presented by Vision Long Island and the Long Island Main Street Alliance
March 20th, 2020
Helping Main Street
Reports from Local Downtowns
At this time of uncertainty, we are beginning to see a number of downtowns being shuttered as bars, restaurants, and any place where multiple people congregate are running up against fears of and caution at spreading the Coronavirus. While this is a socially responsible action that will help to save lives, in the short term these actions are having a number of adverse effects on our local communities.
Vision Long Island has collected a number of experiences from local restaurants and service businesses, but before we go into that we would like to encourage everyone reading this to find a way to responsibly patronize local establishments. Many stores are offering curbside pickup or online shopping to help them get through this difficult time. And your favorite restaurants are also currently open for business with takeout available. We also urge you to consider gift cards in order to purchase something at a later date for yourself, or perhaps to give as a present.
Local shops are in a capable position to provide you with what you need in the short-term. Many will also be willing to accommodate you if you contact them ahead of time with requests that will minimize contact and help to lower the spread of this virus.
Vision has now spoken directly to over 120 independent Main Street businesses in over 20 communities through the Coronavirus economic crisis. The message is dire but owners are looking to move forward as best they can. Thanks to all the folks who shared their experiences and again happy to see folks work through this.
In the meantime, here is a selection of updates from Long Island downtowns, more to follow...
No single downtown has brought housing, jobs, economic activity and great adaptive reuse with transit-oriented development as the Village of Farmingdale, but as this pandemic begins to cause significant economic distress, very few places or industries will emerge unscathed, and none are more vulnerable than our local Main Street businesses.
Farmingdale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand and the Village Board of Trustees are not only working to keep their community safe; they are visiting merchants throughout the Village to address the current economic crisis. Mayor Ekstrand tells us, “We have been doing take out every night from a different place. We put out on the Village website, and to all residents on our constant contact, a list of restaurant’s names and phone numbers which are doing delivery and take out. We have given all merchants the SBA information to file for money. We are trying our best to keep Farmingdale a Village to be proud of.”
The Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce asks that Farmingdale come together to support the businesses that support the community. “Every day, small business owners and organizations are being asked to make public safety judgement calls, putting themselves, their staff, and their future at risk,” President Joseph Garcia states. “Our restaurants, brewery, and many others have been forced to change business models overnight to comply with State Rules and Guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The vast majority of our members are still operating. Food and beverage establishments have made provisions for takeout, curbside pick-up, free delivery, discounts, and Alcohol to-go and even delivered. Please continue to support our businesses here in Farmingdale. Order in, have some beer or wine. Continue doing business over the phone. Consider purchasing gift cards for future use, as well. We want to make sure Farmingdale continues to be a strong and vibrant business community.”
Here is a sampling of local restaurants making it work:
317 Main Street is open for curbside & delivery
Bagel Hut is open for takeout & delivery
Caracara Mexican Grill is open for curbside & delivery
Charlotte’s Desserts is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
Chiddy’s Cheesesteaks is open for pick up & delivery
Croxley Ales is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
Dominican Restaurant 4 is open for takeout & delivery
Flux Coffee is open for takeout
Frankie’s Pizzeria is open for takeout & delivery
Grecian Grill is open for takeout & delivery
High Tide Taco is open for takeout & delivery
Library Café is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
Lithology is open for curbside & delivery
Main Street Pizza is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
Palmer’s American Grille is open for curbside & delivery
Sobol is open for takeout
Stuff-A-Bagel is open for takeout & delivery
That Meetball Place is open for curbside & delivery
The Republic Pub is open for takeout & delivery
Thyme on Your Side (Le Petit Café) is open for takeout, curbside & delivery
Tiny Thai is open for takeout
TOA is open for takeout & delivery
Tre Scalini is open for takeout & delivery
Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar is open for takeout & delivery
Wings Over Farmingdale is open for takeout
Farmingdale has also released a list of local businesses that are still open and what services they are offering to customers, which you can access here.
Vision was out in downtown Mineola for day 4 of the forced shutdown of most activities.
Restaurants we were able to speak with or observed open included:
(It is worth noting that the line for one of the local gun shops was out the door at 8:30 at night.)
We had takeout from Taglio Roman Style Pizza, which tasted great. We also stopped in to see Avelino and Elizabeth from Heart of Portugal. Their Grilled Octupus with Vegetables special was particularly delicious!
