Long Island Main Street News, October 6th, 2020

Here is the latest edition of Long Island Main Street News for day 206 of the Coronavirus shutdown and partial reopening.
 
This issue covers a community project in Westbury, update on the Rails to Trails project between Mt. Sinai and Wading River, the Federal bipartisan Restart Act that helps live venues that have been closed, the impact the Coronavirus shutdowns have had on Main Streets across the country, new events, grants and more.
 
Check it out…..
 

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


October 6th, 2020


Quotes of the Day


“Small businesses — including theaters, venues, and restaurants —make New York a world renowned destination and we must help them survive this economic crisis. Unfortunately the PPP program didn’t go far enough to support small businesses across the country, but the RESTART Act would help fill the gaps and ensure they receive the support they deserve. I’m proud to work with my colleagues across the aisle to push for this important legislation in the next relief package.” – Hon. Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator

Mayor Peter Cavallaro said, “The completion of the Community Center improvements will greatly enhance the use of these very active and busy facilities. The DRI grant is enabling the Village to upgrade facilities and address the diverse needs of our community, which continue to increase and expand. We are grateful for the support of Governor Cuomo and the NYS Departments of State and Home and Community Renewal for providing the resources necessary to assist us in these efforts.” – Hon. Peter Cavallaro, Mayor, Village of Westbury
“This $526,000 award to upgrade and modernize Westbury’s Recreation and Community Center Complex will allow the village to better serve its residents and accommodate new families who join this vibrant and transit-oriented community. By supporting modern and energy-efficient recreation facilities, we can make a real difference in the lives of New York’s families and seniors.” – Ruth Anne Visnauskas, NYS Commissioner of the Division of Homes and Community Renewal

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Westbury Completes Community Center Renovation with DRI Grant Funding

Great to see the Village of Westbury complete another project from the NYS DRI funding that was secured.   This one gets their community center renovated.  Mayor Cavallaro and the Board of Trustees are pleased that the second of 7 DRI projects has been completed. 

Yesterday, Thursday October 1st, they joined with Ruth Anne Visnauskas, NYS Commissioner of the Division of Homes and Community Renewal, and others, to cut the Ribbon at the completely renovated Community Center Building, and tour all of the improvements at the Village’s Community Center campus. This milestone marks further significant progress on the Village’s downtown revitalization efforts, funded in part by the $10 million NYS DRI Grant received by the Village. 

“This $526,000 award to upgrade and modernize Westbury’s Recreation and Community Center Complex will allow the village to better serve its residents and accommodate new families who join this vibrant and transit-oriented community;” said Commissioner Visnauskas. “By supporting modern and energy-efficient recreation facilities, we can make a real difference in the lives of New York’s families and seniors.”

The award, administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, was used to upgrade three facilities at the Westbury Recreation and Community Center complex. The project also modernized and expanded capacity to accommodate new residents. In addition to the Community Center upgrades, Westbury is implementing six other projects proposed as part of the Strategic Investment Plan they developed for the DRI.

Mayor Peter Cavallaro said, “The completion of the Community Center improvements will greatly enhance the use of these very active and busy facilities. The DRI grant is enabling the Village to upgrade facilities and address the diverse needs of our community, which continue to increase and expand. We are grateful for the support of Governor Cuomo and the NYS Departments of State and Home and Community Renewal for providing the resources necessary to assist us in these efforts.” 

They are very anxious to have regular and normal activities, including the Seniors program resume in the near future.

Rails to Trails Continues in a Post-Pandemic Long Island

The North Shore Rail Trail project, also known as Rails to Trails, is getting back to work on a 10-mile bike path from Wading River to Mount Sinai.  The path will be placed along a PSEG Long Island-owned right of way.

The project had been temporarily on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, a safety plan was put in place to allow for sage continuation of the project.  Since then, DF Stone Contracting, a local company, has finished grading and creating the subbase layer along the path. 

