Long Island Main Street News July 10th, 2020

Here is the latest edition of LI Main Street News for Day 117 of the Coronavirus shutdown. This issue covers the economic report that shows up to 375,000 jobs lost on LI, the debate over the legacy of Robert Moses, a new Town Square in downtown Riverhead along with new resources and guidance documents. Check it out…..

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


July 10th, 2020


Quotes of Day


“This is the equivalent of if we got struck by a category 5 Hurricane here. Except, in this case, the hurricane stayed for months instead of passing in 24 hours.” – Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
“[The report] also reveals a disproportionate share of those jobs lost across Long Island include Hispanic and Latino workers, low-paying jobs, and workers with low level in education.” – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 117 of Coronavirus Economic Shutdown –
Friday July 10th, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 117.  A devastating economic report was released this week that showed Long Island to lose up to 375,000 jobs and a loss of $61 billion due to the Coronavirus shutdown.   None of this is a surprise to folks who are experiencing the economic pain but the report is very helpful to quantify it for those that have not been sensitive to these realities.

Thankfully the SBA’s PPP program was extended to August 8th with over $100 billion still available more outreach is needed to get businesses into the program. 

Folks are urged to be safe and wear masks and socially distance wherever possible in our communities with our families and friends.  No one wants this virus to spread and deal with economic and socially crippling shutdowns. 

Here are some updates:

• Here is Newsday’s story on the economic report showing huge job losses impacting our local communities.

Newsday’s Cecilia Dowd interviews N. Bellport civic leader and LI Main Street Alliance member Regina Hunt that makes the impact of the shutdowns more real. Check it out.

• In preparation for Tropical Storm Fay, PSE&G has asked that we encourage people to download their mobile app to report any outages and to receive information on restoration times and crew locations.  This can be a very efficient way to get information so please consider this alternative in order to get the most up to date information.  Outages and downed wires can also be reported at 1-800-490-0075, and an outage map can be found at https://outagemap.psegliny.com.

• Please join US Representative Kathleen Rice for an Informational Conference Call with the Small Business Administration on Tuesday, July 14th from 12 noon to 1:00 pm.  The conference call number will be 929-205-6099 and the meeting id will be 849-0661-3837.

The call will feature a conversation with a representative from the Small Business Administration and 3 Certified Public Accountants from the American Institution of Certified Public Accountants will join to answer questions about the SBA Loan Programs and to provide guidance on loan forgiveness.

If you have any questions please contact Representative Rice’s Garden City office at NY04.SmallBusiness@mail.house.gov or 516-739-3008.

• US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for $32 billion in aid nationally for our transit systems that will help fill the budget hole for the MTA/LIRR

• It is also important for people to also understand the impact to local governments and services that folks rely on.

Here is a report from NYS Comptroller Tom Dinapoli on the fiscal challenges facing our local municipalities.

• So after three months most have received their stimulus check. We hear mixed things about the timing for others but mostly not a quick process.

Some are questioning the timing on a second stimulus check here is a timeline that could be anyone’s best guess.

• In a surprise to no one the combination of a public health crisis, the crippling economic crisis brought on by the shutdown for the vast majority of americans who are middle class, working class or poor, the adjoining social crisis of mental health, domestic abuse, drug, alcohol use, isolation, fears and add the racial divisions that have centuries old roots have brought us to a place where we are not only divided but intensely angry.

With all that said folks can’t speak about anything on any side in public for fear of reprisal so it all gets repressed. Privately you even have to be careful who you talk to and what about due to the broadening cancel culture.

This article has some good tips which includes unplugging yourself from national and social media and other sources of division for at least parts of your day. I would suggest in this climate that you incorporate anger management in your daily life just like you spend time eating healthy, working out etc it is just as important if not more.

• For months through the Coronavirus shutdown everyone has talked about short and long term strategies including stay at home orders, all sorts of distancing, masks, quarantines, varying medical treatments and pending vaccines. No one has been talking about herd immunity which may be very important if there is a second wave. Check out the article in the NY Times.

• So Main Street leaders were happy to see a Phase 4 opening this week which included museums, historical sites and aquariums among other related uses. Gyms and movie theatres that were originally part of Phase 4 opening are on hold with no guidance or timeline yet issued.

Eleven Town Supervisors have sent letters and/or held press conferences requesting NYS to allow gyms, movie theatres put back into Phase 4 openings. The gyms and movie theatres can be managed regarding occupancy restrictions and hopefully can open soon.

Phase 4 guidance has been posted in the NY Forward website: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-four-industries. Phase 4 includes:

Higher education: including but not limited to community and junior colleges, universities, graduate and professional schools, medical schools, and technical schools. ​

Low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment​: outdoor zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, grounds of historic sites and cultural institutions, outdoor museums, outdoor agritourism, local agricultural demonstrations and exhibitions; and other similar institutions/activities. ​

Low-risk indoor arts and entertainment: indoor museums, historical sites, aquariums, and other related institutions or activities​.

