Long Island Main Street News April 24th, 2020

Check out today’s edition of LI Main Street News for day 40 of the Coronavirus shutdown. We focus on new downtown profiles, Communities Helping Communities and new resources amidst the comic pain folks are facing.

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


April 24th, 2020


Quotes of Day


“The situation is still precarious but we’ve flattened the curve.  Because we’ve taken this challenge seriously, Nassau now has had 8 days of declining COVID hospitalizations.  Ventilators are no longer an urgent problem.  We still need gowns, masks, and other personal protective equipment, but we’ve steered well clear of a darker outcome many had feared inevitable.  That’s something we’ve accomplished together.” – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran
“This pandemic has hit our Main Street businesses in a way that has many of them wondering how they will survive. Many are coming up with ways of conducting business without compromising the public. Bakeries are making DIY cookie kits to take home, restaurants are amping up takeout, realtors are filming available homes… they’re each finding their own recipe to make lemonade. And while the public must remain vigilant in social distancing, we can all find a way to safely support our local shops, be it sharing their social media posts or making a donation to those forced to close… the way through this is together,” – Town of Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.
“Food banks across Long Island are under immense pressure as they cope with an increase in demand. There is an urgent need to feed the thousands of people who have been hit hard by mass layoffs caused by the pandemic. To meet the escalating demand, the ‘Pinktie Delivers’ program will provide 10,000 pounds of grocery donations to support Long Island food pantries in need.”  – Mike Cave Co-Chair of Pink Tie
“In the eighteen years we’ve been operating our Grace Care Food Pantry, we have never seen so many people needing help. Our numbers have more than doubled, which means we have to find way more food to give out. I am so thankful for the support of Pink Tie in helping us step up during this critical time.” – Pastor Roger Blackmore, Genesis Church
“I do not charge for what I am doing. It is purely a giveback to my community that I have lived in for 51 years. For those who insisted on giving me something, I asked them to donate to the local hospital or charity that is providing food for the health care professionals. I have been involved with ‘Warriors for A Cause’ here in Mineola since its inception.” – Joel Harris of Joel Harris Photography

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 40 of shutdown – Friday April 24, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 40. 

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 to the SBA programs passed and maybe smaller businesses will start to access these resources.  Today’s community profiled is downtown Smithtown.  Our Communities Helping Communities segment brought us to the Village of Mineola.

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.

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing on his plans and criteria to end the shutdown region by region.

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

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

• One in five residents in New York have or had Coronavirus according to antibody testing.

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

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

•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 Mineola.

• Pink Tie has set up a Pink Tie Delivers system to bring food to local pantries across Long Island.   The launch started last week bringing food to the Salvation Army in Hempstead.  This week we head to 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 hosted an event with local chambers and the LI Main Street Alliance on programs that can help small business.   You can check out the call here. (Access password: 1j@44H@5)

• 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.

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

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

• In celebration of Earth Week – The Sustainability Institute at Molloy hosted a Clean Energy Task Force with nearly 60 environment and energy leaders to discuss the status of varying projects and policies.  Stay tuned for an update.

• 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.

• 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 565 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 24th message

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s April 24th message

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s April 24th 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 past June. 

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

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

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

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

• Farmingdale has released its latest list of open businesses

• A message from Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro

• The Village of Valley Stream is Supporting Small Business

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

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

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Our friends at LISTnet have a Coronavirus support page.

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

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

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

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

• Property and casualty insurance premiums were waived for small business

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

• All nonessential construction is shutdown

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses

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

• Dining Bonds created to help local small businesses

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

• Facebook has grants for small businesses

• Kiva has grants for small business

• Amazon has a grant fund for small business

• Verizon has set up a small business recovery fund

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

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

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

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

• Grants for Artists impacted by Coronavirus.

• Grants for Restaurant workers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RESOURCES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT / SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BILLS BILLS BILLS

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

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

• Up to date information in accessing unemployment from NYS DOL

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

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

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

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

• Resources for displaced bartenders.

• Resources for displaced hospitality workers.

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

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

• PSEG has a Coronavirus page that is updated regularly

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

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

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

• AT&T suspends collection activities during the Coronavirus crisis

• PSEG Long Island Halts Service Shut Offs

• National Grid Halts Service Shut Offs

• Verizon Suspends Collection Activities

 Geico postponed collectons during Coronavirus shutdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

• National Grid has updated information about their billing.