Unfortunately, businesses reported of being 90% down on average, even with takeout orders still being available. Most have had to lay off 50 to 80% of their staff, and are operating under skeleton crews. But it is still worth noting that takeout food delivery is still allowed under the forced measures to be enacted on Sunday.
Vision has now spoken to over 160 independent small businesses who have been decimated by the forced shutdowns of most Main Street activities.
East Meadow businesses were the latest group to be stunned by a sudden closure of businesses on Monday as they worked to keep their establishments extra clean in hopes of staying open. After the order toc lose came, owners began to work in earnest to figure out how to make up for the loss of revenue.
“Up until five minutes ago, we were sanitizing and planning to stay open,” Frank Camarano, the manager of World Gym in East Meadow, said on Monday afternoon. “Now everyone is just stunned, just like I am. The members are heartbroken, and now they don’t know what to do.”
Mr. Camarano is also the board chairman of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce and the vice president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce. Working in those positions have placed him in the position of contacting numerous local businesses so as to calm nerves, but a number of local owners feel as though they have nowhere to go. Right now he is working to gather resources to and information on relief plans at different levels of government that can possibly help.
“I think what people have to hear is that ‘You’re not alone,’” said Mr. Camarano. “I know it sounds kind of hokey, but it’s true.”
Frank Borrelli, owner of Borrelli’s Italian Restaurant in East Meadow, is hoping to keep his doors open with a takeout menu, but had to fire his entire wait staff in the wake of Cuomo’s order, though it pained him to do so. He made the promise to hire them once the ban on gatherings is lifted, but for the moment he has to make do the best he can.
“I guess we could deliver a pizza with ‘quarantini’ to go,” Borrelli said, referencing the loosening of liquor laws to allow alcohol to be sold off premises. Mr. Borrelli also talked about how his business made it through Hurricane Sandy, but could at least look forward to the nearby Nassau Colosseum to help bring in customers. But this time is different as the ban on public gatherings means at least a month without such relief.
Local businesses focused on fitness are working to continue providing services on a virtual level for their customers. Anthony Bevilacqua, who owns AB Fitness in East Meadow, will have his staff stream three half-hour sessions in the morning and three at night for members, as well as nutritional seminars each evening.
“One of the best ways to fight the coronavirus is to keep staying healthy,” said Mr. Bevilacqua. “Everyone’s definitely more stressed during this time. But the only thing you could control is yourself and the actions you take.”
You can read more at the Long Island Herald.
Franklin Square and Elmont
This past Tuesday was supposed to see an influx of business for local restaurants and bars in Franklin Square and Elmont. Instead, there has been mostly silence in the wake of Governor Cuomo’s order to for bars and restaurants to switch to takeout and delivery instead of dine-in establishments. This turn of events has left local owners worried during what should be one of their busiest times of year.
“It might shut down my restaurant,” said Ann Angelino, owner of Murph’s Restaurant in Franklin Square. Ms. Angelino recently invested $10,000 into her business in preparation of St. Patrick’s Day and is afraid that she will be unable to recoup the cost with the ongoing shutdown order. Additionally, she is unable to apply to unemployment insurance as the owner of her own business.
This is a problem being seen across the region as owner after owner faces plummeting sales and patronage as local residents stay home for fear of spreading the Coronavirus. This has left local chambers scrambling as they look to help out their businesses.
“In the next week or two, everyone’s really going to be hurting,” said Elmont Chamber of Commerce President Paul Sapienza, who also owns Sapienza Bake Shop in downtown Elmont. “If they don’t have any money, they’ll have to close up.”
Mr. Sapienza stated that some businesses might be able to take out loans or use money in reserve, but that the shutdown could still lead to a large number of employees being laid off. Part-time employees will probably be the first, a majority of whom are students or people looking for extra disposable income, but the longer this crisis drags on the more difficult it will be for local business to pay even a skeleton staff.
That is the primary concern of Mario Testani, owner of Filomena’s Restaurant, who feels as though he has enough money to weather the crisis, but is concerned for his employees. He is trying to figure out the best way to remain open and still paying them while also being conscientious of the safety of others.
But on top of that, the main concern is how businesses will be paying their ongoing expenses. “I’ll have to pay my landlord no matter what,” said Anthony Capogna, owner of Olivetto Pizzaria and Ristorante, which is still open for takeout. But the future is suddenly very uncertain for him and a lot of local business on Long Island.
You can read more about Franklin Square and Elmont at the Long Island Herald.
Rockville Centre businesses have also been experiencing losses during this time as owners work to figure out how to move forward at this time.