Media production: “media production activities” encompass all activities undertaken in motion picture, music, television, and streaming productions on set, on location, or at any production or recording site. ​

Check out the story in the LI Times.

• The July 4th weekend had a benefit to the small business community.

Thanks to the Senate and the House working in a bipartisan manner and the President signing the extension the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program is back up and running until August 8th.

There is still over $130 billion in the program so rumors that this round is out of money are unfounded.

There are new rules which changed and are more flexible to accommodate local businesses regarding the expenditures of the funds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks.

The other rumor is if your bank didn’t process you earlier (like many banks and you were not alone) is that you are not eligible or can’t apply. That is also unfounded and there are banks and other services that are processing now.

There are now materials in spanish which was another barrier for many local businesses.

As we know outreach and clear information on this program has been an ongoing problem.

Vision and the LI Main Street Alliance have had a number of webinars on this program and done other direct outreach and have been amazed that as many as 1/3 of the local businesses knew nothing about it.

Here is a Q and A that is helpful for folks who are not familiar with the program or the new rules.

If folks are having problems accessing the program please reach out and we can put you in touch with folks who can help.

• In a measure that would help downtown restaurants it seems the majority of NY’ers want to see the temporary law allowing takeout of alchoholic beverages made permanent. Check out the poll.

• Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will decide whether schools will reopen in the fall during the first week of August. New York State is now consulting with stakeholders on guidance, which will be finalized on July 13. Plans to reopen schools are due on July 31.

• Survey shows New Yorkers want in-person schooling to resume this fall

“A screen cannot take the role of the teacher”–that was one of the top-rated “thoughts” for Long Island in a recent crowdsourcing of ideas regarding how community members feel about returning to school in the fall. Using the virtual conversation tool Thoughtexchange, the BOCES statewide gathered input from more than 60,000 participants.

Overall, in New York State, these participants were mostly parents (67%) or teachers (33%). And one of the most important issues: “[they] felt it was important for in-person schooling to be held in the fall, even if it is not full-time.” The reasons included that parents aren’t trained to teach and that teacher/student and peer interactions are an important component of learning.

Other top areas of concern: cleaning and disinfecting policies and dissatisfaction with remote learning. When Long Island’s results were looked at separately, the top themes were the same. Specifically, high-rated comments included: “All classrooms should have cleaning products, tissues and hand sanitizers. We need to continue practicing clean hygiene;” and “Students need to interact and move. Not sit in one room all day.”

For more details about the data that was collected, and to download the state-wide report, visit the Nassau BOCES website.

• Rent Relief is available through The Emergency Rent Relief Act of 2020 signed by Governor Cuomo has made $100 million available to assist low-income renters in New York impacted by the pandemic through the COVID Rent Relief Program. HCR will host a webinar on July 9 to explain the program, detail the application process and answer questions. You must register to attend. Please register by emailing NewsFromHCR@nyshcr.org

The webinar will be held on: Thursday, July 9 from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST

• Please see the below information on Travel Advisories. Delaware, Kansas, and Oklahoma have been added to the incoming travel advisory. For additional information about the travel advisory, please see the links below:​

COVID-19 Travel Advisory Webpage (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory)

Interim Guidance on Travel Advisory (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/06/interimguidance_traveladvisory.pdf)

Interim Guidance for Professional Sports on Advisory (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/07/professional-sports-travel-advisory-guidance.pdf)

Interim Guidance for Medical Appointments/Treatment on Advisory (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/07/medical-and-travel-advisory-20-final.pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Advisory (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/07/nys-covid-travel-advisory-faq.pdf)

• All sorts of questions and confusion about the NYS travel advisories have emerged.   Thankfully there is now a hotline that can assist as well as a website to provide clearer guidelines.

Questions about the travel advisory can be director to the NYS Coronavirus hotline. Phone: 1-888-364-3065,  https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory

•Deadline on evictions extended:

Governor Cuomo signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, sponsored by Sens. Hoylman and Krueger and Assembly member Dinowitz, prohibits evictions of eligible tenants if any part of the county is still shut down by government as a result of the Coronavirus.

•Take your kids out of the house….

An article in the New York Times explained the importance of outdoors and children’s mental health: “Research has shown that access to green space is linked to a child’s well-being. For example, adding greenery to school play yards has been shown to increase prosocial behavior in kids. They help, cooperate, comfort and share more; the loss of access to this greenery has the opposite effect.”

Reporter Meg St-Esprit McKivigan interviewed parents in New York, California and Chicago who observed changes in their children’s behavior when COVID-19 trapped everyone indoors. And she talked to a psychologist who told her that “Prioritizing time in nature, exercise, and even some unstructured downtime is analogous to prioritizing our children’s mental health, which is more important now than ever.”

