Long Island Main Street News March 24th, 2020

Here is the latest edition of LI Main Street News for day 9 of the Coronavirus economic crisis. Check out new community updates combined with new resource links….

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


March 24th, 2020


“The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought. And that is a bad combination of facts,”– NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo

“We are hanging in there.  Whatever our customers are comfortable with, we’ll do.  We’ll deliver to the door, knock, or not, deliver curbside, or welcome you into the restaurant for takeout.  Everyone is different and we understand.” – Joe Carusone, owner of Vincent’s Pizzaria and Restaurant in Lynbrook

“We don’t know how long small businesses will survive, they don’t have workers, there is a lot of misinformation and we need people to stay calm.” – Harry Malhotra, South Asian Chamber of Commerce

“People are leaving businesses and are stretched to the limit. We are hoping for guidance and that some resources will come.” – Dennis Jones, Hempstead Chamber of Commerce

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 9 of shutdown – Tuesday March 24, 2020

So Tuesday, day 9, of the Coronavirus economic shutdown gave us a clearer picture of what is happening in local communities.  

We held two conference calls, one from each county with chamber, civic, and local government leaders to hear about 40 community updates.   There is a tremendous amount of local effort and organizing in each community to help folks move through this crisis.  Food is getting out to seniors and schoolkids, communication through local villages and networks is occurring virtually with a rally around the small businesses that are open for takeout, delivery and other services. 

We will have a complete writeup from most of these downtowns for tomorrow’s edition but for now here is some important news for folks:

• Governor Cuomo held his daily briefing on the increased numbers and desperate need for hospital beds in New York State. As cases of the virus spike, the state’s response is quickly reaching a critical point with over 25,000 confirmed positives currently in NYS with a statewide death toll of 210.  Almost 15,000 of the confirmed cases are currently located in New York City.  3,324 patients are currently hospitalized for treatment, with 756 of those being located in intensive care units.  The rate of hospitalization is now at 23%.
• New York State has a Coronavirus hotline and website for information or to schedule a test.
• 30,000 New Yorkers have responded to the call for retired nurses and doctors along with medical school students.   If you want to serve you can go here.
• NYS is supplying their hand sanitizer to front line providers on an as-need basis.   Here is the request form.
• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will be doing a Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday March 25th at 6:30pm
• Nassau & Suffolk County need Emergency Personal protective Equipment – Drives are underway.   Info is below in the links and here.
• Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin provided a video update on essential services.
• Island Harvest continues their work and has a food locater on their website – folks should check that out.
• The Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers has resources on their website so folks should check that out.    Nassau Chambers is updating theirs as well so another resource.
• If you are stir crazy with kids at home the Cradle of Aviation uses a video service to bring the museum to residents.
• We are starting to see some Corporate Philanthropy develop that has been missing through this crisis.   Stay tuned for a more thorough report…..

– Pink Tie and the LI Nets have developed a Pink Tie delivers program – more on that in the coming days.
– Trader Joe’s has been making donations to local food pantries
– A number of grants for displaced local artists are starting to emerge
– Bank of America has dedicated a $100 million fund nationwide.
– The Long Island East End Group purchased 15,000 masks for distribution to front line providers.
– 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.  

There is still a dearth of real community level information and tons of questions from folks.  

We will be getting video information out to people in the coming week so stay tuned.

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.

RECENT NEWS AND LINKS:

Governor Cuomo Announces Executive Order for all Nonessential Businesses to Close

NYS has released a document with guidance on what constitutes an essential business

Video with Leg. William Doc Spencer on safely supporting Main Street businesses….

Rose Walker visited local downtowns to remind residents to patronize businesses that are struggling right now.

Nassau County Minority Affairs Director Lionel Chitty provides a update on small business disaster loans.

Economists & small business leaders prepare to take an even bigger hit…..

Nassau County Map of updates from Across the County (Courtesy of Nassau Legislator Laura Schaefer)

Message from Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin calling for delay in School taxes

Long Island food banks and school assistance

Main Street meats provides home delivery

SUEZ – who manages Nassau’s major sewage treatment plants in Cedar Creek and Bay Park is urging residents to NOT flush wipes down the toilet but instead place in garbage.  

Two hospitals on Long Island are selected as temporary hospitals.

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

NYS has put out a call for health related emergency personnel.

National Grid has canceled their public meetings on short and long term energy supply options but holding them in a virtual format.

Town of Hempstead Town Hall is closed with a hotline open to answer questions and concerns.

The Town of Huntington closes parks and asks public to report violations of social distancing behavior.

Dining Bonds created to help local small businesses.

The Treasury, IRS and Labor Dept. announced a plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave.

The Small Business Association announced an automatic deferment for loans from previous disasters.

The most confusing issue over the weekend was what businesses are considered essential and which ones aren’t.  With rumors circulating and information changing this guidance document from NYS is very helpful.   
To request an exemption of get clarification from your potential nonessential status please fill out the form here.

The Federal Center for Disease Control set up a website to combat rumors on the Coronavirus.

Governor Cuomo continued his daily updates from with a discussion of federal coordination on hospital beds, medical equipment, number of cases, new testing opportunities and lots of other information.  The Governor also discussed a more refined governmental strategy in response to help the economy.

Thomas Friedman wrote a thoughtful opinion piece on how to get the economy back on track without sacrificing public health.

So in a surprise to no one unemployment has spiked across all regions of NYS. Radically unofficial estimates say tens of thousands of LIrs lost their jobs this week from the shutdown. March numbers of just those seeking unemployment insurance will be sobering.

