Long Island Main Street News April 10th, 2020

Here is today’s issue of LI Main Street News for day 26 of the shutdown. (Our server was down last night so this is sort of a double issue). We have two communities profiled – Village of Greenport and the City of Long Beach, a number of new resources, updates on Federal funding and the revamp of the NYS unemployment process. Check it out and most importantly have a happy, healthy and safe Easter or Passover this weekend. Check it out…….

presented by Vision Long Island and the Long Island Main Street Alliance


April 10th, 2020


Quotes of Day


“Our country’s highest priority must be to address this public health crisis, providing care for the ill and limiting the further spread of the virus. The Fed’s role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity, and our actions today will help ensure that the eventual recovery is as vigorous as possible.” – Fed Chairman Jerome Powell
“They’re hit with a double whammy, and this is not going to solve the problem, but it will certainly cushion the blow. This kind of money gets through very quickly.  They announced they’re going to do it today.  It should be very soon, and we will stay on them to make sure.” – Hon. Chuck Schumer, United States Senator
“Long Beach has a diverse group of outstanding small businesses that are very important to the community. During the pandemic, we are working with our Chamber of Commerce to both provide information regarding resources to help them and encourage residents to support the businesses to keep them open. We developed and shared a list of restaurants that are open for pickup and delivery and even added short term parking signs in front of these establishments to make it easier for their customers. Long Beach has a long history of welcoming folks to our iconic boardwalk and beautiful beach. When the Governor tells us groups are allowed to assemble again, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our City.” – Long Beach City Council President John Bendo

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

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.

RECENT NEWS FROM GOVERNMENT

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

• Governor Cuomo’s April 10th message

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s April 10th message

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s April 9th message

• Lupinacci Orders Flags to Half-Staff to Honor Former Elected Officials, Huntington Hospital Nurse and Other Lives Lost

• Town of Huntington to Close Tennis Courts, Crab Meadow Golf Course Monday

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

• A message from the desk of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand

• A message from Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro

• The Village of Great Neck Plaza’s most recent newsletter

• Village of Babylon’s Village Hall Offices will be Closed April 6th to April 20th

• The Village of Valley Stream is Supporting Small Business

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses.

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

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS

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

• 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 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.

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

• 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

• 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.

• 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

• 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.

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

• 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.

• 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

• 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.

• 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.

HUMAN NEEDS

• 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.

 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.

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.

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

• 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

• 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

• 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.

 If you are searching for something to do with your kids Chocolate Works has Easter kits.  For every one you buy they will donate one to a local food pantry.

• 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.

• 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.

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.

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

• MTA Distributes N95 Masks to Heroic Workforce

• 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

OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

• Nassau County Map of updates from Across the County

• Suffolk County Map of confirmed Coronavirus cases

• 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.

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 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.

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

icon Like us on Facebook

icon Follow us on Twitter

icon Watch us on YouTube

Join us on LinkedIn icon

View us on Instagram 

Visit our website icon

At this time of uncertainty, we are beginning to see a number of downtowns being shuttered as bars, restaurants, and any place where multiple people congregate are running up against fears of and caution at spreading the Coronavirus. While this is a socially responsible action that will help to save lives, in the short term these actions are having a number of adverse effects on our local communities.

Vision Long Island and Long Island Main Street Alliance members have collected a number of experiences from local restaurants and service businesses, but before we go into that we would like to encourage everyone reading this to find a way to responsibly patronize local establishments. Many stores are offering curbside pickup or online shopping to help them get through this difficult time. And your favorite restaurants are also currently open for business with takeout available.

We also urge you to consider gift cards in order to purchase something at a later date for yourself, or perhaps to give as a present.

Local shops are in a capable position to provide you with what you need in the short-term. Many will also be willing to accommodate you if you contact them ahead of time with requests that will minimize contact and help to lower the spread of this virus.

Vision has connected to nearly 400 small businesses in over 40 downtowns as they weather the economic storm through the Coronavirus. We encourage people to responsibly patronize these and other open establishments who need your help in this time of crisis.

Many of these businesses have been there for local organizations and philanthropy – they now need our support.

In the meantime, here is the featured downtown for today.

For a complete list of downtowns profiles, please check out our website here.

City of Long Beach

Day 25 of the Coronavirus economic crisis takes us to the City of Long Beach.

