Long Island Main Street News, October 2nd, 2020

Here is the latest edition of Long Island Main Street News for day 202 of the Coronavirus shutdown and partial reopening.
This issue covers the call for NYS to loosen restrictions on Caterers and event professionals to reopen with higher capacity, the new Coronavirus tracking app, the Moratorium on residential evictions; community updates for Lindenhurst, Franklin Square and Glen Cove; new events, grants and more.
Check it out…..

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

October 2nd, 2020

Quotes of the Day

“We all want to see this vision completed, no matter how long it takes. Things are happening now, and it’s not something we are going to talk about and dream about, they’re happening.” – Hon. Kevin McCaffrey, Suffolk County Legislator
“The objective is you start out on Montauk Highway and you work your way north and the village just gets better and better.  [This funding will] kick-start, what we believe, will be a series of investments in the Village of Lindenhurst to improve safety, and to make Lindenhurst more of an attractive destination for families, as well as for businesses.” – Hon. Richard Renna, Village of Lindenhurst Trustee

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Lindenhurst Announces $350K Grant for Downtown Improvements

Officials from the Village of Lindenhurst gathers this past Monday to announce a $350,000 grant from Suffolk County to go towards downtown improvements.

The funds are part of the Suffolk County Jumpstart Grant Program and will be used to repave Wellwood Avenue from Montauk Highway to Hoffman Ave.  There will also be a re-angling of parking spaces and pedestrian safety bulb-outs, as well as median extensions put in place.  Some of the projects are expected to be completed by spring with preparatory work for others to be in place.

The announcement of the new funds was led by Trustee Richard “RJ” Renna, who has been at the forefront of the push to improve downtown Lindenhurst.  Mr. Renna talked about how the Village has been working with Greenman Pedersen, Inc (GPI) to put together a package of improvements to make a more walkable and pedestrian friendly community.  Vision Long Island recently honored both the Village and GPI with a Long Island Smart Growth Award for those efforts.

“The objective is you start out on Montauk Highway and you work your way north,” said Trustee Renna at the announcement, “and the village just gets better and better.  [This funding will] kick-start, what we believe, will be a series of investments in the Village of Lindenhurst to improve safety, and to make Lindenhurst more of an attractive destination for families, as well as for businesses.”

Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey was also present at the event, and was responsible for a previous $200,000 grant that was used for the GPI walkability study.  “We all want to see this vision completed, no matter how long it takes,” McCaffrey said. “Things are happening now, and it’s not something we are going to talk about and dream about, they’re happening.”

You can read more at Greater Babylon.

Pink Tie Delivers to Glen Cove and Franklin Square

The Pink Tie Delivers team was out last week in Glen Cove and Franklin Square for food and financial donations to local pantries.

Our first stop took us to the St. Rocco’s Church in the City of Glen Cove that now houses the feeding program NOSH.

The next stop was out to St. Catherine of Sienna in the hamlet of Franklin Square to their Parish Outreach Food Pantry.  

Both locations continue to meet the needs of local families, seniors and residents who are in need of healthy food through the pandemic. Special thanks to the Keller Williams Franklin Square team led by Linda L. Chen for joining us and for their donations!

The companies that participated in this drop included 1st Equity Title, Trinity Solar, National Grid, Late Night Chauffeurs, Vision LI, Keller Williams and Shoprite.

For more info on how you can take part in the doorstep donation program or join the Delivers Team, check out pinktie.org or please email us at contact@pinktie.org.

LI Main Street Alliance Joins Franklin Square Chamber

Vision was out speaking with members of the LI Main Street Alliance for the most recent meeting of the Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce. 

The Franklin Square Chamber has been growing through the Coronavirus shutdowns as businesses have provided mutual aid for each other and been supportive of local community services.  This meeting was held outside and it was great to see NYS Assemblyman Ed Ra, Nassau Chambers Julie Marchesella, and Linda Chen from Keller Williams of Franklin Square.  

Congratulations to Chamber President Lisa Dellipizzi for organizing a great meeting and keeping positive momentum for the local small business community despite the shutdowns.

