presented by Vision Long Island and the Long Island Main Street Alliance
April 10th, 2020
Quotes of Day
Helping Main Street through the
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 nearly 400 small businesses in over 40 downtowns as they weather the economic storm through the Coronavirus. We encourage people to responsibly patronize these and other open establishments who need your help in this time of crisis.
Many of 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.
Day 25 of the Coronavirus economic crisis takes us to the City of Long Beach.
Long Beach nicknamed “City by the Sea” is well renowned for its boardwalk, diverse neighborhoods, parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities and a range of local restaurants and businesses. They host a range of arts, music and cultural events, a film festival and a farmers market. They have their own bus system, a LIRR station and walkable and bikeable streets.
Superstorm Sandy displaced thousands of residents and flooding impacted every building in the City. Over $200 million dollars of damage occurred and the City and the range of organizations including the Chamber and a number of neighborhood groups have pulled together to recover and rebuild since the storm.
The Coronavirus economic shutdown has impacted the City like other downtowns across Long Island. Similar to Sandy the City and local organizations have pulled together to assist local residents through charitable endeavors and contributions to the local food pantries and their soup kitchen including also food delivery to the elderly.
Long Beach City Council President John Bendo sums up the spirit of the community: “Long Beach has a diverse group of outstanding small businesses that are very important to the community. During the pandemic, we are working with our Chamber of Commerce to both provide information regarding resources to help them and encourage residents to support the businesses to keep them open. We developed and shared a list of restaurants that are open for pickup and delivery and even added short term parking signs in front of these establishments to make it easier for their customers. Long Beach has a long history of welcoming folks to our iconic boardwalk and beautiful beach. When the Governor tells us groups are allowed to assemble again, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our City.”
Here are some of the independent restaurants that are open for takeout or delivery:
Abe’s Pitaria, (516) 897-3582
Acai Beach Bowls, (516) 442-5362
Beach Bagel & Deli, (516) 431-7406
Billy’s Beach Café, (516) 889-2233
Blacksmith Bakery, (516) 632-8738
Bob’s Natural Foods, (516) 889-8955
Brand’s Delicatessen, (516) 431-1795
Bright Eye Brewery, (516) 543-5736
Brixx & Barley, (516) 544-4511
Cha-Ba Thai, (516) 897-2888
Corazon De Cuba Taqueria, (516) 653-9600
Dough Hut, (516)432-1400
East End Pizza, (516) 889-8787
First Jade Chinese Restaurant, (516) 432-4904
Five Guys Burgers and Fries, (516) 431-1999
Gino’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, (516) 432-8193
Himawari Sushi, (516) 431-4768
JJ Coopers, (516) 431-3133
LB Sandwich Co., (516)632-9014
LB Social, (516) 431-7846
Lido Kosher Deli, (516) 431-4411
Lilly’s of Long Beach, (516) 442-5484
Lindell Deli, (516)432-9171
Long Beach Bagel Café, (516) 432-2582
Los Prios (Corazon De Cuba), (516) 272-4200
Lost at Sea, (516) 632-5263
Marvel Frozen Dairy, (516) 889-4232
Mary’s Irish Shop, (516) 442-1185
Nagahama Japanese Restaurant, (516) 432-6446
Nagoya, (516) 897-0077
Roc & Olive, (516) 442-1090
Sherry Blossom, (516) 889-1200
Shines, (516) 432-9248
Sorrentos, (516) 889-4800
Speakeasy, (516) 827-9889
Steven’s Pasta, (516) 992-8400
Swingbelly’s Beachside BBQ, (516) 431-3464
Tandoor Grill, (516) 766-4440
The Bungalow (East), (516) 632-2501
The Bungalow (West), (516) 442-4777
The Cabana, (516) 889-1345
The Saloon, (516) 432-9185
West End Pizza, (516) 889-1711
Day 24 of the Coronavirus economic crisis brings us to the Village of Greenport.
Downtown Greenport is a historic waterfront community on the North Fork. It boasts great restaurants, shops, a year round carousel, winter ice rink, nearby skate park, waterfront hotels and a charm that draws day trippers and tourists all year round. Independent restaurants and shops do best as opposed to chains - Aldo's coffee withstood Starbucks, Greenport Harbor Brewing thrives, unique clothing shops and Goldsmith's toy store are also destinations among many others.
With the shutdown from Coronavirus their is radically less activity but the community is still tightly knit and supportive of each their neighbors in need. Successful fundraising efforts came together to support the local food pantry at CAST, raised money for facemasks at Stony Brook Hospital and many other charitable endeavors.
The Village of Greenport and the Business Improvement District manage the downtown district and are encouraging people to social distance but safely support local businesses.