Long Beach nicknamed “City by the Sea” is well renowned for its boardwalk, diverse neighborhoods, parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities and a range of local restaurants and businesses. They host a range of arts, music and cultural events, a film festival and a farmers market. They have their own bus system, a LIRR station and walkable and bikeable streets.

Superstorm Sandy displaced thousands of residents and flooding impacted every building in the City. Over $200 million dollars of damage occurred and the City and the range of organizations including the Chamber and a number of neighborhood groups have pulled together to recover and rebuild since the storm.

The Coronavirus economic shutdown has impacted the City like other downtowns across Long Island. Similar to Sandy the City and local organizations have pulled together to assist local residents through charitable endeavors and contributions to the local food pantries and their soup kitchen including also food delivery to the elderly.

Long Beach City Council President John Bendo sums up the spirit of the community: “Long Beach has a diverse group of outstanding small businesses that are very important to the community. During the pandemic, we are working with our Chamber of Commerce to both provide information regarding resources to help them and encourage residents to support the businesses to keep them open. We developed and shared a list of restaurants that are open for pickup and delivery and even added short term parking signs in front of these establishments to make it easier for their customers. Long Beach has a long history of welcoming folks to our iconic boardwalk and beautiful beach. When the Governor tells us groups are allowed to assemble again, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our City.”

Here are some of the independent restaurants that are open for takeout or delivery:

Abe’s Pitaria, (516) 897-3582
Pick-up only.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11 am – 10 pm, Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 11 pm

Acai Beach Bowls, (516) 442-5362
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday: 9 am – 6 pm

Beach Bagel & Deli, (516) 431-7406
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday: 4 pm – 10 pm

Billy’s Beach Café, (516) 889-2233
Pick-up and delivery.
Hours: Monday – Friday: 4 pm – 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 12 pm – 10 pm

Blacksmith Bakery, (516) 632-8738
Information and order on their website: https://www.blacksmithsbreads.com/
Pick-up and delivery.
Hours: Wednesday: Bread delivery, Friday and Saturday Open as usual for takeout: 8:30 am – 1 pm

Bob’s Natural Foods, (516) 889-8955
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday: 10 am – 6 pm
Please call ahead for Curbside pickup

Brand’s Delicatessen, (516) 431-1795
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday: 8 am – 3 pm

Bright Eye Brewery, (516) 543-5736
Pick-up only.
Hours: Wednesday-Friday: 3 pm -7 pm, Saturday & Sunday: 12 noon to 3 pm
Please call ahead.

Brixx & Barley, (516) 544-4511
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday: 12 pm – 9 pm.

Cha-Ba Thai, (516) 897-2888
Pick-up only.
Hours:, Change daily depending on business.
Please call ahead.

Corazon De Cuba Taqueria, (516) 653-9600
Pick-up and Delivery (through UberEats).
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 12 pm – 9 pm, Friday and Saturday: 12 pm – 10 pm

Dough Hut, (516)432-1400
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday: 6 am – 6 pm

East End Pizza, (516) 889-8787
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm, Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm

First Jade Chinese Restaurant, (516) 432-4904
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday: 2 pm – 9 pm

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, (516) 431-1999
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday: 11 am – 9 pm

Gino’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, (516) 432-8193
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday: 11 am – 9 pm

Himawari Sushi, (516) 431-4768
Pick-up only.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 2 pm – 8 pm, Friday and Saturday: 2 pm – 8:30 pm

JJ Coopers, (516) 431-3133
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday: 2 pm – 8 pm (Except March 30th, 2020)

LB Sandwich Co., (516)632-9014
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday: 6 am – 6 pm

LB Social, (516) 431-7846
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 3 pm – 8 pm, Friday and Saturday: 3 pm – 9 pm, Sunday: 3 pm – 8 pm, Closed Mondays

Lido Kosher Deli, (516) 431-4411
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday: 9 am – 8 pm

Lilly’s of Long Beach, (516) 442-5484
Pick-up and Delivery (through UberEats and Doordash).
Hours: Monday – Friday: 4 pm – 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 11 am – 9 pm

Lindell Deli, (516)432-9171
Pick-up and Delivery (through GrubHub).
Hours: Weekdays: Open until 7 pm, Sunday: Open until 5 pm
Please call ahead

Long Beach Bagel Café, (516) 432-2582
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday, 6 am – 6 pm

Los Prios (Corazon De Cuba), (516) 272-4200
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday, 4 pm – 10 pm

Lost at Sea, (516) 632-5263
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 4 pm – 8 pm

Marvel Frozen Dairy, (516) 889-4232
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday: 12 pm – 10 pm

Mary’s Irish Shop, (516) 442-1185
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday, 9 am – 5 pm

Nagahama Japanese Restaurant, (516) 432-6446
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday, 4 pm – 8: 30 pm

Nagoya, (516) 897-0077
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday, 4 pm – 8:30 pm

Roc & Olive, (516) 442-1090
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Wednesday – Monday: 12 pm – 9 pm, Closed Tuesday.