The message coming from local restaurants has been one of shrinking business coupled with cutting staff to help deal with nosediving revenue. While a switch to takeout might be enough to keep restaurants afloat, it’s not enough for workers who rely on these businesses.
Many hourly workers depend on their paycheck, so that’s disconcerting,” said George Korten, owner of George Martin restaurants in Rockville Centre. “We need some relief from the federal or state government [because] you have a lot of people worried financially, as well as health-wise.” But even so, Mr. Korten also noted that “the safety of our guests is our primary concern, so the shutdown is a very smart move. That’s the only way to flat-line the curve.”
Even so, businesses are suffering. Tommy Masvroudis, who owns Pantry Diner, said that even with takeout being offered his diner would need to significantly cut back on staff. While he would have liked to have retained hem for when business came back, he felt it was more responsible to put them in a position where they could file for unemployment.
It’s not just restaurants though as Rockville Centre’s The Little Gym, which caters children and is owned by married couple Alu Murphy and Miguel Madera, has had to close its doors for the time being and is scrambling to make up the revenue. “It’s definitely nerve-racking,” said Ms. Murphy. “We rely on people to come in for classes. I’m hoping the government will assist us, because if people can’t come in, it will affect our business. For now we’re just doing everything we can to keep our business going.”
Sportset Health and Fitness Club, another local gym, is hoping to retain members by offering virtual classes. Owner Dennison Silvio talked about how he had hoped it wouldn’t come to a shutdown and had been investing into extra leaning staff and sterilization methods to help keeps customers safe. “I was really hoping,” said Mr. Silvio, “even if we would lose money, that we’d be able to stay open and be an outlet to the community. I was planning to operate [with] a skeleton crew. Now we’re forced to close, and it’s tricky, because I’m not sure how long it will be.”
Meanwhile, the local Chamber of Commerce, headed by President Brian Courtier, has been working to reach out to local businesses in the downtown to help promote takeout and delivery options. The Chamber has been working with Village Hall to try and get some sort of relief by offering free parking for the duration of the shutdown. He is also encouraging residents to buy gift cards from local businesses. Even with the shutdown he noted that people still need purchases for things like birthdays, anniversaries, and births, and gift cards offer a way to help local businesses while providing for those occasions.
You can read more about Rockville Centre’s efforts at the Long Island Herald.
Greenport businesses are getting ready for the impact of the Coronavirus shutdown as life on the buys Main Street has drawn to a halt. Like the rest of Long Island, the Village has seen a severe drop in patronage as resident avoid public places and big crowds.
“Town is very quiet,” said Scott Raulsome, who owns Burton’s Bookstore. “We haven’t had more than two customers in the store at the same time.”
Mr. Raulsome said that he is hoping that isolated people will take advantage of his bookstore for entertainment, noting that he is capable of shipping, local delivery, or other transactions that aren’t in-person. In the meantime he is simply sanitizing everything and keeping his store as clean as possible for the limited amount of customers who still come in.
For other businesses, March is going from a month normally reliant on regular customers to one with almost not business whatsoever. “We came into March knowing already it would be a down month and now you put this on top of it. We’re playing it by ear,” said Nancy Kouris of the Blue Duck Bakery. The Bakery is normally reliant on regular customers, but a majority of those are elderly resident who are avoiding downtowns due to public health concerns.
Other businesses have assessed the risk and decided simply to close shop for the time being. The Weathered Barn, which is owned by Rena Casey-Wilhelm and her husband Jason decided it was in their personal best interest to temporarily shutter the shop. The two of them suffered from compromised immune systems and didn’t wish to risk their health or their elderly parent’s.
“The economic impact, certainly in the short-term, is severe,” said Southold Supervisor Scott Russell. “Impacts on the financial health of businesses in the long-term is difficult to predict.”
Local businesses are hoping that loans from the SBA can help get them through without having to dip too much into earning from the previous summer. Owners seem anxious but optimistic that this will pass and life can return to normal before too long. In the meantime, they are urging solidarity among residents and business owners.
“We are all in this together and this virus affects each and every one of us in so many ways health-wise as well as our local economy,” said Ms. Casey-Wilhelm. “We feel confident we will all come out A-OK on the other side.”
You can read more at the Suffolk Times.
Night 2 of the Coronavirus economic crisis brought Vision Long Island out to downtown Hicksville. Armed with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, we were happy to see a number of restaurants providing take out to customers.
