Long Island Main Street News June 1st, 2020

Here is the latest edition of LI Main Street News for day 78 of the Coronavirus economic shutdown. We cover the push to help small businesses through outdoor dining despite government regulations, charitable efforts, latest news on reopening and NYS and County officials against the removal of local zoning. Check it out….

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


June 1st, 2020


Quotes of Day


“We achieved the goal of flattening the curve, made tremendous progress in battling COVID-19 and our residents have proven they know how to socially distance effectively. With the right safety protocols in place, steps can be taken now to immediately boost the economy and restore jobs. Outdoor dining should be included in Phase II of the Governor’s reopening plan – a milestone Nassau County will reach next week.” – Hon. Joseph Saladino, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor
“Long Island’s restaurant owners have followed all of the rules and guidelines associated with flattening the curve and helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and they deserve clear, concise instructions from government on when and how they can re-open their businesses. Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino and I have confidence in our local restauranteurs to provide safe, outdoor dining services to the community, and we call on state officials to green-light this initiative as part of ‘Phase 2.’” – Hon. Don Clavin, Hempstead Town Supervisor
   
The following are an ongoing collection of quotes in opposition to a proposal to remove local zoning in the middle of this pandemic.
   
“One of the great things about Long Island is our local downtowns which serve as a gathering place and economic engine of our communities. The proper way to grow our economy is from the bottom up by engaging our local residents in decisions made that fit the needs and character of each community. A top down approach to zoning based in Albany would remove that local input which is essential to successfully revitalizing our downtowns and helping kickstart our re-opening businesses.” – Hon. Ed Ra, NYS Assemblyman

“As a Suffolk County Legislator and a First Responder as the Chief of my local Fire Department, I firmly believe it is imperative that our communities land use decisions are reserved to be legislated by our local Town and Village governments. Your local representatives know the unique needs of our community much better than anyone else. It is important that we preserve this local power to protect the integrity of our hometowns, and ensure our voices are heard in the decisions that are crucial to the future of our communities” – Hon. Rudy Sunderman, Suffolk County Legislator

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 78 of economic shutdown – Monday June 1st, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 78.   Lots of confusion around outdoor dining as an announcement for outdoor dining was then shut down by a technicality the next day.  Local officials rallied today to see it included in the next Phase of reopening.  Crowds also continue to cram into Big Box stores while local Main Street shops remain shuttered or under minimal operation.

Local municipalities, chambers and residents are collaborating in numerous communities across Long Island on plans for reopening. 

Our Communities Helping Communities segment takes us to Riverhead, Mastic Beach, Freeport and Roosevelt.    

Here are some updates:

• Please see the below update from the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles about the department’s reopening plan. DMV will resume limited remote services starting June 1st. The release also includes additional opening information, such as: “As regions enter phase 3 of reopening, DMV will offer limited in-person transactions in state-run DMV offices by reservation only, prioritizing critical services, and will resume road tests for all drivers at that time.”

If you cannot see the release below, you can access it at this link: https://dmv.ny.gov/press-release/press-release-05-30-2020.

• 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

• Phase 2 guidance has been posted on the NY Forward website here. Phase 2 includes all office-based jobs, real-estate services, retail in-store shopping, vehicle sales, and limited barbershop and hair salon services.

• The Governor has signed a new executive order that will allow business owners to refuse entry to customers not wearing a mask or face covering.

• In a surprise to no one LI’s unemployment has soared in April to 16% with 16.4% in Suffolk and 15.6% in Nassau.  This is higher than NYC, Westchester and higher than any time during the 1989-92 recession which were the highest in recent decades.  For those saying this shutdown is an inconvenience maybe speak with someone out of work.

• Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.32 which extends the period for paying property taxes​ 21 days, without interest or penalty, for the certain municipalities. This EO includes Suffolk County. The order is attached and can also be found here.

• The Governor signed an Executive Order allowing businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.

• The state has launched the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF), a $100 million fund to provide flexible and affordable loans to help our small businesses, especially MWBEs (Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises) that did not receive federal Covid-19 assistance. The program will take a smart, targeted approach for distributing these loans, focusing on truly small businesses, with 20 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in gross revenues. If you’re a small business who didn’t get federal assistance, check out esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans for more information and to pre-apply

• 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. 

