presented by Vision Long Island and the Long Island Main Street Alliance
April 14th, 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 over 425 small businesses in over 45 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 29 of the Coronavirus economic shutdown brings us to the hamlet of Manhasset.
Possibly the most jarring sight in the downtown during this shut down is to drive past their train station parking lot and see literally two or three cars in the middle of a business day. In a community that prides itself on a short commute to New York City, this is unheard of even compared to the days following 9/11 and Sandy.
Manhasset residents and business owners have been focused on charitable endeavors during this time. The Manhasset Community Fund has announced a Special Drive to provide immediate support for our local charities that are straining under unprecedented need.
John Morse, Fund President, released the following statement: “The COVID-19 virus has impacted many families in Manhasset and has hit those least able to cope the hardest.”
“Families that lost paychecks have a dire need to purchase food, medicine, and the basics for their kids. Funds raised will be used to help,” indicated Diana Holden, Executive Director of Adventures in Learning.”
Since 1946, The Manhasset Community Fund, staffed entirely by non-paid volunteers, has supported people who have significant challenges in our community.
In addition to helping their neighbors some businesses are still functioning and community spirit comes through.
“Businesses and restaurants continue to adapt in order to remain open with some now switching to only curbside pickup. The Chamber continues to provide resources where they can to help businesses try to navigate the SBA loan application process.
On our residential streets, families have moved their backyard chairs to the front yard so they can take advantage of the good weather days and socialize from a distance with neighbors who walk and bike past. The sense of community remains strong even as we follow the guidelines and practice social distancing. “
Despite the shutdown the following Manhasset independent restaurants and are open for takeout or delivery…..
Barrel of Grapes
Green's Irish Pub www.greensirishpub.com
Herb & Olive Marketa www.herbandolive.com
Louie's Manhasset Restaurant www.louiesmanhassetrestaurant.com
Manhasset Bagels www.manhassetbagels.com
Schout Bay Tavern www.schoutbaytavern.com
Umberto's Manhasset www.umbertosfamily.comVilla Milano www.villamilanomanhasset.com
West Babylon Good News
“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” - Tia Walker
In late March, four friends, four Town of Babylon business owners, joined forces to create a safe situation for seniors 65+ to obtain food and healthcare supplies. The goal was to try and help the elderly from having to shop in crowds and offer them these necessities for free.
The friends, Danny Walsh (East Neck Insurance), Michael Maxwell (Green Metro Restoration), Ryan Sullivan (Sci-Unison Fitness), and Matt O’Keefe (Deer Park Wholesale Kitchens) started by setting up a fundraiser, with 100% of the donations used to buy supplies and food, which were purchased directly from wholesalers to limit the risk of cross contamination.
Then East Neck Insurance, 421 Great East Neck Road, West Babylon, was transformed into a market. Curbside pickup and delivery were set up. The market was a huge success.
“To see these people so thankful who were petrified to leave home to shop and scared for their life was a humbling experience,” says Danny Walsh, owner of East Neck Insurance. “Almost every single delivery there were tears and most had a follow up phone call with a senior brought to tears calling to say how grateful they were. I never do anything like this for any other reason than to help those in need. This was a real eye opener on how scared these seniors are and how little they have right now to eat and get by.”
The community was grateful too. “Love seeing local businesses step up and support those most in need.” “So inspired by what you and your friends are doing. Absolutely incredible!” “Thank you and your team for providing this service!” “We will get through this by sticking together.” These are just some of the comments left by those who donated to this cause.
Actions like this again highlights the generosity, resourcefulness and humanity of the residents and businesses on Long Island. Admiration and appreciation to all who made this market a success.
Governor Cuomo Briefs on Progress in fight against Coronavirus, Plans to Re-Open Economy
Governor Cuomo’s hit a few key points in his briefing earlier today:
• Hospitalizations have ticked down a very small amount, which is a good sign but too early to declare the state at the apex of infections.
• Net change in ICU admissions have also fallen while intubations remain in the negative.
• Hospitalizations by region have remained steady with hot spots located in NYC and surrounding counties, including Long Island.
• Percentage of loss of lives in nursing homes has ticked up.
• 778 New Yorkers lost their lives yesterday, a number that ticked up versus the previous day’s numbers.
• Total loss of lives in the state is now up to 10,834.
• Projection models have slowly come down and the governor is confident that our actions have changed the curve for the state.
• We have demonstrated that we can control the spread of the virus, even if the methods were tremendous.
• Reopening is being discussed in a multi-state council that includes seven states.
• New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware are all coordinating on when and how to reopen the local economy.
• Will need to learn the lessons of other countries that tried to reopen too soon only to see infection levels rise.
• Governments must be smart because they have the power of life and death where this virus is concerned.
• Federal-state relations must respected during this time and it is important we retain our rights delegated to us by the federalist model adopted by the states.