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

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

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

HUMAN NEEDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HELP NEEDED

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

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

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

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

HELP WANTED

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

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

General Listings:

Indeed
Long Island’s Craigslist
New York Jobs

Simply Hired

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

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

HOME & STIR CRAZY

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

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

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

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

• Turn off your Zoom call once you are done.

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

• How to make your own face mask.

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

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

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

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

• How to make homemade disinfectant spray and wipes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INNOVATION UNDERWAY

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

The Business Incubator Association has created an invitation to ventilate.   

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

A Long Island Distillery is making hand sanitizer.

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

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORTATION & SUSTAINABILITY

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

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

• Environmental regulation impacted as EPA Suspended all Environmental Rules

• PSEG Long Island Continues to Storm-Harden the Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

• Nassau County Map of updates from Across the County

• Suffolk County Map of confirmed Coronavirus cases

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

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

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

• Inspirational op-ed from LIBN editor Joe Dowd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW CAN I HELP?

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

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

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

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

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMPORTANT WEBSITES TO TRACK:

Northwell Health Digital Resource Center

The US Small Business Administration

New York State Department of Labor

NYS Department of Health

CDC Website

Occupational Safety and Health

New York City

Nassau County

Suffolk County

Town of Hempstead

Town of North Hempstead

Town of Oyster Bay

Town of Babylon

Town of Brookhaven

Town of East Hampton

Town of Huntington

Town of Islip

Town of Riverhead

Town of Shelter Island

Town of Smithtown

Town of Southampton

Town of Southold

City of Glen Cove

City of Long Beach

MTA Information

School Closings

AARP’s Updates on the Coronavirus

Island Harvest’s Food Pantry Tracker

Suffolk County Alliance of Chamber’s Disaster Relief Information

Global Dashboard of Infection Data

Worldometers Coronavirus totals in the US

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In Memoriam


Hon. Ernest Strada, Former Westbury Mayor

Former Westbury Mayor Ernest Strada has passed away.

Mr. Strada served faithfully as the mayor of Westbury for 28 years and left behind a legacy of community and independence that has become a defining characteristic of the Village.  He grew up near the center of the village that he would eventually came to serve.  He grew up in the community and even attended college at what would eventually become Farmingdale College.  All of that led to an intimate knowledge of the surrounding area and its residents.

His career in village government began in 1971 when he was appointed to the Village Zoning Board and eventually would serve on the Village Board of Trustees in 1974.  Mr. Strada went on to be elected Mayor in 1981, serving 7 full terms until he retired in 2009.  In that time he was a tireless advocate for Westbury and its residents and eventually became the mentor of current Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro.

One of his defining moments was standing up to Albany in defense of the Village during the Northern State Parkway widening.  Westbury prevailed, and then-Governor Mario Cuomo eventually came to Westbury to sign a settlement agreement.  He was also one of the first proponents of downtown revitalization and spearheaded the organization of the Westbury BID.

Vision Long Island offers our sincere condolences to Mayor Strada’s family and friends as well as all those who were inspired by him during the course of a life in service.

You can read more about Strada and his life at Long Island Business News.

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 565 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.

Smithtown

For decades, the charming and history rich Town of Smithtown was sluggish to engage in creative redevelopment on the Township’s Main Streets. This paradigm has clearly changed these past several years. With Town, County and State elected officials working together, with participation from business and residents, the Town has begun to embrace the concept of walkable downtowns, where the combination of restaurants, stores and housing spur revitalization and vibrant downtowns.

From the Lofts at Maple and Main, the first transit-oriented development in Smithtown’s history, on the former 3.6-acre site of the Nassau-Suffolk Lumber & Supply Corp., adding 71 unit of apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail space, to pursuing efforts to improve sewer infrastructure in the local business districts, Smithtown has been making great strides towards the goal of revitalization. The consequences of Covid 19 threaten this progress. Like every local Main Street, the businesses in Smithtown, especially restaurants, are struggling to survive, but efforts are being made to blunt this damage.

The Town of Smithtown government understands the immediate challenges of balancing personal health and economic health of communities. “This pandemic has hit our Main Street businesses in a way that has many of them wondering how they will survive. Many are coming up with ways of conducting business without compromising the public. Bakeries are making DIY cookie kits to take home, restaurants are amping up takeout, realtors are filming available homes… they’re each finding their own recipe to make lemonade. And while the public must remain vigilant in social distancing, we can all find a way to safely support our local shops, be it sharing their social media posts or making a donation to those forced to close… the way through this is together,” explains Town of Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

The Greater Smithtown Chamber of Commerce, which also encourages residents to patronize local Smithtown businesses during this time, has compiled a list of local businesses open during this time.