Read more.

•Suffolk Transit changes – EFFECTIVE JUNE 29, 2020

Suffolk County Transit will resume front door boarding and fare collection on all buses.

Passengers are encouraged to pre-pay their fares using the FastFare app, which is available for download through Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order, face coverings must be worn when onboard the bus.

https://www.sct-bus.org/

•We had a great call with the LI Main Street Alliance this week where we had over 30 different communities represented on the call that are working on reopening safely and looking for resources to help their downtown areas.  Kudos to Ms. Huey-Min Chuang Senior Director of Business and Economic Development of Empire State Development for presenting the New York Forward loan fund.

Please find attached the flyer that can be shared on the New York Forward Loan Fund. The NYFLF is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE. 

The application for NYFLF is available at this link: nyloanfund.com

Additional resources, such as PowerPoint presentation and FAQ can be found at: https://esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans-info

• There is a new bill in the NYS legislature that will enforce mask wearing to protect public health and allows businesses and other activities to remain open. LIBN

• If you’re looking for a fun activity for your child this summer, consider join this year’s Summer Reading Program! This year, libraries across the state will be offering a selection of exciting online and virtual programming – special events, reading challenges, fun activities, and more – throughout the summer months from June through August. To sign up for Summer Reading and find out what YOUR local library has planned for summer reading and summer learning programs, check out your local library’s website.

• La Fuerza Unida Community Development Corp. provides economic growth opportunities to low-income, minority and women owned enterprises. It serves Nassau and Suffolk counties. For information about SBA disaster relief, visit https://lafuerzacdc.org/ or call or text 516-666-5071, or email Covid19@Lafuerzacdc.org

• The Main Street Lending Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is intended to enhance support for small and mid-sized businesses by offering 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion. For more information, visit this website.

• Through funding from the federal Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) program, the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc. is offering financial assistance to eligible individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding originates from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Financial hardships/need include mortgage assistance, rental assistance, help with utility bills, food costs, transportation, funeral costs, medical expenses, etc. Applicants’ household income must not exceed 200 percent of poverty guidelines. 

For information on how to apply, please contact: Halim Kaygisiz at hkaygisiz@eoc-suffolk.com or (631) 241-2119.

• Island Harvest has launched a free food package distribution program specifically to help out our seniors in need. Food packages include items like cereal, rice, pasta, beans, canned vegetables and fruits, canned proteins, cheese, shelf-stable milk, juice, peanut butter, and soup. To qualify, you must be 60 or over, a NY State resident (US & Non-US citizens are eligible) and verify your income. To see if you qualify, contact marilyn@islandharvest.org or call 631-873-4775

• There is a website that provides training materials for Certified Nursing Assistants, and one of the skills that CNAs must demonstrate properly before being certified is handwashing.

It is a good idea to put together a handwashing guide page on our website using material from CNA training resources to help better educate the public on the proper steps for handwashing to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

• Safely accessing public transportation is critical in getting back to work and back to normal.   Here is a guide from the NY Public Transit Association on the safety measures they are undergoing.   Important for public to know what they are doing to help make riders have a safe experience.

• Great news that allows support in the form of grants and loans for truly small businesses with under 50 employees. Kudos to Nassau IDA’s Richie Kessel, other IDA’s and the many folks who supported this change in policy. Vision and the LI Main Street Alliance provided letters of support on this. Chalk this up as a victory for the little guy!

• Vision was a co-sponsor of a transit chat with US Senator Chuck Schumer who committed to securing $4billion from the federal government to assist the MTA and spoke of his efforts to combat fare hikes and support all forms of transit and walkability in general.  Check out the video of the session.

• One new resource was previewed from John Keating, Director of Economic Development at PSEG for a new grant program for local Main Streets. This grant will help local businesses build their outdoor venues for dining.

PSEG Long Island is providing grants of up to $5,000 to reimburse the purchase of materials including, but not limited to: outdoor seating, tables and lighting; durable safety materials; signage.

Funding is limited and is available first come, first served. Eligible grantees include Chambers of Commerce and Business Improvement Districts and will consider grants of higher amounts on a case-by-case-basis.

This is a great opportunity for local businesses to take advantage of and kudos to PSEG Long Island for helping local during this difficult time: https://www.psegliny.com/inthecommunity/revitalization/chambers

PSEG-LI also launched a Small Business First program to provide upwards of $2,500 in rebates to upgrade to more efficient lighting, which can help lower electric bills.  Learn more about the program and how to apply at the PSEGLI Website

 • The New York State Department of Financial Services has reached an agreement with New York’s credit reporting industry to help New York consumers facing hardship caused by COVID-19 to avoid unjustified negative impacts on consumers’ credit reports. DFS also urges New York State-regulated financial institutions to furnish credit information in ways that minimizes negative impacts on consumers.