Sherry Blossom, (516) 889-1200
Please place your order over the phone or at www.sherryblossom.ecwid.com

Shines, (516) 432-9248
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday, 12 pm – 8 pm

Sorrentos, (516) 889-4800
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 9 am – 7 pm, Closed Monday.

Speakeasy, (516) 827-9889
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday, 12 pm – 8 pm

Steven’s Pasta, (516) 992-8400
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 5 pm – 10 pm, Friday and Saturday: 5 pm – 11 pm, Sunday: 4 pm – 9 pm

Swingbelly’s Beachside BBQ, (516) 431-3464
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday, 1 pm – 10 pm

Tandoor Grill, (516) 766-4440
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11 am – 8:30 pm, Closed Monday.

The Bungalow (East), (516) 632-2501
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday, 8 am – 10 pm

The Bungalow (West), (516) 442-4777
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday, 8 am – 10 pm

The Cabana, (516) 889-1345
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Tuesday and Friday: 4 pm – 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 1 pm – 10 pm, Closed Monday, Wednesday, Thursday.

The Saloon, (516) 432-9185
Pick-up only.
Hours: Everyday, 12 pm – 8 pm

West End Pizza, (516) 889-1711
Pick-up and Delivery.
Hours: Everyday, 11 am – 10 pm

Village of Greenport

Day 24 of the Coronavirus economic crisis brings us to the Village of Greenport.

Downtown Greenport is a historic waterfront community on the North Fork. It boasts great restaurants, shops, a year round carousel, winter ice rink, nearby skate park, waterfront hotels and a charm that draws day trippers and tourists all year round. Independent restaurants and shops do best as opposed to chains – Aldo’s coffee withstood Starbucks, Greenport Harbor Brewing thrives, unique clothing shops and Goldsmith’s toy store are also destinations among many others.

With the shutdown from Coronavirus their is radically less activity but the community is still tightly knit and supportive of each their neighbors in need. Successful fundraising efforts came together to support the local food pantry at CAST, raised money for facemasks at Stony Brook Hospital and many other charitable endeavors.

The Village of Greenport and the Business Improvement District manage the downtown district and are encouraging people to social distance but safely support local businesses.

A number of Restaurants & Other Businesses are still Offering Delivery/Pick-Up:

Front Street Station
Curbside take out until 8. Delivery Until 7:30.
Call direct at 631-333-2050.

Andys
Curbside take out normal hours.
Delivery service: Wednesday-Sunday 12-9PM
Greenport-Orient (631) 333-2525

Ellen’s On Front
10% OFF all orders Noon-8PM Delivery-Take-Out
(631) 333-2743

Greenport Wines & Spirits
Delivery/curbside pick-up call for hours:
477-6701

Blue Duck Bakery
Pick-up and curb-side 9am-4pm Thursday-Monday.

Harbor Pet
Open 10AM-6PM (No grooming, curbside pick-up available) (631) 477-1518

Greenport Harbor Brewery
Curbside & grab & go at Greenport location (Weekends Only) 12-6PM // Monday-Sunday in Peconic 631-477-1100

First & South
To-go Only 1-6pm. 631-333-2020

Green Hill Kitchen
Delivery & Take-Out available Wednesday-Sunday 12-8PM
631-477-4900

Emilio’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
Take-Out Only Monday-Sunday 11AM-7PM

Bruce & Son
Friday-Sunday takeout/curbside/delivery
631-477-0023

Olive Branch & Café
Open 7 days 11AM-8PM for take-out & catering.
Red lentil & white bean soup available for those in need.
Please call 631-333-2444

Frisky Oyster
Take-out on dinner, desert, drinks. Thursday-Sunday 4-8PM 631-477-4275

