Long Island Main Street News July 15th, 2020

Here is the latest edition of LI Main Street News for day 122 of the Coronavirus shutdown. This issue covers the latest resources, upcoming webinars and reopening updates. Check it out……

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

July 15th, 2020

Quotes of Day

“We are looking to support small businesses. Small businesses are critical to New York State. They represent 98 percent of the businesses we have. A lot of businesses, particularly those with under 20 employees, didn’t get federal money. We created the New York Forward loan fund to get loans to small businesses, particularly MWBEs [Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises] in need of financial support. And infrastructure. There are important infrastructure projects on Long Island, including the Belmont Park arena. Focusing on infrastructure, on jobs, is critical as to how we support the economy.” – Eric Gertler, NYS Empiure State Development

“The time is right now to inject more capital [into small business] or we may lose them forever. It’s going to make our economies worse, it’s going to make our communities worse.” – Justin Norman, Vice President of Data Science for Yelp

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 122 of Coronavirus Economic Shutdown –
Wednesday July 15th, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 122.  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.   Efforts are underway to reach minority and women owned businesses who may not have utilized the program to date as much as others.

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:

• LI Town Supervisors and County Executives joined LI’s Congressional delegation in call for federal funding local government in the Heroes Act.

• Albany legislators are headed back to session next week to tackle mostly very local bills.  Will be interesting to see them get back to the business of assisting in the management of the State.  Stay tuned for updates.

• More information about the COVID19 Travel Advisory and included states can be found here: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory#restricted-states​.

• Lots of folks are out of work due to the shutdown but it is good to know that there are some jobs available. NYS has a website with 12,500 listings.

This may not immediately address the up to 375,000 projected to be out of work but it is a start and for friends, family members or colleagues that are looking they should check out this site.

• Folks have been asking about the status of reopening the schools.  Below is the Pre-K to Grade 12 school guidance. It is posted on the NY Forward website under Phase 4

Posted at New York Forward – Phase 4: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-four-industries


Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

• New York State Education Department offers guidance on school reopening; social-emotional well-being is stressed

On Monday (July 13) the New York State Education Department (NYSED) made a presentation to the Board of Regents on reopening. Its guidance was informed by five forums held around the state as well as by input from P-12 program offices. The state

is so diverse that there won’t be any “one size fits all” model, according to NYSED. But here are a few of the important points

  • “Social-emotional well-being must be schools’ and districts’ top priority in supporting school transition, not at the expense of academics, but in order to create the mental, social and emotional space for academic learning to occur.” (See image of slide above right.)
  • Schools should develop plans for schedules that include in-person instruction, remote instruction and hybrid instruction.
  • Schools must know the level of internet access all students and teachers have in their homes and provide devices and internet access to those who don’t have sufficient broad-band capability.
  • Schools must [boldface by NSYED] instruct staff on signs of illness, develop plans to maximize social distancing and provide necessary supplies for handwashing and disinfecting.

Click here to view the full 27-page presentation. According to NYSED, a guidance document will be disseminated today, and school district reopening plans must be submitted by Friday, July 31, 2020.

• 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.

• 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.

•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, it’s 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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Downtown Riverhead Redevelopment Project Advances

A recently proposed apartment building on 331 East Main Street in downtown Riverhead is looking for tax abatements from the local IDA.

The Riverhead IDA is reviewing the request from G2D Group of Huntington, who is looking to build a four story building with 36 market-rate apartments on the former site of a Subway restaurant.  G2D principals Greg DeRosa and Bobby Walsh have already made an informational presentation to the IDA on the proposed abatements.

The current building will be demolished to make way for the new development.  The building itself will be a 58-foot tall residential structure with ground level parking for tenants.  There will also be a rooftop deck the will overlook the Peconic River.

The project still requires a special permit and site plan approval from the Riverhead Town Board.

G2D is seeking tax abatements from the IDA for mortgage recording taxes and sales tax.  The company is also seeking a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) as opposed to property taxes.  The specifics of the PILOT have yet to be negotiated.

