Long Island Main Street News March 27th, 2020

Here is the Friday edition of LI Main Street News that is now being published daily instead of weekly. Daily editions help us make sense of the conflicting set of information coming out from most sources and also the feedback and questions we are hearing from folks in local communities.

This edition covers information on SBA loans, the NYS halt of construction, more community updates as to downtown small businesses that are still open and other resources. Check it out…..

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


March 27th, 2020


This legislation provides $367 billion in loan guarantees to help businesses with under 500 employees make payroll and pay other debts while workers have to stay home. These companies that keep paychecks steady between Feb. 15 and June 15 with the help of this new assistance could get up to $10 million each in forgivable small business loans.

– Hon. Lee Zeldin, US Congressman

During this difficult time, our great small businesses have been struggling. Many local restaurants and bars are still serving the public in take-out and delivery capacities. If you can, please help by supporting our local businesses.  

– Hon. Laura Schaefer, Nassau County Legislator

We are confronted with a public health crisis that comes with great economic impacts. Residents are encouraged to safely use local essential businesses for needed goods and service.

– Hon. William Doc Spencer, Suffolk County Legislator

Our business community is hurting, from the local restaurant to big financial services firms. This is Long Island’s opportunity to step up and help each other. We should find ways to support our restaurants through takeout and other means. We should spend money at the local bodega and meat market.

– Joe Dowd, Editor, LI Business New

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 12 of shutdown – Friday March 27, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 12 and there was both good and bad news.

The good news was the passage by the House of the $2 trillion stimulus which should bring $40 billion to New York.   The bad news was the Governor halted all “nonessential construction” with the exception of hospitals, infrastructure and affordable housing projects.   

For folks that are busy trying to sort out home schooling while trying to make ends meet there are at least two more weeks of this experience.   The Governor has kept the schools closed until at least April 15th.  

The Governors call for manufacturing masks and ventilators is being met with creativity from many small businesses and the donations drives for personal protective gear for front line providers is yielding results.

It goes without saying that the front line providers in health care, police, ambulance, food services and many others are working round the clock and are the true heroes in this.

The SBA and NYS DOL unemployment websites are continue to be overloaded with requests.  The 311 call center in Suffolk, the call lines in Nassau as well and every Town, Village and community organizations are taking enormous amount of calls to answer questions and guide residents to resources where they are available.

Vision & the LI Main Street Alliance participated in a webinar with Long Islanders & Queens businesses on how to apply for SBA Disaster loans as well.  More on that on Monday.

For the small businesses that are still open there is a movement to continue to support them and keep them operating.  To their credit that is largely happening in most downtowns across Long Island. 

As we head into the weekend please think about supporting your local businesses at least once if not multiple times.    We have spoken to nearly 275 in over 40 downtown communities and they need your help too.

Here are some of the events of the week:

• $2 trillion Federal rescue package clears House.

• All nonessential construction is shutdown.

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses.

• School closures continue until at least April 15.

• Governor Cuomo’s Friday March 27th message.

• Status of accessing unemployment with 1000% increase in requests.

• 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.

• One benefit of Coronavirus: traffic down is down and more folks walking, biking.

• Environmental regulation impacted as EPA Suspended all Environmental Rules.

• Here is an inspirational op-ed from LIBN editor Joe Dowd.

• New grant resource for folks who provide meals to children from No Kid Hungry.

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

• Bored at home?  East End Arts is providing virtual access to artists.

• Folks are answering Governor Cuomo’s call for ventilators, masks:

The Business Incubator Association has created an invitation to ventilate.   

The LI Racing Association folks have a gofundme page to increase production of their reusable n95 masks.

A Long Island Distillery is making hand sanitizer.

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

• Folks can check out this stimulus calculator that tells you what you might receive in the form of a direct payment from the Federal government.

• The LI Main Street Alliance encourages small businesses and not for profits to register for a free webinar held by the Queens Chamber of Commerce on how to apply for the SBA Economic injury disaster loan.   

Newsday and the LIA will be doing a business resource call as well.   You can register here.

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

• Gary Labarbara from the NYS Building Trades Council speaks about safety for construction workers.

• Some tips on bills you need to pay and some that you don’t as this crisis gets prolonged.

• Facebook has grants for small businesses

• Kiva has grants for small business

• Folks need Food: If 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

• Blood is 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.

• 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

• National Grid is having virtual hearings on short and long term energy supply solutions

• PSEG has a Coronavirus page that is updated regularly

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

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

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

• 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 & Suffolk County need Emergency Personal protective Equipment – Drive is underway.   Info is here.