Tikal
Open/Abierto 11AM-7PM Take-out only
631-333-2018

Brix & Rye
Take-out pizza/cocktails Thursday- Sunday 5-8PM
631-477-6984

1943 Pizza Bar
Take-out only Monday-Tuesday 5-8PM, Thursday-Sunday 12-8PM, Wednesdays CLOSED.
(631) 477-6984

Agave Grill & Cantina
Open Thursday-Saturday 5PM-9PM take out/delivery
631-333-2323

Crazy Beans
Take-out Only 8-3.
(631) 333-2436

Lucharito’s
Delivery/curbside pick-up
631-477-6666

La Capricciosa Pizzeria
Delivery 4-8PM in greater Greenport area
631-477-1625

American Beech
Delivery/counterservice/take-out from 4-9
631-477-5939

Stirling Sake
Take-Out: Friday-Saturday 5-10PM Sunday 5-9PM
631-477-6782

D’Latte Café
Take-out only everyday but Tuesday 7AM-5PM
(631) 477-6738

Aldo’s Coffee
Deliveries please go to aldos.com, http://aldos.com
or e-mail mail to: aldo@aldos.com.

Sterlington Deli
Take-out & delivery 6AM to 3PM
Text your order: 631-721-4145 or call: 631-477-8547

Goldberg’s Deli
Take-out 6AM-3PM
(631) 477-6084

The Market Greenport
Take-out & Delivery Sunday: 10AM-5PM // Monday-Thursday 9AM-6PM // Friday,Saturday: 9AM-7PM
(631) 477-8803

PAWPAW
Take-Out/Delivery Saturdays March 28-April 18 5-7PM mailto:pawpawpopup@gmail.com

Vines & Branches
Free local delivery/curbside pick-up/free-shipping over $25. Orders can be placed by calling 631 477-6800 or website http://www.vinesandbranches.net

Village of Patchogue

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  Helen Keller

The Village of Patchogue truly embodies the spirit of community coming together to lift each other up. The nonprofit arm of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Patchogue Foundation, has established the Greater Patchogue COAD. COAD stands for Community Organizations Active in Disaster.

COAD is an umbrella of many community organizations, including service groups, faith-based congregations, non-profits, and local government agencies, working collectively to make sure relief gets to those who need it during this extraordinary time. It has connected face mask and medical suppliers to local medical workers and is providing meals to the needy in the community and volunteer emergency workers.

The Greater Patchogue Foundation has established the Patchogue COVID-19 Relief Fund, wherein every cent collected is used to assist Greater Patchogue businesses, organizations and individuals in need as a result of the spread of COVID-19. “Over $35,000 has been raised,” states David Kennedy, Greater Patchogue Chamber Executive Director. “This has allowed for daily meal deliveries to Long Island Community Hospital and Stony Brook University Hospital.”

“Patchogue remains resilient and strong as we move through this unprecedented time. Many of our businesses have found unique ways to provide needed food, items and services while following social distancing guidelines,” explains Kennedy.

The list of participating restaurants continues to grow. “We have about 22 restaurants operating and doing deliveries,” Kennedy says. James Gilroy of Fulton’s Gate, a participating restaurant explains, “It feels good to help.”

Teachers Federal Union generously donated $5,000 to the cause. “The credit unions are built on a foundation of people helping people,” said Inna Sprague, TFCU chief experience officer. “This is our way of giving back to the community and helping the people we serve on a daily basis.” “I think it’s our responsibility to do whatever we can to not only support those people who’ve been deemed essential, but we need to keep other people employed,” she added. “I’m hoping this contributes to that as well.”

There are so many more examples of giving in Patchogue. Village Cigar Headquarters donated 1000 masks and 5000 pairs of gloves to local hospitals in need. I Heart Mac & Cheese donated over 35 trays of mac & cheese to Patchogue essential businesses, the local fire department and police station. Indigo Patchogue partnered with nonprofit Equity First Foundation to give 1,000 grab ‘n’ go meals to those in need.  The list goes on.

The Village of Patchogue is a community that knows and exemplifies selflessness. Our admiration is enormous.

New York State Department of Labor Unveils new Unemployment App

In an effort to combat the overwhelming number of people requesting unemployment insurance, the New York State Department of Labor has unveiled a new app to help ease the glut.