Restaurants: Take Out & Delivery

Aji 53, Smithtown
1 Miller Place
(631) 979-0697
www.aji53.com

Andrea’s 25 – Commack
6300 Jericho Tpke.
Hours 4-8:00pm
Curb side pick up & delivery
In 5 Miles radius
(631) 486-7400
www.andreas25.com

Andersen’s Smokehouse & Grill
20 E. Main Street, Smithtown
631-292-2520
www.andersonsgrill.com

Buona Sera Ristorante & Pizzeria
88 E. Main Street, Smithtown
(631) 265-0625 10% all pick ups & delivery
www.buonaseraSmithtown.com

Butterfields- Hauppauge
661 Old Willets Path, Hauppauge
10% Off –  We Deliver within 5 Miles Radius
$20 Minimum    631-851-1507

Carrabba’s Italian Grill– Smithtown
730 Smithtown By Pass
(631) 265-1304
www.carrabbas.com

Casa Rustica – Smithtown
175 W. Main Street
(631) 265-9265
www.casarustica.com

Chop Shop – Smithtown
47 E. Main Street
(631) 360-3383

Ciro’s Hauppague
470 Wheeler Road
(631) 761-6378
www.cirosofhauppauge.

Crazy Crepe– Smithtown
71 E Main Street
(631) 656-8866
www.crazycrepecafe.com

Elegant Eating, Smithtown
739  Route 347
631-360-2211
www.askeleganteating.com

Faradays of Smithtown
17 W. Main Street
(631) 724-1031
www.faradaysofsmithtown.com

Garden Grill –Smithtown
64 N. Country Road
(61) 265-8771
www.thegardengrill.com

H20 Smithtown
215 W. Main Street
(631) 361-6464
All to orders discounted 20%
Ask about our daily specials
www.seafoodsushi.com

Insignia Steakhouse –Smithtown
610 Smithtown By Pass
(631) 656-8100
Wed-Sunday 4-8:00 pm
www.insigniasteakhouse.com

La Famiglia –Smithtown
250 W. Main Street
(631) 382-9454
www.lafamigliany.com

Luso Restaurant – Smithtown
133 W. Main Street
(631) 406-6820
www.lusorodizio

Mannino’s Pizzeria & Restaurant – Smithtown
40 E. Main Street
(61) 724-0210
www.manninosrestaurant.com

Millennium Diner – Smithtown
156 E. Main Street
(631)-724-5556 call for hours

Monte’s Pizza – Smithtown
300 Maple Avenue
(631) 979-2020
www.montespizzeria.com

Nappy Tandy – Smithtown
15 E. Main Street
(631) 360-0606
Take out after 3:00 pm
www.nappytandy.com

Old Street Pub – Smithtown
92 E. Main Street
(631) 979-9073
Entire Menu Available for Curbside
Pick Up & Carry Out &  Mention 10% Off
www.oldstreetonline.com

Prato 850 – Commack
204 Jericho Tpke
(631) 543-1400
www.prato850.com

Pace’s Steak House
Curb Side & Delivery Available
325 Nesconset Hwy, Hauppauge
631-979-7676
www.pacessteakhouse.com

Pietro – St. James
404 North Country Road
(631) 862-6129
Pick up & Delivery
www.Pietro631.com

Pita Pit – Hauppauge
812 Wheeler Road
(631) 780-6655
Online orders & delivery
www.pitapitusa.com

Ragazzi Italian Kitchen – Nesconset
2950 Middle Country Rd
(631) 265-8200
Take out12-8:00/Dinner starts @4:00 pm
www.ragazzi-ny.com

Sangria 71
1095 Jericho Tpke, Commack
(631) 670-7606
20% off All Take out & Delivery
www.sangria71.com

Spuntino
420 N. Country Road – St. James
631-686-6700
10% off Delivery & Take out
www.spuntinostjames.com
Delivery & take out 10% off

Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea – Smithtown
220 We. Main Street
(631) 360-0276
Drive-thru & Take out  Curbside 8 am-8:pm

The Green Turtle – Smithtown
716 Smithtown By Pass (Route 347)
(631)- 656-9086 Open 12:00-9:00
www.thegreenturtle.com