A number of Restaurants & Other Businesses are still Offering Delivery/Pick-Up:
Front Street Station
Ellen’s On Front
Greenport Wines & Spirits
Blue Duck Bakery
Greenport Harbor Brewery
First & South
Green Hill Kitchen
Emilio’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
Bruce & Son
Olive Branch & Café
Brix & Rye
1943 Pizza Bar
Agave Grill & Cantina
La Capricciosa Pizzeria
The Market Greenport
Vines & Branches
Village of Patchogue
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
The Village of Patchogue truly embodies the spirit of community coming together to lift each other up. The nonprofit arm of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Patchogue Foundation, has established the Greater Patchogue COAD. COAD stands for Community Organizations Active in Disaster.
COAD is an umbrella of many community organizations, including service groups, faith-based congregations, non-profits, and local government agencies, working collectively to make sure relief gets to those who need it during this extraordinary time. It has connected face mask and medical suppliers to local medical workers and is providing meals to the needy in the community and volunteer emergency workers.
The Greater Patchogue Foundation has established the Patchogue COVID-19 Relief Fund, wherein every cent collected is used to assist Greater Patchogue businesses, organizations and individuals in need as a result of the spread of COVID-19. “Over $35,000 has been raised,” states David Kennedy, Greater Patchogue Chamber Executive Director. “This has allowed for daily meal deliveries to Long Island Community Hospital and Stony Brook University Hospital.”
"Patchogue remains resilient and strong as we move through this unprecedented time. Many of our businesses have found unique ways to provide needed food, items and services while following social distancing guidelines," explains Kennedy.
The list of participating restaurants continues to grow. “We have about 22 restaurants operating and doing deliveries,” Kennedy says. James Gilroy of Fulton’s Gate, a participating restaurant explains, “It feels good to help.”
Teachers Federal Union generously donated $5,000 to the cause. “The credit unions are built on a foundation of people helping people,” said Inna Sprague, TFCU chief experience officer. “This is our way of giving back to the community and helping the people we serve on a daily basis.” “I think it’s our responsibility to do whatever we can to not only support those people who’ve been deemed essential, but we need to keep other people employed,” she added. “I’m hoping this contributes to that as well.”
There are so many more examples of giving in Patchogue. Village Cigar Headquarters donated 1000 masks and 5000 pairs of gloves to local hospitals in need. I Heart Mac & Cheese donated over 35 trays of mac & cheese to Patchogue essential businesses, the local fire department and police station. Indigo Patchogue partnered with nonprofit Equity First Foundation to give 1,000 grab ‘n’ go meals to those in need. The list goes on.
The Village of Patchogue is a community that knows and exemplifies selflessness. Our admiration is enormous.
New York State Department of Labor Unveils new Unemployment App
In an effort to combat the overwhelming number of people requesting unemployment insurance, the New York State Department of Labor has unveiled a new app to help ease the glut.
This new application will allow people in need of benefits to request them through online means. It will replace the old app with a newer, more streamlined version that was officially put into place this past Thursday. In addition to a reduction in the number of questions, applicants will no longer need to contact the DOL themselves but instead can expect a call from a DOL employee within 72 hours of applying.
Referred to as DOL Tech Surge, the app is considered a top-to-bottom upgrade over the previous version and is a partnership of the state with Google, Deloitte, and Verizon. It will allow users to save incomplete applications so they can come back to them later and provide an “every device experience” so New Yorker can file from smart phones, tablets, and laptops.
"Earlier today, the Department of Labor announced that its online unemployment insurance application would shut down at 5:00 PM to allow for critical upgrades as part of their comprehensive 'Tech Surge,'” said DOL Communications Director Dani Lever. “Every evening, this online system closes from 7:00 PM to 7:30 AM to allow the DOL's database to process applications. As we are currently migrating to a new system today, applications will be accepted beginning at 7:30 AM tomorrow. When New Yorkers log in to the Department of Labor's system tomorrow, they will find a new, improved and more user-friendly application allowing them to better access the benefits they deserve.”
Additionally, a new call center will be opened to help people apply. It will be staffed by hundreds of experienced customer service professionals and will drastically increase the number of calls that the system can handle. There will 10,000 new phone ports put into place, up from the previous 1,750. There will also be an increase in the number of servers to help handle requests and more efficient filing system in place.
This is welcome news as New Yorkers desperate for benefits have been hitting a number of barriers that the old system caused. This was due to the record number of people out of work thanks to the economic shutdown caused by the ongoing pandemic. It is good to see the state moving quickly to shore up the system and help out the New Yorkers most in need.
You can watch a video about the changes here.
