Long Island Main Street News May 29th, 2020


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

May 29th, 2020

Quotes of Day

“I’m excited. I’m hopeful. I’m happy. I thought it wasn’t going to be until the middle of June. It was a nice surprise that it was sooner than what I had anticipated.” – Cathy Whitley, owner of Robert’s Mens and Boys Wear in Mineola on Long Island’s Phase One Reopening
“We were preparing for this for weeks now. We were highly impacted.  We had approximately 50 jobs going on when we got shut down. All but probably 10 of them were shut down.” – Martin Racanelli Jr. of Racanelli Construction on Long Island’s Phase One Reopening
The following are an ongoing collection of quotes in opposition to a proposal to remove local zoning in the middle of this pandemic.

“As a resident, a businessman, a former president of a local Chamber of Commerce, and a Legislator for more than a decade, I believe that land use decisions are best governed by local towns and villages, whose leaders are more in tune with and accountable to the communities they serve. I am ardently opposed to any proposal that would shift land use control to Albany.” – Hon. Tom Cilmi, Suffolk County Legislator

“Local zoning in towns and villages was created through years of thoughtful and deliberate work to consider the unique needs and character of each community. To do away with that in one broad brush stroke and give the state authority to override local zoning would be, at the very least, shortsighted and detrimental.” – Sue Auriemma, Vice President of the Greater Council of Manhasset Civic Associations Former Trustee, Village of Munsey Park

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

Helping Main Street through the
Coronavirus Shutdown

Day 75 of economic shutdown – Friday May 29th, 2020

The Coronavirus economic shutdown is on day 75.   The Nassau County Executive made it out to downtown Farmingdale yesterday to announce openness to outdoor dining on County roads fast tracking permits along with 1000 packs of personal protective and sanitation equipment for local businesses.  Long Island Townships, without prompting from any group, are looking at their service delivery and seeking creative solutions to save money and improve efficiency.  Local municipalities, chambers and local residents are collaborating in numerous communities across Long Island on plans for reopening. 

Today’s downtown profiled today is the Hamlet of Inwood.  Our Communities Helping Communities segment takes us to Huntington.    

Here are some updates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

• The Nassau County BAR Association is accepting emails for COVID-19 related legal inquiries. Emails should be sent to Covidhelp@nassaubar.org.  Member volunteers are helping residents with a variety of issues, especially landlord/tenant and employment.  They can also help answer questions about Federal Small Business Administration loans. 

• There is an enormous amount of confusion out there. There is no comprehensive reopening as there are first steps taken to reopen. NYS will allow Long Island communities to have select categories of businesses reopen in addition to the industries already allowed to work if they are an “essential” businesses.
Industries that are eligible for Phase 1 reopening include:
– Construction
– Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
– Retail – (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
– Manufacturing
– Wholesale Trade
All businesses eligible to operate in Phase 1 should read the guidelines for their industry and submit an affirmation. In addition, they should print and complete the safety plan and display in their business.
Phase Two
– Professional Services
– Retail
– Administrative Support
– Real Estate / Rental & Leasing
Phase Three
– Restaurants / Food Services
Phase Four
– Arts / Entertainment / Recreation
– Education
Read https://forward.ny.gov/ to review the regulations and affirm their industries safety guidelines.
Having said all that there will be more announcements and guidelines from the State later today.
Check out this initial article in Huntington Now. Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci is quoted along with the Huntington Chamber and Vision.

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

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

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

• As we begin to slowly reopen our communities, its important that no New Yorker feel unsafe at work or be put into harms way unnecessarily. If your employer doesn’t make appropriate accommodations for your safety, for the safety of the public, or fails to provide you with PPE to do your job safely, you’re urged to call the state coronavirus hotline at 888-364-3065

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


• Governor Cuomo’s May 29th message

• Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s May 29th message

• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s May 29th message

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

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

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

• Updated NYS guidance document on essential vs nonessential businesses.

