short windows to apply which is reprehensible.  Today’s community profiled is the Village of Rockville Centre.  Good news emerged with the launch of a delivery service for local food pantries as well.

Here are some updates:

• Pink Tie has set up a Pink Tie Delivers system to bring food to local pantries across Long Island.   The launch started this week bringing food to the Salvation Army in Hempstead.   Check out how you can help.

• A reprehensible self serving effort has emerged
A proposal to remove local zoning and hand it over to Albany has been floated in Newsday and LI Business News.   It is unclear to date who is behind this effort presented in the middle of a pandemic with real people focused on human needs.   LI Builders Institute is quoted on the record opposed to this measure along with countless municipal leaders, chambers and community organizations.  Stay tuned for more on this.

• More outreach with local officials who know their small businesses is starting to happen on the community level to access these resources. 
The LI Main Street Alliance hosted one with 100 participants from over 50 communities with the SBA NY Office yesterday – check out Facebook page for a full write up.  We encourage folks to take advantage of these and other SBA webinars available in the coming days.

• The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.   Today check out local Patchogue business owner feeding hospital workers for their night shift at 11 hospitals now.

• US Senator Schumer previewed his efforts at a new round of federal stimulus funding to focus on smaller businesses and community relief in a Newsday live presentation today.  Check out the story below for a summary.

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing and covered the status of Coronavirus cases in the state and strategies needed to reopen the economy.  The big news is that the shutdown continues for at least another 30 days to May 15th.

• The LI Main Street Alliance’s “We’re Open” Facebook page is live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• One of the SBA programs is changing their rules again.
After promising borrowers up to $2 million in loans—including an immediate grant of $10,000—the SBA has pulled back and changed the terms of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. It capped the loans between $25,000 and $35,000 and changed the immediate grant to $1,000 for each small-business employee, not to exceed 10 employees. Demand has been overwhelming, with one report pegging loan requests at more than 3 million applications.

• There is still confusion regarding SBA loans and stimulus funds.  Local banks are overwhelmed with applications for the Payroll Protection Program with a number of horror stories of delays due to the backlog. Statewide only 2% of small businesses have had SBA loans move through the process.

• Here is information directly from the SBA:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most SBA lenders for LI and the region.

• US Senator Kirstin Gillibrand send out a memo outlining some cases of fraud concerning SBA applications – please review and report and suspicious activity:
1)     Emails impersonating SBA to a borrower regarding PPP loan applications. SBA DOES NOT communicate with borrowers regarding specific PPP loan applications. All PPP loan correspondence should be between the lender and the borrower. 
2)     Emails impersonating SBA asking for borrowers to complete and sign attached documents to “complete” their disaster “Grant Application.” SBA does not process grants. All EIDL loan processing now occurs through the EIDL portal, and legitimate loan approval emails clearly reference the original confirmation #. If additional documentation is required (95% of loans do not require more documentation), it is electronically handled in the portal. EIDL Advances process with NO action required on the part of the applicant.
3)     These phishing emails are sophisticated, with SBA logos and styling consistent with legitimate SBA communications. If in doubt, the borrower may contact our office. 
Report any suspected fraud to OIG’s Hotline at 800-767-0385 or online here.

• Unemployment is still one of the most critical issues facing thousands of Long Islanders and at least 1.2 million New Yorkers.  Here is a news story outlining the struggle many are having accessing their benefits due to the backlog

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• Island Harvest provides free referrals and free assistance for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) over the phone, and you do not have to go to the Department of Social Services. Island Harvest can walk you through the online application by telephone or complete a short intake and submit the online application for you. Give them a call at 631-873-4775 for assistance.

• Herald Community Newspapers, is supporting local businesses through this challenging environment with a free crisis marketing webinar. Veteran ad sales coach Ryan Dohrn will share strategies to weather the Covid-19 crisis in his webinar, “Crisis Marketing and Survival Strategies for Businesses,” on Monday, April 20, at 10 a.m.

