Long Island Main Street News July 23rd, 2020

Here is the latest issue of LI Main Street News for day 130 of the Coronavirus shutdown. This issue includes continued outreach on the SBA PPP program, the Split the Bill program coming to Hempstead, updated resources and a new PSA reminding you to wear your mask. Check it out….

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

July 23rd, 2020

Quotes of Day

“We’re excited to see the positive impact that Split The Bill NY will have on our local restaurants in the Village. Even though restaurants have been able to reopen, they are still operating at limited capacity. We expect this program to be a huge help in driving business.” – Hon. Don Ryan, Mayor, Village of Hempstead

“We hope to continue running more Split The Bill campaigns to help provide economic support to local restaurants, but we are close to exhausting all of our allocated funds. In order to expand the program to more locations, we need support from organizations or foundations who are willing to fund a campaign in a town of their choosing.” – Randi Sidgmore, Founder and Director of the Sidgmore Family Foundation

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 130 of Coronavirus Economic Shutdown –
Thursday July 23th, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 130.

The “Split the Bill” program that supports local restaurants by paying half of a customers take out or dining bill was in the Village of Hempstead this week and will return next week – check out the story below.

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.   Read the Action alert below on the efforts underway to reach minority and women owned businesses who may not have utilized the program to date as much as others.   There are 16 days until the program closes.

Pink Tie Delivers is making their 40th and 41st food delivery this week in Medford and Baldwin.   Stay tuned for further updates and if you want to assist contact pinktie.org.

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.  Check out the closing words for a new PSA to help educate fellow neighbors and friends.

Here are some updates:

• A coalition of chambers, community leaders, economic development staff and small businesses are making a final push to reach out on the SBA’s PPP Loans.

• The State Liquor Authority (SLA) has updated their FAQ for these regulations to answer some common questions that have been received: https://sla.ny.gov/guidance-requirement-licensees-premises-service-privileges-serve-food-alcoholic-beverages​.

• The Town of Hempstead has an Operation Downtown to close streets for outdoor dining. 

• This 3 strikes and you are closed regulation directed at NYC restaurants and bars came out from the state. The cover story on the front page makes it appear like this is primarily a Long Island problem.

There will always be outliers, violators, bad actors and plainly clueless people in business just like in any other institution. We can choose to focus on them or lift up the more normative and responsible examples of small business behavior.

Would be good to see publicity on the vast majority of businesses who are working hard to make their customers and the public feel safe.

Through our work with dozens of local chambers and the LI Main Street Alliance we have seen virtually or in some cases in person the strong efforts made to transform floor plans, sanitize, distance customers and retrain staff all at tremendous expense to simply keep the lights on.

Let me be very clear customers and staff should wear masks, wash their hands, stay distant as much as possible but we need our local businesses that are operating safely to stay open.

We also shouldn’t judge Long Island businesses unfairly based on what’s happening in NYC.

• Executive Order 202.52 has been posted and includes the updated SLA regulations that the Governor announced. 

The Governor announced that all restaurants and bars statewide will be subject to new requirements that they must only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food and that all service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers. Under current NYS law, only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcoholic beverages. The purpose of the requirement that food be sold with alcohol is to restrict congregating and mingling that arise in a bar service/drinking only environment. ​Citizens who see violations or are concerned can report complaints, including photos, to the State Liquor Authority at www.sla.ny.gov.

There is additional information and guidance posted on the SLA website to share with constituents and licensees: https://sla.ny.gov/guidance-requirement-licensees-premises-service-privileges-serve-food-alcoholic-beverages.

• Food service guidance for bars and restaurants can be found on the NY forward website under phase 3.

• Kudos to the Town of Babylon for investing $100,000 towards public art in coordination with the Babylon Council of the Arts. A range of arts and beautification projects will emerge from this investment.  Check it out.

• Good to see the Federal Reserve amend their regulations to allow not-for-profits with 10 or more employees access to their lending program after public feedback.

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

• NYS Comptroller Tom Dinapoli has put out this op-ed that speaks to the need to address food insecurity due to the rising demand at food pantries and the increased enrollment in SNAP and other feeding programs.

• The Nassau County Health Department has released new guidelines on getting a test for COVID-19 or getting retested if you have been tested before.  Testing is opened to anyone who wants a test, but there needs to be a reason.  For example, you have had contact with a known case, have symptoms, or think you’ve been exposed to the virus.  Front line workers and first responders have priority for all testing.  Constituents are urged to discuss testing with their health care providers or call the Department of Health’s Coronavirus call center at (516) 227-9500, with any questions.