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

• 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
– Anna Wintour has set up a fund for folks in the fashion industry who are displaced.
– 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 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.

RECENT NEWS AND LINKS:

Governor Cuomo Announces Executive Order for all Nonessential Businesses to Close

The Federal government agreed on a $2 trillion Coronavirus rescue bill.

Due to the large influx of NYC residents seeking to isolate on the east end the Supervisors of Southold and Southampton have requested a travel ban be put in place for only essential personnel.  

The Town of Huntington is planning for remote meetings

Nassau County and Suffolk County are surveying small businesses on COVID-19’s impact: The Nassau County survey is here. The Suffolk County survey is here.

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…..

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

Main Street meats provides home delivery

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

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

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

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 275 small businesses in over 40 downtowns as they weather the economic storm through the Coronavirus. We encourage people to responsibly patronize these and other open establishments who need your help in this time of crisis. 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…

Baldwin

Day 12 of the Coronavirus Economic Shutdown has taken us to downtown Baldwin. Vision has had the opportunity to work with the folks in this community for many years as part of their ongoing revitalization effort.

Community, business, and government in the Town of Baldwin have worked tirelessly to realize transit oriented development and help the town attract new businesses.  They have also worked to create housing that appeals to young people, empty nesters, and community members who want easy access to New York City.  Baldwin, like so many other downtowns, has started to make real strides towards this goal of creating a real sense of place.

The Hempstead Town Board voted on January 21st to adopt the Baldwin zoning overlay district, which Vision was pleased to help draft. It was a community-driven process, with consensus and community collaboration thanks to all the levels of government working together.  This was an important step in clearing the way for the $10 million state grant the town received to redevelop downtown Baldwin, paving the way for beautification projects and spurring growth of mixed-use development along Grand Avenue.

The Coronavirus economic shutdown has unfortunately thrown off the course of this project.  Town government, the Chamber, and the Baldwin Civic Association are focused on not only the health and safety of residents, but also the economic health and safety of the downtown.

The Baldwin Chamber points out the one thing we can learn from this outbreak is that smaller, locally owned stores are vital to our community.  While big chain stores are running with empty shelves and big crowds, locally owned small businesses can reorder quickly and from many sources to keep the shelves stocked.

Like in every downtown, local businesses are doing their part, and support from residents is so important.  Towards that goal, Baldwin Civic Association’s Karen Montalbano said there is a grassroots effort to get the word out, especially through social media, of businesses that are open.

Here is a sampling of local restaurants making it work:

A Touch Of Italy is open for takeout, delivery and curbside
1187 Grand Ave, Baldwin, (516) 483-5119

Ayhan’s is open for takeout, delivery and curbside
550 Sunrise Hwy, Baldwin, (516) 223-1414

Benny B’S is open for takeout and delivery
2092 Grand Ave, Baldwin, (516) 632-5528

Caribbean Cove Roti & Grill is open for takeout, delivery and curbside
1929 Grand Ave, Baldwin, (516) 208-8951

Coach Diner is open for takeout, delivery and curbside
790 Sunrise Hwy, Baldwin, (516) 223-2161

Coal House Grill is open for takeout and delivery
844 Merrick Rd, Baldwin, (516) 442-7063

DeFrancisco’s Pizzeria & Ristorante is open for takeout, delivery and curbside
97 Merrick Rd, Baldwin, (516) 442-3561

Delicious Moments Caterers is open for takeout and delivery
792 Merrick Rd, Baldwin, (516) 594-1349

Gino’s Pizza is open for takeout, delivery and curbside
919 Atlantic Ave, Baldwin, (516) 546-8800

Mimi’s Kitchen is open for takeout
1293 Grand Ave, Baldwin, (516) 377-8506

No Good Burger Joint is open for takeout, delivery and curbside
930 Atlantic Ave, Baldwin, (516) 442-5434

Novi – New Old Venice Inn is open for takeout, delivery and curbside
99 Merrick Rd, Baldwin, (516) 442-4500

Raagini is open for takeout, delivery and curbside
924 Atlantic Ave, Baldwin, (516) 608-5578

Sweet & Savory Café is open for takeout
821 Merrick Rd, Baldwin, NY 11510, (516) 543-4900

Tropical Jerk is open for takeout
1321 Grand Ave, Baldwin, NY 11510, (516) 442-2900

The Irish Pub is open for takeout
834 Merrick Rd, Baldwin, (516) 208-5940

Valley Stream

Day 11 of the Coronavirus economic shutdown takes us to the Village of Valley Stream.  The Village has approved and built a number of transit-oriented developments in recent years and was poised for an uptick of downtown activity in 2020.