Governor Cuomo and the legislature approved sick leave for employees under precautionary or mandatory quarantine due to COVID-19. The provisions of the quarantine legislation are set to take effect immediately upon passage, ensuring that New York workers will be able to take advantage of these benefits.

To address the immediate need of employees affected by COVID-19 who are subject to mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the department of health, local board of health, or any governmental entity duly authorized to issue such order, the Governor’s legislation will provide the following based on employee numbers as of January 1, 2020:

Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide unpaid leave and job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.

Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine order, and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.

Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers (regardless of number of employees), will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.

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

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.

US Representative Kathleen Rice has Released Preliminary Guidelines for SBA Disaster Loans

Northwell Health Delays Payments for Patients Financially Impacted by COVID-19 Impact

Mobile testing for COVID-19 is available in Suffolk County by appointment only.
Call 1-888-364-3065

Pro Health offers testing in Great Neck and Jericho

NYS has ordered all bars, restaurants to be closed but can sell takeout (even alcohol).   Gyms, theatres are closed as well and no gatherings of over 50 people.  Government will waive park fees and reduce their workforce by 50% minimum with non essential staff ordered to stay home.

All police and emergency medical services will be supplied with masks and drive thru testing will commence in Long Island and Staten Island.

NYS will suspend Department of Health regulations to increase hospital capacity and may soon cancel all elective surgery.

Folks need to work – it’s not only a life blood economically but (in most cases) fuels your social, mental health and gives people purpose.

Of the 150 independent small businesses we have spoken to almost everyone has at least temporarily laid off some employees.

Hopefully the new job opportunities in cleaning, delivery services and base level medical assistance can absorb at least a small portion of this radical dislocation for real people.

If you see job opportunities out there please post. We are doing daily updates and are already getting calls from individuals looking for opportunities.

Here is a story in Newsday by James Madore that spotlights this issue and good to see local business owner John Murray from Kilwins in Bayshore and Patchogue and the Hero Joint interviewed about his experiences. Vision is also quoted.

Hotels and Tourism comes to a halt

New Rules for Nursing Homes

Buses, Trains Stay Extra Clean

PSEG Long Island Halts Service Shut Offs

National Grid Halts Service Shut Offs

Verizon Suspends Collection Activities

AT&T suspends collection activities during the Coronavirus crisis

Geico postponed collectons during Coronavirus shutdown

New York to Halt All Evictions

US to Advance Funds for Paid Sick Leave

Men on the Move Offers Free Storage for College Students

Huntington NOW Op-Ed Supporting Local Businesses

How to Clean the Germs on your phone

EPA Guidelines on Disinfectants to use combatting Coronavirus

Etiquette when Shopping

How to talk to children about the Coronavirus

CDC Policy on Mass Gatherings

Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Local Business Resource

Every Restaurant on Long Island Offering Take Out and Delivery

Tips for Small Businesses trying to Survive Coronavirus Shutdown

Half of the New York Workforce Needs to Stay Home

Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens Assist

IMPORTANT WEBSITES TO TRACK:

Northwell Health Digital Resource Center

NYS Department of Health

CDC Website

Occupational Safety and Health

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

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

Worldometers Coronavirus totals in the US

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Reports from Local Downtowns

At this time of uncertainty, we are beginning to see a number of downtowns being shuttered as bars, restaurants, and any place where multiple people congregate are running up against fears of and caution at spreading the Coronavirus.  While this is a socially responsible action that will help to save lives, in the short term these actions are having a number of adverse effects on our local communities.

Vision Long Island has collected a number of experiences from local restaurants and service businesses, but before we go into that we would like to encourage everyone reading this to find a way to responsibly patronize local establishments.  Many stores are offering curbside pickup or online shopping to help them get through this difficult time.  And your favorite restaurants are also currently open for business with takeout available.  We also urge you to consider gift cards in order to purchase something at a later date for yourself, or perhaps to give as a present.

Local shops are in a capable position to provide you with what you need in the short-term.  Many will also be willing to accommodate you if you contact them ahead of time with requests that will minimize contact and help to lower the spread of this virus.

Vision has connected to over 225 small businesses in over 25 downtowns as they weather the economic storm through the Coronavirus. We encourage people to responsibly patronize these and other open establishments. Many of them have been there for local organizations and philanthropy – they now need our support.

In the meantime, here is a selection of updates from Long Island downtowns, more to follow…

Lynbrook

Day 9 of the Coronavirus economic shutdown takes us to downtown Lynbrook where the community has banded together on a number of levels.

From monitoring experts’ opinions and suggestions, providing COVID-19 education, closing the library and village sponsored recreational events, to partnering with Key Food Supermarket to deliver food to seniors that rely on buses to get to the market, the Village of Lynbrook is working overtime to keep its residents safe.  Along with tackling this health crisis, the Village is grappling with the economic crisis all downtowns are now facing.

With great schools and friendly residents, many of whom have grown up there, Lynbrook has been able to maintain its local flavor. With its embrace of several recent projects, the Village has begun lowering its oar in the water on transit-oriented development, utilizing its unique rail opportunities.  Now, all hands are on deck to try to minimize the economic damage that is ensuing from the fallout of the Coronavirus.

Joe Carusone, owner of Vincent’s, embodies the spirit of Lynbrook, “We are hanging in there.  Whatever our customers are comfortable with, we’ll do.  We’ll deliver to the door, knock, or not, deliver curbside, or welcome you into the restaurant for takeout.  Everyone is different and we understand.”

The Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce has a message for residents, “Between the mandate that closed restaurants, and the supermarkets out of, well, everything, you can support our member restaurants who are open for takeout and delivery. You’ll be doing yourself and them a big favor.”