DF Stone believes they can begin to lay asphalt down during October.  The project may have to break for winter at some point, but it is hoped that it can be opened to the public by this time next year.

The trail is being funded by federal and state grants, as well as with funds from Suffolk County.  Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker noted that funding for this sort of project is important during a time when people are rediscovering the need for outdoor recreation. 

“The pandemic has made people understand how important it is to have outdoor recreational locations,” she said.

Legislator Anker, along with officials from the Village of Shoreham and Mayor Brian Val, met officials from Verizon, Altice, and PSEG Long Island to discuss how to move forward with the trails path.  Improvements will need to be made in order to complete the path, and logistical challenges remain, but plans continue to progress.

You can read more at TBR News Media.

HIA-LI Trade Show Goes Virtual

The 2020 HIA-LI trade show will take place virtually as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent large gatherings.  It will take place this October 7th and 8th, from 9 am to 12 am.

The event, now in its 32nd year, has already registered at least 2,500 leaders in the local business community.  The program will promote business expansions and breakout sessions, and will offer prizes and promotions for registrants.

“Long Island businesses, particularly those in tradable sectors based in the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge, are the anchor of the regional economy,” said HIA-LI board chair Joe Campolo in a statement.  “We’re thrilled to take the trade show global with the new virtual format. A trade show of this magnitude helps ensure that Nassau and Suffolk businesses are registering a strong impact on the global economic stage as well.”

There will be eight breakout sessions that cover marketing, technology, networking, leadership, and other themes.  All Long Island business sectors will be represented at the event.

You can read more at Long Island Business News.

Local Main Streets Suffer Across the Country

Widespread. That is a fitting word that describes the damaging impact the Coronavirus shutdowns have had on local Main Streets across the country. Small-town downtowns, including many on Long Island, have begun experiencing a resurgence in recent years, thanks to the cooperative work of communities, businesses and local governments. Villages such as Farmingdale, Babylon, Rockville Centre, and Huntington, just to name a few, have made great strides in growing diversified housing opportunities, along with attracting distinctive businesses, restaurants and entertainment in downtowns to combat years of lost growth at the hands of suburban sprawl, shopping malls, big box stores and the internet.

In the Wall Street Journal’s October 4th article, America’s Main Street Revival goes into Reverse, Cutting a Small-Town Lifeline, the author, Ruth Simon, demonstrates Main Street’s burgeoning growth by offering data collected by the National Main Street Center which reveals between 2015 and 2019, U.S. towns with populations of 25,000 or less invested more than $20 billion in public and private funds in their downtown cores and created more than 28,000 new businesses. “Many small towns found new vigor by fostering niche businesses and unique experiences. The pandemic has hit the hospitality sector and specialty shops especially hard, which has turned these newfound strengths into vulnerabilities.”

Patrice Frey, chief executive of the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation stated in the article, “The worry is that what we saw with Covid could set us back at least a generation.”

This worry extends to all Long Island downtowns. Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island, notes, “It is not surprising to see the impact of the Coronavirus shutdowns on local Main Street’s across the country in areas that had been recently revived.”

The WSJ article took a close look at downtown Emporia in Kansas, with a population of roughly 25,000, with 55 leisure and hospitality businesses on the Main Street corridor in 2019, up from 27 in 2015. As on Long Island, “Many of Emporia’s roughly 200 Main Street small businesses have added curbside pickup and delivery. Roughly 40% now have an online presence.” Staff has been reduced in many instances, some businesses have applied for the federal Paycheck Protection Program loans, and the support of community has been indispensable. However, according to the Journal, the pandemic could still be a death blow for some businesses that were already troubled. Moreover, a recent Harris Poll found that people in rural and suburban areas were more likely to see small businesses struggling.

The next question is, how will these affected Main Streets come back stronger than before?  Vision’s Eric Alexander believes, “Long Island’s experience will be buoyed by continued downtown redevelopment and an influx of folks from NYC, but the pain exists.”