• The Emergency Rent Relief program that was passed in the NYS legislature and that was signed into law by Governor Cuomo is now in effect and qualifying New Yorkers may apply through New York State Homes and Community Renewal at https://hcr.ny.gov/RRP Eligible households must meet income requirements and must have lost income during the period of April 1 to July 31. Applications must be submitted by July 30, and HCR will prioritize eligible households with the greatest economic and social need

• New York State has extended the deadline for the Home Energy Assistance Program (known as HEAP) to August 31st. The HEAP program assists income eligible households pay for heat-related energy bills, even beyond the heating season, with a grant that clients do not have to pay back. HEAP cooling assistance is also available, and clients may qualify for a free air conditioner or fan based on income and medical need. PSEG Long Island’s Household Assistance Program provides a discount on every electric bill for households that qualify.

To apply for heating and cooling assistance, or for more information, click here

• 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


• 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.

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

• 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.

• 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.

•We had a great call with the LI Main Street Alliance 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.

• 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 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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Split the Bill NY Comes to Hempstead

Vision and members of the LI Main Street Alliance were out yesterday in the Village of Hempstead kicking off the “Split the Bill” program for local restaurants.

The way it works is go to one of the participating restaurants and the good folks at the Sidgemore Foundation will reimburse you for half of the amount (up to $30 for your total bill of $60 or more)  You just have to take a picture of the receipt and your food and upload the photo to their website at splitthebillny.com

The kickoff included a press event with Clariona Griffith and Belinda Watkins from the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, Hempstead Mayor Don Ryan, Trustees Charles Renfroe and Waylon Hobbes, Vision’s Director Eric Alexander along with Jeff and Jessica Gelbwaks from the Sidgmore Foundation who are funding the program.

Split The Bill NY is a charitable initiative created by the Sidgmore Family Foundation, announced the next phase of their campaign which aims to drive business to local restaurants struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the Village of Hempstead, Split The Bill NY encourages locals to order takeout, delivery, drive-through, or dine-in (if offered) at any of the Participating Restaurants listed on the Split The Bill NY website. After customers have enjoyed their meal, they can then submit a Reimbursement Form confirming the purchase of their meal and within 3-7 days they will receive a reimbursement for 50% of their restaurant receipt, up to $30. The deadline to submit a Reimbursement Form is 11:59 PM on July 22nd, the day of the program.

Past Split The Bill NY campaigns have driven over $82,000 in total retail spend to participating restaurants in the Village of Farmingdale, Village of Valley Stream, and Village of Westbury. Several restaurants in the Village of Hempstead are participating in the upcoming program in the hope of driving more business to their establishments.

“We hope to continue running more Split The Bill campaigns to help provide economic support to local restaurants, but we are close to exhausting all of our allocated funds,” explained Randi Sidgmore, Founder and Director of the Sidgmore Family Foundation. “In order to expand the program to more locations, we need support from organizations or foundations who are willing to fund a campaign in a town of their choosing.”

Split The Bill NY is keeping local officials optimistic about the future of our downtowns. “We’re excited to see the positive impact that Split The Bill NY will have on our local restaurants in the Village,” said Hempstead Village Mayor Don Ryan. “Even though restaurants have been able to reopen, they are still operating at limited capacity. We expect this program to be a huge help in driving business.”

This is the fourth stop for the program which has been to downtown Farmingdale, Valley Stream and Westbury.

Channels 2, 11, 12, Newsday and videographer Antonio Kelley covered the day.

16 Days left in SBA Payroll Protection Program

Now 16 days left to apply for the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program. There are still over $100 billion in Federal funds left. Lets bring those resources into our Main Streets, independent and minority owned small businesses who have lower enrollment rates!

Here is coverage from Newsday’s James Madore that features a local minority owned business in Lindenhurst.

Here is some more coverage from Tuesday’s press event on increased outreach for the PPP Loan from David Winzelberg at LI Business News.

Folks should get the word out each day until the deadline which is August 8th!

‘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 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, 7/28 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.

Long Island Arts Council at Freeport Hosting Live, Free Concerts

The Long Island Arts Council at Freeport will be hosting live, free summer concerts at the Esplanade on the Nautical Mile.  Events will take place Thursday nights from 7pm to 8:30pm

COVID-19 requirements that must be followed

•             Attendees need to bring their own chairs
•             You must set up your chairs six feet apart from other attendees
•             You must wear a mask – The Arts Council will have customized face masks for sale with all proceeds going to our programs and services

Here’s the line-up of performers. Please check our website for updates, possible changes, and rain date location.

July 23
Banjo Rascals

July 30

Aug 6
Turnpike Joe and the Traffic Jam

Aug 13
Sparkle on Stage

Aug 20
Robert Bruey

Aug 27
East End Trio

September 3

September 10

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.