• Nassau County will delay collection of licensing fees from some contractors whose licenses have expired. 

• Check on the status of your IRS Economic Impact Payment.

• Here is the executive order from the Governor on compliance for face coverings.

• If you need some info on how to make your own mask.

• NYS is coordinating over 300 private labs to prioritize virology testing.

• Walking is important during this shutdown and is a form of self care.

• Herald Community Newspapers is offering a FREE webinar: Crisis Marketing & Survival Strategies for Businesses, hosted by Emmy award-winning marketing expert Ryan Dohrn. Join the Herald this Monday, April 20 at 10:00am to hear Dorhn’s 10 Marketing Survival Strategies to use during the COVID-19 crisis. The Herald is offering this webinar to all Long Island businesses at no cost, and you are welcome to invite members of your own network to join free as well. Visit liherald.com/webinar to register

• The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting a Free Legal & Financial Planning Webinar that covers changes to Medicaid, the Cares act and other info.  Check it out.

• The State established a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers in need with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance next week. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up at www.nysba.org/covidvolunteer

• Our friends and partners at the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers have their weekly call with Suffolk updates on Monday. You can register here.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue assisting 11 hospitals!https://www.gofundme.com/f/feed-the-nurses-pm-shift

• Our transit workers are also front line providers including those that run our train, bus and ferry systems.   Yesterday a “Sound the Horn” tribute to those that keep these modes of travel running through the pandemic occurred.  Check it out.

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   
The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we wrap up this through this fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 500 local businesses in over 45 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 36 of shutdown – Monday April 20, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 36. 

The news that a bulk of very large businesses accessing SBA programs ahead of the many small businesses applying and in need of support dominated the news this weekend.   Pending agreement in Washington adding funds to the programs is hopeful and maybe smaller businesses will start to access these resources.  NYS Department of Labor spoke about their efforts to clear a number of back logs in their system which was welcome news.

Today’s communities profiled are the neighborhoods of Mastic and Shirley.  Our Communities Helping Communities segment brought us to the Village of Amityville.

Here are some updates:

• The US Chamber of Commerce has a small grant program for small businesses empoying between 3-30 people. Check it out

• 10 Town Supervisors are urging NYS to push back the property tax deadline

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing and covered the status of Coronavirus cases in the state and strategies needed to reopen the economy. 

• The NYS Department of Labor has addressed their massive backlog to move over $2 billion of benefits to New Yorkers.

 NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky introduced a bill supported by US Congresswoman Kathleen Rice for mortgage relief for homeowners. 

• There is a pending agreement in Washington for Small Business funding.

• NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has developed a Covid-19 Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers with links and resources for residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses. Check it out here.

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will host a Coronavirus State of the County on News 12 Long Island Thursday, April 23, 6:30 PM

• More outreach with local officials who know their small businesses is starting to happen on the community level to access these resources. 
The LI Main Street Alliance hosted one with 100 participants from over 50 communities with the SBA NY Office yesterday – check out Facebook page for a full write up.  We encourage folks to take advantage of these and other SBA webinars available in the coming days.

• The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.  Today check out local efforts in the Village of Amityville that support front line providers and local businesses.

• Pink Tie has set up a Pink Tie Delivers system to bring food to local pantries across Long Island.   The launch started this week bringing food to the Salvation Army in Hempstead.   Check out how you can help.

• The LI Main Street Alliance’s “We’re Open” Facebook page is live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• One of the SBA programs is changing their rules again.
After promising borrowers up to $2 million in loans—including an immediate grant of $10,000—the SBA has pulled back and changed the terms of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. It capped the loans between $25,000 and $35,000 and changed the immediate grant to $1,000 for each small-business employee, not to exceed 10 employees. Demand has been overwhelming, with one report pegging loan requests at more than 3 million applications.

• Here is information directly from the SBA:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most SBA lenders for LI and the region.

