Long Island Main Street News April 23rd, 2020

Here is the latest edition of LI Main Street News for day 39 of the Coronavirus shutdown. Today we cover unemployment updates, new downtown profiles, “Communities Helping Communities” and other resources. Check it out….

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


April 23rd, 2020


Quotes of Day


“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a serious public health crisis for New York and the economic impact to our State will likely be felt for a long time to come. My office is taking many proactive and positive steps to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and we want to help New York’s residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses alike as they navigate these uncharted waters.  We created this page of helpful resources and links to give you easy access to vital assistance and information you need at this time.  Since the situation is changing rapidly with each passing day, please check back regularly as we update this information.” – NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
“All the jobs created since 2009 are gone as we put ourselves into a self induced coma. The small businesses are the energy that drive our local communities. We encourage being hyper local, buy from them, support them. If you have the choice of buying from Amazon vs someone in town buy from someone in town.” – Scott Rechler, RXR Realty
“We should be supporting our State and local governments who will have huge budget shortfalls” – US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on planning the next stimulus package
“Our Restaurants, Brewery, and many others have been forced to change business models overnight to comply with State Rules and Guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The vast majority of our members are still operating. Food and Beverage establishments have made provisions for takeouts, curbside pick up, free delivery, discounts, and Alcohol to-go and even delivered.” – Joseph Garcia, Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce President
“We would like to thank all of the restaurants, deli’s pizza parlors that are open for take out business.  Many of our local merchants have websites and the capability of shipping so please keep them in mind also.   Gift cards are a great way to support them now so they can survive and you can use them once everyone is able to open back up.” – Sharon Fattoruso, Copiague Chamber of Commerce

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 39 of shutdown – Wednesday April 23, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 39. 

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

Here are some updates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RECENT NEWS FROM GOVERNMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Governor Cuomo’s April 22nd message

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s April 23rd message

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s April 23rd message

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses.

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

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

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

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

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

• Farmingdale has released its latest list of open businesses

• A message from Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro

• The Village of Valley Stream is Supporting Small Business

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

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

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Our friends at LISTnet have a Coronavirus support page.

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

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

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

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

• Property and casualty insurance premiums were waived for small business

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

• All nonessential construction is shutdown

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses

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

• Dining Bonds created to help local small businesses

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

• Facebook has grants for small businesses

• Kiva has grants for small business

• Amazon has a grant fund for small business

• Verizon has set up a small business recovery fund

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

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

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

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

• Grants for Artists impacted by Coronavirus.

• Grants for Restaurant workers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RESOURCES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT / SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BILLS BILLS BILLS

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

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

• Up to date information in accessing unemployment from NYS DOL

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

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

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

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

• Resources for displaced bartenders.

• Resources for displaced hospitality workers.

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

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

• PSEG has a Coronavirus page that is updated regularly

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

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

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

• AT&T suspends collection activities during the Coronavirus crisis

• PSEG Long Island Halts Service Shut Offs

• National Grid Halts Service Shut Offs

• Verizon Suspends Collection Activities

 Geico postponed collectons during Coronavirus shutdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

• National Grid has updated information about their billing.

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

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

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.

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

HELP WANTED

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

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

General Listings:

Indeed
Long Island’s Craigslist
New York Jobs

Simply Hired

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

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

HOME & STIR CRAZY

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

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

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

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

• Turn off your Zoom call once you are done.

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

• How to make your own face mask.

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

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

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

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

• How to make homemade disinfectant spray and wipes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INNOVATION UNDERWAY

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

The Business Incubator Association has created an invitation to ventilate.   

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

A Long Island Distillery is making hand sanitizer.

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

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORTATION & SUSTAINABILITY

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

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

• Environmental regulation impacted as EPA Suspended all Environmental Rules

• PSEG Long Island Continues to Storm-Harden the Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 550 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.

Copiague

Saturday April 18th Day 34 of the shutdown brought us to the community of Copiague.

The hamlet of Copiague is a waterfront community in the Town of Babylon that also has a downtown and train station area that has been undergoing revitalization over the last decade.   In addition to their waterfront resources they have an active Town Park Tanner Park that services the community.    A very tight knit community their Chamber of Commerce, School District, Library and emergency services work with the Town of Babylon to plan and manage day to day operations. 

The community has rallied around their local businesses and in turn the small businesses have been offering discounts and providing free food and services to community organizations.

