Long Island Main Street News April 3rd, 2020

Here is the latest edition of LI Main Street News. We cover the launch of the We’re Open Facebook page and various updates and resources for the day.  Check it out ….

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


April 3rd, 2020


“Now is the time to give back to our own community,  “Our actions today, tomorrow and in the coming weeks can make or break many local businesses.  We can make a real difference in the future of our small business community.  Think about who you can support and consider the many options for take-out, delivery, gas, and any purchases you will be making in the foreseeable future.” 

– Hon. Ed Fare, Mayor, Village of Valley Stream

“While we have emphatically urged our residents to practice social distancing and to stay home whenever possible, we are encouraging everyone to support their local restaurants by ordering pickup or delivery. We have some extraordinary local businesses in our downtowns, and as always, the town recognizes the importance of encouraging our residents to shop local, especially during these trying times.”

– Hon. Judi Bosworth, North Hempstead Town Supervisor

“As a former small biz owner for more than 20 years, I made my living from the loyalty of Valley Stream customers who made a difference in my business.  I know what it is to make a living and support a family in business, and I owe my success to my Valley Stream neighbors. It is so important to shop locally.  Please keep your money in Valley Stream, from deli to florist to pizzeria to gas stations.”

– Hon. John Tufarelli, Village of Valley Stream Trustee, former owner Wheeler Deli

“The Nassau Council of Chambers has always assisted chambers in getting the info their businesses members need, now more than ever before.  Getting thru the pandemic as safely as they can, using the ever changing resources that are available, so that they may weather the storm now and also be prepared to open as strong as they can when the time comes is critical.  And that time will come, and we will be there for them, because we are all in this together.”

– Frank Camarano, Vice President, Nassa Council of Chambers of Commerce

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 19 of shutdown – Friday April 3, 2020

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

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

Here are some updates for today:

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

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

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

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

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

• Our friends at LISTnet have a Coronavirus support page.

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

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

• Turn off your Zoom call once you are done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RECENT NEWS FROM GOVERNMENT

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

• Governor Cuomo’s April 3rd message

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s recent message

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s April 3rd message

• Town of Huntington Closes Skate Parks, Beach Parking Lots, Athletic Fields and Courts

• Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin calls for National Medical Disaster System resources to be deployed in the Town.

• A message from the desk of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand

• A message from Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro

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

• Village of Babylon has closed Argyle Lake

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses.

• School closures continue until at least April 15.

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 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.

• Amazon has a grant fund for small business

• Facebook has a grant fund for small business

• 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

• 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

• Verizon has set up a small business recovery fund

• 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.

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

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

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

RESOURCES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT / SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

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

• FEMA Emergency Grants for local governments and service organizations

COVID-19 Guidance: Procurements Under Grants During Periods of Emergency or Exigency

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides financial assistance to states, territories, tribes, local governments, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and other non-Federal entities. All FEMA grant programs are subject to the Federal procurement standards found at 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317 – 200.326.

This 1-hour training will help participants understand how to properly contract during emergency or exigent circumstances when using federal funds.

Target Audience:
State, local, and tribal emergency management personnel, houses of worship, and private nonprofit entities; Public Assistance applicants

Topics include:
Sole sourcing under Emergency or Exigency (E&E); additional procurement under grant requirements under E&E; use of pre-existing contracts during E&E

Delivery Format:
Online training trough Adobe Connect. If you have never used this platform, test your connection in advance here.

Training dates and access information are provided below.