• There is an enormous amount of confusion out there. There is no comprehensive reopening as there are first steps taken to reopen. NYS will allow Long Island communities to have select categories of businesses reopen in addition to the industries already allowed to work if they are an “essential” businesses.

Industries that are eligible for Phase 1 reopening include:
– Construction
– Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
– Retail – (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
– Manufacturing
– Wholesale Trade
All businesses eligible to operate in Phase 1 should read the guidelines for their industry and submit an affirmation. In addition, they should print and complete the safety plan and display in their business.

Phase Two
– Professional Services
– Retail
– Administrative Support
– Real Estate / Rental & Leasing

Phase Three
– Restaurants / Food Services

Phase Four
– Arts / Entertainment / Recreation
– Education

Read https://forward.ny.gov/ to review the regulations and affirm their industries safety guidelines.

Check out this initial article in Huntington Now. Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci is quoted along with the Huntington Chamber and Vision.

• A new bill led by Rep. Carolyn Maloney would create a federally backed business interruption insurance fund to cover losses from a pandemic.

• Lots of folks were talking about this Washington Post article about NYC residents contemplating moving. 

• The NYS Legislature returned to Albany to debate a number of Coronavirus related bills with looming $13 billion deficit as a backdrop

• As we begin to slowly reopen our communities, its important that no New Yorker feel unsafe at work or be put into harms 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

• If you are outside more with your kid here are some resources to get you child more appreciative of the natural world courtesy of Nassau BOCES and the LI PreK Initiative

RECENT NEWS FROM GOVERNMENT

• Governor Cuomo’s June 1st message

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s June 1st message

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s June 1st message

 New York State Senator Monica Martinez announces the passage of her property tax deferment bill in both Senate and Assembly.

• US Senator Kirstin Gillibrand sent out a memo outlining some cases of fraud concerning SBA applications – please review and report and suspicious activity:
1)     Emails impersonating SBA to a borrower regarding PPP loan applications. SBA DOES NOT communicate with borrowers regarding specific PPP loan applications. All PPP loan correspondence should be between the lender and the borrower. 
2)     Emails impersonating SBA asking for borrowers to complete and sign attached documents to “complete” their disaster “Grant Application.” SBA does not process grants. All EIDL loan processing now occurs through the EIDL portal, and legitimate loan approval emails clearly reference the original confirmation #. If additional documentation is required (95% of loans do not require more documentation), it is electronically handled in the portal. EIDL Advances process with NO action required on the part of the applicant.
3)     These phishing emails are sophisticated, with SBA logos and styling consistent with legitimate SBA communications. If in doubt, the borrower may contact our office. 
Report any suspected fraud to OIG’s Hotline at 800-767-0385 or online here.

• NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has developed a Covid-19 Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers with links and resources for residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses. Check it out here.

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses.

• Towns and local governments have individualized resource pages for coronavirus updates:

New York City

Nassau County

Suffolk County

Town of Hempstead

Town of North Hempstead

Town of Oyster Bay

Town of Babylon

Town of Brookhaven

Town of East Hampton

Town of Huntington

Town of Islip

Town of Riverhead

Town of Shelter Island

Town of Smithtown

Town of Southampton

Town of Southold

City of Glen Cove

City of Long Beach

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS

• US Senator Kristin Gillibrand has provided this thorough Q&A on the CARES Act.

• The US Senate has provided this resource guide for small businesses and the CARES act.

• A Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act.

• Here is a direct link to the Federal Reserve and initial documents for its Main Street lending program.

• The NYS Department of Labor has instituted a new system to spread out applications.  Check out the PSA that explains their new guidelines to get folks their benefits.

• The LI Main Street Alliances “We Are Open” Facebook page is now live sharing all of the local businesses still operating in 40 local communities.   Like it and share it and most importantly support your Main Street.

• Our friends at LISTnet have a Coronavirus support page.

• NYS Sen Anna Kaplan hosted “Preparing Your Small Business for a Reopened Community,” featuring practical steps you can take right now to prepare your business for the next phase of this crisis. If you weren’t able to participate live, you can watch the replay any time on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaMKaplan/videos/2929655900462446/

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

• If you are in the construction industry here is a very thoughtful webinar from the KOW consulting group on changes underway.

