Long Island Main Street News April 17th, 2020

Here is today’s edition of LI Main Street News for day 33 of the Coronavirus shutdown. This edition covers the latest extension of closures until May 15th, a new downtown update, Federal funding proposals from Senator Schumer and sadly a bizarre proposal to remove zoning powers from local municipalities.

On a more positive note check out the “Communities Helping Communities” segment with profiles on Pink Tie Delivers to help local food pantries and an effort by a local Babylon and Patchogue business owner to feed evening shifts at local hospitals. Check it out…..

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


April 17th, 2020


Quotes of Day


“Mostly this virus is different because it isolates us. We’re New Yorkers, we like to come together and be with one another. We can’t here. We want to make sure that Long Islanders at every rung of society and the companies that employ them, get significant and rapid infusion of money.” – US Senator Charles Schumer
“As we support our courageous first responders with this united tribute, let’s also recognize our transit workers, the unsung heroes keeping society running and safely getting our first responders and essential workers to the front lines. I hope everyone hears these sirens — our way to communicate our solidarity and appreciation.” – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran
“Everyday our Suffolk County Transit workers help ensure their fellow essential workers make it to work safe and sound to help us fight this crisis,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “Just like we have done for our healthcare workers and first responders, we are standing together in solidarity with our transportation workers across the region and our 190 buses in service on Thursday we will be sounding their horns loud and proud to thank their counterparts for their brave efforts.”  – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
“Anything we do always stays here in the local communities.  We want to see that direct impact.  There’s nothing more important that we can think of doing right now than this.  We’ve been here.  We will be here.  We’ll still be here.” – Pink Tie Co-Founder Rich Cave
“At one point our pantry was actually empty. We know that it’s not over and we’re still in it.  We’re fighting.  We’re praying.” – Pastor Charles Roberts of the Salvation Army Nassau

“The goal is to pull up at 1 AM with as much nutritious food as possible. I just want to feed as many people as I can. These are the people trying to save lives and they really should be nourished so they can fight.” – John Murray, owner of Kilwins in Babylon and Patchogue and The Hero Joint in Patchogue, talking about delivering food to frontline health workers

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

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.

RECENT NEWS FROM GOVERNMENT

• 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 17th message

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s April 17th message

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s April 17th message

• 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

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses.

• Lupinacci, Huntington Officials Request Property Tax Payment Deadline Extension to August 1.

• Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito held a Q&A session on Facebook for local residents.

• 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

• Here is the latest news from the Village of Farmingdale

• A message from Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro

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

• 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

• 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.

• 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.

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.

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.

• 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.

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

• 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.

• 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

• 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 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

• 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. 

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.

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

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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 over 500 small businesses in over 45 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.

Rockville Centre

Wednesday Day 31 of the Coronavirus shutdown took us to the Village of Rockville Centre.

The Village of Rockville Centre, awarded Vision Long Island’s “Sense of Place” designation at the Smart Growth Awards in 2018, is a vibrant community with a thriving downtown. With the growth of downtown businesses and residential development, the Village has been able to both retain millennials and seniors alike. With beautiful parks and services, families are also drawn to this area, creating an urban suburban feel.

Recent economic impacts, resulting from the present pandemic, threatens Rockville Centre’s upward trajectory.

Like every downtown, the community is trying to weather the storm. “This administration continues to work to ensure public safety, prioritize health and welfare of our residents and reduce the circle of exposure of Covid 19 in our community,” says Francis Murray, Mayor of Village of Rockville Centre. “We are confident that as a community, we will whether these challenging times together as we always do.”

Downtown businesses are feeling the stress and the local Chamber is doing its best to remind the residents of the importance of supporting these businesses. “Our village is filled with passionate and unique merchants that give Rockville Centre its identity. Be sure to support the individuals whose expertise and homegrown experience make our business community so special. During these times they need us the most! Remember to shop local,” the Rockville Centre Chamber of Commerce advises.

The Chamber outlines various ways that residents can easily help support local businesses: Share their social media pages to improve their following; talk about them, word of mouth advertising is the best advertising; and buy gift cards to use a later date.

Below is a working list of restaurants offering pickup, take-out or curbside compiled by the Rockville Centre Chamber of Commerce. Please call and ask any local businesses about their offerings.