This new application will allow people in need of benefits to request them through online means.  It will replace the old app with a newer, more streamlined version that was officially put into place this past Thursday.  In addition to a reduction in the number of questions, applicants will no longer need to contact the DOL themselves but instead can expect a call from a DOL employee within 72 hours of applying.

Referred to as DOL Tech Surge, the app is considered a top-to-bottom upgrade over the previous version and is a partnership of the state with Google, Deloitte, and Verizon.  It will allow users to save incomplete applications so they can come back to them later and provide an “every device experience” so New Yorker can file from smart phones, tablets, and laptops. 

“Earlier today, the Department of Labor announced that its online unemployment insurance application would shut down at 5:00 PM to allow for critical upgrades as part of their comprehensive ‘Tech Surge,’” said DOL Communications Director Dani Lever.  “Every evening, this online system closes from 7:00 PM to 7:30 AM to allow the DOL’s database to process applications. As we are currently migrating to a new system today, applications will be accepted beginning at 7:30 AM tomorrow. When New Yorkers log in to the Department of Labor’s system tomorrow, they will find a new, improved and more user-friendly application allowing them to better access the benefits they deserve.”

Additionally, a new call center will be opened to help people apply.  It will be staffed by hundreds of experienced customer service professionals and will drastically increase the number of calls that the system can handle.  There will 10,000 new phone ports put into place, up from the previous 1,750.  There will also be an increase in the number of servers to help handle requests and more efficient filing system in place.

This is welcome news as New Yorkers desperate for benefits have been hitting a number of barriers that the old system caused.  This was due to the record number of people out of work thanks to the economic shutdown caused by the ongoing pandemic.  It is good to see the state moving quickly to shore up the system and help out the New Yorkers most in need.

You can watch a video about the changes here.

Federal Reserve Unveils $2.3 trillion in Programs Designed to Support Economy

The Federal Reserve has announced $2.3 trillion in programs that are aimed at shoring up the economy as the coronavirus epidemic continues to take a toll.

The measures detailed include a Main Street business lending program along with several other initiatives that will be used to backstop the reeling economy.  There was also a reveal of market interventions that will be undertaken to help prop that up, including plans to purchase corporate bonds both at an investment-grade level and as high-yield, or junk, bonds.

These new provisions will also allow for loans to be geared to businesses with 10,000 or less employees and less than $2.5 billion in revenue from 2019.  Principal and interest payments will be deferred for a year under that program.  The recently unveiled Payroll Protection Program will also be under this plan and is representative of the spirit of getting money directly into the hands of small businesses.

“Our country’s highest priority must be to address this public health crisis, providing care for the ill and limiting the further spread of the virus,” said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. “The Fed’s role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity, and our actions today will help ensure that the eventual recovery is as vigorous as possible.”

The loans for Main Street businesses would be a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of either $25 million or an amount that, when added to the Eligible Borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn debt, does not exceed four times the Eligible Borrower’s 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.  The Fed has pledged to purchase up to $600 billion of those loans.

A special-purpose vehicle created by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department will purchase 95% of the loans while financial institutions will hold the remaining 5%.

Beyond the Main Street program, the Fed has also announced a move aimed at bolstering the effectiveness of the Payroll Protection Program.  They will provide term financing to institutions lending through the program and will expand the type of collateral it is willing to accept through the program.

One other measure put in place is the establishment of a new Municipal Liquidity Facility that will offer up to $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities.  The Treasury will provide $35 million to that particular program.  There will also be an expansion of the three existing credit facilities that will seek to increase credit to households and businesses.  Those new efforts will target $850 billion through the three facilities.

You can read more at CNBC.

$18 Million in Federal Grants on the way to Long Island

US Senator Chuck Schumer has announced $18 million in additional federal grants are on their way to Long Island to help with relief from the coronavirus shutdown.

Wrapped up in the $2,2 trillion CARES Act that recently passed, nearly $200 million in funds will head to New York out of a $3 billion national allotment.  An additional $9.1 billion will roll in after that once officials have created a formula for distribution according to HUD.  These funds are meant to shore up economies in counties and towns that are experiencing shortfalls thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“They’re hit with a double whammy, and this is not going to solve the problem, but it will certainly cushion the blow,” said Senator Schumer.  “This kind of money gets through very quickly.  They announced they’re going to do it today.  It should be very soon, and we will stay on them to make sure.”

The funds will come in one of three forms: Block grants, with $13 million of those alone coming to Long Island; Emergency solutions grants to help the homeless with $5 million for Long Island; and grants to help people with HIV or AIDS, including $316,249 for Long Island.