Kudos to Mayor Alan Beach and his team for managing the Village through this crisis.

Here is a sampling of local restaurants making it work:

Angelinas Pizzeria & Restaurant is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
33 Atlantic Avenue, Lynbrook, (516) 872-3477

Burger Shack is open for takeout & delivery
97 Broadway, Lynbrook, (516) 218-2777

Craft Kitchen & Tap House is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
44 Stauderman Ave, Lynbrook, (516) 341-0547

Lynbrook Eats is open for takeout & delivery
245 Merrick Rd, Lynbrook, (516) 887-4932

Maier’s Brick Café is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
157 Lakeview Ave, Lynbrook, (516) 599-9669

Santorini’s is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
165 Atlantic Avenue, Lynbrook, (516) 593-9600

SaVino’s Restaurant & Wine Bar is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
88 Atlantic Avenue, Lynbrook, (516) 596-1600

Villa Formia is open for takeout & delivery
455 Merrick Rd, Lynbrook, (516) 599-4200

Vincent’s is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
14 Atlantic Ave, Lynbrook, (516) 599-1204

Babylon Village

Day 8 of the Coronavirus economic shutdown brought us to Suffolk County and the Village of Babylon.

The Village of Babylon has been working on redevelopment projects, including a downtown theatre, and maintains a robust business district.  The Village understands that money spent on brick and mortar stores in its downtown stays in the community, helps pay local taxes, and keeps jobs and resources in the neighborhood.  The advent of the Coronavirus and the steps that towns, villages, counties, and states are necessarily taking to protect the health of residents, may ultimately injure downtown businesses.

Kelly Peckholdt, President of the Babylon Village Chamber of Commerce, sees the importance of focusing on the economic impact of this crisis.  “Our businesses here in the village are already significantly impacted,” said Ms. Peckholdt.  “At this point, pretty much all of the businesses are closing or have modified their hours significantly.  A few retailers are still open but are only doing virtual shopping or private shopping appointments.  We’re essentially waiting on and expecting the announcement to come that all non-essential businesses must close.  There are a lot of business owners and employees of those businesses who are already concerned for their livelihoods considering the government has not provided a timeline on these shut downs.  On the other hand, we are already seeing a wave of support from the community.

“As a Chamber, we have been working really hard this week at constantly sharing businesses who are offering takeout, virtual shopping, etc, on our social media pages, and have also been trying to share as much information from local governments as possible for business owners to reference.  We also have some larger marketing projects in the works, too, as we are trying to help our fellow business owners as much as possible.  Another upside, though, is that this situation has forced many businesses to become really creative in what and how they are marketing – only time will tell if these strategies will also work in a post-coronavirus world, but I think these innovative strategies will be what will hopefully allow these businesses to survive for the time being.”

Richard Kahn, Bar Manager at The Brixton, sums it up.  “We are all in this together.  We are trying to restore some sense of normalcy, which is so important right now.  We need to take care of each other.”

Here is a sampling of local Babylon restaurants making it work:

Del Fuego is open for takeout, curbside service and delivery through Uber Eats & Doordash
117 Deer Park Avenue Babylon, (631) 620-3700

Horace & Sylvia’s Publick House
100 Deer Park Ave Babylon, (631) 587-5081

Jack Jack’s Coffee House is open for takeout
223 Deer Park Ave Babylon, (631) 526-9983

Lily Flanagan’s Pub is open for takeout and delivery
345 Deer Park Ave, Babylon, (631) 539-0816

Mary Carroll’s is open for takeout
121 Deer Park Ave, Babylon, (631) 587-6181

Mulberry Street Babylon
30-32 E Main St. Babylon, (631) 321-5980

Ohayo Japanese Cuisine is open for takeout and delivery
233 E Main St, Babylon, (631) 669-1639

Post Office Café is open for takeout and delivery through Uber Eats & Door Dash & Grubhub
130 West Main Street Babylon, (631) 669-9224

The Brixton is open for pickup (delivery coming soon)
111 Deer Park Ave Babylon, (631) 587-2000

Kudos to Babylon Mayor Ralph Scordino who is managing the Village through this crisis.

Kings Park

We recently had a chance to talk to our friends, small businesses, and government leaders in Kings Park to see how they are coping amidst the shutdown.

Kings Park has been making slow but steady strides towards revitalizing its aging downtown. With business, community and government working together, the prospects for positive growth has become a reality. The current restrictions associated with combatting the Coronavirus threatens to derail this progress. Like every local Main Street, the businesses, especially restaurants, are struggling to survive.

Anthony Tanzi, President of the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce, predicts “Main Street and small business will weather this storm! However, it’s going to take a commitment from our local communities to help them though if we want them there when it’s over.”

Kevin Denis, owner of Professor’s Café agrees, “We’ve been taking care of the community for 33 years, we hope the community will be there for us.” Denis explains, “It’s hard to know what the right thing to do is, close for a few weeks or stay open. We are doing everything we can to hang in there and survive.”

Michael Grimaudo, owner of Gino’s Kings Park concurs, businesses are hurting, but we are working to stay positive.

The Town of Smithtown government understands the immediate challenges of balancing personal health and economic health of communities. “This pandemic has hit our Main Street businesses in a way that has many of them wondering how they will survive. Many are coming up with ways of conducting business without compromising the public. Bakeries are making DIY cookie kits to take home, restaurants are amping up takeout, realtors are filming available homes… they’re each finding their own recipe to make lemonade. And while the public must remain vigilant in social distancing, we can all find a way to safely support our local shops, be it sharing their social media posts or making a donation to those forced to close… the way through this is together,” Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

Linda Henninger, President if the Kings Park Civic encourages residents to support the local businesses downtown as well.