Tomo-Sushi – Smithtown
9 E. Main Street
(631) 724-1100
www.tomosushiny.com

Villa Sorrento – St. James
823 Jericho Tpke
(631) 265-9865
Curbside pick up 12:00-8:00
www.villsorrento.com

Vitality Bowl
Smithtown location temporarily closed
Visit Commack Location for take out
(631) 489-5369
Open every day 10:00am-6:00pm

Wild Ginger – Smithtown
69 Smithtown Blvd.
Take Mon-Fr 12:00-9:00
Sat. 12:30- 9:00
(631) 265-2800
www.wildgingersmithtown.com

Cleaners

Choice Cleaners – Hauppauge
902 Wheeler Rd
Tues-Thurs  8am-6:00pm & Saturday 9am-4:00
(631) 360-3988
Pick up & delivery services
www.choicecleanersdelivery.com

Physical Therapy 

New York Physical Therapy
Offering tele-health & e-visits
Ronald J. Bredow, PT
www.Nyphysicaltherapy.net
(631)864-6008

Sunshine Physical Therapy
297 Commack Road
(631) 499-1038
Email.VenicePT@aol.com
Open for Patients-Mon.Wed. & Friday
And will schedule visits at your home.
Also Telehealth (TelePT) visits.

Restoration Companies
Disinfecting Offices & Residences

Restoration 1 of Suffolk – (631) 320-2008

Puro-Clean of Smithtown – (631) 652-6300

Servpro of Greater Smithtown – (631) 265-9200

Mineola Porch Project

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” — Aaron Siskind

A unique and imaginative pursuit has sprung out of the social separation caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. “Porch Project” photoshoots are popping up all across the country. Local photographers are using their skills to spread some local cheer as families deal with being cooped up at home. Through the use of social media, these talented community members are arranging drive by family photoshoots that take place on the front porches of homes. Photographers are capturing family images, maintaining social distance of course, during this troublesome time.

Joel Harris, owner of Joel Harris Photography, has been doing just that, dubbing his pursuit the “Mineola Porch Photos.”

Joel’s philosophy on taking photographs, “It’s all about capturing a feeling, the emotion. It’s about that moment, stopping action, so when you look at the picture in a week, month, year or decade, you can smile and say to yourself: ‘I remember that’.”

“This project has gone way way past Mineola,” Harris explains. “I have now photographed in Mineola, Alberston, Williston Park and Garden City. You call me, I come with camera in hand. I love taking pictures and have been doing this now for 42 years. After hearing about this being done in other area of the country, I wanted to bring it home. It’s all about community.”

Harris is also president of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce and Treasurer of the Nassau Council of Chambers. “That’s what we do… anything to help our communities grown and become stronger, no matter what the obstacle is,” says Harris.

“I do not charge for what I am doing. It is purely a giveback to my community that I have lived in for 51 years. For those who insisted on giving me something, I asked them to donate to the local hospital or charity that is providing food for the health care professionals. I have been involved with ‘Warriors for A Cause’ here in Mineola since its inception,” Harris notes. 

Harris acknowledges, “The response has been an overwhelming success in the community and I have taken over 750 so far. I have also photographed a ‘drive by birthday celebration’ for an 11 year old girl. I love taking the pictures and then sending them to the families. If it puts a smile on their faces, I succeeded in what am doing.”

Photographers are making lasting memories in this difficult time. Families are stuck in their homes and want something to do, photographers want to take pictures. A perfect match. Kudos to Joel Harris Photography for keeping families smiling during this challenging time.

State Health Department Will Partner with Attorney General to Investigate Nursing Home Violations

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

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the State Department of Health is partnering with Attorney General Letitia James to investigate nursing homes who violate Executive Orders requiring these facilities to communicate COVID-19 test results and deaths to residents’ families.

The Governor also announced a new directive requiring nursing homes to immediately report to DOH the actions they have taken to comply with all DOH and CDC laws, regulations, directives and guidance. DOH will inspect facilities that have not complied with these directives, including separation and isolation policies, staffing policies and inadequate personal protective equipment, and if DOH determines that the facilities failed to comply with the directives and guidance, DOH will immediately require the facility to submit an action plan. Facilities could be fined $10,000 per violation or potentially lose their operating license.

The Governor previously issued Executive Orders and the Health Department and CDC have issued guidance requiring nursing homes to provide personal protective equipment and temperature checks for staff; isolate COVID residents in quarantine; separate staff and transfer COVID residents within a facility to another long-term care facility or to another non-certified location; notify all residents and their family members within 24 hours if any resident tests positive for COVID or if any resident suffers a COVID related death; and readmit COVID positive residents only if they have the ability to provide adequate level of care under DOH and CDC guidelines.