Nassau will receive the bigger slice of funding with $8.5 million in community development block grants and $4.25 million in emergency solutions grants.  Brookhaven will receive $2.3 million, including the only grant for Long Island residents struggling with AIDS or HIV.  Finally, Suffolk County will receive $835,566, $640,040 for the Town of Babylon, and $510,015 for the Town of Huntington.

You can read more at Newsday.

Governor Cuomo Briefs on Progress in fight against Coronavirus

Governor Cuomo’s hit a few key points in his briefing earlier today:

• The state is cautiously optimistic that the infection rate is slowing as the 3 day average of hospitalizations has declined drastically and ICU admissions is now a negative number.

• Number of deaths remains about level with 777 patients passing away yesterday.

• Long Island and NYC remain hotspots but overall the state is “flattening the curve.

• It is important to stay the course and keep social distancing protocols in place for the time being as we try to keep the infection rate low and not create “waves” of infection.

• Food assistance is a real issue for a lot of New Yorkers with $200 million being provided by the state for emergency food assistance to more than 700,000 low-income households.

• Medical workers will continue to receive support with companies coming forward to help provide housing for healthcare workers.

• Echoed Senator Schumer’s call for a “Hero’s compensation fund” to help compensate healthcare workers who are putting themselves on the line during the crisis.

• The economy will need to be reopened soon but it will be a gradual, phased process that will be reliant on testing and ensuring that we do not fall back into a healthcare crisis.

• New York State lab is developing an antibody test to help do just that.

• Returning to normal will depend on how quickly we can bring the testing to a scale that will allow us to know exactly who has had and is now immune to the virus.  It will require an unprecedented mobilization to provide these tests in the millions.

Here is Governor Cuomo’s message from yesterday, printed from his official website:

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced five new testing facilities downstate, primarily in minority communities. A drive-through mobile testing facility will open at the Sears Parking Lot at 2307 Beverly Road in Brooklyn tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., and a drive-through mobile testing facility opened at the Club House at Aqueduct Race Track Parking Lot, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd, in Queens on Monday April 6th. In addition, the state is opening three walk-in facilities at health care centers in the South Bronx; Jamaica, Queens; and in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The walk-in facilities will open next week and will be by appointment only.

The state has opened nine testing facilities to date. The sites will prioritize tests for individuals that are among the highest risk population. Residents who would like to be tested at these facilities must make an appointment by calling 888-364-3065.

The Governor also announced the “New York Loves” effort to coordinate all foundations, philanthropies, not-for-profits, charities and other entities that want to help or donate to the state during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. New York Secretary of State Rosanna Rosado and State Director of Nonprofits Fran Barrett will coordinate this effort and any resources that are collected, and will work with local governments that need additional help.

The Governor is also asking all New Yorkers who have recovered from COVID-19 to contact the state and donate blood. Individuals who have recovered from the virus may have convalescent plasma in their blood, which has antibodies against the virus and could help with the development of a treatment for the virus. More information about how to donate is available here.

Governor Cuomo will also issue an Executive Order to bring additional funeral directors to New York to help with the high number of deaths due to COVID-19.

“Our efforts to reduce the spread of the virus through social distancing are working better than we expected because people are complying with them,” Governor Cuomo said. “Rapid testing and increasing our testing capacity is going to be the bridge to the new economy and restarting, but we also need to make sure we are learning the lessons of what we’re going through now because we haven’t finished going through it yet. We are going to increase testing and open new testing sites to collect more data in African-American and Latino communities so we can better understand why this virus kills and has higher fatality rates in certain communities, and what we can do to address it.”

Finally, the Governor confirmed 10,621 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 159,937 confirmed cases in New York State.

You can watch his full press conference here.

Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses Goes into Effect

The US Department of Treasury has released guidelines for small businesses seeking relief from payroll costs during the Coronavirus pandemic.  This program called the Paycheck Protection Program, will provide small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.  All loans under this program will have an interest rate of 0.5%, maturity of 2 years, be 100% guaranteed by the SBA, and the first payment will be deferred for 6 months.

Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors— are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.  Maximum loan amounts will be up to $10 million.
Qualifying small businesses and sole proprietorships will be apply to apply beginning this Friday, April 3rd.  Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning April 10th.  People are encouraged to apply as quickly as possible as there is a funding cap in place.