As part of this agreement, credit reporting agencies will:

Provide one free credit report each month through November 2020; inform financial institutions of procedures that allow institutions to report missed or delinquent payments in ways that minimize the impact on consumers’ credit histories and credit scores; apprise financial institutions of their credit reporting obligations under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides relief for consumers; and communicate with financial institutions about credit reporting that may not comply with the requirements of the CARES Act.

• Some good news – for all independent contractors, gig workers etc the SBA’s EIDL loan applications are back open and a small portion of the loan is a grant that does not have to be paid back. Check it out here.

• The LIRR unveiled a new app for train times with new features.   You can check a demonstration out here.  The fully revamped app – which still contains all your original TrainTime features – is now available for a free download through the App Store

• There are now over 800 locations statewide where New Yorkers can get diagnostic testing, and in order to make sure more New Yorkers are getting tested, Governor Cuomo has further relaxed the criteria for who can get a test and created some helpful online resources. 

If you are concerned you might need a test, but you’re not sure if you meet the criteria, take the online self-assessment at https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov/ 

To locate a testing site near you, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you and enter your address to view a list and a map view of the nearest testing sites. The state has also partnered with Google Maps to display testing site results when you search “COVID testing near me” on Google Maps.

Please remember you must always schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 diagnostic test by calling 1-888-364-3065 or your healthcare provider.

• Nassau has partnered with the Nassau County IDA’s sister organization, LEAC and Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin, to introduce the “Boost Nassau” initiative which launched two new programs specifically designed to support small businesses and non-profits during this challenging time:

– Small Business Recovery Loan Program for eligible small businesses, non-profits, and MWBEs.

– PPE Kit Giveaway for eligible small businesses and non-profits, fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.

– Apply for both programs at: www.boostnassau.net

• The Governor also announced he would issue an Executive Order allowing commercial buildings to conduct temperature checks for anyone entering the building as office workers begin to return to the workplace. That executive order can be found here.

• If you’re a small business owner who offers paid family leave and medical leave to your employees, and you have an employee unable to work due to the coronavirus, you may be entitled to receive a credit in the full amount of the required sick leave and family leave. Learn more at go.usa.gov/xVwTS

• Nassau County began accepting applications from small businesses for free face masks, hand sanitizer and other personal protection equipment. Owners of businesses that have been open at least one year, have 20 or fewer employees and gross revenue of less than $3 million are eligible for the free “PPE starter kits” from the county. Each kit comes with a no-contact digital forehead thermometer, five face shields, 400 face masks, 100 pairs of gloves, 1,800 sanitary wipes and two gallons of hand sanitizer. The one-page application may be found at boostnassau.net.

• We would like to make you all aware of the Suffolk County Small Business COVID -19 Supply Request Information. You can find the form here.

Submission of this form is an agreement with Suffolk County that this business will use the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by Suffolk County only for the purpose of addressing the threat to the public health posed by Covid-19 in compliance with State Executive Orders and guidance for reopening businesses. PPE provided will consist of two reusable cloth face coverings per employee and one gallon of hand sanitizer per business/organization.

• The New York State Liquor Authority has posted new guidance on outdoor expansion of licensed premises. This is following the Governor’s early announcement that outdoor dining is permitted in phase two of reopening.​ SLA guidance can be found at this link.

The Town of Babylon sets aside a $2.5 million fund for its local small businesses.

• The Nassau County BAR Association is accepting emails for COVID-19 related legal inquiries. Emails should be sent to Covidhelp@nassaubar.org.  Member volunteers are helping residents with a variety of issues, especially landlord/tenant and employment.  They can also help answer questions about Federal Small Business Administration loans. 

• As we begin to slowly reopen our communities, its important that no New Yorker feel unsafe at work or be put into harm’s way unnecessarily. If your employer doesn’t make appropriate accommodations for your safety, for the safety of the public, or fails to provide you with PPE to do your job safely, you’re urged to call the state coronavirus hotline at 888-364-3065.

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Riverhead Receives Grant for Town Square

Downtown Riverhead got some good news this last week as $800,000 in grant funding from New York State Empire Development (NYSED) will allow the town to sign a letter of intent to purchase two properties that will go towards creating a Town Square that connects Main Street to their riverfront.

The plan for the property includes demolition of one of the buildings while the others will remain.  The NYSED grant will go towards offsetting the demolition costs.  In order to offset the costs of purchasing the buildings themselves, the Town will sell some of its owned land on East Main Street. 

A public hearing on the plan will be held at Riverhead Town Hall on July 21 at 2:05 p.m.

