Long Island Main Street News February 16th, 2021

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

February 16th, 2021

Quote of the Week

“Every day, hardworking New Yorkers rely on buses and trains to get to work, to get their groceries and to live their lives. But the pandemic has taken its toll on our mass transit systems. This working group will examine what the Assembly Majority can do to aid these systems and keep our economy moving safely and efficiently.” – NYS Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie
“Even before the pandemic transformed all of our lives, we were offering grants and discounts to encourage foot traffic in downtown commercial districts and bring businesses into empty storefronts. We evolved our programs to address the new realities our commercial customers are seeing, and the response has been enormous.” – John Keating, PSEG Long Island Economic Development Office
“As a leader in the fight against climate change, New York State has legally committed to generating 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035–enough energy to power up to six million homes. But there is no way that New York, New Jersey, or any other state can meet ambitious goals unless the federal government issues new wind energy area designations.” – US Representative Kathleen Rice

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NYS Assembly Speaker Heastie Announces Post-COVID Mass Transit Working Group

On February 11th, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced the creation of an internal working group which will focus on the recovery and future of the state’s mass transit systems as they mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every day, hardworking New Yorkers rely on buses and trains to get to work, to get their groceries and to live their lives,” Speaker Heastie said. “But the pandemic has taken its toll on our mass transit systems. This working group will examine what the Assembly Majority can do to aid these systems and keep our economy moving safely and efficiently.”

The working group will be chaired by Transportation Committee Chair William B. Magnarelli and will also include the following committee chairs, who will work with the Majority members of their committees: Cities Committee Chair Edward C. Braunstein; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Chair Amy R. Paulin; and Local Governments Committee Chair Fred W. Thiele, Jr.

The working group will examine challenges that transit systems across the state are facing as a result of the public health crisis, which includes a dramatic drop in ridership. The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) ridership dropped 63 percent from 2019 to 2020, and non-MTA transit systems also experienced ridership losses, some at levels of 50 percent or more. This has left these systems struggling, and many have been forced to reduce services as a result. Additionally, the working group will look at transit systems capital investment and operating needs, transit’s impact on the economy and jobs, transit deserts in rural areas of the state, social equity and addressing climate change, and ways to help cities and local governments provide efficient transit services.

“This working group is an important step in helping the Assembly Majority determine what we can do to aid our local governments as they recover from the effects of the pandemic,” said Assembly member Fred Thiele. “By working together toward mass transit solutions, we can hopefully help address the needs of this critical service that New Yorkers rely on every day to survive.”

Responding to this announcement, with an eye towards Long Island, Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island and LI Main Street Alliance, remarks, “Our Main Street businesses, residents and local workforce rely on robust and reliable mass transit for economic recovery. Assaults such as service cuts and fare increases due to the Coronavirus shutdown must be prevented and resources increased to strengthen our transportation infrastructure.”

“New York’s public transit systems fully support Speaker Heastie’s creation of the mass transit working group and stand ready to lend our support and expertise to the group’s efforts,” New York Public Transit Association President Bill Carpenter said. “The COVID-19 pandemic serves as the latest example of public transportation as the mobility safety net in New York’s communities and of public transit workers as frontline heroes. We kept New York’s economy moving throughout the pandemic, we will play a key role in its recovery, and through our work together with the working group can ensure its future success.”

Click here for Speaker Heastie’s press release

Curfew Pushed Back for Restaurants, Gyms, Casinos, and Billiard Halls

As numbers fall in the region, Governor Cuomo has announced the easing of restrictions on businesses, including the relaxing of a 10 pm curfew that had been implemented recently.

Citing the falling numbers for hospitalizations and infections, Cuomo has announced that restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, casinos, and billiard halls will be allowed to stay open until 11 pm beginning this week.  He also announced the New York City Restaurants can reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity and that arenas with testing protocols will soon be able to open at 10% capacity.  Wedding receptions with less than 150 people will also be able to reopen, also with testing protocols in place.

“Hospitalizations and the positivity rate continue to decline, and with the holiday surge now in our rear-view mirror, we must keep taking steps to further re-open the economy safely and responsibly,” Governor Cuomo said at a press conference this past weekend.