We had the chance to also see the Park Bake Shop set up an order window. Owner Lucy Shtanko offered delicious kronuts to go.

Here is sampling of Kings Park restaurants making it work:

Café Red is open from 12 pm to 8 pm for order and pickup.
107 Main Street, Kings Park, Phone (631) 544-4500.

Ciro’s Kings Park is open from 2 pm to 8 pm for deliveries, takeout and curbside pickup.
74 Main Street, Kings Park, Phone: 631-269-2600.

Gino’s Kings Park is open from 10 am to 9 pm for takeout and delivery.
52 Indian Head Road, Kings Park, Phone (631) 269-2880.

Long River Restaurant is open from 11 am to 6 pm for takeout and delivery.
4 Main Street, Kings Park, Phone (631) 544-4666.

Professor’s Café is open M,T,W from 8 am to 7 pm, Th, F from 8 am to 8 pm, Sat 8 am to 7 pm, Sun from 8 am to 3 pm for takeout and delivery.
58 Indian Head Road, Kings Park, Phone (631) 269-4346.

Relish is open from 11 am to 7 pm for takeout and delivery.
2 Pulaski Road, Kings Park, Phone (631) 292-2740.

Simply Greek is open 11 am to 9 pm for takeout and delivery.
12 Indian Head Road, Kings Park, Phone (631) 663-3652.

Park Bake Shop, 5:00am-6:00pm, Takeout through order window.
112 Main St, Kings Park, 631-269-3825

Park Lounge, 4:00pm-7:00pm, doing takeout of family meals.
605 E. Main Street, Kings Park, 631-979-1351

Kings Park Shipping has been mandated as an essential business by the Governor’s order to remain open as a vessel into the shipping channel for UPS,FEDEX,DHL and USPS.  They can also handle printing as needed.  Please email any inquiries to: john@kingsparkshipping.com

Northport

Vision Long Island was in downtown Northport recently, where a number of small businesses are still open for takeout during the day and the night.

Some of the businesses that are open for takeout include:

Northport Harbor Delicatessen
Martoni’s Italian Eatery
Wine Bar
Main Street Café
Golden China
Venus Greek Restaurant
Tokyo
Mamma Mias Pizzeria
Copenhagen Bakery
Robkes

Rob Breudenbach from the Northport Harbor Delicatessen, both of which have been mainstays in town for decades, has great egg sandwiches, soups and lunches.

Martoni’s, a much newer operation, has great coffee, homemade soups, and other entrees and products.  They also have pasta for sale for folks that are stocking up and find their local supermarket bare.

The Wine Bar is open for takeout and serving up their eclectic menu, which includes other open restaurants in town.  It is literally a one stop takeout shop along with wine, of course.

Lastly, Maroni’s is open with lots of their award winning meatballs hot and ready to go.  Maria Maroni is working long days and nights to keep that operation ready to go for local patrons.

Folks can grab their takeout and eat at the waterfront while still remaining good distance apart, or just safely walk around town while avoiding close contact with others.

Many of the retail shops voluntarily closed even before the forced shutdown the came last night and the one last Monday.  Northport is a village that relies heavily on tourism revenue, so summers are when most restaurants, bars, and retailers benefit and January & February are the slowest months of the month.  The shutdown occurring in March, when most of these businesses are beginning to ramp back up, may actually be worse than the winter and is debilitating for many.  Sadly, our friend Gene from Oscar’s barbershop was forced to close last week in anticipation of shutdown orders. We hope to see him back.

We hope folks can find a responsible way to patronize these small businesses or others in your own downtown.  It’s the only way these folks will make it through what will be a rough economic time for all of us.

Farmingdale

No single downtown has brought housing, jobs, economic activity and great adaptive reuse with transit-oriented development as the Village of Farmingdale, but as this pandemic begins to cause significant economic distress, very few places or industries will emerge unscathed, and none are more vulnerable than our local Main Street businesses.

Farmingdale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand and the Village Board of Trustees are not only working to keep their community safe; they are visiting merchants throughout the Village to address the current economic crisis. Mayor Ekstrand tells us, “We have been doing take out every night from a different place. We put out on the Village website, and to all residents on our constant contact, a list of restaurant’s names and phone numbers which are doing delivery and take out. We have given all merchants the SBA information to file for money.  We are trying our best to keep Farmingdale a Village to be proud of.”

The Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce asks that Farmingdale come together to support the businesses that support the community. “Every day, small business owners and organizations are being asked to make public safety judgement calls, putting themselves, their staff, and their future at risk,” President Joseph Garcia states. “Our restaurants, brewery, and many others have been forced to change business models overnight to comply with State Rules and Guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The vast majority of our members are still operating. Food and beverage establishments have made provisions for takeout, curbside pick-up, free delivery, discounts, and Alcohol to-go and even delivered. Please continue to support our businesses here in Farmingdale. Order in, have some beer or wine. Continue doing business over the phone. Consider purchasing gift cards for future use, as well. We want to make sure Farmingdale continues to be a strong and vibrant business community.”