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• Island Harvest provides free referrals and free assistance for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) over the phone, and you do not have to go to the Department of Social Services. Island Harvest can walk you through the online application by telephone or complete a short intake and submit the online application for you. Give them a call at 631-873-4775 for assistance.

• Check on the status of your IRS Economic Impact Payment.

• Walking is important during this shutdown and is a form of self care.

• The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation has grants for to nonprofit organizations serving low-income individuals, families and communities in New York State.

• The American Heart Association is holding a call to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus

• The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting a Free Legal & Financial Planning Webinar that covers changes to Medicaid, the Cares act and other info.  Check it out.

• The State established a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers in need with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance next week. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up at www.nysba.org/covidvolunteer

 Pet ownership is up – here is a piece on how pet ownership helps address isolation particularly for older adults.

• A proposal to remove local zoning and hand it over to Albany has been floated in Newsday and LI Business News.   It is unclear to date who is behind this effort presented in the middle of a pandemic with real people focused on human needs.   LI Builders Institute is quoted on the record opposed to this measure along with countless municipal leaders, chambers and community organizations.  Stay tuned for more on this.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue assisting 11 hospitals!https://www.gofundme.com/f/feed-the-nurses-pm-shift

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   
The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we wrap up this through this fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 520 local businesses in over 45 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 37 of shutdown – Tuesday April 21, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 37. 

The debate is ensuing over when and how to reopen shuttered small businesses and schools post May 15th. Is it a multi state plan, a state plan or a region by region opening.   An agreement in Washington adding funds to the programs is hopeful and maybe smaller businesses will start to access these resources.  Today’s communities profiled are the neighborhood of Wyandanch.  Our Communities Helping Communities segment brought us to the Village of Valley Stream.

Here are some updates:

• An agreement has been reached on replenishing SBA lending programs

• The US Chamber of Commerce has a small grant program for small businesses employing between 3-20 people is already oversubscribed after a few hours open. Check it out

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing and covered the status of Coronavirus cases in the state and strategies needed to reopen the economy. 

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will host a Coronavirus State of the County on News 12 Long Island Thursday, April 23, 6:30 PM

•The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.  Today check out local efforts in the Village of Valley Stream to feed local hospital workers and front line providers.

• Pink Tie has set up a Pink Tie Delivers system to bring food to local pantries across Long Island.   The launch started this week bringing food to the Salvation Army in Hempstead.   Check out how you can help.

• The LI Main Street Alliance’s “We’re Open” Facebook page is live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• Here is information directly from the SBA:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most SBA lenders for LI and the region.

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• Island Harvest provides free referrals and free assistance for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) over the phone, and you do not have to go to the Department of Social Services. Island Harvest can walk you through the online application by telephone or complete a short intake and submit the online application for you. Give them a call at 631-873-4775 for assistance.

• Check on the status of your IRS Economic Impact Payment.

• Walking is important during this shutdown and is a form of self care.

• The American Heart Association is holding a call to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus

• The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting a Free Legal & Financial Planning Webinar that covers changes to Medicaid, the Cares act and other info.  Check it out.

• The American Heart Association has grants for efforts to access healthy food and active living.

• The State established a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers in need with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance next week. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up at www.nysba.org/covidvolunteer

• A proposal to remove local zoning and hand it over to Albany has been floated in Newsday and LI Business News.   It is unclear to date who is behind this effort presented in the middle of a pandemic with real people focused on human needs.   LI Builders Institute is quoted on the record opposed to this measure along with countless municipal leaders, chambers and community organizations.  Stay tuned for more on this.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue assisting 11 hospitals!https://www.gofundme.com/f/feed-the-nurses-pm-shift

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   
The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we wrap up this through this fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 520 local businesses in over 45 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 39 of shutdown – Thursday April 23, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 39. 

The debate continues over when and how to reopen shuttered small businesses and schools post May 15th. Is it a multi state plan, a state plan or a region by region opening.   An agreement in Washington adding funds is being finalized to the SBA programs is hopeful and maybe smaller businesses will start to access these resources.  Today’s community profiled is Copiague.  Our Communities Helping Communities segment brought us to the Village of Farmingdale.