CJ’s Coffee Shop
516.766.9107
225 N Long Beach Rd

Front Street Bakery
516.766.1199
51 Front Street

Gino’s Pizza
516.766.4200
187 N Long Beach Ave

Greystone Deli
516 766.3597
216 N Long Beach Rd

Kasey’s
516.766.5049
23 N Park Ave

Kollner’s Prime Meats
516.766.3250
320 Sunrise Hwy

MacArthur Park
516.766.8375
1 Maple Ave

Mother Kelly’s
516.295.5421
171 Maple Ave

Pantry Diner
516.766.8848
525 Merrick Rd

Paradiso
516.594.4040
164 N Village Ave

Parmagianni
516.766.9107
212 N Long Beach Rd

Pipeline Coffee Co
516.680.9786
318A Sunrise Hwy

Polka Dot Pound Cake
516.544.2253
217 N Long Beach Rd

Press 195
516.536.1950
22 North Park Ave

Snaps
516.517.2525
13 N Park Ave

Sugarberry Bakery
516.764.2881
312 Sunrise Hwy

Tequila Bar
516.740.3030
19 N Park Ave

The Wild Feast Café
516.665.2124
19 N Park Ave

Village Cheese Merchants
516.766.9107
28 S Park Ave

Vines & Branches RVC
516.298.8409
80 N Park Ave

Zora’s Hala Grill
516.992.0088
91 N Park Ave

Patchogue, Babylon Business Owner Provides Free Meals for Healthcare Workers

“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” – Lewis Carroll

Restaurant owner and Babylon resident John Murray, owner of Kilwins in Babylon and Patchogue, and The Hero Joint in Patchogue, has stepped up in a big way to deliver food to frontline healthcare workers on the overnight shifts.

Murray, who began helping out by sending lunch and dinner to local healthcare workers, quickly became aware that the frontline workers who work the nightshifts were not being fed. “My sister-in-law is an overnight nurse who had no food to eat,” Murray explains. “She had to eat an ice-cream sandwich for breakfast at 1:00am.” It was then that Murray decided to help feed overnight healthcare workers at hospitals across Long Island during the coronavirus pandemic. And that’s exactly what he, and his crew, are doing in the dead of night.

With a band of volunteers, Murray delivers food to multiple hospitals, including Syosset Hospital, North Shore University Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, Southside Hospital, Stony Brook University Hospital, St. Francis, Mercy Medical Center, South Nassau/Mount Sinai, St. Catherine of Sienna and Long Island Community Hospital.

“The goal is to pull up at 1 AM with as much nutritious food as possible,” Murray states. “I just want to feed as many people as I can. These are the people trying to save lives and they really should be nourished so they can fight.”

Thousands of healthcare workers have already been fed, with thousands more to come. “You ain’t seen nothing yet. The pedal is to the metal,” Murray promises.

A Go Fund Me site has been set up, Feed The Nurses (PM Shift), raising to date over $14,000. All money raised goes towards purchasing products such as yogurt, granola bars, fresh fruit and pastries, to be delivered to hospital nightshift workers. Donations of money and food are rolling in. Goldman Sachs as even recently “adopted” two hospitals. “Big thanks to them,” Murray states, “As a finance major, this is about as cool as it gets.”

Appreciation, respect and thanks to all our healthcare warriors and champions, such as John Murray and his army of volunteers, who care for them.

Pink Tie Delivers Makes First Drop Off

Despite awful news on multiple fronts, Vision Long Island was excited to be a part of the newly launched Pink Tie delivery service.  

PinkTie Delivers is a program that will pick up food donations that gets them to local pantries in hard hit communities in Nassau and Suffolk.  With the help of the limo company Late Night Chauffers, PinkTie volunteers will pick up food donations from people’s doorsteps and deliver them to food pantries across Long Island. The service will pick up donations in Woodbury, Syosset, Bethpage, Hicksville, Melville, Huntington, and Farmingdale. The locations that will receive food include Pastor Roger Blackmore of Genesis Church Food Pantry, Pastor Charles Roberts of Salvation Army Nassau, Mastic Beach Food Pantry, and the Babylon Food Pantry.

“Anything we do always stays here in the local communities,” said Pink Tie Founder Rich Cave.  “We want to see that direct impact.  There’s nothing more important that we can think of doing right now than this.”

The donations must be a minimum of one bag and include non-perishable food items and cleaning supplies. Pick-ups will only be made Monday through Friday from noon to 4 pm.  The first drop was at the Salvation Army Hempstead Center with our good friend Captain Charles Roberts, who has been pulling together food for his center and the other Salvation Army locations.

“At one point our pantry was actually empty,” said Pastor Charles Roberts.  “We know that it’s not over and we’re still in it.  We’re fighting.  We’re praying.   We’ve been here.  We will be here.  We’ll still be here.””

It is so important that: 1) corporate philanthropy start to emerge through this Coronavirus shutdown and 2) that the resources go directly to local communities.  With this program, both of those are achieved.