FEMA Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, VI) Training Schedule:
4/6/2020 – 1:30 PM (EDT) – Phone Number: 1-888-270-9936 – Access Code: 101-7496
4/8/2020 – 9:30 AM (EDT) – Phone Number: 1-888-270-9936 – Access Code: 101-7496
4/10/2020 – 9:30 AM (EDT) – Phone Number: 1-888-270-9936 – Access Code: 101-7496

https://www.fema.gov/procurement-disaster-assistance-team

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

BILLS BILLS BILLS

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

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

• Up to date information in accessing unemployment from NYS DOL

• Status of accessing unemployment with 1000% increase in requests

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

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

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

• PSEG has a Coronavirus page that is updated regularly

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

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

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

• AT&T suspends collection activities during the Coronavirus crisis

• PSEG Long Island Halts Service Shut Offs

• National Grid Halts Service Shut Offs

• Verizon Suspends Collection Activities

 Geico postponed collectons during Coronavirus shutdown

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

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

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

HUMAN NEEDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HELP NEEDED

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

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

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

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

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

HELP WANTED

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

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

General Listings:

Indeed
Long Island’s Craigslist
New York Jobs

Simply Hired

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

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

HOME & STIR CRAZY

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

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

• 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

INNOVATION UNDERWAY

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

The Business Incubator Association has created an invitation to ventilate.   

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

A Long Island Distillery is making hand sanitizer.

ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORTATION & SUSTAINABILITY

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

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

• Environmental regulation impacted as EPA Suspended all Environmental Rules

• PSEG Long Island Continues to Storm-Harden the Grid

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

OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

• Nassau County Map of updates from Across the County

• Suffolk County Map of confirmed Coronavirus cases

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

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

• Inspirational op-ed from LIBN editor Joe Dowd

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

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

HOW CAN I HELP?

There are more than 80,000 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
– Verizon has set up a small business recovery fund.
– 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
– 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.  

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.

• 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.

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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“Support our Main Street Businesses & Each Other – Every Dollar Counts!

Multiple downtowns have teamed up to launch We Are Open” Facebook Page to cross promote independent businesses that are safely in operation for takeout, delivery and online services.

The LI Main Street Alliance featuring over 40 downtowns have launched a “We Are Open”  Facebook Page.  The page features an individual listing of well over 1,000 independent small businesses that are operating for takeout, delivery or online services.  You don’t have to leave the house for delivery or online services.  Curbside takeout can be accomplished safely with social distancing behaviors.

The real experiences downtown small business owners, associated staff and local communities face from the Coronavirus shutdown range from not great to catastrophic.

We surveyed over 375 independent small businesses and the results to date were miserable.   A 40-50% reduction in most restaurants, bars and local services in the  weeks leading up to the shutdown.  After the closure the business that remained open business are down 80-90%.  One third of all business told us they are considering permanent closure depending on the type, and expediency, of federal loans and grants, support they are able to muster if they are still open from the community and the timeframe of when the shutdown ends.

The grocery stores, pharmacies and chain stores may be busy but the independent small businesses you love may not be there or radically restructured in the coming months.

For the folks that are still working we hope you are humble, sober and aware of the fact that right now your neighbors are in pain.  

If you have resources to help – here is what you can do:

1) Like and Share the LI Main Street Alliance “We Are Open” Page on FACEBOOK
2) Patronize open independent small businesses to limit further job losses with take out or delivery services.   Patronize other Main Street businesses that are still open and where possible order services or products by phone or electronically. 
3) Purchase gift certificates from your local stores or restaurants in order to get them needed cash now to help them reopen in the future.
4) Donate to local food pantries, donate blood, help rustle up personal protective gear for front line providers
5) If you have resources to give directly to real people or to very local groups who are on the ground and getting community based help during this time.

Thankfully the problems we had from Sandy – lack of consistent information,  sluggish delivery of public governmental support and lack of private resources moving directly to real impacted people are not being repeated.   So far all levels of government have been working (remotely) around the clock with local business and community leaders to avoid these pitfalls and pull everyone together.

“Every dollar counts and safely patronizing local businesses for takeout, delivery or online services provides a bridge to keep a skeleton crew going until stimulus funds come in and the Coronavirus crisis ends.  Main Street shops are always there for community and local organizations we need now to be there for them.”  Eric Alexander, Vision Long Island/LI Main Street Alliance

This initiative is a product of collaboration with not only the 40 downtowns but the Nassau Council of Chamber of Commerce and the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers of Commerce.