You can read more at the North Fork Patch.

Senator Schumer Announces $25 Billion Proposal for Restaurants

As part of the COVID-19 Relief Package being negotiated in Congress, there’s a proposal for $25 billion in relief funds for restaurants.

According to US Senator Chuck Schumer, the funding has bipartisan support in Congress and will be used to help restaurants, bars, brewpubs, taprooms, caterers, and other food service or drinking establishments.  The money would build on the Paycheck Protections Program (PPP), but would expand to allow owners to use the money for mortgage payments, utilities, or other bills.  The flexibility is key to the package, allowing establishments to seek broader relief.

“I know what restaurants go through,” said Schumer, whose father was a small business owner, at an event in upstate New York. “I know the struggle.”

Qualifying restaurants could see up to $5 million in funding if they are approved for help.  Restaurants groups with 20 or fewer locations could qualify for up to $10 million.  Restaurants will be able to apply for cost relief spanning from February 15th, 2020 through to the end of 2021.

You can read more at NYup.com.

PSEG Offers Corporate Philanthropy for Struggling Long Island Businesses

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PSEG Long Island has been working tirelessly to provide over $2 Million in grants and funds across the regions. 

This support has come in the form of downtown grants and equipment for outdoor dining.  Grants have been distributed as part of several programs designed to prop up our local downtowns.  These include the Main Street Revitalization program and offering discounts to new businesses that have opened in previously vacant storefronts.  Over a dozen members of the LI Main Street Alliance were able to access these resources to help keep local business districts open. 

“Even before the pandemic transformed all of our lives, we were offering grants and discounts to encourage foot traffic in downtown commercial districts and bring businesses into empty storefronts,” said John Keating, who runs PSEG’s local economic development office and is also a Vision Long Island Board member. “We evolved our programs to address the new realities our commercial customers are seeing, and the response has been enormous.”

The pandemic really showed PSEG’s commitment to supporting local businesses.  The company has begun to offer grants specific to restrictions put on small businesses.  These include “Outdoor Spaces” grants so that chambers of commerce could transform sidewalk areas and plazas into retail and dining areas.  There is also a temporary “Small Business First” program that increases existing rebates for small businesses to install new, energy-efficient lighting, appliances, and other fixtures.

Vision Long Island is happy to see the impact of actual corporate philanthropy on Long Island.  We’re happy to see these kinds of programs for small businesses that are most in need during these tough times.

You can read more in LI Business News here.

Call for Federal Action on Offshore Wind Development

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act into law on July 18, 2019. This action established a legally binding commitment to generate 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by the year 2035. Currently, New York State is poised to benefit from five proposed offshore wind projects in federal waters: Empire Wind (816 megawatts, 15-20 miles south of Jones Beach), Sunrise Wind (880 megawatts, 30 miles east of Montauk), South Fork Wind (130 megawatts, 35 miles east of Montauk), Empire Wind 2 (1,260 megawatts), and Beacon Wind (1,230 megawatts). These projects, however, cannot get underway until the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), a federal agency within the Department of the Interior, finalizes new Wind Energy Areas and holds new lease auctions.

U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (NY-04) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) recently sent a bipartisan letter with members of the New York and New Jersey congressional delegations to BOEM requesting the agency swiftly designate final Wind Energy Areas in the New York Bight and hold new lease auctions for potential developers.

Representatives Rice and Pascrell’s letter renews the call for action made to BOEM in a New York delegation letter sent in August 2020. BOEM was scheduled to announce Wind Energy Areas (WEA) in early 2019, but two years later, final designations still have not been made. Final WEA designations must be issued by BOEM prior to lease auctions in order for developers to bid on the right to apply for federal permits to construct wind projects in these areas.

The February 12th letter was also signed by U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Tom Reed (NY-23), Donald M. Payne Jr. (NJ-10), Grace Meng (NY-06), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03), Joseph D. Morelle (NY-25), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), and Ritchie Torres (NY-15).