Here is a sampling of local restaurants making it work:

317 Main Street is open for curbside & delivery
317 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 512-5317

Bagel Hut is open for takeout & delivery
525 Fulton Street (Rt 109) Farmingdale (516) 249-3300

Caracara Mexican Grill is open for curbside & delivery
354 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 777-2272

Charlotte’s Desserts is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
294 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 586-3595

Chiddy’s Cheesesteaks is open for pick up & delivery
191 Main Street, Farmingdale (631) 609-1425

Croxley Ales is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
190 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 293-7700

Dominican Restaurant 4 is open for takeout & delivery
305 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 586-6005

Flux Coffee is open for takeout
211 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 586-8979

Frankie’s Pizzeria is open for takeout & delivery
313 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 502-1304

Grecian Grill is open for takeout & delivery
261 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 753-1260

High Tide Taco is open for takeout & delivery
257 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 586-5255

Library Café is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
274 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 752-7678

Lithology is open for curbside & delivery
211A Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 962-0585

Main Street Pizza is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
302 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 777-3600

Palmer’s American Grille is open for curbside & delivery
123 Fulton Street, Farmingdale (516) 420-0609

Sobol is open for takeout
155 b Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 588-0500

Stuff-A-Bagel is open for takeout & delivery
234 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 420-4287

That Meetball Place is open for curbside & delivery
206 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 586-8880

The Republic Pub is open for takeout & delivery
217 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 293-4400

Thyme on Your Side (Le Petit Café) is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
314 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 465-9660

Tiny Thai is open for takeout
187 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 694-3302

TOA is open for takeout & delivery
122 Secatogue Avenue, Farmingdale (516) 777-8888

Tre Scalini is open for takeout & delivery
196 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 249-0140

Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar is open for takeout & delivery
282 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 586-8542

Wings Over Farmingdale is open for takeout
221 Main Street, Farmingdale (516) 756-9464

Farmingdale has also released a list of local businesses that are still open and what services they are offering to customers, which you can access here.

Mineola

Vision was out in downtown Mineola for day 4 of the forced shutdown of most activities.

Restaurants we were able to speak with or observed open included:

PS Burgers
Kaiyo Japanese Cuisine
Recovery Room Bar & Grill
Burrito Blvd. Mexican Grill
Spaghettini Pizza
Las Vinas Peruvian Cuisine
Heart of Portugal
Piccolo Bussala Family Style
Taglio Roman Style Pizza
Gyro Stop

(It is worth noting that the line for one of the local gun shops was out the door at 8:30 at night.)

We had takeout from Taglio Roman Style Pizza, which tasted great.  We also stopped in to see Avelino and Elizabeth from Heart of Portugal.  Their Grilled Octupus with Vegetables special was particularly delicious!

Unfortunately, businesses reported of being 90% down on average, even with takeout orders still being available.  Most have had to lay off 50 to 80% of their staff, and are operating under skeleton crews.  But it is still worth noting that takeout food delivery is still allowed under the forced measures to be enacted on Sunday.

Vision has now spoken to over 160 independent small businesses who have been decimated by the forced shutdowns of most Main Street activities.

East Meadow

East Meadow businesses were the latest group to be stunned by a sudden closure of businesses on Monday as they worked to keep their establishments extra clean in hopes of staying open.  After the order toc lose came, owners began to work in earnest to figure out how to make up for the loss of revenue.

“Up until five minutes ago, we were sanitizing and planning to stay open,” Frank Camarano, the manager of World Gym in East Meadow, said on Monday afternoon. “Now everyone is just stunned, just like I am. The members are heartbroken, and now they don’t know what to do.”

Mr. Camarano is also the board chairman of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce and the vice president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce.  Working in those positions have placed him in the position of contacting numerous local businesses so as to calm nerves, but a number of local owners feel as though they have nowhere to go.  Right now he is working to gather resources to and information on relief plans at different levels of government that can possibly help.

“I think what people have to hear is that ‘You’re not alone,’” said Mr. Camarano. “I know it sounds kind of hokey, but it’s true.”

Frank Borrelli, owner of Borrelli’s Italian Restaurant in East Meadow, is hoping to keep his doors open with a takeout menu, but had to fire his entire wait staff in the wake of Cuomo’s order, though it pained him to do so.  He made the promise to hire them once the ban on gatherings is lifted, but for the moment he has to make do the best he can.

“I guess we could deliver a pizza with ‘quarantini’ to go,” Borrelli said, referencing the loosening of liquor laws to allow alcohol to be sold off premises.  Mr. Borrelli also talked about how his business made it through Hurricane Sandy, but could at least look forward to the nearby Nassau Colosseum to help bring in customers.  But this time is different as the ban on public gatherings means at least a month without such relief.

Local businesses focused on fitness are working to continue providing services on a virtual level for their customers. Anthony Bevilacqua, who owns AB Fitness in East Meadow, will have his staff stream three half-hour sessions in the morning and three at night for members, as well as nutritional seminars each evening.

“One of the best ways to fight the coronavirus is to keep staying healthy,” said Mr. Bevilacqua. “Everyone’s definitely more stressed during this time. But the only thing you could control is yourself and the actions you take.”

You can read more at the Long Island Herald.

Franklin Square and Elmont

This past Tuesday was supposed to see an influx of business for local restaurants and bars in Franklin Square and Elmont.  Instead, there has been mostly silence in the wake of Governor Cuomo’s order to for bars and restaurants to switch to takeout and delivery instead of dine-in establishments.  This turn of events has left local owners worried during what should be one of their busiest times of year.

“It might shut down my restaurant,” said Ann Angelino, owner of Murph’s Restaurant in Franklin Square.  Ms. Angelino recently invested $10,000 into her business in preparation of St. Patrick’s Day and is afraid that she will be unable to recoup the cost with the ongoing shutdown order.  Additionally, she is unable to apply to unemployment insurance as the owner of her own business.

This is a problem being seen across the region as owner after owner faces plummeting sales and patronage as local residents stay home for fear of spreading the Coronavirus.   This has left local chambers scrambling as they look to help out their businesses.