In an effort to relieve some of this pain, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has joined a group of more than 30 senators to cosponsor the bipartisan Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-Twenty (RESTART) Act which supports small- and mid-sized businesses, especially theaters, live events, restaurants and hospitality that have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus crises. Senator Gillibrand notes, “Unfortunately the [past] PPP program didn’t go far enough to support small businesses across the country, but the RESTART Act would help fill the gaps and ensure they receive the support they deserve.” The group is hoping for its inclusion in the next COVID-19 Relief Package.

It will take assiduous work to overcome the widespread economic damage created by the Coronavirus shutdown, with community, business and local governments continuing to work hand in hand. As Kim Redeker, the owner of The Sweet Granada chocolate shop in Emporia, told the Wall Street Journal, “I worry about a lot of our businesses, not just financially. Are we going to really have the stamina and the grit to come back?”

On Long Island, the answer is a resounding yes.

US Senator Gillibrand Calls For Legislation Supporting Live Venues

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a video press conference on September 30th to call for legislation to support live event venues and small- and mid-sized businesses that are struggling to recover after a summer of limited operations due to the coronavirus crises.

“Small businesses — including theaters, venues, and restaurants —make New York a world renowned destination and we must help them survive this economic crisis,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Unfortunately the PPP program didn’t go far enough to support small businesses across the country, but the RESTART Act would help fill the gaps and ensure they receive the support they deserve. I’m proud to work with my colleagues across the aisle to push for this important legislation in the next relief package.”

Senator Gillibrand is proposing legislation that would create a new loan program to fund six months of employer and operating expenses for businesses that have lost substantial revenue and have been unable to access a lifeline through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  While the PPP was intended to support small- and mid-sized businesses weather the economic crisis, many have slipped through the cracks and are struggling to maintain operations and pay their employees.

Theaters and live events, restaurants and hospitality make up a significant part of New York’s economy and have faced unprecedented revenue losses since March.  Independent venues across the country have been forced to close during their peak seasons and are forecast to lose almost $9 billion in revenue if the rest of 2020 remains dark — the majority expect to permanently close if shutdowns persist and no federal funding becomes available.

Here is a link to the Bipartisan Restart Act.

Winter & COVID-19: How to Safely Enjoy LI Life Conversation on December 7th

With restaurants preparing for the winter in the midst of a pandemic, Newsday is investigating how Long Islanders can safely and responsibly enjoy them.

News Live will host a conversation with local business owners and stakeholders tomorrow, at 12:00 pm.  Speakers will include Dr. Randolph DiLorenzo, Internist and Medical Director of Syosset Hospital; Corin Hirsch, Newsday Food and Drinks Reporter; Eric Alexander, Founder, LI Main Street Alliance; Christina Sorrentino, Co-owner, ITA Kitchen, Bayshore.   The event will be moderated by Joye Brown, Newsday Associate Editor, and James Madore, Newsday Economics Writer.

You can register for the event or submit a question here.

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.

Vision Long Island is happy to be a co-sponsor of this zoom event, which 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

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


Zucaro Construction

Founded in 1978, Zucaro Construction has grown to become one of the most respected and competitive General Contractors in the Long Island and the Metropolitan Area. Its founder, Andrew Zucaro, formed his company with the traditional values and attention to details that have guided him throughout his professional career.

With field experience and an extensive background in commercial, industrial and high-end residential construction management,coupled with “old school” business ethics as his foundation, it is not surprising to find Andrew Zucaro on site, managing each project in detail from beginning to end, ensuring satisfaction every step of the way.

Over the last 32 years, specializing in General Contracting and Construction Management, Zucaro Construction has paid great focus in compiling a lineup of seasoned and polished sub-contractors that meet Andrew Zucaro’s very high standards of workmanship and reliability. When combined with Zucaro Construction’s in-house crew, the result is a powerhouse team.

Smart Talk

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

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

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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