Some of the restaurants visited or observed open included: Punto Rojo Colombian; Fuel Your Body Café; Jalea Peruvian Cuisine; Peppercorns; New Hot Breads; Benghali Sweet Shop; Crown Chicken Grill; Kandahar Grill; Lemon Leaf Grill; Biryani House; Gyro Stop; Dosa World; Kebab House; Texas Chicken & Ribs; Choopan Grill; Sakana Japanese; Bakhatar Halal Kabab; Khabul Tea House; Trullo Doro; Mulberry Street; Masala Wok.
Vision also stopped in to see Tony at Food Universe, who is doing brisk business.
All of the restaurants we talked to were down 20-50% of normal business before Monday. The shift to takeout only has caused those numbers to drop even further. The main concern most folks had was the coming weekend, which is where 50% or more of their business is secured. Takeout only on a Saturday night is far different than a full dining room.
Downtown Huntington has also begun to see the effects of the shutdown as the order to close restaurants and theaters went into effect this past Monday. It was strange to see a normally bustling downtown dark and quiet come 8 pm as local businesses complied.
Restaurants are still offering curbside service and takeout, which is allowed under the order, but the Paramount as well as the local AMC theater were all closed. Some restaurants opted close completely, going dark and shuttering their businesses after 8.
Staples such as Little Vincent’s and Skorpios stood ready to serve customers with takeout orders, but the owners acknowledged that the loss of business will hurt them. Meanwhile Besito’s, which is a popular hot spot, stood closed.
One of Huntington’s newest businesses, the Main Street Board Game Café, is in a peculiar position thanks to the order. The café side has to be closed at 8 but the retail portion of the store can remain open in order to sell board games. This has led him to having to lay off workers since he no longer has enough work for them. It’s also unclear if retail will eventually meet with a similar order to close early.
You can read more at Huntington Now.
This Tuesday was supposed to be a big day for local bars and restaurants as St. Patrick’s Day is usually one of the busier days of the year. But with Governor Cuomo’s executive order in full effect, it was a rather stark one for Valley Stream businesses beginning to get hit by the Coronavirus shutdown.
This mood was felt at numerous local establishments, including Buckley’s Restaurant and Bar, a 51-year-old establishment in downtown Valley Stream that had been reduced to a takeout service. Even with a temporary change in the state’s liquor laws to allow off-site sale of alcohol, the business was expecting a big dent in normal patronage.
“No one wants to close down, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Buckley’s bartender Kenny Collins said. “You don’t want people to get sick, so you do what you have to do.”
Another local establishment, Mitchell’s Restaurant, has already had to send home workers as business has declined and is currently working out a plan to be able to switch full time to takeout and delivery service. While owners and managers recognize the need for these sudden shifts, there is still much anxiety over how to do so and what the long term effects will be.
Local coffee shop Sip This has moved quickly, already shifting to takeout only as of Sunday, which was before the Governor’s order. “We made the switch for our workers and customers,” manager David Notarbartolo said. “We wanted to make sure we were being as safe as possible.”
But Mr. Notarbartolo also noted that his business had already been seeing a sharp downtick in business as customers began avoiding the crowded places in recent weeks. It was already putting his establishment in a place where they needed to cut back on staffing hours. Fortunately for him a number of his staff are high school or college students who were looking for a little bit of extra cash, but there are a number of workers who rely on this as their primary source of income, and those are the ones who businesses are prioritizing at the moment.
You can read more at the Long Island Herald.
The quiet hamlet of Kings Park has been making slow but steady strides towards revitalizing its aging downtown. With business, community and government working together, the prospects for positive growth has become a reality. The current restrictions associated with combatting the Coronavirus threatens to derail this progress. Like every local Main Street, the businesses, especially restaurants, are struggling to survive.
Anthony Tanzi, President of the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce, predicts “Main Street and small business will weather this storm! However, it's going to take a commitment from our local communities to help them though if we want them there when it's over.” Kevin Denis, owner of Professor’s Café agrees, “We’ve been taking care of the community for 33 years, we hope the community will be there for us.” Denis explains, “It’s hard to know what the right thing to do is, close for a few weeks or stay open. We are doing everything we can to hang in there and survive.” Michael Grimaudo, owner of Gino’s Kings Park concurs, businesses are hurting, but we are working to stay positive.