“In the next week or two, everyone’s really going to be hurting,” said Elmont Chamber of Commerce President Paul Sapienza, who also owns Sapienza Bake Shop in downtown Elmont. “If they don’t have any money, they’ll have to close up.”

Mr. Sapienza stated that some businesses might be able to take out loans or use money in reserve, but that the shutdown could still lead to a large number of employees being laid off.  Part-time employees will probably be the first, a majority of whom are students or people looking for extra disposable income, but the longer this crisis drags on the more difficult it will be for local business to pay even a skeleton staff.

That is the primary concern of Mario Testani, owner of Filomena’s Restaurant, who feels as though he has enough money to weather the crisis, but is concerned for his employees.  He is trying to figure out the best way to remain open and still paying them while also being conscientious of the safety of others.

But on top of that, the main concern is how businesses will be paying their ongoing expenses.  “I’ll have to pay my landlord no matter what,” said Anthony Capogna, owner of Olivetto Pizzaria and Ristorante, which is still open for takeout.  But the future is suddenly very uncertain for him and a lot of local business on Long Island.

You can read more about Franklin Square and Elmont at the Long Island Herald.

Rockville Centre

Rockville Centre businesses have also been experiencing losses during this time as owners work to figure out how to move forward at this time.

The message coming from local restaurants has been one of shrinking business coupled with cutting staff to help deal with nosediving revenue.  While a switch to takeout might be enough to keep restaurants afloat, it’s not enough for workers who rely on these businesses.

Many hourly workers depend on their paycheck, so that’s disconcerting,” said George Korten, owner of George Martin restaurants in Rockville Centre. “We need some relief from the federal or state government [because] you have a lot of people worried financially, as well as health-wise.”  But even so, Mr. Korten also noted that “the safety of our guests is our primary concern, so the shutdown is a very smart move. That’s the only way to flat-line the curve.”

Even so, businesses are suffering.  Tommy Masvroudis, who owns Pantry Diner, said that even with takeout being offered his diner would need to significantly cut back on staff.  While he would have liked to have retained hem for when business came back, he felt it was more responsible to put them in a position where they could file for unemployment.

It’s not just restaurants though as Rockville Centre’s The Little Gym, which caters children and is owned by married couple Alu Murphy and Miguel Madera, has had to close its doors for the time being and is scrambling to make up the revenue.  “It’s definitely nerve-racking,” said Ms. Murphy. “We rely on people to come in for classes. I’m hoping the government will assist us, because if people can’t come in, it will affect our business. For now we’re just doing everything we can to keep our business going.”

Sportset Health and Fitness Club, another local gym, is hoping to retain members by offering virtual classes.  Owner Dennison Silvio talked about how he had hoped it wouldn’t come to a shutdown and had been investing into extra leaning staff and sterilization methods to help keeps customers safe.  “I was really hoping,” said Mr. Silvio, “even if we would lose money, that we’d be able to stay open and be an outlet to the community. I was planning to operate [with] a skeleton crew. Now we’re forced to close, and it’s tricky, because I’m not sure how long it will be.”

Meanwhile, the local Chamber of Commerce, headed by President Brian Courtier, has been working to reach out to local businesses in the downtown to help promote takeout and delivery options.  The Chamber has been working with Village Hall to try and get some sort of relief by offering free parking for the duration of the shutdown.  He is also encouraging residents to buy gift cards from local businesses.  Even with the shutdown he noted that people still need purchases for things like birthdays, anniversaries, and births, and gift cards offer a way to help local businesses while providing for those occasions.

You can read more about Rockville Centre’s efforts at the Long Island Herald.

Greenport

Greenport businesses are getting ready for the impact of the Coronavirus shutdown as life on the buys Main Street has drawn to a halt.  Like the rest of Long Island, the Village has seen a severe drop in patronage as resident avoid public places and big crowds.

“Town is very quiet,” said Scott Raulsome, who owns Burton’s Bookstore.  “We haven’t had more than two customers in the store at the same time.”

Mr. Raulsome said that he is hoping that isolated people will take advantage of his bookstore for entertainment, noting that he is capable of shipping, local delivery, or other transactions that aren’t in-person.  In the meantime he is simply sanitizing everything and keeping his store as clean as possible for the limited amount of customers who still come in.

For other businesses, March is going from a month normally reliant on regular customers to one with almost not business whatsoever.  “We came into March knowing already it would be a down month and now you put this on top of it. We’re playing it by ear,” said Nancy Kouris of the Blue Duck Bakery.  The Bakery is normally reliant on regular customers, but a majority of those are elderly resident who are avoiding downtowns due to public health concerns.

Other businesses have assessed the risk and decided simply to close shop for the time being.  The Weathered Barn, which is owned by Rena Casey-Wilhelm and her husband Jason decided it was in their personal best interest to temporarily shutter the shop.  The two of them suffered from compromised immune systems and didn’t wish to risk their health or their elderly parent’s.

“The economic impact, certainly in the short-term, is severe,” said Southold Supervisor Scott Russell. “Impacts on the financial health of businesses in the long-term is difficult to predict.”

Local businesses are hoping that loans from the SBA can help get them through without having to dip too much into earning from the previous summer.  Owners seem anxious but optimistic that this will pass and life can return to normal before too long.  In the meantime, they are urging solidarity among residents and business owners.

“We are all in this together and this virus affects each and every one of us in so many ways health-wise as well as our local economy,” said Ms. Casey-Wilhelm.  “We feel confident we will all come out A-OK on the other side.”

You can read more at the Suffolk Times.