Last 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 is expecting a big dent in normal patronage.

“No one wants to close down, but it’s the right thing to do,” 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.

But Mr. Notarbartolo also noted that his business had already been seeing a sharp downtick in business as customers began avoiding 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.

Kudos to Village of Valley Stream Mayor Ed Fare and his team for keeping the Village well managed during this crisis.

Here are some of the restaurants that are open for takeout and delivery.

Big Guys Burger & Grill is open for takeout and delivery
1682 Central Ct, Valley Stream, (516) 887-1839

Biryani House is open for takeout
60 Central Ct, Valley Stream, (516) 596-2525

Boston Market is open for takeout, delivery & curbside
168 W Merrick Rd, Valley Stream, (516) 561-5539

Buckley’s is open for takeout
159 S Franklin Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 825-4344

Charlie Meaney’s is open for takeout, delivery & curbside
52 Central Ct, Valley Stream, (516) 596-2337

Chicken Coop is open for takeout
159 Rockaway Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 568-2667

Dawat E Khaas is open for takeout
324 N Central Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 837-0555

Genovese Pizzeria is open for takeout, delivery & curbside
20 Central Ct, Valley Stream, (516) 825-6605

IHOP is open for takeout and delivery
180 E Sunrise Hwy, Valley Stream, (516) 825-9388

Inatome Japanese Steak + Sushi is open for takeout, delivery & curbside
6 5th St, Valley Stream, (516) 872-0419

John Anthony’s Pizzeria is open for takeout and delivery
1056 Franklin Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 256-3300

La familia Deli & Grill is open for takeout
161 E Merrick Rd, Valley Stream, (516) 341-0067

Mamma Gina’s Pizzeria of Valley Stream is open for takeout and delivery
104 E Merrick Rd, Valley Stream, (516) 568-1333

Mary’s is open for takeout is open for takeout and delivery
867 W Merrick Rd, Valley Stream, (516) 612-3559

Mia’s is open for takeout, delivery & curbside
31 Rockaway Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 825-2117

Mitchell’s Restaurant is open for takeout, delivery & curbside
191 Rockaway Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 825-9708

Pizza Amore is open for takeout
171 Dubois Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 872-9229

Pomodorino Rosso is open for takeout and delivery
47 Franklin Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 812-6171

Pretty Toni’s Café is open for takeout
759 W Merrick Rd, Valley Stream, (516) 285-8664

RoRo ‘s Gyro Place is open for takeout and delivery
32 Roosevelt Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 341-0585

Rosas Pizza is open for takeout
178 W Merrick Rd, Valley Stream, (516) 872-5200

Sam’s Steak & Grill is open for takeout and delivery
58 Rockaway Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 837-0007

TRUFFLE Restaurant & Bar is open for takeout, delivery & curbside
410 Rockaway Ave, Valley Stream, (516) 887-3373

Great Neck Plaza

Day 10 of the Coronavirus economic shutdown brings us to the Great Neck Plaza.

Amid Coronavirus concerns, the Village of Great Neck Plaza is putting residents first.  As per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order on March 16th, village elections have been delayed to primary Election Day, April 28, 2020.  As such, Mayor Jean Celender has delayed her retirement through early May.

According to the Mayor, “Our Preparedness Team is meeting daily to ensure we consider the most up-to-date information from public health agencies and government authorities, share key data and best practices with our staff, and ensure we are taking appropriate steps to protect the health and safety of all of our people while continuing to meet the needs of our residents and businesses on Main Street.”

The Village of Great Neck Plaza, led by Mayor Celender, has flourished throughout the years.  From advocating for safe streets and traffic calming initiatives, demanding affordable housing units in a high wealth area, managing and promoting festivals, events, arts, culture, music, and securing $5million for a range of capital projects and services, the Village of Great Neck Plaza is thriving.

Most recently, the Village has been working with Vision to change codes to help promote/preserve Main Street retail and get more affordable units in its downtown.  The effects of the pandemic now threaten to interrupt this remarkable trajectory.

“We are a ghost town,” described Mayor Celender. “Our eateries are experiencing real hardships. The restaurants are doing yeoman’s work. They need all the advertising help we can give them, especially through the use of social media.”

The Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District is encouraging residents, during this time of crisis as restaurants and patrons do their part in flattening the curve, to visit favorite local eateries and utilize takeout, curbside or delivery options.