A big thank you to Pink Tie and Late Night Chauffeurs for getting it done.  Special thanks to Danielle Campbell and her team at News 12 for the thoughtful and timely coverage.

You can donate or volunteer here.

Governor Cuomo Announces Extension of Shutdown to May 15th

The following is yesterday’s update from the Governor’s website:

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced all NYS on Pause restrictions and closures will be extended until May 15th. This action is taken in consultation with other regional states. The states will re-evaluate after this additional closure period.

Governor Cuomo also directed all New Yorkers to wear masks or face coverings on public transportation systems and while taking private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles. Additionally, all operators of public systems, private carriers and for-hire vehicles must wear a mask or face covering at all times while working. These directives expand on the Executive Order announced by the Governor yesterday requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. The Executive Order will go into effect on Friday, April 17th, at 8 PM.

The Governor also announced the state will give 100 ventilators to New Jersey. Yesterday the Governor announced the state will give 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 ventilators to Maryland.

“Unpausing New York and reopening our economy is going to be an ongoing process over the coming weeks that we’re working through with other states, but we have to do it in a way that doesn’t drive up the infection rate and create a second wave of the virus,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have shown that we can control the spread of the virus, but we can’t now undo all the progress we’ve made. As we continue to work on a regional plan to get people back to work and get businesses back up and running in a safe and responsible way, we are extending all NYS on Pause functions until May 15th in coordination with other states in our multi-state council because although we can control the beast, we need to get that infection rate down even more and we are not there yet.”

Finally, the Governor confirmed 8,505 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 222,284 confirmed cases in New York State.

You can watch the full press briefing here.

Today’s press conference included the following key points:

• Appears more and more likely that we have hit the apex of the health crisis.

• Hospitalizations, ICU Admissions, and Intubations are all down.

• Unfortunately, number of new cases remain high at about 2,000 per day, which has hovered around that number for weeks.

• Number of deaths yesterday was 630, which is also still too high.

• A plan is being put in place to “un-pause” New York.

• Won’t be back to normal without a vaccine or some sort of medical treatment, but could be up to ayear away.

• Will be an incremental process in the meantime governed by a phase-in period.

• Must control the rate of infection, strengthen the healthcare system, and work with the federal government before we can return to what will be a new normal.

• Phase 1 is where are at with an estimated infection rate of about 1.4 people being infected for every case of COVID-19, and the state is now working ramped up the hospital system to absorb any spikes.

• Phase 2 will need to bring the infection rate down to below 1 person for every infection and will need to involve testing, tracing, and isolating in order to control further spread.

• The state will also need to stabilize its finances after this as the coffers are being drained thanks to the response.

• A chain o public and private labs are currently working to perform tests at an increased level in order to identify and trace new cases.

• Governor Cuomo is issuing an executive order to ensure prioritizing of diagnostic testing for public health and restarting the economy.

You can watch the full briefing here.

US Senator Charles Schumer Holds Webinar on COVID-19 Legislation

This morning Newsdy and the LIA hosted a webinar with Senator Chuck Schumer regarding COVID-19 legislation. 

Schumer described what was in the last bill (referred to as COVID 3), as well as what they are working on for the next bill (COVID 4).  In the next bill, which they are hoping to have approved in the beginning of May, they are hoping to fix some of the problems that happened with the previous one.  This included the difficulty for many small business owners to receive funding through the Paycheck Protection Plan.  They are negotiating a separate funding stream of $125 billion that will be geared towards small businesses so they aren’t in direct competition with larger small businesses for funding.  This would include all non-profits, religious institutions, self-employed and “gig” workers.

“Mostly this virus is different because it isolates us,” said Senator Schumer during the webinar.  “We’re New Yorkers, we like to come together and be with one another. We can’t here. We want to make sure that Long Islanders at every rung of society and the companies that employ them, get significant and rapid infusion of money.”

In addition, they are developing a more robust unemployment program to cover full salaries up to $75,000/year until July 31st and allocating funding for state and local governments whose budgets have been devastated over the past few weeks.  The federal government is also looking to expand this to include towns and villages as well as the counties who should be receiving $250 million each.  New York State would receive $10 billion, including $1 billion for education, $4 billion for the MTA, and $5 billion for the state as needed.

A future bill (COVID 5) will focus on long term economic recovery and would likely include infrastructure stimulus funding among other types.  The biggest concern by those on the call was the need for businesses to access cash immediately since many cannot wait weeks for grants or loans that may come in the future.  The EIDL $10000 advance was quickly depleted, and they are working to get additional funding to extend that as well.

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.

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

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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.

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Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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