“The entire Town Board is unified in its commitment to promote the continued revitalization and economic development of downtown Riverhead,” Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said at a press conference. “We are confident that once the Riverhead town square comes to fruition, that downtown Riverhead will once again reclaim its position as a regional destination for Long Island residents and visitors.”

The Town of Riverhead has gone through a decade plus revitalization which includes theatres, hotels, an aquarium, farmers markets, arts events, new downtown housing, office space a community garden and upgrades to roads and wastewater infrastructure investments. This grant and purchase will allow continued expansion of amenities to the downtown area.

Check out the story in the Riverhead News Review.

Long Island Facing Severe Job Losses due to COVID-19 Crisis

A new report paints a grim picture for Long Island’s economic future as an estimated 375,000 could be lost along with a $61 billion decrease in local economic activity.

However, the pain stemming from the economic shutdown that came as a result of coronavirus epidemic is very real in the more immediate sense.  Currently the net job loss for the region is at 220,000, with the hospitality industry hit the hardest.  That section of Long Island has lost 82,000 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic.

“This is the equivalent of if we got struck by a category 5 Hurricane here,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone at a recent press conference about the report.  “Except, in this case, the hurricane stayed for months instead of passing in 24 hours.”

“[The report] also reveals a disproportionate share of those jobs lost across Long Island include Hispanic and Latino workers, low-paying jobs, and workers with low level in education,” noted Nassau County Executive Laura Curran at the same press conference.

Long Island has been losing jobs at a much higher clip than New York City and the nation as a whole.  This report highlights the need for parts of the economy to safely reopen before even more damage is done.  Still, recovery will not be easy for our region.

“[How am I doing] financially?” asked Regina Hunt of Shirley, who lost her job as a customer service representative in March.  “Horrible, horrible.  No Money.  Just living day by day.  Took forever to get unemployment.”

Both County Executives called for federal disaster aid for the region in order to rebound from the devastating losses.  They called the current economic crisis as the worst since the Great Depression while talking about how recovery will take longer without some sort of help.

Sadly, Vision has had numerous conversations with folks who are very cavalier or dismissive about the economic pain of others throughout this pandemic.  Some people don’t believe anecdotes, stories, informal surveys, or they may not travel into or have any relationship with neighborhoods on Long Island that have more unemployed, more vacancies, and longer food lines at the local pantries.  We hope that this report will have an impact on those same people.

You can read more at the Suffolk TimesLong Island Business News and Newsday.

You can also read the full report online here.

Outdoor Dining Returns to Long Island During Phase 4

Outdoor dining is one of the simple pleasures that comes along with the warm weather that rolls into Long Island during summertime. As New York struggles to recover from months of quarantine and closures due to COVID 19, restaurants have enthusiastically welcomed back patrons with Al Fresco dining.

As New York State began its phased reopening, local restaurants were finally able to start serving customers through outdoor dining. Immediately, counties, towns and villages unveiled initiatives to streamline measures to create additional outdoor dining spaces to assist restaurants and food establishments in opening safely and expeditiously. These changes include allowing restaurants to apply for outdoor dining permits for free and offering approvals within days.

In June, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced the Open Streets Pilot Program which allows municipalities to close down county roads to make it easier for businesses to use street space to increase outdoor restaurant seating capacity, while adhering to social distancing mandates. During the same time, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone assured local restaurants that permits for expanded outdoor dining areas will be automatically approved.

The Town of Huntington launched a Business Reopening Resources page to assist and simplify the process for businesses across the township, including instructions, forms and the waiving of fees. In the Town of Hempstead, during a one-month time frame, 198 restaurants applied for and 182 quickly received permits through the town’s outdoor dining initiative, which was established in early May. The Village of Great Neck Plaza created a no fee temporary outdoor dining permit for businesses that is good for a period of up to six months. In Greenport, through the efforts of many, including the Greenport Business Improvement District, innovative sidewalk expansion plans have been created.

Some Towns & Villages, such as Valley Stream, Oyster Bay, Great Neck Plaza, Riverhead, Lindenhurst, Amityville, Patchogue, Port Jefferson, Greenport and Farmingdale, created plans to close select streets to provide restaurants adequate space for socially distant outdoor dining.

And the initiatives have been hugely successful, with many Long Island restaurants creating innovative and welcoming areas to greet their guests. NYS guidelines to promote patron and restaurant employee safety require tables to be spaced six feet apart, staff must wear face coverings, and customers must wear them when not seated.