“The financial assistance from this agency is an absolute inducement for the nearly $13 million capital investment and a necessity for this project to be constructed,” according to G2D attorney Chris Kent. “As this project represents the first market-rate apartment building in downtown, there remains considerable risk to investors.   The assistance of the IDA helps ameliorate that risk.”

There is no public hearing scheduled on the requested abatements as of yet.

You can read more at the Riverhead News-Review.

Small Businesses Continue to Struggle Across America

As coronavirus cases across the country continue to surge, more and more businesses are facing a grim future, if they even have one at all.

Since March 1st almost 66,000 businesses have folded accorded to available data, with the highest rates of closures coming between the dates of June 15th and 29th.  During that time temporary closures became permanent at a rate of 3% overall, which accounts for roughly 14% of total closures since March.  This data was compiled by Yahoo by tracking closure announcements across its platform, and did not differentiate between “small” and “large” businesses.

However, those numbers may be lacking as researchers at Harvard University estimate that nearly 110,000 small businesses across the country have shut down from between March to early May.  That figure is based on data that was collected in weekly surveys by Alignable, a social media network designed to help out small business owners.

Even so, the true extent of damage from the ongoing pandemic may not be known for years, if ever.  Once a business is shuttered, it becomes increasingly difficult to reach owners who can provide the needed data. 

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses account for 44% of all US economic activity.  If they are hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, which is surging in parts of the country, then it could create a devastating decline in growth for the country.  Such an outcome would lead to a lower cash flow, higher debt, and more unemployment.  Unfortunately it’s hard to see how an industry so heavily reliant on foot traffic and operating on thin margins can survive sustained economic shutdowns designed to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The time is right now to inject more capital or we may lose them forever,” said Justin Norman, Vice President of Data Science for Yelp. “It’s going to make our economies worse, it’s going to make our communities worse.”

It has also become increasingly difficult for businesses to keep pace of constantly changing regulations meant to enforce social distancing.  Some businesses simply can’t meet the standards within their current locations and are forced to close instead of severely curtailing their business.

While the government has put some solutions into effect such as the Payment Protection Program (PPP), such initiatives are considered to be too small to keep this important part of the economy afloat.  Those who have been able to avail themselves are seeing that money begin to run out as the summer drags on with no end to the pandemic in sight.  Indeed, some areas of the country are taking backward steps when it comes to restrictions as hot spots emerge.  For a lot of businesses in those areas, having to go backwards is a death knell.

For the moment, New York has thankfully not hit a second wave thanks to the hard work everyone put in to flatten the curve and keep our Coronavirus cases low.  However, it’s important to understand the economic pain folks are experiencing across the country and the need to help our fellow Americans out.

You can read more about this important stories as well as individual stories of struggling business owners at the New York Times (via MSN) and AP News.

The Time is Now to Make the ‘Superblock’ a Reality

The following was written by Jan Burman and Steve Krieger, who are principals at Engel Burman, a Long Island real estate developer.

In the midst of a protracted pandemic and on the cusp of what will be a lengthy and painful recession, our company is prepared to invest $369 million into building condos and rental apartments along a stretch of sand in the City of Long Beach that has been vacant for over three decades.

It would not be inappropriate to ask, “Really?”

Some could easily question the timing by which this proposal is being presented for approval, however it reflects strategic knowledge of this region, faith in the future as measured in decades, and a fundamental appreciation that major real estate investments require vision capable of imagining what is far beyond the immediate horizon.

Known as the “Superblock,” the beachfront property in Long Beach has been the subject of aspirations, litigation, and consternation for over a generation. That era needs to be brought to a close.

Without the need for any building variances, plans call for 438 dwelling units on the six-acre property, including two nine-story, 100-unit condo buildings and a 10-story building with 238 rental apartments. The development would include 30 affordable apartments. Also being proposed is a restaurant and a “grab and go” along the boardwalk. Parking would be created beneath the proposed buildings.