Here is a sampling of local restaurants making it work:

Bareburger is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
66 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, (516) 441-5711

Francesca’s Pizzeria & Restaurant is open for takeout and delivery
29 N. Station Plaza, Great Neck, (516) 466-5842

Gino’s of Great Neck Pizzeria & Restaurant is open for takeout and delivery
60 Middle Neck Road Great Neck, (516) 487-1122

Great Neck Diner is open for takeout and delivery
14 Grace Avenue, Great Neck, (516) 466-0678

La Rotonda Ristorante is open for takeout and deliver
8 Bond St, Great Neck, (516) 439 – 4870

Lola is available for takeout
113A Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, (516) 466-5666

S&D Crab House is open for takeout and delivery
105 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, (516) 498-8088

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.

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 businesses still open:

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.

Dom’s Auto, 15 Post

St. Brigid’s Deli, 99 Post

Rosita Mini Grocery, 150 Post

Maria’s Pastry, 167 Post

Willy’s Fish, 249 Drecel

Subway, 211 Post

Rite Aid, 210 Post

Cremosa Market, 230 Post

Hernandez Agency, 254 Maple

New World Discount, 242 Post

Bravo Supermarket, 306 Post

No Pal Mexican, 263 Post

Dunkin Donuts, 253 Post

Westbury Floral, 53 Post

Super Convenience Store, 129 Post

Post Pharmacy, 173 Post

Whatley Wine, 193 Post

Mediterranean Kabob House, 190 Post

Jin’s Apple Farm, 215 Post

Gloria’s Bakery, 219 Post

Post Bagels, 226 Post

Allstate, 239 Post

CVS 307 Post

Donohue Cecere Funeral, 290 Post

Joe’s Cleaners, 263 Post

Bank of America, 248 Post

Deli Salvadoreno, 243 Post

Westbury Valet Cleaners, 123 Post

Laundromats at 278 Post, 184 Post, and 89 Post

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.

Small Businesses Urged to Apply for SBA Loans

There are still a lot of questions swirling in regards to the impact of the Federal aid package on small businesses.  But in the meantime there has been an effort to encourage small business to work to apply for loans asap.

Congressman Lee Zeldin recently had an SBA representative encourage folks to apply for loans no matter what.  Newsday and the LIA are hosting a videoconference on the subject.

This morning, the Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar for businesses to learn how to apply for SBA loans.  Man-Li Lin, from the New York District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration presented information to explain how to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).  This information is current as of today but is subject to change.  The local Small Business Development Centers at Farmingdale State College (here) and Stony Brook University (here) will have new information as updates occur.

While SBA loans are typically only available for small businesses, during a declared national disaster, they are also available for private not for profit entities as well.  Most small businesses and non-profits are eligible except for businesses relating to gambling, religious organizations, investment or lending companies, charitable organizations, speculative activities, or agricultural enterprises. 

Loans of up to $2 million are available with no payments for 12 months.  They can be used to pay expenses such as fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, or other bills affected by the disaster.  Interest rates are 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for private non-profits and long term repayments for COVID crisis will be 30 years.  Loans cannot be used for lost revenue, just for expenses.  Typically, businesses are not eligible if they are able to secure credit elsewhere.  However, they are currently allowing applications without denial letters from other lenders.

There is no cost to apply and no obligation to take the loan if it is offered.  The amount of the loan application should reflect six months of operating expenses.  Documentation of a typical months expenses is required.  Businesses are eligible even if they already have a previous SBA loan, disaster loan or other types of SBA loans.  Loans over $25000 require collateral, but won’t be denied simply for lack of collateral, they will require a pledge of what is available.  Criteria for approval will include eligibility, credit history and the ability to repay.
The application forms can be downloaded here.  Once the forms have been completed, they can be uploaded to the site or hardcopies mailed to:

US Small Business Administration

Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road
Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243

You can also contact the SBA disaster customer service center at 1-800-659-2955, disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or TTY:1-800-877-8339.  They recommend email as the best way to get in touch with someone.  If applicants are receiving a 404 error, they recommend clearing your cache and trying again.

While this process is still evolving, businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible and provide all required documentation. Representatives from the SBA will follow up with questions.

In the interim here is a thoughtful article from Crain’s New York Business on the small business benefits/gaps in the aid.   Our friend Tom Grech from the Queens Chamber is quoted speaking on small business needs for companies with under 10 employees.

Non-Essential Construction Halted Statewide

In another effort to halt the spread of COVID-19, Governor Cuomo has announced a statewide halt to all non-essential construction projects.  According to the order, exceptions would be made for “emergency construction,” such as projects where the health and safety of the occupants is an issue or if it would be unsafe to allow a project to remain unfinished.