• Updated information regarding REVISED SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan application can be found here.

• SBA’s Coronavirus landing page has been updated and has important information including on the SBA Bridge Loan Program

• NYS has developed a Shared Work program for folks to apply for partial unemployment to supplement a reduced work schedule

• Dining Bonds created to help local small businesses

• The free New York State business advisement services of the Small Business Centers at Stony Brook University and Farmingdale are also available to assist

• Facebook has grants for small businesses

• Kiva has grants for small business

• Verizon has set up a small business recovery fund

• The US Chamber of Commerce has a small grant program for small businesses employing between 3-20 people is already oversubscribed after a few hours open. Check it out

• The State established a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers in need with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance next week. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up at www.nysba.org/covidvolunteer

• If you are at home do you dream about going back to your office or workplace?   If you are a boss or a manager here is what you should know from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration about making your workplace safe upon return.

• National Grid has created a targeted grants to help manufacturers who need assistance to develop new products or implement lean manufacturing, to produce critical items to support the pandemic response.

• Grants for Artists impacted by Coronavirus.

• Grants for Restaurant workers.

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

• RXR has set up a series of volunteer resources to help your business during the shutdown.  Check it out.

• LISTnet hosted a webinar with Vision and the LI Main Street Alliance on adapting to the technology of working at home.  Here is the video link of the session.

• NYS Assemblywoman Judy Griffin hosted an event with local chambers and the LI Main Street Alliance on programs that can help small business.   You can check out the call here. (Access password: 1j@44H@5)

• NYS Senator Anna Kaplan held her second Small Business Support webinar with experts from the SBA and ESD giving an update about programs available to small businesses, and answering questions from business owners on Facebook Live. If you weren’t able to catch it the first time, you can watch it anytime at https://www.facebook.com/AnnaMKaplan/videos/931428823960667/

RESOURCES FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT / SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

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

• Newsday has set up a page on their website for free messages for community organizations.   

• If you are a school providing meals during the Coronavirus crisis grants are available.

• The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation has grants for nonprofit organizations serving low-income individuals, families and communities in New York State.

• The American Heart Association has grants for efforts to access healthy food and active living.

• VHB has put together a thoughtful resource guide on transportation, real estate and energy.   Check it out.

BILLS BILLS BILLS

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

• Up to date information in accessing unemployment from NYS DOL

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

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

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

• Student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can obtain relief for loans not covered by the CARES Act. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance programs. New York student loan borrowers should visit the Department of Financial Services’ website at dfs.ny.gov for more information about available student loan relief.

• Resources for displaced bartenders.

• Resources for displaced hospitality workers.

• If you are an artist the NYS Foundation for the Arts has Emergency Grants.

• PSEG has a Coronavirus page that is updated regularly

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

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

• Got wireless bills?  AT&T and Verizon have given guidance on how to handle them – here is Sprint’s

• Auto insurance bills?  Many car insurance companies are providing discounts and credits to customers as a result of the dramatic reduction in driving that’s been taking place during the pandemic.  Check with your provider to see if they’re offering one, and if there are any steps you need to take in order to receive the discount.

HUMAN NEEDS

• Island Harvest provides free referrals and free assistance for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) over the phone, and you do not have to go to the Department of Social Services. Island Harvest can walk you through the online application by telephone or complete a short intake and submit the online application for you. Give them a call at 631-873-4775 for assistance.

• Umbrella is coordinating grocery delivery for adults 60+ across Long Island. Individuals can place an order online at askumbrella.com or call 516-882-4498 to get matched with a local volunteer to shop on their behalf. There is a $10 suggested contribution per order to help offset some of our overhead costs – but it is up to the individual to pay what they wish. No one is turned away. With questions about the service, please contact emma@askumbrella.com

• New York State will provide child care scholarships to essential workers. Child care costs will be covered for essential staff whose income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level — or $78,600 for a family of four. Essential workers (including health care providers, law enforcement, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others) can use these scholarships to pay for their existing care arrangement.
If an essential worker needs child care, they can use the below link to begin the application process (select by language spoken)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Supervisor Bosworth and the Town of North Hempstead launched a new program to provide our seniors with remote companionship during these isolating times. The “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program matches volunteers with seniors in the Project Independence program, and is designed to provide a sense of reassurance and comfort. To participate or to volunteer, call 311 or 516-869-6311

• If you live in the Huntington area very thorough Coronavirus Resource Guide is available from the Office of Legislator William Doc Spencer.