There is little doubt that the economic benefits for the City of Long Beach would be immediate and tangible, especially at a time when City Hall is struggling to confront an existential budget deficit. In addition to tax revenue and local employment, construction would also earmark approximately $5 million alone to improve the city’s neighboring utility infrastructure.

However, making the development viable requires assistance from Nassau County’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA). The proposal calls for PILOT payments that would generate $130,230,459 of revenue to the city, schools and county over the first 25 years. The complex would then generate fully assessed property taxes for the decades to follow.

These numbers reflect negotiations between the developer and the Nassau IDA in an effort to find common ground that will ensure the development’s success. Additionally, in a tradition of “trust but verify,” the IDA hired its own consultant to review our business model and independently ascertain the financial projections and overall feasibility of the project.

To allow the long-dormant Superblock to achieve its role as an economic generator for Long Beach, its residents and Nassau County taxpayers, several factors will need to be in place.

IDA incentives continue to be misunderstood and often misrepresented by critics, and yet they are essential to new construction on Long Island; when economic capital can alternatively be placed in any market that welcomes new investment, tax generation, and the opportunity for job creation. The Nassau IDA’s decision will be the determining factor in whether the Superblock’s Development moves forward given the unique expenses associated with this oceanfront site, including the need to meet FEMA storm proofing standards, a requirement for approximately 1,500 pilings and other related costs not usually encountered with other types of construction.

There will need to be continued community engagement if this project proceeds. While the Engel Burman team has convened a series of community meetings that brought transparency and a dialogue to the process, outreach doesn’t end with hoped-for IDA approval. Any developer who understands the sophisticated nature of Long Island also recognizes the need to sustain an effective communications program with the surrounding community. Given the strategic location of the Superblock site alongside the legendary Long Beach Boardwalk, that continued dialogue will be critical to the project’s overall success.

Finally, there needs to be a developer with confidence in the project and the community it seeks to serve. Long Island developers, and in truth, every developer across the nation, have become wary of an unrecognizable marketplace, transformed by the pandemic. Engel Burman’s decision to pursue the Superblock’s development in the face of COVID-19 reflects its belief that the Island has withstood far greater threats that would have crushed lesser communities. It is time for the Superblock to be part of building for our future.

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!

NYMTC will host an identical afternoon and evening session for each of the regions.  The Long Island specific workshops 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:
·     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 22nd 11 am – 12 noon for Nassau. The Suffolk event has passed.

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!

• Webinar with Shark Tank’s Daymond JohnJoin Entrepreneur and AARP Brand Ambassador Daymond John and Work & Jobs for a free webinar, What’s Next: Small Businesses & Second Careers, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 22. The webinar targets small business owners and 50+ workers looking to be their own boss.  Register here.  For more information, contact Felicia Brown.

Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk Announces 2020 Veterans Build in Bellport

Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk is happy to announce that applications are now open for our 2020 Veterans Build in Bellport, NY.  This home is already under construction and should be ready for the new homeowner this fall.  

Too many of our brave men and women serving this country, are coming home from their tour of duty and still battling the rising cost of housing. In honor of their service, we are giving special preference towards eligible veterans and their families for this home.

Who is eligible? 

  • Must be in need of housing
  • Household must include a US Veteran with honorable discharge 
  • Must receive regular, verifiable income within our family size guidelines
  • Must be able to qualify for an affordable mortgage 
  • Must have $1,500 minimum in savings to provide as a down payment

APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED AND COMPLETE (with all required documents & credit check fee) NO LATER THAN August 15th.  If you are interested in applying, please do so ASAP.  Qualified applicants may be accepted and approved before 8/15 if application volume is high so don’t delay!

You can download the Application form 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.

CDC Guidelines on Protecting Yourself from COVID-19

Know how it spreads

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
    • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Everyone Should…

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

Monitor Your Health

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Our Daily Sponsor

National Grid

National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world – covering Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and the UK.

They are at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society—delivering clean energy to support our world long into the future. Every day they work with stakeholders to promote the development and implementation of sustainable, innovative and affordable energy solutions.

They are proud of the contributi

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

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