Vision Board and staff and members of the LI Main Street Alliance have been planning, promoting and frequenting outdoor dining throughout Long Island a selection of downtowns that have these options include but are not limited to:

Nassau County:
Baldwin
Bayville
Bethpage
East Meadow
East Rockaway
Elmont
Farmingdale
Franklin Square
Freeport
Garden City
Glen Cove
Great Neck Plaza
Hempstead
Hicksville
Island Park
Long Beach
Lynbrook
Manhasset
Massapequa
Merrick
Mineola
New Hyde Park
Oceanside
Oyster Bay
Port Washington
Rockville Centre
Roslyn
Sea Cliff
West Hempstead
Westbury
Williston Park
Valley Stream

Suffolk County:
Amagansett
Amityville
Babylon
Bay Shore
Central Islip
Copaigue
East Hampton
Greenlawn
Greenport
Huntington
Huntington Station
Islip
Kings Park
Lindenhurst
Mattituck
Middle Island
Montauk
Northport
Patchogue
Port Jefferson
Riverhead
Rocky Point
Sag Harbor
Shirley
Smithtown
Southampton

We are assembling a list of outdoor dining restaurants and locations so please forward us pictures as you frequent local eateries this summer!

Some Babylon & NYC Residents seek to relocate Robert Moses Statue

As protests sweep across our nation, calls to remove statutes and monuments honoring Confederate and historic figures with histories of racism and prejudice are increasing. Robert Moses has not been immune to this recent movement.

 Robert Moses, the master planner of New York State’s parks and parkways, was a controversial figure during his lifetime, and the discord over his legacy has not faded since his death in 1981. Recent national turmoil has again brought this friction to the forefront and some local Babylon and Long Island residents are advocating for the removal of the Moses 1,500-pound, seven-foot bronze statute by Jose I. Fernandez showing Moses with brow furrowed and dressed in suit and tie. The statue was erected in 2003 in front of Babylon Village Hall. Overseen by the Babylon Village Public Arts Commission, it was made possible by a $190,000 appropriation from Suffolk County.

 On Saturday, June 20th, approximately 100 people marched and protested at Babylon Village Hall demanding the removal of the statue, holding signs reading “Robert Moses Was a Racist” and chanting “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Robert Moses has to go.” Lindenhurst resident Vanessa Cardino started a petition asking the Babylon Village Public Arts Commission and the Village of Babylon to remove the bronze figure. The message, “Robert Moses has left behind a long legacy of prejudice and gentrification, specifically targeting the Black and Jewish communities. Through his role in building infrastructure throughout Long Island, he supported tactics leading to housing segregation so Long Island neighborhoods were predominantly inhabited by White Christian folks.” Tactics include construction of low bridges built on Southern State and Northern State Parkways to prevent buses carrying African-Americans and Latinos from New York City to get to Jones Beach. Today, the petition has close to 15,500 signatures.

 This message continues to spread. On July 9th, a zoom meeting, hosted by Jim Hill, a Babylon resident, offered a presentation by NYC resident Jason Haber titled “Progress. People & Power: Understanding the Racism of Robert Moses and Why It Matters.” Haber, a former professor at John Jay College and lecturer on Robert Moses, concluded those who abused their power to promote segregation should no longer be celebrated in New York.

There are voices who oppose the removal of the Moses bronze, including Babylon Village resident Diane Mahoney, who started a petition calling for the statue to be saved because Moses was “one of the greatest builders/engineers” in state history. David Bishop, a former Suffolk County legislator (1992-2005), also supports keeping the statute, saying “Robert Moses deserves his statue in Babylon because he made our New York… When historical figures leave positive legacies, as Moses did, they should be celebrated and their faults contextualized. This way, we can use the past to inspire us to a better future. Moses’ statue in Babylon remind us that we can think big and build the New York we want.”

Robert Moses legacy is one that has not been kind to local downtowns or the Smart Growth movement in general.   That movement is better represented by author, civic leader and activist Jane Jacobs who fought Robert Moses on the Lower Manhattan Expressway and other plans that would have destroyed the neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Little Italy.  Her work is more in line philosophically with the community based initiatives downtown planners, community and small business leaders and local government officials on Long Island have advanced over the last two decades.   Top down planning, which Moses exemplified, has not at all been responsible for the renaissance of dozens of local downtowns in recent years.

The question regarding Moses’ legacy is at issue, a visionary city planner and master builder who reshaped New York’s highways, bridges and parks to make such places more accessible to a wide swath of New Yorkers, or a power broker who destroyed the natural shoreline while segregating communities, along with leveling Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. The answer -as it should be -is now in the hands of local residents and the Village of Babylon.

NYMTC Seeking Input on Next Regional Transportation Plan

Our region is facing tough challenges. Despite that, considering the future is as important as ever for the region’s vitality.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) is working on the next Regional Transportation Plan for the diverse region of New York City, Lower Hudson Valley, and Long Island. Let’s work together to explore and plan for the future of transportation in the region.

There are many opportunities to participate.  Please join in to help keep our region Moving Forward.

Join a Virtual Workshop – Your Opinion Counts!

We will host an identical afternoon and evening session for each of NYMTC’s regions.  The region wide and Long Island specific workships will be:

Each workshop will have a presentation and interactive question sessions. It is suggested that participants join by desktop or laptop computer.