“As a leader in the fight against climate change, New York State has legally committed to generating 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035–enough energy to power up to six million homes,” Rep. Kathleen Rice states. “But there is no way that New York, New Jersey, or any other state can meet ambitious goals unless the federal government issues new wind energy area designations.”

“Harnessing the power of wind energy is integral to revitalizing our economy, creating good jobs and transitioning our grid to green, renewable resources,” remarks New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky (9th District).

According to Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island and LI Main Street Alliance, “There are clearly concerns about Long Island’s energy future and a focus on renewables and energy efficiency is necessary. We do know that offshore wind projects provide alternative energy, are economically viable and have broad community support.”  

According to Joe Martens, Director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, “This designation and subsequent leasing of new wind energy means family wage jobs, upgrades and investments in the region’s ports, reduced pollution and greenhouse gases and billions of dollars in new investments Without new lease areas off the New York and New Jersey coastline, neither state will be able to meet their aggressive renewable energy and climate goals.”

Kevin S. Law, President & CEO of the Long Island Association states, “Additional investments in offshore wind and renewable energy jobs will help strengthen the Long Island economy.”

“Wind energy is blowing into New York and has become instrumental in the historical transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” explains Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “The progress in reducing our carbon footprint is real but now we need for BOEM to advance wind energy areas so the transition can continue. The five proposed offshore wind farms will take us halfway to our goal of 9,000mw of offshore wind power, but we will not meet our full mandate without additional designated wind energy areas. We are at a critical juncture in changing the way we produce energy and we need the new administration to advance this important piece of the renewable energy puzzle and designate additional wind energy lease areas in the New York Bight this year.”

Action is long overdue.

The full text of Rice and Pascrell’s letter can be found here.

Long Island Main Street News, Under Production, makes Extended Interviews with Local Leaders Available

Vision Long Island has been in the process of interviewing some of our community partners: local civics, small business/chamber friends, municipal officials and local food pantry and religious leaders. 

As part of these efforts, we have reached over half of the communities we work in and are starting now to connect to some of our friends not rooted in any one community from development, design and infrastructure professionals and environmental leaders as well.   These interviews will be pieced together into a future show titled “Long Island Main Street News,” but, in the meantime, you can view an extended version of these interviews here.

Special thanks to our guests for sharing their experiences, to our friends at Pink Tie for providing access to their studio, and to Rob Comforto from Videomasters for the filming and production.

We were back with another edition of the LI Main Street News interviews last week connecting with some of our representatives in Albany.  Here we were able to have a candid conversation with NYS Assemblywoman Taylor Darling who represents West Hempstead, Hempstead, Freeport and many other communities in Nassau County.

Assemblywoman Darling spoke about the challenges facing her constituents from the pandemic in the areas of education, health and impacts to local businesses.  She shared her support of keeping local zoning intact so communities can shape the changes in their own neighborhood.  She also supported the bipartisan efforts underway for the Albany officials to get their power back so they can have a stronger say in policymaking

Great to have the Assemblywoman join us and happy to see her fighting hard for her local communities.  

Check it out here.

Our next interview connected us to the partners of a new company called Trellus: Adam Haber, JR Jensen, and Brian Berkery.

This new company that can help downtown businesses by creating a shipping platform that can get local products to customers the same day.  They are starting up in Nassau County and parts of Western Suffolk and surely worth exploring to help our businesses compete with Amazon and others.  

Pleasure to have a new technology platform in the corner of brick and mortar stores out here.  

Check it out here.

Our next interview connected us with Nassau Legislator Debra Mulé.  Legislator Mulé shared her experience working in her district on downtown revitalization, pedestrian safety, coronavirus relief, park improvements, and a slew of other initiatives,

Her ability to work in a bipartisan manner with her local businesses and residents has allowed her office to provide a range of public services.

Check it out here.

Keep an eye on Vision Long Island’s Facebook page here, where we’ll be premiering a new Main Street News Interview daily! Simply follow us if you have not already and you should get alerts before a new video debuts.