People can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of participating lenders as well as additional information and full terms can be found at www.sba.gov.

You can find more information on the loans here. You can read more at Long Island Business News.

Small Businesses Urged to Apply for SBA Loans

There are still a lot of questions in regards to the impact of the Federal aid package on small businesses.

Here is the latest fact sheets from US Congresswoman Kathleen Rice that outlines the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (here) and the SBA’s Paycheck Program Loan with the updated guidelines (here).  Congressman Lee Zeldin recently had an SBA representative encourage folks to apply for loans no matter what.

In the meantime, there has been an effort to encourage small businesses to work to apply for loans asap.  The LI Main Street Alliance and the Nassau & Suffolk Chambers are working to get information out to the small business community to help as much as possible.

Newsday and the LIA are both hosting, and will continue to host, video conferences on a range of business resources as well.

This past Friday morning, the Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar for businesses to learn how to apply for SBA loans.  Man-Li Lin, from the New York District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration presented information to explain how to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).  This information is subject to change as the situation remains fluid. The local Small Business Development Centers at Farmingdale State College (here) and Stony Brook University (here) will have new information as updates occur.

While SBA loans are typically only available for small businesses, during a declared national disaster, they are also available for private not for profit entities as well.  Most small businesses and non-profits are eligible except for businesses relating to gambling, religious organizations, investment or lending companies, charitable organizations, speculative activities, or agricultural enterprises. 

Loans of up to $2 million are available with no payments for 12 months.  They can be used to pay expenses such as fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, or other bills affected by the disaster.  Interest rates are 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for private non-profits and long term repayments for COVID crisis will be 30 years.  Loans cannot be used for lost revenue, just for expenses.  Typically, businesses are not eligible if they are able to secure credit elsewhere.  However, they are currently allowing applications without denial letters from other lenders.

There is no cost to apply and no obligation to take the loan if it is offered.  The amount of the loan application should reflect six months of operating expenses.  Documentation of a typical months expenses is required.  Businesses are eligible even if they already have a previous SBA loan, disaster loan or other types of SBA loans.  Loans over $25000 require collateral, but won’t be denied simply for lack of collateral, they will require a pledge of what is available.  Criteria for approval will include eligibility, credit history and the ability to repay.
The application forms can be downloaded here.  Once the forms have been completed, they can be uploaded to the site or hardcopies mailed to:

US Small Business Administration

Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road
Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243

You can also contact the SBA disaster customer service center at 1-800-659-2955, disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or TTY:1-800-877-8339.  They recommend email as the best way to get in touch with someone.  If applicants are receiving a 404 error, they recommend clearing your cache and trying again.

Upcoming Webinars for Small Businesses Seeking Relief Loans

While this process is still evolving, businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible and provide all required documentationfor relief loans from the Small Business Administration. Representatives from the SBA will follow up with questions.

Webinars will be held to help guide businesses through the application process, the times are as follows:

April 14th, 12 pm to 1 pm. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866

April 15th, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866

April 16th, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866

CDC Guidelines on Coronavirus Prevention

As concern about the ever-expanding impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) grows, we can minimize or prevent the spread of coronavirus by taking these steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.  Wash or sanitize your hands thoroughly.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or antiseptic wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

For more information see the CDC website or call the NY State Coronavirus hotline to speak with a representative 888-364-3065

Our Daily Sponsor


St. Joseph’s College

Since 1916, St. Joseph’s College has provided an affordable liberal arts education to a diverse group of students. Independent and coeducational, St. Joseph’s prepares students for lives of integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility and service; lives that are worthy of the College’s motto, Esse non videri — “To be, not to seem.”

St. Joseph’s Long Island Campus challenges its approximately 3,300 students to develop their full potential and a joy of learning. With more than 400 faculty members, the College enjoys a student-to-faculty ratio that provides individual attention in an open, supportive atmosphere.

St. Joseph’s remains dedicated to maintaining low costs while upholding a strict standard of excellence. While retention rates at most colleges are slipping, St. Joseph’s remains above the national average. Its academic strength hasn’t gone unnoticed. The College is consistently recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges” issue.

Smart Talk

Contributors:
Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director; Jon Siebert, Administrative Director

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to info@visionlongisland.org for consideration.

If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.

Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

Home | Contact Us | Donate | About Us