• The CDC has issued guidance for pet owners: don’t let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household, keep cats indoors when possible, walk dogs on a leash, staying 6 feet away from other people and animals. Avoid dog parks or places where a large number of people and dogs gather.  

HELP NEEDED

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

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

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

HELP WANTED

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

Indeed
Long Island’s Craigslist
New York Jobs

Simply Hired

• There are nearly 2 million folks currently out of work but the good news for some is that NYS is hiring 17,000 tracers at $57,000 a year. Check it out in Patch.

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

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

• NYS is hiring 17,000 tracers at $57,000 a year. Apply online here.

HOME & STIR CRAZY

• Having trouble with your new job description as a home school teacher?  Check out Nassau Boces and their PreK initiative for all sorts of resources to help figure it out.

• Walking is important during this shutdown and is a form of self care.

• Folks are at home with their families and children for extended periods.   It’s important to know how to talk to your kids about Coronavirus.  Here is also some guidance from PBS.

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

An added bonus to the toolkit is an activity with Mo Willems, Author of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” and many other cool stories

• If you are home and desperately trying to figure out what to do with your child that is remotely productive here are 16 simple things that count as learning.

• Bored at home – Fifty libraries in Nassau County now offer digital cards, allowing residents to explore their hometown library’s book, music and art collections online from the comfort of their couch.

• If you need some info on how to make your own mask.

• Can’t find hand sanitizer and need to make your own?  Here is one recipe.

• How to make homemade disinfectant spray and wipes.

• Do you miss Dinner and a movie?   The Cinema Arts Center offers free cooking videos to pair with your favorite independent films they can virtually screen. Check out their YouTube page for all the videos.

• Need Chocolate Activity Kits for kids?  Chocolate Works provides decorating kits and other home kits to make with you kids.   For every one you buy Pink Tie donates one to local food pantries in Hempstead and Medford!

OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

• NYS has an established COVID tracker web site that provides data regarding the virus outbreak in the state, including a breakdown of fatalities by age, ethnicity, risk factors, etc.

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

 The International Center on Not for Profit Law has a global civic freedoms tracker tied to the Coronavirus crisis

HOW CAN I HELP?

There are hundreds of thousands unemployed in NY but there are many more as folks can’t or haven’t navigated the system for benefits to date.

That is not simply an eye catching statistic but real people with lives upended.

For the folks that are still working I hope you are:

1) humble, sober and aware of the fact that right now millions of americans are in pain,
2) if you have resources to help local folks – patronize open small businesses to limit further job loss,
3) donate to local food pantries,
4) donate other resources directly to real people you may know in need and
5) if you have resources to give to groups make it very local groups who are on the ground and getting them needed help in this time.

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY

• We are starting to see some Corporate Philanthropy develop that has been missing through this crisis.   Stay tuned for a more thorough report.

Locally
– The Long Island Community Foundation has set up a Coronavirus fund for community services and organizations.
– Pink Tie and the LI Nets have developed a Pink Tie delivers program.
– Trader Joe’s has been making donations to local food pantries
– The Long Island East End Group purchased 15,000 masks for distribution to front line providers.
– The Estée Lauder Companies provided 10,000 hand sanitizer bottles (8 ounces each) per week for 4-5 weeks
– Owners of Shinn Estate Vineyards donate $100,000 to Eastern Long Island Hospitals
– LI Jobs with Justice Solidarity Fund
– Long Island Ambulatory Surgery Center donated a Ventilator
– In addition the United Way, The Townwide Fund of Huntington and the 1763 Foundation are all raising money to distribute to folks that meet their guidelines.  
– The Long Island Chinese American Association volunteers, donated 10,000 masks and delivered lunch to first responders.
– Jim Hagedorn from Scotts Miracle-Gro donated $110,000 worth of protective equipment for first responders. 
– $250,000 New York Jets for direct worker assistance
– $250,000 Bank of America for direct worker assistance
– The Knapp Swezey Foundation has donated $500,000 to Patchogue charities.
– Sterling Bank provided $5,000 to Central Islip Food Bank
– National Grid provides support to local food pantries

• The United Way has a fund to assist low income wage earners who were either (1) laid off or (2) furloughed from their jobs due to COVID-19.  People can search for assistance here.