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

New York City

Nassau County

Suffolk County

Town of Hempstead

Town of North Hempstead

Town of Oyster Bay

Town of Babylon

Town of Brookhaven

Town of East Hampton

Town of Huntington

Town of Islip

Town of Riverhead

Town of Shelter Island

Town of Smithtown

Town of Southampton

Town of Southold

City of Glen Cove

City of Long Beach


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

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

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

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

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

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

• Our friends at LISTnet have a Coronavirus support page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Dining Bonds created to help local small businesses

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

• Facebook has grants for small businesses

• Kiva has grants for small business

• Verizon has set up a small business recovery fund

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

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

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

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

• Grants for Artists impacted by Coronavirus.

• Grants for Restaurant workers.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

• Up to date information in accessing unemployment from NYS DOL

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

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

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

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

• Resources for displaced bartenders.

• Resources for displaced hospitality workers.

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

• PSEG has a Coronavirus page that is updated regularly

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Long Island’s Craigslist
New York Jobs

Simply Hired

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• How to make homemade disinfectant spray and wipes.

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Northwell Health Digital Resource Center

The US Small Business Administration

New York State Department of Labor

NYS Department of Health

CDC Website

Occupational Safety and Health

MTA Information

School Closings

AARP’s Updates on the Coronavirus

Island Harvest’s Food Pantry Tracker

Suffolk County Alliance of Chamber’s Disaster Relief Information

Global Dashboard of Infection Data

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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 and Long Island Main Street Alliance members have 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 600 small businesses in nearly 50 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 these businesses have been there for local organizations and philanthropy – they now need our support.

In the meantime, here is the featured downtown for today.

For a complete list of downtowns profiles, please check out our website here.


Situated at the border of Queens, but grounded in Nassau County, Inwood is a tight knit community, filled with caring individuals, organizations and community businesses. From organizing an essential workers appreciation parade on May 24, in place of the annual Inwood Memorial Day Parade, to organizing food to those in need during this devastating health crisis, Inwood displays respect and concern for community on a significant scale.

In 2019, the Town of Hempstead approved new zoning for areas in Inwood aimed at promoting mixed-use and transit-oriented development. Inwood could soon feature a “village-like atmosphere” with new apartments and shopping opportunities, said Town of Hempstead Council member Bruce Blakeman. “Boutiques, restaurants, pharmacies, dry cleaners, everything oriented toward getting people out of their cars and walking around,” Blakeman added.

The rezoning of the industrial and commercial areas north of the Inwood train station has the opportunity to revitalize the area and provide affordable rental apartments for seniors looking to downsize and transition to a walkable community and for young people commuting to Manhattan. As one of the westernmost points of Nassau County, Inwood offers quick access to the city and Kennedy Airport.

The COVID 19 crisis has put a pause on these plans and puts existing businesses in jeopardy. In order to keep local businesses alive during this time, shopping local is more important now than ever.

Here is a list of Inwood restaurants open for take-out, delivery and/or curbside pickup.

Caribbean Hut
(516) 371-0711

Ciccio Boys Pizza
(516) 371-1823

Five Star
(516) 371-3655

Hermans Deli & Catering
(516) 239-4642

Max’s Pizzeria
(516) 239-7212

Moca Express
(516) 371-7777

South Shore Pizzeria
(516) 239-3700

(516) 341-0699

Tang’s Garden
(516) 371-2557

(516) 812-7723

Yummy Taco
(516) 837-0883

Mask Mavens of Huntington

“Many hands make light work.” – John Heywood

The coronavirus has affected every resident of Long Island. As Long Islanders do, countless folks stepped up to extend a helping hand to one another. From organizing food banks, to feeding our heroic frontline workers, Long Islanders have a giving heart. In Huntington, there are a group of women exemplifying this sentiment and making a difference.
As the call came out for people to wear masks, even if they were homemade coverings, Mary Beth Steenson-Kraese, the founder of Mask Mavens of Huntington, started sewing masks for friends and family. Almost immediately requests started pouring in for her masks from those in need. Just as quickly, volunteers sprang up.