“We would like to thank all of the restaurants, deli’s pizza parlors that are open for take out business.  Many of our local merchants have websites and the capability of shipping so please keep them in mind also.   Gift cards are a great way to support them now so they can survive and you can use them once everyone is able to open back up” Sharon Fattoruso, Copiague Chamber of Commerce

Here are some of the Copiague restaurants that are open for take out or delivery:

3 Brothers Vegan Café

Albert’s Pizza

Big Star Nunez

Café Catania Pizzeria & Pasta

Copiague Bagel & Deli

Delicias Latinas Bakery & Restaurant

El Paso Taco

Figueroa’s Grocery and Deli

Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant

Jamaican Paradise

Joe’s Pizza

Long Wall Kitchen

Mama’s

Rincon Guanaco

Rosita’s Bakery

Simply Thai

Tang Asian Fusion

Thai Green Leaf

Vibes Jamaican Restaurant

Zheung Xing Kitchen

Farmingdale Initiates “Dalers for Dalers” Program

“A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there.” –  Cesare Pavese

Farmingdale Village is not only rich in ethnic culture, entertainment, and eclectic restaurants, it is filled with caring, compassionate residents. This is effortlessly illustrated by the volume of Farmingdale folks working on the front line during this Covid 19 pandemic. The Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce has undertaken a community effort to thank these residents and to show gratitude to those who are working tirelessly to keep residents safe.

The Chamber has initiated a “Dalers for Dalers” program. The Chamber is collecting monetary donations to be used to purchase food from Farmingdale restaurants to be delivered to the homes of Farmingdale medical personnel who work in hospitals. “These Farmingdale residents are working tirelessly to keep us safe,” the Chamber explains. “This community effort is a simple way to thank them by providing their families with a hot meal when they return home from work.”

The Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce, like business-support organizations everywhere, is doing everything they can to help support local businesses adversely affected by COVID-19. In addition to helping promote member’s new business models to the community during this crisis, the Chamber felt the need to also funnel sales to the businesses hardest hit. The Dalers fund was established to help. The Chamber has contributed $1,500 to the fund.

This initiative has been a huge success and donations have been pouring in. The community is clearly appreciative. On Facebook, resident Joan Elinor‎ posted, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for thinking of me and my family for dinner last night. During this challenging time, it is comforting to witness the outpouring of support for our healthcare workers and first responders. I am proud to be a part of this great community.”

Kudos to the Chamber for starting this wonderful initiative and to all Farmingdale front line workers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.

Donations can be made via PayPal  https://www.paypal.me/dalerstrong or Venmo @Beth-Mignone. (Link to Chamber site here):

Governor Cuomo and Michael Bloomberg Launch COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program

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

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mike Bloomberg today announced a new nation-leading COVID-19 contact tracing program to control the infection rate of the disease. Mike Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies have committed organizational support and technical assistance to help build and execute this new program. The contact tracing program will be done in coordination with the downstate region as well as New Jersey and Connecticut and will serve as an important resource to gather best practices and as a model that can be replicated across the nation. There has never been a contact tracing program implemented at this scale either in New York or anywhere in the United States. The program will launch immediately.

As part of this effort, The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University will build an online curriculum and training program for contact tracers. The New York State Department of Health will work with Bloomberg Philanthropies to help identify and recruit contact tracer candidates for the training program, including staff from the State Department of Health, investigators from various state agencies, hundreds of tracers from downstate counties and SUNY and CUNY students in medical fields. Bloomberg Philanthropies will also work with New York State to establish an expert panel to review the work of the program, and create a best in class model that other states can use for contact tracing.

The effort includes a partnership with Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, to provide operational and technical advising to New York State Health Department staff. They will assist in the development of call center protocols and digital solutions to rapidly catalyze progress and expedite workflow; and determine best ways to increase community engagement and understanding of the role of contact tracing as a public health tool.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed $10.5 million, along with organizational support and technical assistance, to help build and execute this new program.

“The numbers indicate we are past the apex of this pandemic, and while we start our work to re-open our economy we must ensure we are doing it in a way that does no harm and does not undo all of the work and sacrifice it has taken to get here,” Governor Cuomo said. “One of the most critical pieces of getting to a new normal is to ramp up testing, but states have a second big task – to put together an army of people to trace each person who tested positive, find out who they contacted and then isolate those people. This partnership with Mike Bloomberg to create an unprecedented, nation-leading contact tracing program will do just that and serve as a model for the rest of the nation.”

“We’re all eager to begin loosening restrictions on our daily lives and our economy. But in order to do that as safely as possible, we first have to put in place systems to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus and support them as they isolate,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP, three-term mayor of New York City. “I’m honored to partner with Governor Cuomo and New York State to help do that, by creating a new contact tracing program on a widespread scale. Coupled with far more testing, it will help us drive the virus into a corner — saving lives and allowing more people to begin getting back to work.”