Meeting materials will be available upon request for those without computer access; please phone 212-383-7203 for assistance.

Ways to Get Involved:

  • Attend a virtual workshop – See dates above. Can’t attend a workshop? No problem! Workshops will be recorded and posted on the NYMTC website (https://www.nymtc.org/planmovingforward/).
  • Participate online –  Visit the project website to access our community engagement platform and participate in the interactive exercises (https://www.planmovingforward.com/). Interactive exercises are available in English, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese (traditional and simplified).
  • Share your comments – Do you have questions, comments or ideas? Submit them at the project website or (www.nymtc.org/planmovingforward/Contact) call at 212-383-7203.
  • Follow us on social media – See project videos, posts, and information by following @NYMTC on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

‘Zoom’ to New Heights with Project Independence

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the Project Independence and You radio show wanted to continue to provide timely and important information to the senior residents of North Hempstead, caretakers and service professionals. Previous guests and topics included Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Congressman Tom Suozzi, Latest Tips on Frauds & Scams, Financial Concerns surrounding COVID-19 Pandemic, NY State Attorney General Scam Awareness and From Crisis to Calm Coping in an Ever Changing Normal. After listening to an informative guest, be sure to listen to the Talk of the Town to find out about updates, programs and what’s going on around Town!

The radio show uses the Zoom platform to organize and coordinate the shows, which is then broadcasted during the normally scheduled time. Project Independence and You airs on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tune in on WCWP 88.1 FM or wcwp.org or download the app! Past episodes are available at northhempsteadny.gov/pi-home.

Upcoming Schedule:

•July 17 – Kathleen Otte (Bi-Regional Administrator, Administration for Community Living (ACL) to discuss Aging in Place Issues during these Challenging Times
•July 24 – NYS Senator Anna Kaplan to discuss NYS Senate Updates in regards to Covid-19 Pandemic
•July 31 – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran to discuss Nassau County Updates in dealing with COVID-19 Pandemic and Moving Forward

Don’t forget to listen to Talk of the Town where they discuss everything that is happening in the Town and in the World. Learn about new programs, events and exciting initiatives.

Click here to learn more.

2021 Long Island Arts Grant Workshop Schedule Released

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Decentralization Grants help to support:

·     Individual artists in the creation of new work
·     Teaching artists with in depth opportunities for students and life long learners to create
and experience the arts
·     Arts and cultural organizations with community based arts & cultural projects

Attendance to one of the following workshops is mandatory in order to apply for a 2021 NYSCA Decentralization grant.

The dates, locations and times for the workshops are listed below. Virtual workshops will be presented through ZOOM. Additional information and the login link will be provided after you register for a specific day and time.

The dates, locations* and times for the workshops are listed below:
·     Tuesday, 7/14 Virtual Workshop, 6PM
·     Thursday, 7/16 Virtual Workshop, 6 PM
·     Tuesday, 7/21, 2PM
·     This is a dual format workshop will be available with limited capacity in person at Westbury Village Hall, as well as virtually
·     Thursday, 7/23 Virtual Workshop, 6PM
·     Tuesday, 7/28 Virtual Workshop, 6PM
·     Thursday, 7/30 Virtual Workshop, 2PM
·     Tuesday, 8/4 Virtual Workshop, 6 PM
·     Thursday, 8/6 Virtual Workshop, 6PM

You can register for these workshops here.

AARP Hosts Disrupt Disparities

AARP is hosting a series of digital roundtables to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has affected New York’s 50+ and aging populations, with special attention paid to the racial and ethnic disparities apparent in the impact of the virus.

These roundtables are utilized to brainstorm policy solutions that can be supported by community influencers and elected officials, and help implemented.  We will be discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the aging population, and cover a range of issues, such as senior meal deliveries, senior centers, and social isolation, while also thinking through policy solutions that would begin to resolve these issues.  We would like for all attendees to perhaps bring with them ideas and insights into policy solutions for this conversation.

July 14th 11 am – 12 noon for Suffolk & July 22nd 11 am – 12 noon for Nassau. 

For more information, contact Bernard Macias.

FMC Hosts ‘Fast Chat’ Series Starting July 21st

Fair Media Council introduces Fast Chat, a series of live Zoom conversations with notables in news, media & business. This series begins on Tuesday, July 21 at 2 p.m. with our first guest: One of the most influential business thought leaders in business today, Jeffrey Hayzlett, discussing the future of business amid COVID19 and, in particular, how to attract new customers, clients and advertisers during a time when we can’t network, shake hands or break bread. 

With Fast Chat, expect engaging conversations that get right to the point, providing you with expert insight and advice to help you improve your life, business and community. 