Over the last two week local elected officials, chambers and civic leaders have expressed support and come together for the small businesses and Main Street villages.  Here are some quotes and testimonials of support and some actions they have taken…..

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s message to small businesses, “We will be with you for the long haul,” as the county continues to come up with solutions to the economic crisis.

We are confronted with a public health crisis that comes with great economic impacts. Residents are encouraged to safely use local essential businesses for needed goods and service.  Hon. William Doc Spencer, Suffolk County Legislator

During this difficult time, our great small businesses have been struggling. Many local restaurants and bars are still serving the public in take-out and delivery capacities. If you can, please help by supporting our local businesses.  Hon. Laura Schaefer, Nassau County Legislator

We’re reaching out to all businesses to make sure that they’re OK to see if there’s anything that we can do in the interim to help them.”   Richie Kessel, Nassau County IDA

“While we have emphatically urged our residents to practice social distancing and to stay home whenever possible, we are encouraging everyone to support their local restaurants by ordering pickup or delivery,” said North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “We have some extraordinary local businesses in our downtowns, and as always, the town recognizes the importance of encouraging our residents to shop local, especially during these trying times.”

Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy as they keep our downtowns alive while employing our neighbors and sponsoring our youth leagues.  Let’s do our part to support them by ordering takeout and purchasing gift cards during this public health crisis.” Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino

“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.

 We are suspending parking meters in Bay Shore until further notice. I, along with the members of the Town Board, wanted to do our part to encourage residents to continue patronizing their local restaurants. Anything we can do to help our local businesses to facilitate taking advantage of To-Go orders, we need to do. It’s important that during these unsettling times, we do what we can to help one another.”  “Please support all our small businesses whenever you can, but please stay healthy and safe while doing so…maintain social distancing.” – Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter

“To assist our restaurant and business community, we are temporarily waiving parking fees in the entire downtown area.” – Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci

“Our small businesses are a critical component of our Town. And although the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis is yet to be fully measured, we know it is already having a huge, negative impact on our small business community. To the brave business owners who work tirelessly contributing to the foundation of Riverhead, we are with you and working daily with Federal, State and Local officials to ensure financial assistance programs are readily available.”  Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar

“Please stand by our small businesses during this difficult time.” – Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine

“Now is the time to give back to our own community,  “Our actions today, tomorrow and in the coming weeks can make or break many local businesses.  We can make a real difference in the future of our small business community.  Think about who you can support and consider the many options for take-out, delivery, gas, and any purchases you will be making in the foreseeable future.”  Ed Fare, Mayor, Village of Valley Stream

“We need to support small business, as they do not have a long safety cord. Without this support during these difficult times, these businesses may not be here when its over.” – Village ofWestbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro

“It is important during this national emergency that we unite as a community, follow the advice of the experts, and take responsibility for our actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.  To that end, many of our local businesses are no longer open to the public, but are still in need of our support. Purchasing gift cards is a terrific way to show your support. Also, carry out and delivery are still options at many of our local restaurants and eateries.  You don’t have to cook and the restaurant is making some money – a win-win for all! As our Business Improvement District says, “Keep Lindy Healthy, Support Local Businesses, Take It To Go!”  – Village of Lindenhurst Mayor Mike Lavorata

“One of our greatest values in Babylon Village is our downtown business district. It is time to support our restaurants as best we can, as they certainly support our events, organizations and community throughout the year. To our downtown business district: should you need information on assistance during this time, please see below and email us! The Village of Babylon is here to help as best we can to assist you through this difficult time.” – Village of Babylon Mayor Ralph Scordino

 “Merchants have been dealt a significant blow and need everyone’s help in making it through,” says Village of Port Washington North Mayor Bob Weitzner.