As the state continues its work to flatten the curve, large-scale contact tracing is critical to safely and responsibly reopening communities while preserving the public health. Contact tracing helps prevent the spread of a virus by using testing to confirm if someone has COVID-19, interviewing that person to identify people they may have been in contact with during their illness and during the few days before symptoms began, reaching out to their contacts to alert them to their risk of infection and then referring contacts to medical providers and asking non-ill people to stay home for 14 days to be sure they don’t spread COVID-19 to others.

Contact tracing is a proven public health tool which can profoundly help “box in” the virus. Several countries, such as Germany, Singapore and South Korea, have used contact tracing effectively amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, those countries have been able to re-open for business quicker and have experienced fewer deaths and lower rates of infection.

You can watch the full press conference from today here.

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Financial Survival Toolkit

NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapolu has released an online financial survival toolkit for New Yorkers struggling to survive during the shutdown brought on by the coronavirus. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a serious public health crisis for New York and the economic impact to our State will likely be felt for a long time to come,” stated Mr. DiNapoli on the toolkit website.  “My office is taking many proactive and positive steps to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and we want to help New York’s residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses alike as they navigate these uncharted waters.  We created this page of helpful resources and links to give you easy access to vital assistance and information you need at this time.  Since the situation is changing rapidly with each passing day, please check back regularly as we update this information.”

The resource categories include “Your Health,” the CARES Act, Employment Issues, Paying Your Bills, Assistance for Small Business and Nonprofit, Personal Finance Information/Education, Avoiding Scams, and Assistance for Seniors, People with Disabilities, Veterans & Active Military.  There are also links for websites with additional resources.

You can view the toolkit here.

RXR Unveils RXRVolunteer.com

RXR Realty has unveiled a new website aimed at helping to connect local nonprofits and small businesses affected by COVID-19 with volunteers from the RXR community of employees, tenants, vendors, partners, investors, and friends.

This new easy-to-use platform will match volunteers with a particular skill-set with local small businesses and nonprofit organizations.  There will also be a system to help find professional support and technical assistance in applying for various government relief programs as well as support for other skill-based needs, such as repositioning an organization in a post-COVID-19 environment.

They will also be providing professional support and technical assistance in applying for various government relief programs as well as support for other skill-based needs, such as repositioning an organization in a post COVID-19 environment.

You can find out more at RXRVolunteer.com.

US Senate Passes $484 Billion Relief Package

The Senate has passed a new coronavirus bill aimed at aiding small business and hospitals as the economic shutdown drags on.  The new bill was approved for roughly $484 billion and includes funding for more testing along with direct aid.  The agreement was passed by a voice vote after negotiations took place between congressional Democrats and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.  The bill will now head to the House of Representatives where it is expected to pass later tonight.

The new bill will inject the Paycheck Protection Program with an additional $310 billion after it ran dry in a matter of days in the first go around.  Other portions of the bill include $60 billion for community banks and small lenders, $74 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for testing, and $60 billion for emergency disaster loans and grants.

This new bill comes at a time when large swathes of the economy are suffering thanks to people practicing social distancing.  It will hopefully go towards keeping small Main Street businesses afloat while giving people a chance to bridge the gap until the country can emerge from the self-imposed lockdown.

At the same time, congressional leaders have indicated that they will not jump directly into a fourth round of stimulus related to the coronavirus.  Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he will work to call back senators for a discussion on what can be done while limiting the rising debt after almost $3 trillion in national aid has been approved.

You can read more at The Hill.

Amazon Sued for Price Gouging during Coronavirus Crisis

A lawsuit has been filed in the state of California alleging that Amazon has raised the price of essential items up to 1,000% in some cases.

Some of the goods that have allegedly had their prices manipulated include food and drink, cleaning products, personal hygiene products, medical supplies, and emergency supplies.  Specific examples include face mass, which saw an increase from $20 to $120, pain relievers, which went from $18.75 to $62.40, Flour, which was raised from $22 to $110, black beans from $4.65 to $35.99, and disinfectants, which went from $14.99 to $29.99. The suit further alleges that third party sales have also seen an increase prices as well as Amazon’s own.

What is particularly disappointing about this turn of events is that Amazon has previously trumpeted efforts to prevent price gouging on their stores.  A blog post on their site from March 23rd noted that “price gouging has no place in [Amazon] stores”.  It went on to state that “Amazon has zero tolerance for price gouging and longstanding policies and systems to prevent this harmful practice. We’re working vigorously to combat price gouging.”

The plaintiffs in the suit are Mary McQueen and Victoria Ballinger, who talked about the unprecedented times that the country is currently facing.  Thanks to efforts to stay indoors and limit contact, more and more Americans are turning to online purchases to help keep themselves stocked with supplies.  At such a time it seems indefensible that a company would try and take advantage of those same Americans, if proven true.