• Nationwide Sales and Service Inc, a Long Island based manufacturer and distributor of janitorial products, donated $800,000 worth of PPE equipment to Long Island Police Officers

Nationally
– JP Morgan Chase has committed $50 million
– Lowes has announced $25 million in grants and in-kind donations
– Citi Foundation has announced a $15 million fund
– Google has announced $15 million in cash grants
– Citizens Bank has announced $5 million
– Anna Wintour has set up a fund for folks in the fashion industry who are displaced.
– A number of grants for displaced local artists are starting to emerge
– Bank of America has dedicated a $100 million fund nationwide.
– Verizon has set up a small business recovery fund.

• While we have not seen much in the corporate philanthropy department one fantastic exception has been the LI Community Foundation.   They have distributed $450,000 to a number of local organizations helping real people.   Check it out.

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks stay tuned daily for updates on the range of actions taken to get us through this public health and economic crisis. 

We need you out there to tell is what is happening and what resources are available.   No matter what please join the LI Main Street Alliance by emailing us at ea@visionlongisland.org or call 631-804-9128.  

You can read previous editions of Long Island Main Street News here.

IMPORTANT WEBSITES TO TRACK:

Northwell Health Digital Resource Center

The US Small Business Administration

New York State Department of Labor

NYS Department of Health

CDC Website

Occupational Safety and Health

MTA Information

School Closings

AARP’s Updates on the Coronavirus

Island Harvest’s Food Pantry Tracker

Suffolk County Alliance of Chamber’s Disaster Relief Information

Global Dashboard of Infection Data

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Pink Tie Delivers to Four more Communities

Vision was out last Thursday and Friday with the Pink Tie Delivers team to deliver food and financial contributions to the communities of Roosevelt, Freeport, Riverhead and Mastic Beach.

Thursday’s delivery took us to Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt.  Their organization has a full set of services aiding the increased need from the community.  A big thank you to Food Pantry coordinator Dana Faison and her team for all the work they are doing.  Special thanks also to Fred Brewington for connecting us with their operation.

Our next stop was a return to the Salvation Army in Freeport.  Giovanny Guerrero and his team have seen their demand for services radically increase.  Special thanks to the Keller Williams team for their robust participation in Thursday’s drops.

Friday took us out to Riverhead Salvation Army.  When we arrived they had just finished serving 100 neighbors at their soup kitchen, which has seen their demand tripled due to the impacts of the Coronavirus shutdown.  Kudos to Florette and her team for their continued work as well.

The final stop for the week was the Mastic Beach Property Owners Association food pantry.  Suffolk Legislator Rudy Sunderman was out in support of the effort going on there.  Beth Wahl from the Chambers of Commerce of the Mastics and Shirley and the William Floyd Community Summit has been pulling funds together to keep the pantry going during these difficult times.

Companies that participated in these visits included Keller Williams, Dime Savings Bank, 1st Equity Title, Late Night Chauffers, Trinity Solar, and ReCommerce and Remove It Man.

The team has five more stops this coming week that include Baldwin, East Patchogue/N.Bellport, Huntington Station and East Northport.

Anyone looking to donate food, join a corporate doorstep donation program, or financially support these efforts should check out PinkTie.org.

Local Leaders and Main Street Businesses Call for Fast Tracking of Outdoor Dining

Vision was out today with members of the LI Main Street Alliance and dozens of elected officials and local chamber leaders calling for fast tracking outdoor dining for Phase 2 of the reopening if not sooner.

Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin, Nassau County Presiding Officer Rich Nicollelo and Nassau Village Officials Association President (and Village of Sea Cliff Mayor) Ed Lieberman assembled the group in downtown Massapequa in front of a local restaurant the Good Life.