Here are some updates:

• An agreement has been reached on replenishing SBA lending programs
This includes $320 billion for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, including $60 billion which would be set aside for small lenders and community financial institutions and $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand led a webinar on the components of the agreement along with future and took many folks questions including those from Long Islanders.

• NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has developed a Covid-19 Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers with links and resources for residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses. Check it out.

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing on his plans and criteria to end the shutdown region by region. He tackled the new plan for testing and the tracking of individuals that is proposed by Michael Bloomberg.

• Big businesses and institutions were the first to access SBA programs with little to nothing left for small businesses.

• RXR has set up a series of volunteer resources to help your business during the shutdown.  Check it out.

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will host a Coronavirus State of the County on News 12 Long Island Thursday, April 23, 6:30 PM

•The stories of community level philanthropy are coming from all over heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.  Today check out a community effort in the Village of Farmingdale.

• Pink Tie has set up a Pink Tie Delivers system to bring food to local pantries across Long Island.   The launch started last week bringing food to the Salvation Army in Hempstead.  Tomorrow we head to Genesis Church in Medford.  Check out how you can help.

• The LI Main Street Alliance’s “We’re Open” Facebook page is live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• LISTnet is hosting a webinar with Vision and the LI Main Street Alliance on adapting to the technology of working at home.  The session is Monday 4/27 at 10am.

•  NYS Assemblywoman Judy Griffin is hosting an event on Friday April 24th at 10am with local chambers and the LI Main Street Alliance on programs that can help small business.   You can register by emailing griffinsmallbusinesshelp@gmail.com.

• Here is information directly from the SBA:
For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus or www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).
We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
Here is a direct link to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program
Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most SBA lenders for LI and the region.

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• Island Harvest provides free referrals and free assistance for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) over the phone, and you do not have to go to the Department of Social Services. Island Harvest can walk you through the online application by telephone or complete a short intake and submit the online application for you. Give them a call at 631-873-4775 for assistance.

• Check on the status of your IRS Economic Impact Payment.

• Walking is important during this shutdown and is a form of self care.

• The American Heart Association is holding a call to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus

• The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting a Free Legal & Financial Planning Webinar that covers changes to Medicaid, the Cares act and other info.  Check it out.

• How is your emotional well being?  Join Newsday’s Associate Editor Joye Brown for an informative discussion on health during the coronavirus pandemic with William C. Sanderson, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Anxiety and Depression Clinic at Hofstra University and Ronald Brenner, MD, Chief of Behavioral Health Services at Catholic Health Services. The webinar is Friday April 24th at 10am.   Register here.

• VHB has put together a thoughtful resource guide on transportation, real estate and energy.   Check it out.

• While we have not seen much in the corporate philanthropy department one fantastic exception has been the LI Community Foundation.   They have distributed $450,000 to a number of local organizations helping real people.   Check it out.

• If you are a pet owner the CDC has some guidance.  The USDA reported today that two pet cats in New York have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (they’re expected to recover.) There is no evidence that domestic animals can pass the virus on to humans, but it seems apparent that the cats did contract the virus from humans they came in contact with. As a result, the CDC has issued new guidance for pet owners: don’t let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household, keep cats indoors when possible, walk dogs on a leash, staying 6 feet away from other people and animals. Avoid dog parks or places where a large number of people and dogs gather.  