Federal Reserve Unveils $2.3 trillion in Programs Designed to Support Economy
The Federal Reserve has announced $2.3 trillion in programs that are aimed at shoring up the economy as the coronavirus epidemic continues to take a toll.
The measures detailed include a Main Street business lending program along with several other initiatives that will be used to backstop the reeling economy. There was also a reveal of market interventions that will be undertaken to help prop that up, including plans to purchase corporate bonds both at an investment-grade level and as high-yield, or junk, bonds.
These new provisions will also allow for loans to be geared to businesses with 10,000 or less employees and less than $2.5 billion in revenue from 2019. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for a year under that program. The recently unveiled Payroll Protection Program will also be under this plan and is representative of the spirit of getting money directly into the hands of small businesses.
“Our country’s highest priority must be to address this public health crisis, providing care for the ill and limiting the further spread of the virus,” said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. “The Fed’s role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity, and our actions today will help ensure that the eventual recovery is as vigorous as possible.”
The loans for Main Street businesses would be a minimum of $1 million and a maximum of either $25 million or an amount that, when added to the Eligible Borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn debt, does not exceed four times the Eligible Borrower’s 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. The Fed has pledged to purchase up to $600 billion of those loans.
A special-purpose vehicle created by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department will purchase 95% of the loans while financial institutions will hold the remaining 5%.
Beyond the Main Street program, the Fed has also announced a move aimed at bolstering the effectiveness of the Payroll Protection Program. They will provide term financing to institutions lending through the program and will expand the type of collateral it is willing to accept through the program.
One other measure put in place is the establishment of a new Municipal Liquidity Facility that will offer up to $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities. The Treasury will provide $35 million to that particular program. There will also be an expansion of the three existing credit facilities that will seek to increase credit to households and businesses. Those new efforts will target $850 billion through the three facilities.
You can read more at CNBC.
$18 Million in Federal Grants on the way to Long Island
US Senator Chuck Schumer has announced $18 million in additional federal grants are on their way to Long Island to help with relief from the coronavirus shutdown.
Wrapped up in the $2,2 trillion CARES Act that recently passed, nearly $200 million in funds will head to New York out of a $3 billion national allotment. An additional $9.1 billion will roll in after that once officials have created a formula for distribution according to HUD. These funds are meant to shore up economies in counties and towns that are experiencing shortfalls thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’re hit with a double whammy, and this is not going to solve the problem, but it will certainly cushion the blow,” said Senator Schumer. “This kind of money gets through very quickly. They announced they're going to do it today. It should be very soon, and we will stay on them to make sure.”
The funds will come in one of three forms: Block grants, with $13 million of those alone coming to Long Island; Emergency solutions grants to help the homeless with $5 million for Long Island; and grants to help people with HIV or AIDS, including $316,249 for Long Island.
Nassau will receive the bigger slice of funding with $8.5 million in community development block grants and $4.25 million in emergency solutions grants. Brookhaven will receive $2.3 million, including the only grant for Long Island residents struggling with AIDS or HIV. Finally, Suffolk County will receive $835,566, $640,040 for the Town of Babylon, and $510,015 for the Town of Huntington.
You can read more at Newsday.
Governor Cuomo Briefs on Progress in fight against Coronavirus
Governor Cuomo’s hit a few key points in his briefing earlier today:
• The state is cautiously optimistic that the infection rate is slowing as the 3 day average of hospitalizations has declined drastically and ICU admissions is now a negative number.
• Number of deaths remains about level with 777 patients passing away yesterday.
• Long Island and NYC remain hotspots but overall the state is “flattening the curve.
• It is important to stay the course and keep social distancing protocols in place for the time being as we try to keep the infection rate low and not create “waves” of infection.
• Food assistance is a real issue for a lot of New Yorkers with $200 million being provided by the state for emergency food assistance to more than 700,000 low-income households.
• The economy will need to be reopened soon but it will be a gradual, phased process that will be reliant on testing and ensuring that we do not fall back into a healthcare crisis.
• New York State lab is developing an antibody test to help do just that.
• Returning to normal will depend on how quickly we can bring the testing to a scale that will allow us to know exactly who has had and is now immune to the virus. It will require an unprecedented mobilization to provide these tests in the millions.
Here is Governor Cuomo’s message from yesterday, printed from his official website:
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced five new testing facilities downstate, primarily in minority communities. A drive-through mobile testing facility will open at the Sears Parking Lot at 2307 Beverly Road in Brooklyn tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., and a drive-through mobile testing facility opened at the Club House at Aqueduct Race Track Parking Lot, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd, in Queens on Monday April 6th. In addition, the state is opening three walk-in facilities at health care centers in the South Bronx; Jamaica, Queens; and in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The walk-in facilities will open next week and will be by appointment only.