Long Island Caterers Request Expanded Capacity to Stay Open

Friday, October 2nd over 200 caterers, wedding professionals and brides from across New York gathered at the H. Lee Dennison Building to send a message to Governor Andrew Cuomo to request that catering facilities be allowed to open with 50 percent capacity in order to allow weddings, sweet 16’s, ceremonies and other activities to take place.

“Catering facilities have been brought to the brink of bankruptcy with no cash flow since March and living on loans; they must be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity,” said the event’s organizer, Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio. “They make up a large portion of our economy, and secondary businesses, including invitations, bakeries, bridal and tuxedo shops, hotels, DJ’s, florists, photographers and videographers, live music and transportation businesses supporting the industry are suffering also. The trickling down effect of these restrictions on the industry is immense. Restrictions decimated the summer tourism season when they should have been allowed to operate safely. Gov. Cuomo must lift the arbitrary 50-person restriction and let them open to 50 percent capacity,” the Councilwoman stated.

These facilities, with capacity for 300, 500 and 700 guests, are being forced to operate as if they were the same size as other restaurants. The enormous concern is that these facilities are failing, employees are without jobs, and bills cannot be paid. However, with the appropriate safety precautions put into place, this heartbreak can be averted.

“Caterers have been targeted by state authorities for being a few people over the limit and some have had their licenses suspended or revoked,” said Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, who called on the governor to at least make the allowed occupancy at least 50 percent of capacity. “This would allow for ample social distancing for a society that is now well accustomed to the need to wear masks and practice good hygiene,” the Assemblyman stated.

Enough is enough,” said an owner whose facility can hold up to 500 people, but is restricted to just 50. “The state came down hard on an East End hall that had plenty of room to safely accommodate the 94 guests that showed up. They weren’t going to turn them away because they had plenty of room to safely host them. Shutting them down and revoking their license in light of the economic hardship they are facing is just not right. Facing penalties of $10,000 per violation and paying lawyers’ fees when the PPP loans ran out three months ago is unaffordable and impractical during these difficult times for our industry.”

Caterers have filed a class action lawsuit seeking permission to fully reopen. “We know more about safety precautions than we ever did and at this point, the restrictions seem arbitrary and punitive,” said Councilwoman Giglio “We need to focus more on the local economy and getting back to normal and less on exercises in power from the state. These restrictions are unconstitutional and are destroying business owner’s ability to make a living. Businesses should be allowed to reopen at 50 percent and let their patrons decide on their level of safety.”

Other elected officials in support included NYS Assemblymembers Joe Destefano, Doug Smith and Suffolk Legislator Kevin McCaffrey.

Vision’s Director, Eric Alexander and LI Main Street Alliance members were in attendance including Riverhead Chambers Bob Kern and Nassau Chamber’s Julie Marchesella. 

It is important to allow all businesses to reopen safely and in a manner that will allow Main Streets, local folks and businesses to not only survive but also thrive.

Governor Cuomo Extends Eviction Moratorium until January 2021

Evictions will remain on hold for residents of New York through at least 2021 according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

As unemployment remains high due to the economic shutdown resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, housing advocates have been increasingly worried about fate of residents at risk of eviction.  This moratorium now extends a policy that was put in place in mid-March to help protect those vulnerable to eviction. 

While the original order was put in place for all evictions, it was later limited to individuals who were qualified for unemployment or who couldn’t pay rent because of COVID-19.  The moratorium also extends protections that were already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors who are suffering from financial setbacks as a result of the pandemic.

“The pandemic remains far from over, and we need to continue protecting the business owners supporting their families amid restrictions necessary to protect the public health,” Cuomo said in a statement. “That’s why it’s the right decision to extend the eviction ban for commercial tenants another 30 days.”

The Governor has indicated that protections will continue until such time that the pandemic is deemed over.  There are no guidelines in place that will indicate when that may be, but Cuomo has stated that he will be the final arbiter on that for New York.

You can read more at NBC 4 New York.

COVID Alert NY App Released

To stop the spread of COVID-19, New York is asking for the help of individuals by participating in a newly launched mobile contract tracing app COVID Alert NY.

COVID Alert NY is a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app.  The app will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.  Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested, and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others.