Here is our upcoming schedule of interviews for the rest of the week, so be sure and tune in for any that you are interested in:

Tuesday, February 16th
Suffolk County Legislator Steve Flotteron

Wednesday, February 17th
Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey

Thursday, February 18th
Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman

Friday, February 19th
Michele Schimel, State of New York Mortgage Agency

NYS Vaccination Guide Now Available

The State of New York has prepared a guide to help eligible New Yorkers schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at a state-operated distribution site.

· Appointments are REQUIRED. To make an appointment, you can call the hotline or go the New York State eligibility website using the links below;
· New York State Vaccination Hotline: 1-8333-NYS-4-VAX (833-697-4829). The Hotline is open 7 days a week from 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM;
· Check your eligibility at this site:  https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ You can also locate the site by googling “New York am I eligible.” If eligible, you will be able to move forward and search for an appointment near you at a state-operate distribution location;
· For further information, the New York State website is a great resource: www.ny.gov/vaccine.

Approximately 10 million New Yorkers are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. The federal government has increased the weekly supply, but New York’s vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.

The ‘Am I Eligible’ screening tool has been updated for individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions with new appointments released on a rolling basis over the next weeks. Starting next week, local health departments will also receive vaccine allocations for these individuals. New Yorkers can use the following to show they are eligible:

  • Doctor’s letter, or
  • Medical information evidencing comorbidity, or
  • Signed certification

A reminder: Appointments are based on vaccine supply. Supply is currently limited.

LIA and SCRI Asking for Small Business Feedback

Working in partnership with the Long Island Association (LIA), the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) is asking you and other Long Island business leaders to take an online survey in which you assess current and future economic conditions and share how today’s economy is affecting your business.  

Of course, your participation is voluntary and SCRI will protect your anonymity.  Your participation will inform you and other business leaders as well as policy makers as to the reality of doing business on Long Island.

We will share the results in aggregate form on our website, through the LIA and at virtual events for business leaders across Long Island this spring.

Please go to this link to take the survey.

SBA New York Hosting PPP2 Webinars

The SBA New York office is holding webinars on the SBA PPP 2 program many days next week.  Important to take advantage of this program and get your paperwork in order to apply.

Check them out:

Thurs, Feb. 18, 2021 at 1:00PM East Time (Specialty Food Association)
PPP Forgiveness All New Forms: 3508, 3508S ($150,000), 3508EZ released on 1/19.
Registration information will be announced when it is available

Fri, Feb. 19, 2021 at 12:00PM East Time (Manhattan Chamber of Commerce)
SBA Coronavirus Relief Five Programs : PPP 1st and 2nd Draw Loans, PPP Forgiveness, EIDL, https://app.livestorm.co/manhattan-chamber-of-commerce/sba-coronavirus-relief-five-programs-summaryhttps://app.livestorm.co/manhattan-chamber-of-commerce/sba-coronavirus-relief-five-programs-summary

Westbury Carle Place Chamber to Host Restaurant Week

From February 21st to 28th, the Westbury Carle Place Chamber of Commerce will be hosting “A Taste of Westbury and Carle Place,” a weeklong restaurant events. 

The event will feature a number of restaurants from their local downtowns.  You can see the participating restaurants on the chamber’s website here.

For more information please contact us or call Peter at 516.439.9161 or Jerry at 516.300.2982.

American Heart Association Invites you to Undesign the Redline

As we work to address housing security, it’s important to understand the legacy practices that result in many of the health and housing issues our communities face.  Please join us in learning more about that topic in “Undesign the Redline” — A Virtual Workshop on Understanding Redlining with our colleagues at Design the We.

We are pleased to provide access to this experience through the support of the Kresge Foundation.

Upcoming Events

•          February 18 – Connect with the CEO: Solving Women’s Top Health Threats
•          February 22 – Research Goes Red LiveEmPOW
•          February 25 – ERED Black Women and Well-being Roundtable – details below

EmPOWERED Black Women and Well-being Roundtable  – Thursday, February 25, 2021, at 8:00 pm EST. Amy Dubois Barnett, VP of Digital for BET, will moderate a discussion on health equity, COVID-19, and the vaccine with the sorority Presidents from the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and The Links, Incorporated.