The elected officials are calling for action to help Main Street businesses.  While Nassau County had previously presented a policy supporting road closures on County Roads to encourage outdoor dining, technicality shut the opening down on Friday.  There is pent up demand for this though, as shown in a LI Business News poll showing 88% of Long Islanders in support of the move.

This collective community support comes as anger grows over current regulations still in place that overwhelmingly favor big box stores, and has for almost 3 months now.  While hundreds of cars were present at a Wal-Mart that has been allowed to remain open, most Main Streets were businesses as a majority of businesses were forced to remain shut or deliver limited service.

Nearly 40 elected officials representing well over a million residents in Nassau were in attendance at the press conference, including:

NYS Assemblymembers Ed Ra, Andrew Garbarino, Michael Montesano and John Mikulin.  Nassau County Presiding Officer Rich Nicollelo and Legislators Rose Walker, Steve Rhoads, James Kennedy & John Ferriti.  Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Councilmembers Bruce Blakeman, Anthony D’Esposito, Dennis Dunne and Chris Carini.  Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Receiver of Taxes Jeff Pravato and Councilmembers Lou Imbroto, Laura Maier, Vicki Walsh and Michelle Johnson.

Village elected officials included Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand, Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender, Rockville Centre Mayor Frances Murray, Massapequa Mayor Theresa Spinoza, Sea Cliff Mayor Ed Lieberman, Lynbrook Mayor Allan Beach, Brookville Mayor Dan Serota, Upper Brookville Mayor Elliot Conway, Old Brookville Mayor Bernard Ryba, Laurel Hollow Mayor Dan Devita and Oyster Bay Cove Mayor Charles Goulding.

Chamber of Commerce Presidents and members from Farmingdale, Bethpage, Massapequa, Freeport and others were also in attendance. 

Governor Cuomo Announces Western New York and Capital Region Expected to Enter Phase 2

The following is an update from Governor Cuomo’s website:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced Western New York is expected to enter Phase 2 of reopening tomorrow and the Capital Region is expected to enter Phase 2 of reopening on June 3 following a review of regional data by global public health experts. 

The Governor also announced the lowest rate of positive test results since the pandemic began. The State performed 50,000 tests yesterday with less than 2 percent returning positive. 

“If you take a step back, what we have done with this virus is a really amazing accomplishment, and it was all done by the people of this state. 19 million people did what they never did before – they responded with a level of determination and discipline that I was amazed with,” Governor Cuomo said. “Remember where we were. We had 800 people die in one day – we had the worst situation in the United States of America. At one point we had the worst situation on the globe, but we are now reopening in 50 days. The whole closure period has been about 93 days – albeit a disruptive 93 days. But look at what we did in 93 days. We went from the worst situation on the globe to actually reopening. That’s where we are. We should be very proud of what we’ve done.”

The Governor also confirmed 941 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 371,711 confirmed cases in New York State.

You can watch the Governor’s full press conference here.

As LI reopens, water quality needs to be a priority

The following op-ed was writting by Nadine Leslie, CEO of SUEZ North America

“Our business is re-opening and employees are heading back to work. Is the water OK?”

Long island’s various water companies are maintaining safe, fresh water in their respective systems, but business owners who were compelled to leave work places vacant during the stay-at-home period need to take important actions as the region prepares to reopen.

In a COVID-19 world, returning to life after a shutdown of a month or longer needs to include flushing a building’s water system a priority to prevent stagnant water sitting in pipes from sickening employees, residents, customers, or visitors. It is one more unanticipated recovery priority as we seek to bring the nation’s economy back to health. This is also a priority for those who left their places of residence to shelter elsewhere during this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization report that fresh drinking water is safe and chlorine, the most common disinfectant in drinking water, is effective at removing the COVID-19 virus. However, water takes on a far less benign character when it has been sitting for long periods of time. While your water company continues to deliver water that meets or surpasses all safe drinking water standards, bacteria can build up in stagnant water that has remained in the portion of the service line that usually extends from the curb to the property in question. That means resuming operations makes flushing of the service line nothing less than essential.

The science behind the instruction is simple: What arrives in your tap has been regularly tested, sampled, filtered, and blended with chlorine and other treatment chemicals to ensure safe, healthy drinking water. Left stagnant in building pipes for weeks or months, bacteria finds a home, transforming the water into a potential health threat.