• It is very important to practice democracy while decisions are being made rapidly on the Federal, State and County levels that impact local communities.  The Suffolk Legislature will meet on April 28th and here is how you can impact the process.
Recording Testimony Over the Phone: A new initiative, parties can now call (631) 853-3685 and leave a three-minute message about topics of concern and specific resolutions being considered by lawmakers. Residents should include their name as well as whether they are speaking about a specific resolution. Recorded voice testimony will be accepted through the close of business on April 28th.
Sending Testimony By Email: Comments may be submitted in writing by emailing Clerk.Legislature@suffolkcountyny.gov.
Sending Testimony by Regular Mail: Comments may be mailed to the attention of the Clerk’s Office at the Suffolk County Legislature, William H. Rogers Building, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown, NY 11787.
Testifying at a Public Hearing via Zoom: You can testify at a public hearing scheduled for the April 28th General Meeting through Zoom. Sign up to receive the meeting invitation by filling out the online form at www.scnylegislature.us/publichearing. Those wishing to speak must sign up before hearings are set to begin at 2 PM on April 28.
Questions about how to participate or submit testimony should be directed to the Suffolk County Legislature Clerk’s office at 631-853-6351.

• A proposal to remove local zoning and hand it over to Albany has been floated in Newsday and LI Business News.   It is unclear to date who is behind this effort presented in the middle of a pandemic with real people focused on human needs.   LI Builders Institute is quoted on the record opposed to this measure along with countless municipal leaders, chambers and community organizations.  Stay tuned for more on this.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue assisting 11 hospitals!https://www.gofundme.com/f/feed-the-nurses-pm-shift

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we wrap up this through this fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 550 local businesses in over 45 downtown communities and they need your help.

Day 43 of shutdown – Monday April 27, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 43. 

This weekend had a lot of people out in the nice weather Saturday at parks, walking and biking in their local communities.   On the Federal level SBA loans were open again.   In NYS the Governor started to outline the phased approach to reopening the local economy.  There is persistent anger at politicians and celebrities telling everyone “We are all in this together” without recognizing the very different health and economic situations people are facing.   Today’s community profiled is Franklin Square.  Our Communities Helping Communities segment brought us to the Village of Port Jefferson.

Here are some updates:

• The Small Business Administration resumed accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) today from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. For more information, visit the SBA’s website here.

A message from the SBA:

The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications on Monday, April 27 at 10:30AM EDT from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. This will ensure that SBA has properly coded the system to account for changes made by the legislation.

We encourage all approved lenders to process loan applications previously submitted by eligible borrowers and disburse funds expeditiously.  All eligible borrowers who need these funds should work with an approved lender to apply. Borrowers should carefully review PPP regulations and guidance and the certifications required to obtain a loan.

For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, visit: sba.gov/paycheckprotection

Folks have been scrambling to see where there bank is regarding the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program – here is a list of the most SBA lenders for LI and the region.

• Resentment is growing on Main Street over bailout winners and losers

• Big businesses and institutions were the first to access SBA programs with little to nothing left for small businesses.

• The IRS has an Employee Retention Tax Credit.  Check it out here.

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing on his plans and criteria to end the shutdown and open up the economy.

• Most June elections are cancelled.

• NYS Unemployment the highest since the great depression.

• Local pharmacies will play a role in Coronavirus testing.

• County Executive Curran announced that Nassau is expanding testing in Hempstead and Freeport, and next week will open a testing site in Elmont. Testing will be provided by appointment only, and for more information or to make an appointment, call 516-396-7500

• There is a massive demand for food as Island Harvest has distributed over 1 million pounds of food in the last 6 weeks. 

• For folks complaining about brick and mortar stores charging an extra dollar or two for hand sanitizer note that Amazon has been sued for price gouging with essential items spiking as high as 1,000%.

•The stories of community level philanthropy are heartwarming and we will profile at least one each day.  Today’s profile is in the Village of Port Jefferson

• Pink Tie has set up a Pink Tie Delivers system to bring food to local pantries across Long Island.   The launch started last week bringing food to the Salvation Army in Hempstead.  This week we head to a Mastic Beach pantry supported by the William Floyd Community Summit.  Check out how you can help.

• The LI Main Street Alliance’s “We’re Open” Facebook page is live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• LISTnet is hosted a webinar with Vision and the LI Main Street Alliance on adapting to the technology of working at home.  Stay tuned for the video link.