Hicksville

Night 2 of the Coronavirus economic crisis brought Vision Long Island out to downtown Hicksville.  Armed with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, we were happy to see a number of restaurants providing take out to customers.

Some of the restaurants visited or observed open included: Punto Rojo Colombian; Fuel Your Body Café; Jalea Peruvian Cuisine; Peppercorns; New Hot Breads; Benghali Sweet Shop; Crown Chicken Grill; Kandahar Grill; Lemon Leaf Grill; Biryani House; Gyro Stop; Dosa World; Kebab House; Texas Chicken & Ribs; Choopan Grill; Sakana Japanese; Bakhatar Halal Kabab; Khabul Tea House; Trullo Doro; Mulberry Street; Masala Wok.

Vision also stopped in to see Tony at Food Universe, who is doing brisk business.

All of the restaurants we talked to were down 20-50% of normal business before Monday.  The shift to takeout only has caused those numbers to drop even further.  The main concern most folks had was the coming weekend, which is where 50% or more of their business is secured.  Takeout only on a Saturday night is far different than a full dining room.

Huntington

Downtown Huntington has also begun to see the effects of the shutdown as the order to close restaurants and theaters went into effect this past Monday.  It was strange to see a normally bustling downtown dark and quiet come 8 pm as local businesses complied.

Restaurants are still offering curbside service and takeout, which is allowed under the order, but the Paramount as well as the local AMC theater were all closed.  Some restaurants opted close completely, going dark and shuttering their businesses after 8.

Staples such as Little Vincent’s and Skorpios stood ready to serve customers with takeout orders, but the owners acknowledged that the loss of business will hurt them.  Meanwhile Besito’s, which is a popular hot spot, stood closed.

One of Huntington’s newest businesses, the Main Street Board Game Café, is in a peculiar position thanks to the order.  The café side has to be closed at 8 but the retail portion of the store can remain open in order to sell board games.  This has led him to having to lay off workers since he no longer has enough work for them.  It’s also unclear if retail will eventually meet with a similar order to close early.

You can read more at Huntington Now.

Valley Stream

This Tuesday was supposed to be a big day for local bars and restaurants as St. Patrick’s Day is usually one of the busier days of the year.  But with Governor Cuomo’s executive order in full effect, it was a rather stark one for Valley Stream businesses beginning to get hit by the Coronavirus shutdown.

This mood was felt at numerous local establishments, including Buckley’s Restaurant and Bar, a 51-year-old establishment in downtown Valley Stream that had been reduced to a takeout service.  Even with a temporary change in the state’s liquor laws to allow off-site sale of alcohol, the business was expecting a big dent in normal patronage.

“No one wants to close down, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Buckley’s bartender Kenny Collins said. “You don’t want people to get sick, so you do what you have to do.”

Another local establishment, Mitchell’s Restaurant, has already had to send home workers as business has declined and is currently working out a plan to be able to switch full time to takeout and delivery service.  While owners and managers recognize the need for these sudden shifts, there is still much anxiety over how to do so and what the long term effects will be.

Local coffee shop Sip This has moved quickly, already shifting to takeout only as of Sunday, which was before the Governor’s order.  “We made the switch for our workers and customers,” manager David Notarbartolo said. “We wanted to make sure we were being as safe as possible.”

But Mr. Notarbartolo also noted that his business had already been seeing a sharp downtick in business as customers began avoiding the crowded places in recent weeks.  It was already putting his establishment in a place where they needed to cut back on staffing hours.  Fortunately for him a number of his staff are high school or college students who were looking for a little bit of extra cash, but there are a number of workers who rely on this as their primary source of income, and those are the ones who businesses are prioritizing at the moment.

You can read more at the Long Island Herald.

Westbury

As concern about the Coronavirus rises, Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro, the Board, and village agencies are taking steps to assure residents that everything possible is being done to promote their health and safety.

The Village, like other downtowns on Long Island, has been making great strides through the spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation, with hyperlocal focus and local groups coming together to support its downtown transformation. The Coronavirus pandemic threatens to change this protectory.

When it comes to local businesses, Mayor Cavallaro observes the longer the pandemic lasts, the more these businesses will feel tremendous pressure. “We need to support small business, as they do not have a long safety cord.” The Village is asking residents to shop locally where they can. “Without this support during these difficult times,” the Mayor says, “these businesses may not be here when its over.”

The Mayor notes that when it comes to health and safety, there are lots of resources from the County and State. Conversely, downtowns have less tools in their toolbox. The encouraging news, the Mayor notes, is the Village is in good shape. “Zoning is in place and we have a healthy downtown.”

Local restaurants are finding ways to safely serve their community. Owner of Toskana Pizzeria Restaurant, Jennifer Bautaj, notes the importance of shopping local all the time, and especially now, during a time of crisis. “People need to shop local, invest in small business, the Mom and Pop stores, in their communities. If not, we all lose.”

Here is a sampling of local restaurants making it work:

Cafe Gino’s is open from 10 am to 8 pm for takeout.
237 Post Ave, Westbury, Phone (516) 997-1912.

Kabul Kabab House is open from 12 pm to 9 pm for takeout and delivery.
247 Post Avenue, WestburyPhone (516) 280-4753.

Nana’s Ice Cream and Coffee House is open from 11 am to 8 pm for takeout and delivery.
225A Post Avenue, Westbury, Phone (516) 338-6888.

Punta Cana Grill is open from 11 am to 9 pm for takeout and delivery.
162 Post Ave, Westbury, Phone (516) 280-4099.

Toskana Pizzeria Restaurant is open from 10 am to 8 pm for takeout and delivery.
63 Post Avenue, Westbury, Phone (516) 414-7585.