We have been doing take out every night from a different place. We put out on the Village website, and to all residents on our constant contact, a list of restaurant’s names and phone numbers which are doing delivery and take out. We have given all merchants the SBA information to file for money.  We are trying our best to keep Farmingdale a Village to be proud of.” – Village of Farmingdale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand

“As a former small biz owner for more than 20 years, I made my living from the loyalty of Valley Stream customers who made a difference in my business.  I know what it is to make a living and support a family in business, and I owe my success to my Valley Stream neighbors,”  “It is so important to shop locally.  Please keep your money in Valley Stream, from deli to florist to pizzeria to gas stations,”   John Tufarelli, Village of Valley Stream Trustee former owner Wheeler Deli

“Our revitalization which had been taking off is now at a screeching halt.  Curbside pickup is still going on with new and old businesses.  Especially new businesses afraid of whether they are going to last.  Some are staying open to keep people employed and hoping grants come through. Our Village and Business Improvement District are showing support, encouraging people to get take out once a week.” Hon. RJ Renna, Village of Lindenhurst

“People are wondering what kind of assistance they’re going to get.  Biggest need is some kind of grants or loans that are less than the posted 3.5% interest rate.  They need very low interest loans or grants to keep going.” Hon. Dennis Siry Mayor, Village of Amityville

“We have gone from a thriving town to a ghost town and our eateries are experiencing real hardships. The restaurants are doing yeoman’s work. They need all the advertising help we can give them, especially through the use of social media.” Hon. Jean Celender, Mayor, Village of Great Neck Plaza

“We are hanging in there.  Whatever our customers are comfortable with, we’ll do.  We’ll deliver to the door, knock, or not, deliver curbside, or welcome you into the restaurant for takeout.  Everyone is different and we understand.” – Joe Carusone, owner of Vincent’s Pizzaria and Restaurant in Lynbrook

“We don’t know how long small businesses will survive, they don’t have workers, there is a lot of misinformation and we need people to stay calm.” – Harry Malhotra, South Asian Chamber of Commerce

“People are leaving businesses and are stretched to the limit. We are hoping for guidance and that some resources will come.” – Dennis Jones, Hempstead Chamber of Commerce

“Our businesses here in the village are already significantly impacted. A few retailers are still open but are only doing virtual shopping or private shopping appointments.    There are a lot of business owners and employees of those businesses who are already concerned for their livelihoods considering the government has not provided a timeline on these shut downs.  On the other hand, we are already seeing a wave of support from the community.” – Kelly Peckholdt, President of the Babylon Village Chamber of Commerce

“This is as serious as it gets for the survival of businesses, especially small, privately owned restaurants, shops, and really any and all retail establishments,” commented “We encourage all residents of Valley Stream to shop local.  When small businesses reopen they will need the help of our community more than ever.  Whenever possible now, please patronize those few essential small businesses that have remained open during this difficult time.  We can all do our part to help them survive this crisis, so when it subsides we will all be stronger together,” Dominick Minerva, President of the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce. 

“We need to work together to minimize the toll this pandemic will take on our small business community.” – Tony Tanzi, Kings Park Chamber of Commerce

“Over the last three weeks the chamber has launched a program to bring the Chamber and the Community together to support our essential workers, first responders and hard working small business owners.” Richie Krug, President, East Meadow Chamber of Commerce

“I think this is going to go on for a while. This isn’t like a storm where you lose two days, you don’t know how long this is going to last and it’s scary in that respect.” – local business owner John Murray from Kilwins in Bayshore and Patchogue, and the Hero Joint

Reports from Local Downtowns

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

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

In the meantime, here is a featured downtown for today. For a complete list of downtowns we’ve been to and what’s still open, please check out our website here.

Port Washington

Through the commitment of town, community groups and generous individuals, Port Washington’s Main Street has experienced a wonderful revitalization. Development that balances existing architecture with new zoning has generated novel and exciting storefronts, improved streetscapes and arts activities. Port Washington exemplifies public-private partnership at its best, while enhancing its community through shared ideas, expertise, time and financial support.