Full Time HMIS Data Quality Specialist in Amityville, NY

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is seeking applicants for a Full-Time Homeless Management Information System HMIS) Data Quality Specialist for our main office in Amityville.  This position will be responsible for working closely with shelter and housing providers on LI to ensure the completeness and accuracy of data in our regional client database and the maintenance of the regional client By Name Lists for Housing Prioritization.
Other Keys points:

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following.  Other duties may be assigned.

  • Supports/assists HMIS Support Specialist and Supervisor in maintenance of HMIS data for LI HMIS
  • Conducts extensive analysis of LI HMIS data in MS Excel
  • Reviews/monitors HMIS data entry, ensures completeness and accuracy of data
  • Heavy focus on work with housing providers to ensure completeness of HMIS data and highest data quality
  • Manages/distributes data quality reports for HMIS users/agencies

Maintains regional By Name Lists for housing referrals. Works with Associate Director and CES Manager to regularly update lists based upon changes in inflow and outflow of clients in the homeless system, changes in prioritization criteria and other relevant factors

Must have a commitment to organization’s mission and goals. Must be self-motivated; must be able to work effectively with diverse people and personalities and as a member of a team.

Benefits after probationary period will be available. These include paid time off (vacation, holiday, sick, personal), medical insurance for the employee (premium paid by LICH), Dental and Vision insurance optional, Life Insurance for the employee and Simple IRA plan (with employer match).

 Please see attached job description for more information. This position is for an employment opportunity in Suffolk County, NY. At this time, all work can be remote. While local applicants are preferred, those from outside of the local area will be considered due to the ability to conduct this work remotely (now, and likely, going forward). Hours of operation are 9AM – 5PM EST, and employees will be required to maintain such hours.

Interested parties should submit a resume and salary requirements via email to gguarton@addressthehomeless.org  Please do not call the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless regarding this position.  Questions should be submitted via email only.

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.

NYS Launches Rent Relief Program

The COVID Rent Relief Program will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. Applicants will not need to repay this assistance.

The Covid Rent Relief Program is not first come, first served. Applications will be accepted throughout the two-week application period. HCR will prioritize eligible households with “greatest economic and social need” accounting for income, rent burden, percent of income lost and risk of homelessness.

The rental assistance payment will cover the difference between the household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and the increase in rent burden for the months the households is applying for assistance. Households can apply for up to four months in rental assistance.

Eligible households must meet the following criteria:

  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, household income must have been below 80% of the area median income, adjusted for household size. You can find your county’s area median income, based on your household size: www.hcr.ny.gov/eligible-income-limits-80-ami-county
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, the household must have been paying more than 30% of gross monthly income towards rent.  Gross income includes wages as well as any cash grants, child support, social security, unemployment benefits, etc.)
  • Applicants must have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

HCR has created a dedicated call center to provide residents with help Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Call the COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center at 1-833-499-0318 or email at covidrentrelief@hcr.ny.gov

You can apply for assistance and check FAQ’s here.

New York State Accepting Applications for NY Forward Loan Fund

New York State has opened pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund. Loans from this fund are available to small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords in New York State 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.

Wear the Mask!

Look let’s be honest – no one wants to wear a mask.

With that said they are the reason many small businesses we care about can stay open, many social activities still function in some form or the reason you can see a friend or colleague. There would likely still be government mandated “stay at home” orders if we didn’t have the opportunity to wear these masks.

For the significant swath of people out there who don’t wear them given these conditions I sincerely ask “why”? Do you think you are immune, that you won’t really get sick, that government is making all of this up, or that mask wearing orders are just used as a scheme to control people? Even if any of the reasons are even slightly true hopefully we can recognize that we can’t go back to the old normal – which we all want – without dealing with obvious and simple things like wearing masks.

With all the radically serious things going on in the world, our nation, NYS, LI and our local communities that include health, economic and racial crisis and divisions we are going to complain about wearing masks?

We don’t have to wear these forever – but if we dont’t wear them now the implications for your friends, neighbors and colleagues as well as our local economy and our freedoms could be far worse.

Please wear the damn mask!

Here is a short public service announcement that hits on some of these themes.

Our Daily Sponsor

GRCH Architects

GRCH Architecture Principal Glen R. Cherveny leads a highly successful team of industry professionals with more than 30 years of experience in architecture, design, planning, engineering, and more recently LEED-sustainable architecture.

GRCH’s goal of excellence is apparent in their work starting with their high-quality practices in the initial phases of programming and continuing on through the building construction phase and project completion. Their comprehensive approach to each project- and the needs of meeting each client’s totall satisfaction-  is paramont to the process.

Smart Talk

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.

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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Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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