Additionally, Governor Cuomo and Attorney General James announced New York State will increase staffing through the New York state professional staffing portal and expand training and technical assistance for nursing homes to use the professional staffing portal. The State will also continue to provide PPE to these facilities on an emergency basis, and families of nursing home residents who are concerned about the care they are getting can file complaints by calling 833-249-8499 or by visiting www.ag.ny.gov/nursinghomes.

Governor Cuomo also announced the preliminary results of phase one of the state’s antibody testing survey. The survey developed a baseline infection rate by testing 3,000 people at grocery stores and other box stores over two days in 19 counties and 40 localities across the state. The preliminary results show 13.9 percent of the population have COVID-19 antibodies and are now immune to the virus.

The Governor also announced a new initiative to ramp up testing in African-American and Latino communities by using churches and places of worship in those communities as a network or possible testing sites. The Governor will partner with Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Representative Yvette Clarke and Representative Nydia Velázquez on this initiative.

The Governor also announced expanded COVID-19 diagnostic testing for residents of public housing in New York City is beginning today. The Governor previously announced the new partnership with Ready Responders to ramp up testing at NYCHA facilities.

The Governor also announced that New York State will provide child care scholarships to essential workers. Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others who are needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Child care costs will be covered with $30 million in federal CARES Act funding for essential staff whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level – or $78,600 for a family of four – and will be paid at market rate for each region statewide. Essential workers can use the funding to pay for their existing care arrangement. If an essential worker needs child care, they can contact their local child care resource and referral agency to find openings.

The Governor also announced the CARES funding will also be used to purchase supplies for child care providers statewide who remain open, including masks, gloves, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula and food. Child care resource and referral agencies will receive grants totaling approximately $600 per provider. Providers looking for supplies should contact their local child care resource and referral agency.

“Nursing homes have been our top priority since day one, and the state has put in place very strict rules and regulations during this crisis to protect and support both vulnerable residents and frontline workers in these facilities,” Governor Cuomo said. “These facilities have become the optimum feeding ground for the virus, and the State Department of Health is going to partner with Attorney General Letitia James to ensure nursing homes are following the rules we’ve put in place and properly caring for and protecting our seniors as we continue to fight this virus.”

“We recognize that the most vulnerable New Yorkers are continuing to suffer through this crisis at nursing homes across the state,” said Attorney General James. “While our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit continues to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect in the system, we launched a hotline where residents, families, or members of the public can share complaints about nursing homes that have not provided required communications with families about COVID-19 diagnosis or fatalities. The hotline will also accept complaints about nursing home abuse and neglect, including failure to follow rules to keep residents safe. Every nursing home should be provided with adequate PPE and testing, and enhanced infection control protocols must be implemented to protect residents. I am grateful to the workers in our nursing homes who continue to serve and support our vulnerable residents. These workers deserve our respect and must also be tested and protected during this time. My office will continue to work hard to protect nursing homes residents and make sure their rights are preserved during this crisis and beyond.”

Finally, the Governor confirmed 6,244 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 263,460 confirmed cases in New York State.

You can watch the full press conference here.

County Executive Curran Delivers Nassau State of the County Address

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran recently delivered her State of the County address from Mineola, covering a wide array of topics related to the ongoing crisis brought on by the coronavirus outbreak. 

She opened by thanking the numerous workers on the frontline who have been going tow rok and risking their health for the residents of the county.  This of course included the healthcare workers who put themselves at a higher risk, but she also mentioned police officers, fire fighters, those in the cleaning industry, and others who are out there helping to keep us functioning.

While the spread of virus is starting to come under control, challenges are mounting and lives continue to be disrupted as we deal with the crisis.  Nassau has paid a price for all of this in lives.  The County went from zero deaths to over 1,400 in just six weeks. 

Executive Curran also praised Nassau residents who have been working to make things easier on others and provide for their friends and neighbors.  Numerous people and locations are fashioning masks and other PPE’s for those who need them while meals are being created and delivered for those who are hungry.

Nassau was among the first counties in the US to deal with this crisis.  They have worked to follow the data and listen to experts to try and stay ahead of the virus.  To that effect they have sourced PPE, shut down schools, engaged hospitals to increase capacity, and helped lead the way in response.  And it has begun to have an effect.