The format: 20 minutes chat, then 10 minutes audience Q & A. In 30 minutes, you’re in the know. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Jeffrey Hayzlett is the primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives LIVE on C-Suite TV and is the host of the award-winning All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. Hayzlett is a global business celebrity, Hall of Fame speaker, Chairman and CEO of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders and best-selling author. His most recent book is The Hero Factor: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations and Create Winning Cultures

About Reserving Your Virtual Seat:

Tickets for Fast Chat are free for FMC members and news media, but advance registration is required. Not a member? Either join now to get access to the series of Fast Chats, along with other perks of membership, or make a donation of $25 or more to enjoy this Fast Chat. Both options are tax deductible. 

For more information, visit LIBN. To register, click here.

Calendar Briefs and Webinars

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

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

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

• Please join US Representative Kathleen Rice for an Informational Conference Call with the Small Business Administration on Tuesday, July 14th from 12 noon to 1:00 pm.  The conference call number will be 929-205-6099 and the meeting id will be 849-0661-3837.

The call will feature a conversation with a representative from the Small Business Administration and 3 Certified Public Accountants from the American Institution of Certified Public Accountants will join to answer questions about the SBA Loan Programs and to provide guidance on loan forgiveness.

If you have any questions please contact Representative Rice’s Garden City office at NY04.SmallBusiness@mail.house.gov or 516-739-3008.

• In these times of uncertainty, cancer patients and their families need our help. Critical research has been put on hold, treatment plans have been disrupted, and surprise medical billing has financially crippled families who have loved ones fighting for their lives. All of this creates serious risk to the current and future state of cancer cures.

Survivorship is one curve I don’t want to see flatten. It needs to continue to increase. LLS stands out to me because it is an unapologetically patients first organization and one example of this is the LLS COVID-19 Patient Financial Aid Program. This program delivers financial relief to blood cancer patients who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of their disease and circumstances related to the pandemic. As of June 10, 2020 LLS has given $4,526,000 to over 18,104 patients since April 1, 2020. And long before COVID19 – for over 70 years – LLS works each day to create a world free of blood cancers through research, advocacy and ongoing patient support.

So the reason as to why I chose to support this cause despite it being even more difficult because of the state of the world is simple…cancer hasn’t stopped because of the pandemic so we need to ensure cures don’t either.

You can help by being MY GUEST @ LLS’s Light The Night Virtual Business Community Kickoff on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 8am-9am Eastern via the Zoom Platform.

At this event, you’ll get to experience an hour of hope and inspiration, which I know we all can use right now. You can register for this event here.

State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grants Return on July 15th

State Farm Neighborhood Assist is back to help good neighbors across the U.S. take an active role in improving their communities.  They will once again be awarding $25,000 grants in support of 40 causes.  Now’s your chance to make a real difference in your neighborhood!

Starting July 15, 2020, you can officially submit your cause at NeighborhoodAssist.com.  AARP will accept the first 2,000 submissions before narrowing it down to 200 finalists.  Then, a public vote will decide which 40 community causes win the $25,000 grants.

You can read the full guide on how to apply and what sort of submissions will be acceptable here.

Babylon IDA Offers Grants to Businesses & Nonprofits

The Town of Babylon Business Improvement District is offering grants and interest-free loans as part of a new initiative geared to help businesses affected by Covid-19. The “Babylon is Back” Emergency Assistance program offers grants up to $10,000 and inter loans up to $25,000.

For more information, visit LIBN.

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 that did not receive a loan from either the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for COVID-19 in 2020. 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.

Seattle Road Engineers Test Difficulty of Crossing the Street in a Wheelchair

Through a local ADA program, Seattle engineers recently participated in a voluntary exercise that allowed them to use a wheelchair to test out new curb ramps & sidewalks.

While it’s understood that we can’t fully replicate the circumstances of those that rely on mobility devices to get around, there are many good lessons that can be learned using a manual wheelchair.

The engineers that attempted using the wheelchair found quickly that it’s not easy. Even modest cross slopes and bumpy sidewalk or street surfaces can make getting around quite challenging. This firsthand experience helps them to think about the designs they work on daily, and hopefully will give them a better perspective when they’re at the drawing board contemplating projects.

You can read more on this exercise here.

Our Daily Sponsor


Trinity Solar

Trinity began back in 1994 as Trinity Heating & Air. In 2004 their operations shifted to helping people tap into the greatest renewable resource — solar energy. Since then, they have developed their culture and business into what over 1,600 proud American workers can call home — Trinity Solar. Their core values of God, Family and Good Business Stewardship are the fuel that drive them to create a stronger America. Through cutting energy costs and leveraging government incentive programs, they strive to facilitate a thriving quality of life for as many American families and businesses as possible. Trinity Solar is a family owned operation located in Central New Jersey, where they coordinate and complete installations across multiple states – Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Smart Talk

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

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.

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