Anna Kaplan to Host Event on Resources for Small Businesses

With so many new and evolving programs and resources for small businesses from the federal and state governments, it can be hard for a small business owner to keep up and know what’s out there.

Get updated about new programs, free resources, grants, and special loan programs that you may qualify for as a New York small business owner by joining this informative webinar.

Small Business Experts from the US Small Business Administration and NY’s Empire State Development will present on available programs and resources, and they’ll answer your questions during an extended Q&A portion.

Wondering if the new round of PPP or EIDL are a good fit for you? Looking to take your business online with Empire State Digital? Looking for a mentorship program to learn more and help grow your business? This is the event for you.

Tune in on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 from 7pm – 8:30pm.

There is no cost to join, but you are encouraged to click the “Going” button on this page to RSVP.
Questions? Contact Senator Kaplan’s office at 516-746-5924 or email mailto:kaplan@nysenate.gov

JME University Offering Classes on Entering the Event Industry

JME University if offering a workshop series is geared towards entrepreneurs launching a business in the event industry, new business owners who want to get to the next level or empower their teams to help them grow.

Each workshop available in these workshops will include exercises, networking opportunities, resources and suggested reading lists that will help participants take action towards meeting their goals.  During the last two workshops, participants will be introduced to business consultants who will share expert advice and experienced event industry professionals who can provide mentorship.

Upcoming workshop dates and titles will include:

Getting Your First Clients: 3/17/21, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Preparing Contracts & Pricing: 3/24/21, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Event Management: 3/31/21, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Essential Business Skills: 4/7/21, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Running a Professional Business: 4/14/21, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Meet Your Event Pro Mentors: 4/21/21, 7:00PM – 8:30PM

Workshops will cost $100 for each virtual session, with discounts depending on the number of classes registered.

You can view a full syllabus of the classes here, and can register by emailing Hello@josiemichelleevents.com

Applying for the Second Round of PPP Loans for Small Businesses

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been revived, with $280 billion available for a second round, for small businesses still struggling to make ends meet. Monday, January 11th, was the first day to apply for this new, potentially forgivable, federal loan.

What you need to know about PPP Loans:
PPP loans are forgivable loans, meaning the money doesn’t need to be repaid if it meets the criteria laid out by the Small Business Administration. They have an interest rate of one percent and the current batch will mature in five years. The loans require no collateral and come without fees. Borrowers must spend at least 60% of the loans on payroll, with the other 40% going to other eligible operating expenses. Forgiven PPP loans are not considered income for federal tax purposes.

Differences in Round 2:
Targeted funds are being made available for the most vulnerable businesses; restaurants can get bigger loans; the forgiveness process is simpler; the tax break for PPP loan recipients have gotten bigger; and there is an expanded use of funds.

Eligibility for PPP funding:
For round 2 of the PPP funding, both first-time and second-time qualified borrowers are eligible to apply. First-time borrowers can apply for loans up to $10 million.

PPP applicants who are seeking funding in addition to what they received earlier in the year (also known as Second Draw Loans) are eligible for loans up to $2 million provided they meet the following requirements:
–          Employ fewer than 300 people (down from 500);
–          Have used or will use the full loan amount granted to them in their first round of PPP funding;
–          Can show a 25% gross revenue decline in any 2020 quarter compared with the same quarter in 2019 (if a business was out of operation for a portion of 2019, they can use different quarters to compare gross receipts.)

How and when to apply:

SBA reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for First Draw PPP Loans the week of January 11, 2021. SBA will began accepting applications for Second Draw PPP Loans on January 13, 2021.

To promote access for smaller lenders and their customers, SBA will initially only accept Second Draw PPP Loan applications from participating community financial institutions (CFIs), which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries. Paycheck Protection Program lending will reopen to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. At least $25 billion is being set aside for Second Draw PPP Loans to eligible borrowers with a maximum of 10 employees or for loans of $250,000 or less to eligible borrowers in low- or moderate-income neighborhoods.

Applications close on March 31, 2021.

How much can a business borrow?
Loans are capped at 2.5 times an applicant’s average monthly payroll costs in the one year prior to the loan being issued (3.5 times for restaurants and other eligible hospitality businesses).
Loans are limited to a maximum of $10 million for first time PPP borrowers and $2 million for second time borrowers.