The Town of Smithtown government understands the immediate challenges of balancing personal health and economic health of communities. “This pandemic has hit our Main Street businesses in a way that has many of them wondering how they will survive. Many are coming up with ways of conducting business without compromising the public. Bakeries are making DIY cookie kits to take home, restaurants are amping up takeout, realtors are filming available homes... they’re each finding their own recipe to make lemonade. And while the public must remain vigilant in social distancing, we can all find a way to safely support our local shops, be it sharing their social media posts or making a donation to those forced to close... the way through this is together,” Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.
Here is sampling of Kings Park restaurants making it work:
Café Red is open from 12 pm to 8 pm for order and pickup.
Ciro’s Kings Park is open from 2 pm to 8 pm for deliveries, takeout and curbside pickup.
Gino’s Kings Park is open from 10 am to 9 pm for takeout and delivery.
Long River Restaurant is open from 11 am to 6 pm for takeout and delivery.
Professor’s Café is open M,T,W from 8 am to 7 pm, Th, F from 8 am to 8 pm, Sat 8 am to 7 pm, Sun from 8 am to 3 pm for takeout and delivery.
Relish is open from 11 am to 7 pm for takeout and delivery.
Simply Greek is open 11 am to 9 pm for takeout and delivery.
As concern about the Coronavirus rises, Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro, the Board, and village agencies are taking steps to assure residents that everything possible is being done to promote their health and safety.
The Village, like other downtowns on Long Island, has been making great strides through the spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation, with hyperlocal focus and local groups coming together to support its downtown transformation. The Coronavirus pandemic threatens to change this protectory.
When it comes to local businesses, Mayor Cavallaro observes the longer the pandemic lasts, the more these businesses will feel tremendous pressure. “We need to support small business, as they do not have a long safety cord.” The Village is asking residents to shop locally where they can. “Without this support during these difficult times,” the Mayor says, “these businesses may not be here when its over.”
The Mayor notes that when it comes to health and safety, there are lots of resources from the County and State. Conversely, downtowns have less tools in their toolbox. The encouraging news, the Mayor notes, is the Village is in good shape. “Zoning is in place and we have a healthy downtown.”
Local restaurants are finding ways to safely serve their community. Owner of Toskana Pizzeria Restaurant, Jennifer Bautaj, notes the importance of shopping local all the time, and especially now, during a time of crisis. “People need to shop local, invest in small business, the Mom and Pop stores, in their communities. If not, we all lose.”
Here is a sampling of local restaurants making it work:
Cafe Gino's is open from 10 am to 8 pm for takeout.
Kabul Kabab House is open from 12 pm to 9 pm for takeout and delivery.
Nana's Ice Cream and Coffee House is open from 11 am to 8 pm for takeout and delivery.
Punta Cana Grill is open from 11 am to 9 pm for takeout and delivery.
Guiradelco, Phillipine Restaurant is open for takeout.
The Westbury Business Improvement District Board will continue to push out the revitalization plans with significant influence on keeping the current businesses open for the residence during these challenging times. Many of the food business are providing curb side pickup or delivery service to respect residents concerns. As the CDC recommends changes we will push them out the business. In these trying times lets all stay safe and keep the ill in out prayers, Vanessa Esposito, Executive Director
Vision staff stopped in to Guiradelco for delicious kebabs to go and a tasty Calzone from the Jennifer, Mike and Bill at Toskana.
Folks should visit these restaurants if you want to see them continue functioning.
Governor Cuomo Announces Executive Order for all Nonessential Businesses to Close
In the latest escalation to the ongoing health crisis surrounding the Coronavirus, Governor Cuomo has issued a new executive order to close non-essential businesses and mandate New Yorkers stay in their homes.
While restaurants and bars will be allowed to continue selling takeout and delivery, most other businesses that don’t perform a vital function will be required to stay closed until the order is lifted. Businesses found to be in violation will be fined or forced to close.
"This is not life as usual," said Governor Cuomo.
While people will be required to stay home, they will still be allowed to leave their homes for exercise purposes and to protect their physical and mental health.
The new rules include:
- Non-essential gatherings of any size are banned
Guidelines for the order were also released earlier today. Essential businesses are categorized into number of subcategories and include the following:
1. Essential health care operations including
2. Essential infrastructure including
3. Essential manufacturing including
4. Essential retail including
5. Essential services including
6. News media
7. Financial Institutions including
8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including
9. Construction including
11. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses including
12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public including
Businesses not covered by these guidelines but feel like they are essential can request a designation to stay open. You can do so here, but there are two restriction on requesting designation as an essentiual business:
You can read the full document on guidance here.