The preventive remedies are easy but they need to be priorities the way masks and hand washing have become.

Water quality recovery strategies include allowing a small amount of water to run from office faucets or spigots in the days before the workplace is open for business. The running water will help reclaim and sustain chlorine levels that will protect water quality the day a business or vacant home is cleared to reopen its doors.

Office or plant managers should create an inventory of all water-using appliances that provide amenities to employees. These include ice machines, coffee machines, and dishwashers. Water should also be flushed through toilets and, if industrial showers are on site, run them as well.

Different buildings have a variety of water storage devices. They should all be identified, drained, and flushed as part of a larger strategy of pipe cleaning.

The object is to open every site where water serves a purpose and flush pipes to ensure stagnant water is replaced with fresh, safe water.

A two month-long shutdown can also create havoc with a building’s infrastructure. Building managers will be inspecting mechanical equipment including boilers, pumps, water heaters, and backflow preventers to determine if there are any issues affecting their function.

Before the first cup of coffee is drawn in the breakroom, before an industrial employee showers after a shift, before a glass of chilled water is drawn, flushing the system should be on the recovery checklist.

America is faced with the overwhelming challenge of navigating the aftershocks of COVID-19. And while there is no roadmap or precedent for how best to move beyond a pandemic, paying attention to potential health threats lurking in long dormant water pipes would be a very good place to start.

Calendar of Events


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!

• LIBN invites you to join their team every Friday at 2PM on libnow, LIBN’s live end-of-week recap, where they take the pulse of the Long Island business community and chat with experts on the state of their industry.

This Friday, we’ll chat with District Attorney Timothy Sini and Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President & CEO of Family & Children’s Association.

Participate in an interactive Q&A where YOU tell them what your business needs to know to stay ahead of the curve, as Long Island inches toward going back-to-business.

You can register for the event here.

• Northwell Health remains focused on responding to the needs of the communities we serve. To keep you informed, we have set up a webinar so you can hear the most up to date information on COVID-19, Northwell’s response, and our plans moving forward.

The next webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, June 2 at 7:00PM. Dr. McGinn and Dr. Farber will be joined by Dr. Stacey Rosen and Dr. Karina Davidson. Details are below, and we have also set up a site to allow you to ask questions in advance to be addressed either as part of the presentations or during Q&A.
   
For the latest information please visit the Northwell Coronavirus Digital Resource Center which has many resources to help you, and the community at large, stay up to date.

 forum series on suburban labor organizing and worker power in the COVID pandemic and beyond will be presented by Hofstra Labor Studies and the Center for Labor and Democracy in collaboration with Long Island Jobs with Justice and A.L.L.O.W. (Advancing Local Leadership Opportunities for Women).
Forum #1 will be “What is workplace safety? Who is responsible?

The event will take place on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Advance registration is required: RSVP HERE. Registrants will be sent an event link to attend prior to the event.

Free and open to the public // Capacity: 300

 Please join the Queens Chamber of Commerce for a complimentary webinar to learn about:

  • What is forgivable and what is not forgivable in the PPP loan and the EIDL grants
  • Tax implications of the loans from an income and an expense perspective
  • Documentation needed to get these loans forgiven

This webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 9th at 2 pm. You can register for the event here.

 Wednesday, June 10, 2020 Long Island Advancement of Small Business presents  ZOOM Video Conference “Office 365 Unleashed for Small & Medium-sized Businesses” 8:00AM to 10:00AM RSVP at www.liasb.com or call 516-473-7202.  Registration is Free, but you must register for this event.

New York State Launches NY Forward Loan Fund

Yesterday, New York State 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.

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:

CDC Guidelines on Coronavirus Prevention

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

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.  Wash or sanitize your hands thoroughly.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or antiseptic wipe.

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

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

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Whether it’s developing, building and managing next-generation housing for first-time homebuyers, creating exceptional yet affordable living solutions for independent active adults, or trailblazing ongoing innovation in senior care and senior living, The Engel Burman Group continues to anticipate, adapt and advance — challenging, rethinking and redefining what’s possible.

Smart Talk

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

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to info@visionlongisland.org for consideration.

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