What can the money be used for?
The loan proceeds can be used to cover a business’s payroll and certain other expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures.

What about loan forgiveness?
If a business uses at least 60% of the loan on payroll expenses and maintains its employment levels during the covered period of the loan, it can apply to have the loan forgiven. Otherwise, the loans carry a 1% interest rate and a maturity of five years.

For further information, and to apply, click here.

Nassau County Reopens Restaurant Recovery Grant Program

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is pleased to reopen the portal below to accept more applications for the Restaurant Recovery Grant Program (RRGP).

The program is intended to support full-service restaurants – the industry hit hardest by the pandemic – during the winter months when outdoor dining is limited and as restaurants adjust to New York State’s COVID-19 safety restrictions and new mandates. Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) are encouraged to apply.

Nassau County is using funding made available through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to provide grants to restaurants. Grant funds are valued at either $5,000 or $10,000 depending on the number of employees.

If you have not already begun the application process and would like to APPLY, click here: https://zoomgrants.tools/zgf/nassaurestaurantrecovery

Eligible businesses that have been APPROVED to receive Restaurant Recovery Grant Program (RRGP) funding are shown in the list at this link. These businesses will receive a direct email from the Restaurant Recovery team this week, requesting confirmation of bank details so that the grant can be disbursed. Please watch for the email from nassaurestaurants@ndconline.org.

Restaurants that have applied to the RRGP but do NOT see their business on the list at the above link must get in touch with the Restaurant Recovery team immediately to complete their applications at nassaurestaurants@ndconline.org and 1-646-825-9617.

For any questions, please contact the Restaurant Recovery team at nassaurestaurants@ndconline.org and 1-646-825-9617.


Please email any RRGP questions to the Restaurant Recovery team at mailto:nassaurestaurants@ndconline.org.

Check back to this webpage for any RRGP updates!

Program Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Businesses

• Full-Service Restaurants (NAICS code 722511) engaged in providing food services and meals prepared on-premises to patrons who traditionally order and are served while seated (i.e., waiter/waitress service)
• Restaurant Establishment must have a current and valid Nassau County Department of Health Food Service Permit

General Eligibility

• Located in Nassau County
• In operation on or before March 1, 2019
• Must have 50 or fewer Full-Time equivalent (FTE) employees
              o Maximum $5,000 grant – 0 (sole proprietor)-10 employees
              o Maximum $10,000 grant – 11-50 employees
• Must agree to create or retain at least one low/moderate-income job at full-time status
• Must certify and demonstrate that they have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19

Eligible Expenses

• Grant funds to cover working capital and operating expenses including:
            o payroll, rent, utilities, purchase of PPE and sanitation supplies; lease or purchase of equipment like kitchen equipment or delivery vehicles; or COVID-19 related business improvements like patio heaters or contactless technology.

Ineligible Businesses

• Non-profit organizations
• Businesses with greater than 50 employees
• Businesses in violation of New York State Executive orders relating to the COVID-19 pandemic or other State, County or local ordinances
               o e.g., EO 202.74 effective Friday, November 13 at 10 PM
                               ▪ SLA FAQ: https://sla.ny.gov/Guidance-COVID-Related-Closing-Times

Keep an eye on the restaurant recovery page on Nassau County’s website for more information and to apply once the grant program becomes available.

Project Warmth Emergency Fuel Fund Opens for Families in Need

One out of three households on Long Island don’t earn enough to make ends meet or heat their homes during the bitter winter months. Many working families are not earning enough money to maintain self-sufficiency and seniors on fixed incomes are having a hard time making ends meet.

Since 1994, United Way of Long Island has helped area residents in need of home heating to keep warm by joining hands with individual donors, nonprofit, corporate and union partners in support of Project Warmth. Project Warmth began operation in 1994 to help Long Islanders who did not qualify for Federal assistance programs due to income guidelines.

If a crisis strikes any of these households, they may be forced into making financial compromises and trade-offs that could be detrimental or even life-threatening. Project Warmth’s Emergency Fuel Fund can make a significant difference for families in our region.