Mask Mavens of Huntington quickly became a group of 40 women who sow, gather material and deliver hundreds of masks every day, for free. to those who simply ask. Of the team, about nine members each sew anywhere from 30 to 50 masks daily. Other members cut material, others act as errand runners who pick-up and distribute masks, as well as provide sewers with the materials they need. The finished masks are distributed to hospitals, organizations, fire departments, group homes, retail stores and churches not only statewide, but also nationwide. “We’re running a factory out of 40 different houses. It’s crazy. It’s insane that this is even happening,” Steenson-Kraese, told Huntington Patch, who reported this inspiring story.

Masks are created on a first come, first serve basis. The group’s first priority is to essential workers and their families. For all others, the group asks that requests be limited to only what is absolutely needed. They want to accommodate everyone.

Thank you to all involved for your hard work and love and dedication to community.

Long Island Begins Phase One Reopening

Across Long Island a number of businesses have begun to open their doors again as Long Island has officially entered “Phase One” of the Governor’s reopening plan.

This new phase is mostly for low-risk businesses involved in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, but does allow for retail to open with restrictions.  For a lot of local owners that means incorporating curbside pickup in addition to an increase in online sales.  However, some Main Street businesses remain shuttered as they rely on foot traffic that simply isn’t ready to return at this point.

This painful for a lot of stores that are normally bustling with crowds prepping for the summer season on Long Island.  Even with the ability to reopen their doors at a reduced capacity a number of stores are seeing almost no foot traffic as residents continue to remain isolated from fears of contracting coronavirus.  This is especially devastating this time of year when so many stores are counting on foot traffic to bring up profits after a generally slow winter.

But even with that there’s a sense of anticipation among a number of store owners who are eager to begin returning to normal.  Phase one is seen as the beginning of that and will hopefully lead to more and more people willing to shop locally once again.  Or, at the very least, shop online with local stores that have worked over the last few years to increase their online stores.

“I’m excited. I’m hopeful. I’m happy. I thought it wasn’t going to be until the middle of June,” said Cathy Whitley, owner of Robert’s Mens and Boys Wear in Mineola. “It was a nice surprise that it was sooner than what I had anticipated.”

Restaurant owners are still being left behind though as Phase one does not allow for the reopening of dining rooms just yet.  Many are hopeful that Towns and Villages will begins to take advantage of some of the loosening of restrictions across the island to allow for road closures to boost outdoor dining.  As the weather turns nicer and residents become more and more ready to leave their homes, such a lifting of restrictions would be welcome for struggling restaurateurs.

Meanwhile, other sectors of the economy are beginning to move once again.  Construction is coming back though they are operating with increased safety precautions to help safeguard workers’ health.  A number of companies that had been forced to furlough employees at the beginning of the health crisis are now moving to ramp business back up.

“We were preparing for this for weeks now,” said Martin Racanelli Jr. of Racanelli Construction.  “We were highly impacted.  We had approximately 50 jobs going on when we got shut down. All but probably 10 of them were shut down.”

The shutdown went beyond just the construction company as it spiraled out to effect subcontractors and wholesalers who deal with them.  While it’s good to be getting back underway, the shutdown had a wide-ranging economic impact that will take time to recover from.

In addition to that there is still some confusion and anger as to why some businesses were approved to stay open while others were forced closed.  “With the understanding of the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, staying closed and the social distancing there just should have been a better of evaluation of what was actually essential,” said optometrist Dr. Steven Agin, who noted that liquor stores were allowed to stay open while he was deemed non-essential. “It was absolutely out of line for us to be closed for two months, I had a lot of people upset because of these restrictions.”

Long Island is expected to enter phase two sometime in the next month.  That will allow for the reopening of professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support, and real estate, rental and leasing.  Restaurants and food services will be allowed to reopen dining rooms at a reduced capacity in phase 3, and phase 4 will allow for the reopening of arts, entertainment and recreation, and education.

You can read more on reopening across Long Island in NewsdayThe Herald, and Huntington Now.