As the coronavirus outbreak grows, it continues to have an economic impact on downtown Main Streets, including Port Washington. “Merchants have been dealt a significant blow and need everyone’s help in making it through,” says Port Washington North Mayor Bob Weitzner. He has some advice for the community, “Shop local to the greatest extent possible. If possible, where inventory is not available in the local store, make an attempt to order through the local store and have them bring the item in through their larger network versus going to a ‘big box’ store.” Purchases you will make in the future, by now buying gift certificates, provides the merchants cash immediately to offset their large decline in immediate revenue.”

“The mood in the community is pretty resilient,” explains Mindy Germain, Executive Director of Residents Forward. “We are being proactive. The restaurants are finding creative ways to break through.” She recognizes that some “small businesses don’t know how to transition to an online presence, so the Chamber and BID are looking into creating tutorials/webinars to help.”

“While we have emphatically urged our residents to practice social distancing and to stay home whenever possible, we are encouraging everyone to support their local restaurants by ordering pickup or delivery,” said North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “We have some extraordinary local businesses in our downtowns, and as always, the town recognizes the importance of encouraging our residents to shop local, especially during these trying times.”

Here are some restaurants and eateries that are open for takeout and delivery:

Ale’Port 708-1264 take out delivery

Amalfi Ristorante & Pizzeria 883-4191 take out

Ayhan’s Shish-Kebab Restaurant 883-9310 take out delivery

Bareburger 708-9920 take out delivery

Bellisimo Pizzeria 439-5152 take out

Bistro Etcetera 472-7780 take out delivery

Bosphorus Café Grill 321-9999 take out delivery

Cactus Cafe 570-6060 take out delivery

Di Maggio’s Trattoria 944-6363 take out delivery

Diwan Indian Restaurant 439-4200 take out

Domino’s Pizza 944-5500 take out delivery

Dynasty 883-3730 take out delivery

Finn Mac Cool’s 944-3439 take out delivery

Frank’s Pizza 883-9390 take out delivery

Gino’s Pizzeria & Restaurant 944-0276 take out delivery

Harbor Deli Too 883-8877 take out delivery

Harbor Delicatessen 883-9597 take out delivery

Haven Diner 883-5252 take out

Hickory’s Bar-B-Que Grill 883-7174 take out delivery

Hinck’s Delicatessen 883-3730 take out delivery

La P’tite Framboise Bistro 767-7164 take out

La Parma on the Bay 439-4960 take out

La Piccola Liguria Ristorante

Let There Be Bagels 944-8822 take out

Louie’s Grille & Liquors 883-4242 take out delivery

Margaritas Cafe VIII 570-2949 take out delivery

Mojito Café 439-4666 take out

Mole Mole 321-9707 take out

Narinatto 883-1913 take out

Pepe Rosso 24 944-9477 take out

Port Thai Place 883-3940 take out delivery

Restaurant Yamaguchi 883-3500 take out

Saint Honore 767-2555 take out

Salvatore’s Coal Oven Pizzeria 883-8457 take out

Schmear Bakery & Market 439-4077 take out delivery

Smash Burger 439-4736 take out

Spectrum Bakes delivery custom orders available

Steiner’s Bakery 612-9730 take out

Sullivan’s Quay Restaurant & Bar 883-3122 take out

Toscanini Ristorante Italiano 944-0755 take out delivery

Tropical Smoothie Café 441-5150 takeout

Waterzooi 472-7484 take out delivery

Wild Goose 441-5505 take out delivery

Other Businesses that are open:

3V Dental Associates on call for emergencies

Alper’s Hardware 767-0508 curbside online deliver to home or store

AR Workshop Port Washington 944-6028 curbside DIY kits to go

Bach to Rock 441-5526 online instruction

Beautyfluff Cosmetics & Spa 767-7778 delivery free delivery of product

Berest Dance Center 944-6687 online instruction

Bill’s Auto Repair 883-5969 all services

Black Tie Wines & Liquors 767-9000 curbside

Bluetique 734-1002 online orders

Dance Arts Centre 883-7202 online instruction

Danceworks, NY 767-3262 online instruction

DeLux Transportation Services 883-1900 call to schedule

Evolution Pilates, Inc. 917 273 5266 online instruction

Fusion Wireless/ AT & T 944-9800 by appointment

Home Town Transportation 407-3477 call to schedule

Impulse Boutique 528-8477 online personal shopping

North Shore Vision Services 883-8388 by appointment

Om Sweet Om Yoga 944-YOGA online instruction

Pilates In Port 767-8109

Port Fitness Studio, LLC online classes

Port Pop Up Boutique 375-3940 online shopping or by appointment

Port Wireless/Verizon 944-5600

Private Prep online instruction

Rainbow Paint & Collision Co. 944-5555 emergency repairs

Spectrum Suds pick up/drop off laundry service

Suite 275 439-4480

Sylvan Learning Center 303-9955 remote tutoring

The Coding Space online instruction

Vintage Grapes 918-9999 take out delivery

wit & whim online, etsy

Yoga Life, LLC 767-9642 online instruction

Governor Cuomo Gives Daily Briefing on Coronavirus Crisis Response

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo will issue an Executive Order allowing the state to redistribute ventilators and personal protective equipment, or PPE, from institutions that don’t currently need them and redeploy the equipment to other hospitals with the highest need. The National Guard will be used to transport the ventilators and PPE across the state. The equipment will be returned to the hospital or the hospital will be reimbursed for the equipment in the future.

Governor Cuomo also announced the temporary hospital facility at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center will now be used for COVID-19 patients only. Yesterday, President Trump granted the Governor’s request for the Javits facility to accept COVID-19 positive patients.

Governor Cuomo also announced the launch of www.ny.gov/covid-19tracker, which will provide New York State’s comprehensive coronavirus testing data to the public. The website, which will be updated daily with the latest data, presents visualizations of statewide and county-level testing and results. The public can also access the testing data through Open NY at data.ny.gov, New York State’s open data portal, which offers machine readable datasets in downloadable standard formats that can be sorted, searched, analyzed and applied to new uses.

The Governor also announced the State will open a critical new COVID-19 mobile testing site for the Capital District region in partnership with Albany Medical Center, St. Peter’s Health Partners and The University at Albany. The mobile testing center will be located in a parking lot at the State University of New York at Albany campus – 1400 Washington Avenue, Colonial Quad parking lot, accessible from main UAlbany entry, off Washington Avenue, Albany. The site will prioritize tests for individuals that are among the highest risk population.  Residents who would like to be tested must make an appointment by calling 888-364-3065. There will be no walk-ins allowed and all patients must be in a vehicle.  The center is slated to be operational on Monday, April 6, at 10 am. Site hours will be Monday – Sunday, 8 am – 6 pm. 

Drive-through mobile testing facilities help keep people who are sick or at risk of having contracted coronavirus out of healthcare facilities where they could infect other people. New York is currently testing more than 16,000 people per day, more than any other state and more than China and South Korea on a per capital basis.

“We have taken extraordinary measures to build our stockpile of ventilators, masks and other personal protective equipment, but we still do not have enough,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our greatest challenge has been ventilators – we are running out of them in our most stressed regions of the state, and there are hospitals in other parts of the state that have ventilators that they are not using and I will not be in a position where people are dying and we have several hundred ventilators in our own state somewhere else. I am signing a new Executive Order that will allow the state to redistribute these ventilators from institutions that don’t need them now and send them to hospitals in other parts of the state that do need them. And when our curve is over, New Yorkers are going to take our equipment, our personnel and our knowledge and we will go to any community in this nation that needs help, because that outpouring has been there for us.”

Finally, the Governor confirmed 10,482 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 102,863 confirmed cases in New York State.

You can watch the full press conference here.

Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses Goes into Effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

Small Businesses Urged to Apply for SBA Loans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US Small Business Administration

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

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

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

Webinars will be held to help gide businesses through the application process, the times are as follows:
April 7th, 12 pm to 1 pm. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866
April 14th, 12 pm to 1 pm. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866
April 15th, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866
April 16th, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866

CDC Guidelines on Coronavirus Prevention

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

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

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

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

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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