• We will need to work together as a country to get this under control and the economy running again.
• Will need to create a new testing system quickly that is accurate and feasible.
• New York remains resilient in all of this, but it’s one of the most complex and unprecedented situations ever faced by the state.
You can watch the full press conference here.
Here is Governor Cuomo’s message from yesterday, printed from his official website:
Recognizing that their states have one integrated regional economy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Delaware Governor John Carney and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo today announced the creation of a multi-state council to restore the economy and get people back to work. This announcement builds on the states' ongoing regional approach to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coordinating group - comprised of one health expert, one economic development expert and the respective Chief of Staff from each state -- will work together to develop a fully integrated regional framework to gradually lift the states' stay at home orders while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus.
The council will create this framework using every tool available to accomplish the goal of easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread - including testing, contact tracing, treatment and social distancing - and will rely on the best available scientific, statistical, social and economic information to manage and evaluate those tools.
"We have been collaborating closely with our neighboring states to combat this pandemic through a uniform approach to social distancing and density reduction and it has been working well. Now it is time to start opening the valve slowly and carefully while watching the infection rate meter so we don't trigger a second wave of new infections," Governor Cuomo said. "This is not a light switch that we can just flick on and everything goes back to normal - we have to come up with a smart, consistent strategy to restart the systems we shut down and get people back to work, and to the extent possible we want to do that through a regional approach because we are a regional economy. New York is partnering with these five states to create a multi-state council that will come up with a framework based on science and data to gradually ease the stay at home restrictions and get our economy back up and running."
Governor Phil Murphy said, "No one has given more thought or is more eager to restart our economy than I am, but if we don't get the sequencing right, we put more lives at risk. The only path to a sustainable economic recovery is through a strong healthcare recovery. Then, and only then, do we position ourselves to fully ignite our economy and get the residents of our state back to work while minimizing the danger of this disease. A coordinated, regional approach, informed by a multi-state council of experts, will help us avoid a major setback with potentially disastrous consequences. I look forward to the day when the facts on the ground allow us to ease our restrictions and move our regional economy forward."
Governor Ned Lamont said, "One thing that's undeniable is that this virus does not stop at the border of any county, state, or country, but the impact is the same when it comes to our respective economies and healthcare systems. Working as a regional coalition to make the right decisions will lead to the best public health results for all of our residents. We must solve these problems together."
Governor Tom Wolf said, "Our highest priority remains protecting the health and safety of Pennsylvanians. While my administration continues to take critical steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, I also recognize that we must look ahead and take a measured, careful approach to prepare for the future while ensuring that we don't undo all of our efforts. Pennsylvania will work collaboratively with our partners both in state and in surrounding states to develop a comprehensive strategy that first focuses on health but also addresses the need to gradually restore our economy."
Governor John Carney said, "We still have a situation in Delaware that is getting worse. Infections of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are rising. Delawareans should stay home. Don't go out in public unnecessarily. Don't visit Delaware unless you need to see a doctor, or care for a family member. You'll only increase everyone's risk. At the same time, we need to look forward. We need a consistent approach for moving our states out of this crisis, when that day comes. I'm grateful for the partnership of my fellow Governors in the region. They are all working around-the-clock to prevent surges in COVID-19 cases, protect hospital capacity for the most critically-ill patients, and save lives. We'll get through this by working together."
Governor Gina Raimondo said, "States are taking the lead as we fight to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives. I'm proud of the steps we've taken, and I'm constantly thinking about what it will take to safely reopen our economy. But we know that this virus does not recognize borders, and it's clear we need a strong, coordinated regional approach to avoid a second wave of this disease. I'm grateful to my fellow governors for their leadership during this crisis and I'm confident that this new partnership will support our efforts to get Rhode Islanders -- and all Americans -- back to work safely."
PinkTie.org Launches Service to Pick up Food for Donations
Melville-based PinkTie.org has officially launched a pick-up and delivery service that will help to keep food pantries stocked during the ongoing health crisis.
With the help of the limo company Late Night Chauffers, PinkTie volunteers will pick up food donations from people’s doorsteps and deliver them to food pantries across Long Island. The service will pick up donations in Woodbury, Syosset, Bethpage, Hicksville, Melville, Huntington, and Farmingdale. The locations that will receive food include Pastor Roger Blackmore of Genesis Church Food Pantry, Pastor Charles Roberts of Salvation Army Nassau, Mastic Beach Food Pantry, and the Babylon Food Pantry.
The donations must be a minimum of one bag and include non-perishable food items and cleaning supplies. Pick-ups will only be made Monday through Friday from noon to 4 pm.
If you are interested in participating please text your name, location, and pick-up time to 631-397-1234.
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, email@example.com 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.