•  NYS Assemblywoman Judy Griffin hosted an event with local chambers and the LI Main Street Alliance on programs that can help small business.   You can check out the call here. (Access password: 1j@44H@5)

• NY Blood Center and Mt. Sinai are looking for plasma donations from patients who have successfully recovered for COVID-19 for convalescent plasma treatments, here is the information:
NY Blood Center
While COVID has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered (convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you had a positive test, AND your symptoms have been gone for 14 days, AND you are willing to DONATE, please complete and submit this form.
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify you as a donor.
Mount Sinai COVID-19 Plasma Donation
If you had COVID-19 and have recovered you can help save a life. Your blood may contain antibodies that fight the virus and can help critically ill people. Mount Sinai is looking to screen you as a volunteer. Please fill out this form to see if you are eligible.

• Island Harvest provides free referrals and free assistance for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) over the phone, and you do not have to go to the Department of Social Services. Island Harvest can walk you through the online application by telephone or complete a short intake and submit the online application for you. Give them a call at 631-873-4775 for assistance.

• The USDA has grants for organizations that can move food to local communities.

• Check on the status of your IRS Economic Impact Payment.

• Walking is important during this shutdown and is a form of self care.

• Coronavirus: What Long Islanders Need to Know- Part Two
Newsday – Tuesday, April 28, 2020 10:00 AM
Join Newsday for their latest free webinar to gain more insight on health during the coronavirus pandemic and get expert answers to your questions. Newsday Associate Editor Joye Brown will moderate an informative discussion with Dr. Sharon Nachman, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and Dr. Adam J. Singer, Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine.  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3690402333441147148

• It is very important to practice democracy while decisions are being made rapidly on the Federal, State and County levels that impact local communities.  The Suffolk Legislature will meet on April 28th and here is how you can impact the process.
Recording Testimony Over the Phone: A new initiative, parties can now call (631) 853-3685 and leave a three-minute message about topics of concern and specific resolutions being considered by lawmakers. Residents should include their name as well as whether they are speaking about a specific resolution. Recorded voice testimony will be accepted through the close of business on April 28th.
Sending Testimony By Email: Comments may be submitted in writing by emailing Clerk.Legislature@suffolkcountyny.gov.
Sending Testimony by Regular Mail: Comments may be mailed to the attention of the Clerk’s Office at the Suffolk County Legislature, William H. Rogers Building, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown, NY 11787.
Testifying at a Public Hearing via Zoom: You can testify at a public hearing scheduled for the April 28th General Meeting through Zoom. Sign up to receive the meeting invitation by filling out the online form at www.scnylegislature.us/publichearing. Those wishing to speak must sign up before hearings are set to begin at 2 PM on April 28.
Questions about how to participate or submit testimony should be directed to the Suffolk County Legislature Clerk’s office at 631-853-6351.

• A proposal to remove local zoning and hand it over to Albany has been floated in Newsday and LI Business News.   It is unclear to date who is behind this effort presented in the middle of a pandemic with real people focused on human needs.   LI Builders Institute is quoted on the record opposed to this measure along with countless municipal leaders, chambers and community organizations.  Stay tuned for more on this.

• It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes through this crisis.

• Support food for front line providers during the night shifts – There are many efforts during the day for food but night shift folks are not getting the meals as readily.  Some Main Street restaurants are stepping up to feed folks after hours – here is one Go Fund Me page from a Main Street business in Patchogue assisting 11 hospitals!https://www.gofundme.com/f/feed-the-nurses-pm-shift

Participate in the “Letters to Our Heroes” initiative!  Families can send emails (or scan letters or artwork) to show their support for our first responders, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are helping to control the COVID-19 outbreak and keep our communities healthy. You can email them to: LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov   

The SBA sites and webinars and NYS DOL unemployment websites continue to be overloaded with requests.  SBA webinars have been filled to capacity.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we wrap up this through this fourth week of shutdown please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to over 575 local businesses in nearly 50 downtown communities and they need your help.