Guiradelco, Phillipine Restaurant is open for takeout.

The Westbury Business Improvement District Board will continue to push out the revitalization plans with significant influence on keeping the current businesses open for the residence during these challenging times. Many of the food business are providing curb side pickup or delivery service to respect residents concerns. As the CDC recommends changes we will push them out the business. In these trying times lets all stay safe and keep the ill in out prayers, Vanessa Esposito, Executive Director

Vision staff stopped in to Guiradelco for delicious kebabs to go and a tasty Calzone from the Jennifer, Mike and Bill at Toskana.

Folks should visit these restaurants if you want to see them continue functioning.

Nassau and Suffolk County Calling for Medical Supplies Donations

Nassau County has placed a call out to residents for much-needed medical supplies among the ongoing pandemic.  County Executive Laura Curran, Comission of Police Patrick J. Ryder, and OEM Commissioner Steven Morelli all made the announcement today.

Supplies that Nassau County is currently looking for include:

– N95 Surgical Masks in unopened container/boxes
– Eye protection such as goggles and face shields
– Nitrile Gloves in unopened boxes which have not expired
– Disposable medical gowns (paper which are fluid resistant or plastic)
– Shoe cover/booties
– No-Touch thermometers
– Thermometer probe covers
– HEPA filters for Ventilators / Anesthesia Machines
– Antibacterial and disinfecting wipes – typically alcohol or bleach-based
– Disinfecting wipes (Clorox/Lysol)
– Hand Sanitizer

The supply drive will run this week through Friday, March 27th and begin again next Monday through Friday from 9 am to 3 pm.  Supplies can be brought to the Nassau County Public Safety Parking Lot, Field 3, Eisenhower Park, where a drive-up collection point is set up. 

Meanwhile, Suffolk County is currently holding its own medical supply drive.  They are currently asking for medical masks, gowns, gloves, antibacterial and any other desperately needed medical supplies.  These supplies can be dropped off at the Suffolk County Fire Academy in Yaphank for the rest of the week from 10 am to 2 pm.

The Suffolk drive is aimed at helping out hospitals, medical centers, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes where supplies are quickly being depleted among the spreading disease.  Supplies are also in high demand for EMS workers, police officers, and first responders.

Facilities in Suffolk County that are in urgent need of supplies can register to receive them here.

The drive has seen success so far with 40,000 gloves, 3,000 N95 masks, and 1,500 gloves donated so far. 
Both Counties urge any donation you are able to give, with no donation considered too small.

Governor Cuomo Gives Update on NYS Coronavirus Outbreak

In his latest update on the ongoing outbreak in New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo painted a dire picture about the pandemic and what it means for the region.

As cases of the virus spike the state’s response is quickly reaching a critical point with over 25,000 confirmed positives currently in NYS with a statewide death toll of 210.  Almost 15,000 of the confirmed cases are currently located in New York City.  3,324 patients are currently hospitalized for treatment, with 756 of those being located in intensive care units.  The rate of hospitalization is now at 23%.

Cuomo also stated that the focus remains on ramping up capacity as hospitals begin to deal with an influx of patients.  Ventilators are in particular demand, especially as more and more severe cases appear.  He went on to note that the apex of the outbreak is expected to come in the next two to three weeks and that the state will need upwards of 140,000 hospital beds and 30,000 ventilators.

“The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought. And that is a bad combination of facts,” Cuomo said.

 Governor Cuomo also referred to New York as the “canary in the coalmine,” with both the highest and fastest rate of infection in the country.  What we’re seeing in New York could be what we begin to see rippling out across the nation as the virus spreads.  He called on the federal government to step up production of ventilators and other needed medical supplies and vowed that New York would chip them elsewhere once the need for them subsided in the state.

Cuomo gave this update while touring the Javits Center in Manhattan, which is currently being converted into four emergency hospital facilities that will be ready for use come next week.  While there he touted his most recent emergency order to increase bed capacity in local hospitals by 50%. 

He ended by stating that New York is looking into how to balance the need for quarantine with the need to get the economy moving again.  He also noted that there is now a need for elected officials to refine public health strategy while getting younger, recovered, and tested people back out into the workforce.

Laura Curran to Host Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, March 25th

In an effort to update residents on the constantly changing COVID-19 situation, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran will be hosting a virtual Town Hall on her Facebook page this upcoming Wednesday, March 25th at 6:30 pm.

Nassau County Commissioner of Health Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein will also be present as they give residents the latest news on what is being done to keep their families safe and healthy.  You will be able to join directly from your home to get up-to-date information and ask questions concerning the outbreak as well as strategies to fight back.

You can head to Executive Curran’s Facebook Page here, which is where the Town Hall will be streamed from.  There are also a number of previous updates that she has been giving daily since the outbreak began.

NYS Asking for Qualified Health Professionals to Recertify

In the event that the novel coronavirus crisis worsens, we need the help of qualified health professionals and related professionals to supplement our hospital capacity on a temporary basis to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients including those that may need to be intubated. The NYS Dept. of Health will recertify you for the purpose.

If you are interested and able to help out, please fill out the Health Professional Survey here.

Amazon Hiring Thousands of New Workers During Coronavirus Outbreak

As a number of workers are being let go from their positions, Amazon is looking to hire 100,000 new workers as delivery drivers and warehouse workers. To help incentivize this initiative they are offering an additional $2 per hour to anyone who applies before April.

If you are interested in one of these positions you can read more about the initative and apply for a job 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.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

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

Smart Talk

Contributors:
Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director; Jon Siebert, Administrative Director

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.

Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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