Support our Main Street businesses and each other
The following op-ed was written by Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander and originally appeared in Long Island Business News.
The real experiences downtown small business owners, their staff and local communities face from the Coronavirus shutdown range from miserable to catastrophic.
The major focus of our national media coverage has been – correctly – the health impacts of the virus and things we can do to limit its spread. When it has veered into economics it’s been a discussion of Wall Street.
The world has changed radically in a little over two months. The LI Main Street Alliance meeting in late January provided updates from 20 communities that were experiencing or looking forward to investments in their downtowns. The local businesses were functioning well even through the winter which is a tough time for any business.
With the advent of Coronavirus the world turned upside down. We surveyed over 400 independent small businesses and the results to date were miserable. A 40-50% reduction in most restaurants, bars and local services in the weeks leading up to the shutdown. After the closure the business that remained open business are down 80-90%. One third of all business told us they are considering permanent closure depending on the type, and expediency, of federal loans and grants, support they are able to muster if they are still open from the community and the timeframe of when the shutdown ends.
The grocery store and pharmacies may be mobbed but the independent small businesses you love, and donates to sports teams and community organizations, may not be there or radically restructured in the coming months.
Thankfully the federal government has stepped in to provide $112 billion to individuals, small businesses, local government and service organizations. Hopefully they will fast-track these SBA disaster loans and aid without red tape. Town and Village governments, who know their local businesses have been assisting in the outreach to get these resources to as many businesses as possible. It will be important to for municipalities to be ready for assistance in the form of federal Main Street grant programs that may be approved to aid in the economic recovery.
Beyond supporting our Main Streets we need to support each other. Most Long Islander’s live paycheck to paycheck and a shutdown created dire conditions for real working- and middle-class people. Nationally, over 10 million applied for unemployment over the last week including nearly 400,000 in New York but there are many more as folks haven’t yet navigated the application process.
That is not simply an eye-catching statistic but real people with lives upended.
For the folks that are still working we hope you are humble, sober and aware of the fact that right now your neighbors are in pain. If you have resources to help:
Patronize open independent small businesses to limit further job losses with take out or delivery services. Patronize other Main Street businesses that are still open and where possible order services or products by phone or electronically.
Purchase gift certificates from your local stores or restaurants in order to get them needed cash now to help them reopen in the future.
Donate to local food pantries, help rustle up personal protective gear for front line providers
Donate other resources directly to real people you may know in need
If you have resources to give to groups make it very local groups who are on the ground and getting them needed help during this time.
We have all been a part of the stories – community by community, local restaurants feeding hospital workers, donation drives to the local food pantry, neighbors helping each other with critical cleaning supplies, gloves and masks, and other heartwarming efforts. Virtual and zoom meetings of local government, community and business leaders collaborating on the response to this crisis that is emerging will need to pivot into a Main Street level economic recovery.
We will get through this together, but it will require our collective support from the community level on up to partner with the guidance, regulations and government assistance coming from the top down. Together we can work to ensure the impact of this crisis to our local downtowns is minimized and resources emerge to help Main Street businesses and each other.
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 15th, 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Zoom link here. Phone number: 1-929-436-2866
MTA, Amtrak, NJ Transit, Port Authority and Regional Transit Agencies Launch April 16 #SoundTheHorn Campaign
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), together with Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NYC Ferry and other regional bus and ferry operators today launched a coordinated day of action to simultaneously sound their fleets of train, bus and boat horns on April 16 to honor heroic transportation workers across the region. As a tribute to #HeroesMovingHeroes on the front lines of this public health crisis, all trains and buses running in service will give two one-second horn blasts at 3:00 p.m. in solidarity with partner agencies. Heroic transportation workers continue to provide critical service for healthcare workers, first responders, childcare workers, grocery store employees and other heroes who are performing critically essential work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The sounding of horns advances the MTA’s #HeroesMovingHeroes campaign, which is dedicated to honoring the agency’s employees. The campaign was first launched on April 6 and features heroic frontline transportation workers who continue to go above and beyond the call of duty during this challenging time. The coalition of agencies invites transit agencies across the country to participate in the day of action.
“Our employees are heroes,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “They are courageously coming to work each day to perform their essential duties, which are critically important to this region during the pandemic. We hope this action will draw attention to their efforts and help further our employees’ spirit of solidarity with all New Yorkers.”
“Every hero deserves to be recognized and thanked for their courage, selflessness and the help they are providing to this country during this time,” said Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner. “We are proud to participate with our partners and ‘sound our horns’ by honoring and thanking all of the heroes in the New York metropolitan area and across the nation who continue their essential and heroic service.”
Anyone who sees or hears trains, buses or ferries sounding their horns at 3 p.m. on Thursday is encouraged to use the #SoundTheHorn hashtag to post audio and video, and tag the agency on the platform of their choice.
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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