You can read more at the U.S. Sun.

Unemployment Claims Rise to 26 million in US

This past week saw another 4.4 million Americans apply for unemployment benefits as the economy continues to be battered thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.

The past five weeks have seen a staggering 26 million Americans lose their jobs thanks to the ongoing health crisis and social distancing efforts.  Approximately 1 in 6 Americans have seen their jobs disappear in that time as the worst string of layoffs on record continues.  Economists fear that the unemployment rate for America could go as high as 20%.

These numbers are representative of one of the biggest economic crises this country has seen since the Great Depression.  The worst forecasts predict that the nation’s output could shrink by twice as much as it did during the Great Recession in 2009.

Meanwhile, people are hopeful that the economy will rebound quickly, but some experts aren’t so sure.  While few see a downturn as long as the Great Depression, where unemployment hovered in the double digits for over a decade, there isn’t likely to be a return to normal anytime soon.

Some governors across the country have begun to experiment with a limited reopening period, but there isn’t much indication of employers hiring back large numbers of employees.  So long as people remain home in order to slow the spread of the virus there won’t be much demand for hiring.

This is mostly due to health officials warning that it simply isn’t safe to lift social distancing guidelines anytime soon.  Most Americans seem in favor of stay-at-home orders in survey after survey until the spread of the virus can somehow be controlled and public health guaranteed.

But in the meantime Americans and businesses continue to suffer with a growing sense of unease.  A record 16 million Americans had been approved for unemployment benefits, which surpassed the previous record of 12 million in the previous recession.  That number only reflects the people who have been able to navigate an unemployment system that has been bursting at the seams as states try and process the record number of requests for benefits.

Those numbers will begin to get worse as the recently passed federal aid package will now allow gig workers, contractors, and self-employed people to apply for unemployment.  States are in the process of re-working their systems to allow for those people and once they do, experts predict that unemployment numbers for April could soar to as many as 25 million.

You can read more at Long Island Business News.

Assemblywoman Judy Griffin and Long Island Main Street Alliance Host Business Resources Program

Assemblywoman Judy Griffin, Vision Long Island, and the Long Island Main Street Alliance are partnering on Zoom to hold a webinar aimed at helping small businesses. Co-sponsors include The Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, the Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce, the Freeport Chamber of Commerce, the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce, Malverne Chamber of Commerce, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, the Rockville Centre Chamber of Commerce, and the West Hempstead Chamber of Commerce.

The webinar will feature speakers Peter Fehnel from the US SBA’s NY office, Domenick Napoletano from the NYS Bar Association and Small Business Committee, Erica Chase from the NY SBDC at Farmingdale State College, and Bernard Macias, AARP LI Chapter.

The event will take place on Friday, April 24th at 10 AM.  If you are interested in registering to join you can email griffinsmallbusinesshelp@gmail.com.

SBA Offering Webinar for Programs for COVID-19 Impacted Businesses and Non-profits

The SBA will be offering a zoom meeting for businesses that need assistance in applying for programs to help counteract adverse effects from the coronavirus shutdown.  Interested parties should register for the event as there will be a limitation of just 500 people.

The event will take place this Saturday April 25th from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.  Anyone interested can register for the event here.

LISTnet and Vision Long Island partner to host Webinar on Tech Tips to Virtual Working

Doing business has changed radically in the past few weeks and will continue to change. Businesses will need to adapt by adopting remote work, implementing cloud software, having a web site customers can interact with, including, if applicable e-commerce. It can be overwhelming figuring out how to get started.

The event will take place on Monday, April 27th from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  It will be streamed on LISTnet’s Facebook page.  Registrants will get a link after signing up.  You can also watch on LISTnet Tech Talk.

Featured speakers will include Loren Wildes, President of Bar Harbor Web Design, Malay Thacker, President of the IT People, Michael Maser, Co-founder and CEO UOTech.co.

You can register for this webinar here.

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


Cameron Engineering

Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLP is a full service multi-disciplined consulting engineering and planning firm founded in 1985. The Firm is comprised of experienced and qualified engineers, landscape architects, planners, facility operators, and environmental scientists dedicated to providing professional, timely and responsive services to our clients.

A comprehensive knowledge of municipal codes, government regulations, and industry standards is incorporated into all of their work. This assures that they provide quality engineering and up-to-date solutions. The principals and senior level management are continuously involved in the planning, control, implementation, and quality review of each project. Their timely submissions and quality engineering are the primary reasons for their clients to request their services on a repeat basis.

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
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Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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