The state has opened nine testing facilities to date. The sites will prioritize tests for individuals that are among the highest risk population. Residents who would like to be tested at these facilities must make an appointment by calling 888-364-3065.
The Governor also announced the "New York Loves" effort to coordinate all foundations, philanthropies, not-for-profits, charities and other entities that want to help or donate to the state during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. New York Secretary of State Rosanna Rosado and State Director of Nonprofits Fran Barrett will coordinate this effort and any resources that are collected, and will work with local governments that need additional help.
The Governor is also asking all New Yorkers who have recovered from COVID-19 to contact the state and donate blood. Individuals who have recovered from the virus may have convalescent plasma in their blood, which has antibodies against the virus and could help with the development of a treatment for the virus. More information about how to donate is available here.
Governor Cuomo will also issue an Executive Order to bring additional funeral directors to New York to help with the high number of deaths due to COVID-19.
"Our efforts to reduce the spread of the virus through social distancing are working better than we expected because people are complying with them," Governor Cuomo said. "Rapid testing and increasing our testing capacity is going to be the bridge to the new economy and restarting, but we also need to make sure we are learning the lessons of what we're going through now because we haven't finished going through it yet. We are going to increase testing and open new testing sites to collect more data in African-American and Latino communities so we can better understand why this virus kills and has higher fatality rates in certain communities, and what we can do to address it."
Finally, the Governor confirmed 10,621 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 159,937 confirmed cases in New York State.
You can watch his full press conference here.
Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses Goes into Effect
The US Department of Treasury has released guidelines for small businesses seeking relief from payroll costs during the Coronavirus pandemic. This program called the Paycheck Protection Program, will provide small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. All loans under this program will have an interest rate of 0.5%, maturity of 2 years, be 100% guaranteed by the SBA, and the first payment will be deferred for 6 months.
Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors— are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries. Maximum loan amounts will be up to $10 million.
People can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of participating lenders as well as additional information and full terms can be found at www.sba.gov.
Small Businesses Urged to Apply for SBA Loans
There are still a lot of questions in regards to the impact of the Federal aid package on small businesses.
Here is the latest fact sheets from US Congresswoman Kathleen Rice that outlines the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (here) and the SBA’s Paycheck Program Loan with the updated guidelines (here). Congressman Lee Zeldin recently had an SBA representative encourage folks to apply for loans no matter what.
In the meantime, there has been an effort to encourage small businesses to work to apply for loans asap. The LI Main Street Alliance and the Nassau & Suffolk Chambers are working to get information out to the small business community to help as much as possible.
Newsday and the LIA are both hosting, and will continue to host, video conferences on a range of business resources as well.
This past Friday morning, the Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar for businesses to learn how to apply for SBA loans. Man-Li Lin, from the New York District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration presented information to explain how to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This information is subject to change as the situation remains fluid. The local Small Business Development Centers at Farmingdale State College (here) and Stony Brook University (here) will have new information as updates occur.
While SBA loans are typically only available for small businesses, during a declared national disaster, they are also available for private not for profit entities as well. Most small businesses and non-profits are eligible except for businesses relating to gambling, religious organizations, investment or lending companies, charitable organizations, speculative activities, or agricultural enterprises.
Loans of up to $2 million are available with no payments for 12 months. They can be used to pay expenses such as fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, or other bills affected by the disaster. Interest rates are 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for private non-profits and long term repayments for COVID crisis will be 30 years. Loans cannot be used for lost revenue, just for expenses. Typically, businesses are not eligible if they are able to secure credit elsewhere. However, they are currently allowing applications without denial letters from other lenders.
There is no cost to apply and no obligation to take the loan if it is offered. The amount of the loan application should reflect six months of operating expenses. Documentation of a typical months expenses is required. Businesses are eligible even if they already have a previous SBA loan, disaster loan or other types of SBA loans. Loans over $25000 require collateral, but won’t be denied simply for lack of collateral, they will require a pledge of what is available. Criteria for approval will include eligibility, credit history and the ability to repay.
US Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
You can also contact the SBA disaster customer service center at 1-800-659-2955, firstname.lastname@example.org or TTY:1-800-877-8339. They recommend email as the best way to get in touch with someone. If applicants are receiving a 404 error, they recommend clearing your cache and trying again.
Upcoming Webinars for Small Businesses Seeking Relief Loans
While this process is still evolving, businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible and provide all required documentationfor relief loans from the Small Business Administration. Representatives from the SBA will follow up with questions.
Webinars will be held to help guide businesses through the application process, the times are as follows:
April 14th, 12 pm to 1 pm. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866
April 15th, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866
April 16th, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866
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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