You can watch the full announcement by Governor Cuomo here.
SBA Disaster Relief Loans Become Available
Just about every Main Street business we have been talking with has requested information on SBA Disaster Loans and the potential for grants.
In addition to small businesses non profits are also eligible.
With all that said there are things small business can do now to prepare themselves for the application. There is a fair amount of paperwork involved to document the loss your business has faced but essential nonetheless. Qualified entities can receive up to $2 million.
Special thanks to Congresswoman Kathleen Rice who has put this FACT SHEET together to help prepare once the application process is open and that may be soon.
Information is also being distributed by SUNY Farmingdale College Small Business Development Center in preperation for the SBA Disaster Relief Loans. You can download them here, and they include a disaster business loan application, a disaster home / sole proprietor loan applicaton, a monthly sales figure form to accompany loan applications, a personal financial statement, a request for transcript of tax return, and a schedule of liabilities.
Please check back for updates from the LI Main Street Alliance for resources in the coming days
Nassau County Gives Update on Coronavirus Response
Vision and the LI Main Street Alliance were out this week with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Comptroller Jack Schnirman, Nassau IDA Chair Richie Kessel, Nassau Council of Chambers Frank Camarano, Nassau Minority Affairs Director Lionel Chitty, Discover LI’s Kristin Jarnagin, Crest Hollow Country Club’s Rich Monti, and many others to launch a small business recovery effort in preparation of Federal and State disaster recovery loans and grants.
"We don’t know the full economic impact but I predict that it will be brutal and that it will have long-term impact," said Nassau County Exectuive Laura Curran. "The more quickly we can quantify that impact the more quickly we can address it."
In order to receive these funds documentation of economic needs is paramount and having the County assist the small business community is critical. Kudos to County Executive Curran and Comptroller Jack Schnirman for spearheading this effort.
With today’s wave of layoffs due to forced closures, it shouldn’t be hard to measure the economic impact for our local businesses to qualify.
Vision has spoken directly to over 80 downtown small businesses within the last week and all are hurting, some have closed temporarily, some are open partially. Some may close permanently. Most had to at least temporarily lay off their staff. The economic impacts to independent small businesses will take years to recover.
We have been acutely aware of the public health crisis, the national news media has obsessed over the impact on Wall Street it is now time to recognize the impact on Main Street.
Suffolk County Holds Conference Call on Crisis Response
Vision and the LI Main Street Alliance were on a call with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and his team working on the response to the economic crisis associated with the Coronavirus. Joining the call were Suffolk Chamber members led by Gina Coletti with representatives from Bayshore, Bayport, Holbrook and organizations like Hauppauge Industrial Association, LI Food Network and many others.
County Executive Bellone said "This is an unprecedented situation with a global health crisis. We are doing everything we can to respond to this crisis and the County's focus is to contain the spread. We are taking the lead of the NYS Department of Health and want to amplify measures to ensure that people stay home. We encourage folks to wash hands frequently and make sure employees are cleaning."
The County Executive is putting together an business recovery unit starting Thursday.
Questions ensued about the timing of SBA loans and the need for a direct grants program for smaller businesses. It was encouraged for all businesses to use this time to put together documentation on the economic hardship this disaster has impacted your business so the application process moves smoothly.
NYS just submitted their application to the Federal Government for disaster relief that should unlock the process for business to apply for loans of up to $2 million directly.
Stay tuned for future updates from Suffolk County, the Suffolk County Chamber of Commerce and the LI Main Street Alliance will keep information flowing on timing of loans and grant programs as well as other recovery news.
NYS Asking for Qualified Health Professionals to Recertify
In the event that the novel coronavirus crisis worsens, we need the help of qualified health professionals and related professionals to supplement our hospital capacity on a temporary basis to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients including those that may need to be intubated. The NYS Dept. of Health will recertify you for the purpose.
If you are interested and able to help out, please fill out the Health Professional Survey here.
Amazon Hiring Thousands of New Workers During Coronavirus Outbreak
As a number of workers are being let go from their positions, Amazon is looking to hire 100,000 new workers as delivery drivers and warehouse workers. To help incentivize this initiative they are offering an additional $2 per hour to anyone who applies before April.
If you are interested in one of these positions you can read more about the initative and apply for a job here.
CDC Guidelines on Coronavirus Prevention
As concern about the ever-expanding impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) grows, we can minimize or prevent the spread of coronavirus by taking these steps:
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
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