“The situation is still precarious but we’ve flattened the curve.  Because we’ve taken this challenge seriously, Nassau now has had 8 days of declining COVID hospitalizations.  Ventilators are no longer an urgent problem.  We still need gowns, masks, and other personal protective equipment, but we’ve steered well clear of a darker outcome many had feared inevitable.  That’s something we’ve accomplished together.”

Ms. Curran also took time to talk about the economic advisory council she has formed to help advise future steps.  That council recently conducted a survey with 90% of respondents identifying as small business owners.  Those owners have had to lay off workers or will need to by end of year, and most predict they will draw no profits for 2020.  Nassau is working with federal government to supply funding for those businesses.

She also noted that the county is working to supply food for families in need.  Nassau has partnered with charities to feed seniors isolated at home and veterans as well as other low-income families and individuals.  There is also a free pregnancy hotline for women who are expecting so they can have some answers on what will happen when it comes time to deliver.

The next step will be how to re-open society.  Part of that will be a need for fast, reliable antibody testing at multiple locations.  Viral testing is been ramped up, but more is needed.  There is also a need to focus on the hardest hit areas, and a partnering with community health clinics to increase access regardless of income or insurance status.

Meanwhile, Nassau’s finances face a dire situation.  Under NIFA and other measures, finances had begun to improve.  But thanks to the pandemic, income has declined perilously and forecasts show that it will be a difficult road ahead.  The County Executive pledged to keep taxes from being raised, pull back new spending initiatives, and work with municipal unions to cut spending where able.  However, she also stated that Nassau will work to provide for county employees who are stepping up during this crisis and deserve to have stability.

The Coronavirus outbreak remains a monumental crisis but there is an opportunity to re-open smarter and better.  There will need to be a reimagining of workplace and schools, and people are already contemplating how some workers can continue to telecommute.  Nassau hopes to continue to lead the way.

You can watch the full State of the County address here.

Vision joins with PinkTie Delivers to make Food Drops

Great week to be part of two food drops with the Pink Tie Delivers network.   One in Hempstead with our friend Pastor Charles Roberts at the Salvation Army and another with Pastor Roger Blackmore at the Genesis Food Pantry in Medford.   Both programs feed hundreds in their respective community each week.

Pastor Roger Blackmore shared his frontline experience with us: “In the eighteen years we’ve been operating our food pantry, we have never seen so many people needing help. Our numbers have more than doubled, which means we have to find more food to distribute. I am so thankful for the support of Pinktie, their volunteers have helped us step-up during this critical time.”

“Food banks across Long Island are under immense pressure as they cope with an increase in demand. There is an urgent need to feed the thousands of people who have been hit hard by mass layoffs caused by the pandemic. To meet the escalating demand, the “Pinktie Delivers” program will provide 10,000 pounds of grocery donations to support Long Island food pantries in need.”  Mike Cave Co-Chair of Pink Tie

We encourage folks to donate food to Pink Tie Delivers and Late Night chauffeurs. Some Needed Donations Include: Cleaning Supplies, Fruits, Shelf Stable Milk, Baby Formula, School Supplies, Soups, Shelf Stable Juice, Diapers, Cooking Containers, Pasta, Books for kids, Masks, Sanitary Needs, Pasta Sauce, Baby Formula, Gloves, Canned Veggies, Rice, Canned Beans, Diapers, and Sanitizer.

Sign up to donate at www.pinktie.org.

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.

Calendar of Events

The following is a list of upcoming and ongoing calendar events. Check back on each publication for updates:

Virtual Walks: The Health Education Council will be holding Virtual Walks every Monday at 12:30 pm EST and Wednesday at 3 pm EST, with a Spanish language virtual walk each Friday at 3 pm EST.

If you’re interested in taking a walk with friends while still practicing social distancing you can head to the the website here to sign up for a virtual walk. A Spanish speaking version is available here. You will then receive a zoom link and all you’ll need is a smart phone and a good pair of shoes and you’ll be in business!

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


Concern for Independent Living

Concern for Independent Living, Inc. is a non-profit agency committed to helping individuals and families to live in the community with dignity and enhanced opportunities through the provision of housing and support services. They are one of the largest housing agencies of this kind in New York State, currently serving over 1,100 individuals and families in over 240 locations. Concern offers a variety of housing options with individualized support services designed to support personal growth and independence.

Smart Talk

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

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

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

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

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