The more people who download COVID Alert NY, the more effective it will be.  Help protect your community while maintaining your privacy.  The free mobile apps, available to anyone 18 or older who lives, works, or attends college in New York or New Jersey, are available for download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.  COVID Alert NY is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Korean, Russian and Haitian Creole.

Download the free app to your smartphone to receive an alert if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The app is available in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Unity 5k Strong Island Run/Fun Walk & Virtual 5k to be held on October 10th

The Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce will be holding a Unity 5k Run/Fun Walk along with a Virtual run on October 10th, beginning at 9 AM.  There will be three waves of in-person walkers starting at 9 AM, 9:30 AM, and 10 AM.  Free gaiters will be provided for in-person participants.

The Unity 5K Strong Island Run & Fun Walk in association with Family Health Centers Long Island FQHC, Inc. is to bring attention and to address the disproportionate number of deaths of African Americans in our communities that was caused by the underlying health factors due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. A large number of African Americans suffer from hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes as well as other illnesses such as obesity and others.

The idea is to make exercising cool again, while also promoting a good nutritional diet. So on this day, the Run & Fun Walk will aim to help save lives in our communities and to promote a Healthy Lifestyle Program.

Anyone wishing to participate will need to register in advance.  To do so, and for further information, please head to the event page here.

CCE to Hold Climate Change Discussion with Congressional Candidates on October 13th

Citizens Campaign for the Environment will be holding a virtual discussion with congressional candidates on the climate change.  The event will feature conversations with each of the four candidates running for Congressional Seats 1 and 2.  Candidates will receive 15 minutes of time and will be asked 5 relevant climate change questions.

A zoom event will be held on October 13th at 7:00 PM to show the interviews and will be followed by a panel discussion. 

Those who wish to register for the event can do so here.  Registrants will be sent a link to the livestream before it begins.

32nd Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference to take Place Virtually on November 18th

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is holding its 32nd Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference online this year to help bring relief to Long Island’s struggling homeless population.

This year’s event will take place on November 18th from 9 am to 3:30 virtually and will feature 14 workshop topics that address what can be done to help the most vulnerable residents in our region.  The theme for the conference is “Adapting to Changing Times: Where Do We Go From Here?”  Marc Dones, the Executive Director of National Innovation Services will be this year’s Keynote Speaker.

The Coalition is responsible for leading the region’s initiative to serve our most vulnerable and reducing barriers to housing.  With their Continuum of Care partners, they have referred more than 200 homeless households for permanent housing.  Throughout the years they have helped to guide over two hundred million dollars of US Department of Housing and Urban Development CoC funding to Long Island agencies, resulting in the development of over 2,700 units of housing for homeless persons. 

You can register to attend, become a sponsor, or exhibitor for this event here.  A full schedule of the workshops for the event is available here.

Source the Station Accepting Applications for Next Round of CBA Community Grants

As per the a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) signed between the Town of Huntington and Renaissance Downtowns, one of the requirements is a fee per development that Renaissance Downtowns is involved in.  Those funds are placed in escrow and are to be disbursed to community groups for the betterment of Huntington Station.

As per the CBA, a Committee was appointed by the Town Board in September 2018 and The CBA Committee will make a recommendation to the Town Board, after each deadline, and the Town Board will need to pass a resolution for the disbursement of the funds.

Here are the criteria for funding applications:

• The idea generally benefits and focuses on the people & community of Huntington Station
• The idea fits the triple-bottom-line mission of social, economic and environmental responsibility.
• The idea needs to be feasible and implementable within 90 days of being selected.
• The Huntington Station community is reasonably able to directly and immediately experience the benefits of what the grant is supporting.
• A detailed budget is needed for the applicant and full reporting of expenditures must be submitted in order to receive the reimbursement grant.
• To allow more Huntington Station community groups to participate ideas and applicants who haven’t immediately received a prior grant will be prioritized.
• Funds may not be applied towards salaries or private/personal reasons.
• There is a maximum of $5,000 per award AND $5,000 per quarter. It is at the discretion of the Committee how the funds are to be allocated each quarter.

The next deadline is October 7th, 2020.