As Long Island’s only non-governmental, island-wide emergency fuel fund, Project Warmth is a safety net for financially struggling individuals and families who are unable to pay their heating bill. This program provides a one-time grant for fuel and/or fuel-related electricity. Payments are made directly to oil and utility companies on behalf of eligible residents facing heating emergencies. For the hundreds of families we help each year, assistance with an oil delivery or utility arrears means they have room in their budgets to cover essentials like food or medication.

If you or someone you know needs emergency heating assistance, call United Way’s 2-1-1 Long Island information and referral call center by dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-888-774-7633) Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm, for referrals to an intake site.

If you’d like to contribute to Project Warmth, you can do so here.  A listing of in-take locations is available here

Small Businesses can Apply for Emergency Funding Through the Barstool Fund

Barstool Sports, a nationwide sports company, has created the Barstool Fund in support of the 30 Day Fund to help small businesses survive.

The nonprofit 30 Day Fund was launched by Virginia technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife, Burson. Working with other business leaders throughout the nation, the Fund’s goal is to help save as many jobs as possible.

The funds disbursed do not need to be repaid, but if businesses who receive the Fund’s assistance do, at a later date, wish to “pay it forward,” they may do so by directing those dollars back to the Fund, which will disburse them to another business in need. To date, the 30 Day Fund has raised more than $8 million and is on the way to funding more than 2,200 small businesses.

Businesses in need can apply here.

You can read more on businesses that have received funding and contribute to the fund yourself here. l Delivery Option to Long Island Businesses

A new company on Long Island is providing a delivery service that could help hundreds of small businesses to drive down costs and provide expanded services to local customers.

Trellus is a new delivery service that was created by local business owners who were seeking to assist small retail and home-based businesses who are seeking to compete with national online delivery services.  They offer fast, same-day delivery that is reliable and convenient.

The company is also offering an integrated delivery option for a website shopping carts and can fill the shoes of a courier service used for sending supplies, documents, garments, and much more locally.

This new company offers a new chance for companies adapting to the changing circumstances of our economy.  The local aspect of it helps them to keep more jobs local while providing elevated service to customers who might instead rely on large, national companies that drain local resources.

If you are a local business owner, you can check their coverage area here and please consider signing up for a one-month free trial at Trellus here.

New York State Accepting Applications for NY Forward Loan Fund

New York State has opened pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund. Loans from this fund are available to small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords in New York State. New York Forward loans must be fully repaid over a 5-year term with fixed annual interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and landlords.

Small businesses may apply for the lesser of $100,000 or up to 100% of the average monthly revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or the first quarter of 2020. This loan can be paid back over five years with first year being interest only.  However, if small businesses have received either a PPP loan or an EIDL loan from SBA, they would not be eligible to apply. NYS has set a goal of 18% of total funds under this Program for Long Island

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as industries and regions reopen however, priority for New York Forward Loans will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened. Resources are available to assist in preparing applications for small businesses, landlords and nonprofits in industries and regions that have not yet reopened.

To view more details, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, click here:

If you need technical assistance through this process, please contact an Entrepreneurial Assistance Center near you and inform the counselor that you need help for the NY Forward Loan application.  You can find your closest contact center here.

Today’s Sponsor

Certilman Balin Attorneys

At Certilman Balin, the priority has always been their clients. They understand that the practice of law is a relationship business and that’s why they do more than work for you, they work with you.

Since 1965, they have been doing what they do best: serving the Long Island community.  During this time, they have met many people who became longtime clients and friends.  These relationships have grown and have helped them to develop diverse areas of practice, expanding their reach nationally and internationally.

They advocate for our clients and support their philanthropic endeavors. They understand the importance of giving back to the community and realize that clients helped them to become one of Long Island’s largest full-service law firms.

But don’t let size fool you.  The firm prides itself on that small law firm atmosphere.  When you need them, they are there to help.  You are the top priority and they respond promptly.  When you have a legal issue, they apply a collective knowledge to ensure the best possible outcome.

Smart Talk

Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director; Linda Henninger, Outreach Coordinator

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