Governor Cuomo Announces New York City to Enter Phase 1 of Reopening on June 8

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

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York City will enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 8 and that five other regions—Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier—can enter Phase 2 of reopening today. Phase 2 allows office-based workers, real estate services, in-store retail shopping and some barbershop services to resume. Each industry is subject to specific state guidelines to maximize safety and social distancing. Business guidance for phase two of the state’s reopening plan is available here.

Governor Cuomo also announced the implementation of a new early warning dashboard that aggregates the state’s expansive data collection efforts for New Yorkers, government officials and experts to monitor and review how the virus is being contained on an ongoing basis. It tracks new infections and their severity, hospital capacity by region, and other metrics. The early warning system dashboard was developed in consultation with internationally-known experts who have been advising New York State. The early warning dashboard can be found here.

“Remember that reopening does not mean that we’re going back to the way things were,” Governor Cuomo said. “Life is not about going back. Nobody goes back. We go forward. And it’s going to be different. This is about reopening to a new normal — a safer normal. People will be wearing masks and people will be socially distanced — it’s a new way of interacting, which is what we have to do. Wear a mask, get tested and socially distance.”

Finally, the Governor confirmed 1,551 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 368,284 confirmed cases in New York State. 

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

Calendar of Events

Radio Zindagi presents VOICES program

In case you missed it, Radio Zindagi presented Voices yesterday with the South Asian Chamber’s Harry Malhotra, Town of Oyster Bay Councilpersons Steve Labriola and Laura Maier and Nassau County Minority Affairs Director Lionel Chitty. , and Vision Long Island / Main Street Alliance Director Eric Alexander.

The group had a robust conversation on reopening with questions about the varying Phases of NYS regulations, accessing loan programs and things local municipalities are doing to help.

You can watch the full video here.

The INN Organization will Hold Curbside Food Drive on May 30th

The INN organization will hold its first ever curbside food drive this coming Saturday, May 30th from 11 am to 2 pm at the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen, 100 Madison Avenue in Hempstead.  This will be a safe, no-contact drive where donors will place donations on a table with a masked volunteer standing at a safe distance.  The volunteer will then retrieve the donation after the donor leaves.

If you’re interested in donating you can view a full list of items they are accepting here.  For any questions, please call 516-732-6009.

The following is a list of upcoming and ongoing calendar events. Check back on each publication for updates:

• Virtual Walks: The Health Education Council will be holding Virtual Walks every Monday at 12:30 pm EST and Wednesday at 3 pm EST, with a Spanish language virtual walk each Friday at 3 pm EST.

If you’re interested in taking a walk with friends while still practicing social distancing you can head to the the website here to sign up for a virtual walk. A Spanish speaking version is available here. You will then receive a zoom link and all you’ll need is a smart phone and a good pair of shoes and you’ll be in business!

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

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

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

You can register for the event here.

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

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

Free and open to the public // Capacity: 300

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

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

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

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

New York State Launches NY Forward Loan Fund

Yesterday, New York State opened pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund. Loans from this fund are available to small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords in New York State that did not receive a loan from either the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for COVID-19 in 2020. New York Forward loans must be fully repaid over a 5-year term with fixed annual interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and landlords.

Small businesses may apply for the lesser of $100,000 or up to 100% of the average monthly revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or the first quarter of 2020.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as industries and regions reopen however, priority for New York Forward Loans will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened. Resources are available to assist in preparing applications for small businesses, landlords and nonprofits in industries and regions that have not yet reopened.

To view more details, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, click here:

CDC Guidelines on Coronavirus Prevention

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

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

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

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

Our Daily Sponsor

PSEG Long Island

PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $10.4 billion and operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a 12-year contract.

They have pledged to build a Long Island utility with PSEG’s same record of service, reliability and customer satisfaction. It will take some time to make all the improvements they’re planning, but in the end, they will create a utility of which Long Islanders can be proud. Keeping the lights on isn’t just a job: It’s their mission. 

Smart Talk

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

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