The grant is reimbursable at the time of completion. The selected applicant can submit requisitions at the end of the program for a full reimbursement.  If you are the receiver of award, the Committee will notify the person in charge of the application and then you will have 90 days to implement your programming and get reimbursed.  In order to be reimbursed you will have to provide (1) receipts/invoices of all expenses, (2) a picture or other proof of implementation, and (3) a brief summary of the results.

The application form is located here.  If you have questions about anything, please email contact@sourcethestation.com.

NYSERDA, Affordable Solar and Storage Predevelopment and Technical Assistance (Predevelopment Program)

The Predevelopment Program provides grants to address barriers to solar installations serving low-to-moderate income (LMI) households living in rental housing, multifamily buildings or other households not served by traditional on-site residential solar. Individual awards will not exceed $200,000. Funding to proposals through this solicitation will offset costs for predevelopment and technical assistance work needed to implement solar installations for multifamily affordable housing and/or shared solar (Community Distributed Generation) installations that benefit LMI households.

– Eligibility: Applications must be submitted by or include the documented participation of any of the following: owners, providers or managers of regulated multifamily affordable housing, community land trusts, land banks or portfolios of single-family affordable housing; local government agencies; Community Development Corporations (CDC), Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) or other community organizations providing services to LMI households and/or demonstrating an LMI constituency; and prior recipients of Predevelopment Program grants seeking to replicate and expand upon the success from a prior completed Predevelopment

Program project.

– Funding: Up to $10.65 million is available with individual awards not to exceed $200,000.
– Deadline: Continuous through December 31, 2024, or until depleted
– Contact:
Email: affordablesolar@nyserda.ny.gov
Website: www.nyserda.ny.gov/funding

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize (the Prize) elevates the compelling stories of places where residents are working together to transform education, jobs, transportation, housing and more so better health flourishes for all. A Culture of Health recognizes that where we live—such as our access to affordable homes, quality schools, good jobs and reliable transportation—affects how long and how well we live.

Through the RWJF Culture of Health Prize application process, a community comes together to tell its inspiring stories of collaboration, action and results. Communities should understand they are applying for a prize and not a grant. The Prize recognizes work that has already been accomplished, so there is no required workplan or budget.

– Eligibility: A community must be a geographically defined jurisdiction in the U.S. that falls into one of the following categories:

– County, parish, borough, city, town, village or other municipality with a publicly elected governing body;

– Federally recognized tribe or a state-designated Indian reservation;

– Native Hawaiian organization serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians in Hawaii; or

– Region defined as geographically contiguous municipalities, counties and/or reservations.

– Awards: Up to 10 winning communities receive $25,000 and a prize package of communications materials about their community, communications guidance and help in promoting their successes.

– Deadline: Oct. 15, 2020, 3pm ET

– Contact:
Phone: (608) 890-2045
Email: info@cohprize.wisc.edu
Website: www.rwjf.org/content/rwjf/en/library/funding-opportunities/2020/2021-culture-ofhealth-prize.html

NYS Launches Rent Relief Program

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

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

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

Eligible households must meet the following criteria:

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

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

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

New York State Accepting Applications for NY Forward Loan Fund

New York State has opened pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund. Loans from this fund are available to small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords in New York State. New York Forward loans must be fully repaid over a 5-year term with fixed annual interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and landlords.

Small businesses may apply for the lesser of $100,000 or up to 100% of the average monthly revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or the first quarter of 2020. This loan can be paid back over five years with first year being interest only.  However, if small businesses have received either a PPP loan or an EIDL loan from SBA, they would not be eligible to apply. NYS has set a goal of 18% of total funds under this Program for Long Island

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

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

If you need technical assistance through this process, please contact an Entrepreneurial Assistance Center near you and inform the counselor that you need help for the NY Forward Loan application.  You can find your closest contact center here.

This Week’s Sponsor

National Grid

National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world – covering Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and the UK.

They are at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society—delivering clean energy to support our world long into the future. Every day they work with stakeholders to promote the development and implementation of sustainable, innovative and affordable energy solutions.

They are proud of the contributions their work and their people make to the prosperity and wellbeing of their customers, communities and investors.

Smart Talk

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

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

If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.

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

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