Under Cuomo’s previous order to stop non-essential work, construction projects were all considered essential.

Among the projects listed as essential by the state were roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals, health care facilities, affordable housing and homeless shelters.  It was not immediately clear if other projects could also be considered essential or if exceptions would be made.

Under Cuomo’s order, the sites that continue to operate are required to maintain social distancing. If they are unable to maintain social distancing, the state said those sites would be forced to close. Projects that violate those rules would include a fine of up to $10,000 per violation.

There is no confirmation on when construction will resume.

Governor Cuomo Gives Daily Update on NYS Coronavirus Outbreak

Governor Cuomo held another of his daily briefings on the Coronavirus outbreak.

The press conference opened with Governor Cuomo acknowledging that great work being done by New Yorkers and volunteers as the crisis continues to unfold in our region. 

He also talked about facts and numbers as confirmed cases continue to increase across the region and country.  Projections still have an upward trajectory, though thankfully the numbers aren’t rising quite as quickly.  This coincides with a strategy aimed at flattening the curve and increasing hospital capacity to help deal with the influx of patients.  It is hoped that there will not be a severe apex in roder to allow hospitals to keep up with number of incoming cases.

Part of that has been the restriction of nonessential workers and social distancing as well as closing bars and restaurants, though it has been painful.  Cuomo talked about risk vs reward and emphasized that we are currently battling a deadly virus, stating that the preservation of lives is the ultimate goal.  The ongoing intrusion on daily life, movement, and economy is necessary for that. 

He also talked about the closing of public schools, which was part of the fight to halt the spread.  Originally the state had set a date of said until April 1st to return, but will remain closed for a further two weeks until April 15th.  At that point there will be another reassessment of where we are concerning the outbreak.  The 180-day waiver of days in operation will continue to be waived through April 15th as of now.

He also talked about how hospital capacity continues to be increased.  Though the goal is to prevent one, a possible apex could be coming in 2 approximately 1 days.  New York will try to be ready for that should it arrive.  The state will also continue with ongoing programs to increase beds by finding dorms and hotels to accept emergency beds.  There is also a mandated 50% increase in beds for all hospitals with a goal of 100%.  Construction of overflow centers are underway as well with another 4 temporary hospitals announced earlier today.  Locations currently being scouted with a priority on locations that can fit the most beds in the shortest amount of time and are located where they are most needed.  There is also a Navy hospital ship also currently on its way to help with care.

Medical supplies are also still in large demand.  There is a stockpile, but New York needs more from the federal government to meet projected demands.  Ventilators are in extremely high demand with COVID patients needing them for a much longer period of time than normal patients.  New York is hoping to be ready for an apex when the entire system is stressed and under pressure.

The state is also testing more and more, a process which has ramped up quickly.  New cases are increases rapidly with 7,377 confirmed since yesterday.  The death total now sits at 519, up from 385, and will continue to rise.  Overall numbers now sit at 44,635 positive tests, 6,481 people currently hospitalized, 1,583 ICU patients, and 2.045 patients discharged.

Cuomo again took a moment to note how the outpouring of support has been inspirational and that we will get through this together.   “You are living a moment in history,” said Cuomo.  “This is a moment that is going to change this nation. This is a moment that forges character, forges people, changes people.  Makes them stronger, makes them weaker.”

Long Island Traffic Shrinks in Wake of Coronavirus Measures

One of the few silver linings during the ongoing Coronavirus shutdown is a reduction of traffic, and subsequent increase in air quality, in the Long Island area.

Rush hour traffic has seen a reduction of as much as 50% of traffic in some cases as more and more people stay at home or practice social distancing to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus.  Numbers of travelers crossing bridges into NYC have shrunk as well, by around 28% overall according to date collected by the MTA.

Due to this loss of tolls, the MTA is currently requesting $4 billion in federal aid as they see their revenue dip along with traffic.

“It’s 9/11-level stillness,” said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander.  “It’s just like a ghost town.”

While the hope is for this epidemic to end safely and as quickly as possible, the reduced traffic has been a boon for some.  Drivers who are still required to drive into work are enjoying more space on roads that are normally congested with other commuters.  This has cut way down on commute times for them and made it easier to navigate what are normally busy Long Island and NYC roads.

The result of the traffic reduction will be a notable increase in air quality in the region as thousands of cars are no longer on the road.  While numbers aren’t readily available for the current dip in drivers, the Great Recession of 2008 showed a marked improvement of air quality in the region when driving declines. 

You can read more on this decline in traffic at Newsday.

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.

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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