Updates on Covid-19
March 16, 2020
On Sunday, March 22, New York hits PAUSE through Governor Cuomo’s order to limit the spread of COVID-19. The policy requires all non-essential businesses to close, prohibits gatherings, encourages staying home and to practice social distancing if you need to go outside. Details and the 10-point plan can be found here.
Information relating to what the city, state, and federal governments are doing about the outbreak, as well as information for businesses and employees about what they can do and need to know at this time is below.
Meatpacking BID Executive Director
Staying Informed (Updated 03/27)
The Office of Nightlife at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is gathering information on the impacts for workers, performers, contractors, and businesses from COVID-19-related business closures and event cancellations. If you are a worker, performer, independent contractor, or business owner in New York City nightlife please fill out this survey and have your voice heard.
Have a spare 15 minutes and need something to do? How about filling out your 2020 Census!
The Census can be accessed and completed online at https://my2020census.gov/ Many should have received a unique 12-digit Census ID by mail, if you have not, then just enter your address to get counted.
Small Business Services
Are you a small business owner? If so click here. The Department of Small Business Services has announced two programs to provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. These programs include:
- NYC Employee Retention Grant Program – which offers small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.
- NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund– which allows eligible businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more, to apply for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to help ensure business continuity.
This week the Federal Government enacted a 2 trillion dollar stimulus package to address the economic impact of the coronavirus. It contains a number of measures aimed directly at helping workers, including $1,200 per person (check your mailboxes!), and expanded unemployment benefits. It also has various programs for small businesses including zero interest loans, tax breaks and other subsidies. As these programs are stood up over the next few months, we will be sure to provide information on those resources. For more information please click here.
New York State on Pause
- As of 8 PM, Sunday, March, 22nd all non-essential businesses were ordered closed by the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. Only businesses deemed essential are allowed to operate during the New York State on PAUSE. The following link includes information on all business types determined to be an essential service, allowing for continued operation. https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026.
If your business is not included under any of the outlined industries, but you believe you provide an essential service you may request designation as an essential business by clicking here. (All fields of this form must be completed to be considered for exempt designation.)
- Empire State Development (ESD) continues to update a FAQ page for businesses in New York State. Please find answers to frequently asked questions here: https://esd.ny.gov/novel-coronavirus-faq-businesses. If you have additional questions not answered on the FAQ page please reach out to ESD utilizing the following form: https://esd.ny.gov/covid-19-help
- Producing COVID-19 Products for NYS – Governor Cuomo has called on businesses to produce needed supplies related to COVID-19. If your business is interested contact Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) at the following email address: COVID19supplies@esd.ny.govBusinesses with the ability to source and/or make products to support the City’s COVID-19 response can also fill out this survey by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) for more information regarding how to shift production to critical supplies.
Financial and Tax Support
- Business Tax Filing Extensions and the COVID-19 Outbreak – The New York City Department of Finance (DOF) recognizes that taxpayers and return preparers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak may be unable to meet certain New York City filing and payment deadlines. Therefore the City of New York will allow for a waiver of penalties for DOF-administered business and excise taxes due between March 16, 2020, and April 25, 2020. Additional information can be found here.
- U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to New York small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent.Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
- The Federal government is currently working to pass a comprehensive national economic support package which hopefully provides substantial economic relief to small businesses and workers. The Meatpacking BID will continue to monitor this process and provide relevant information on these economic aid programs.
For a complete list of essential services outlined by the state, click here. The list of essential ranges from healthcare and public transit workers to neighborhood grocery workers, restaurant delivery people, animal service providers (vets + pet stores), and hardware stores. Thank a worker when you see one helping out at this difficult time.
A critical note is that the food supply chain will not be disrupted during this time and it is encouraged to only purchase what you need; stockpiling is discouraged.
Recommendations from the Department of Health:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Social distancing: it’s recommended people stay 6’ apart from each other, avoid hand holding; and to change your clothes when you get home from outside.
- Find more recommendations here.
Check here for the most update to date info from the State of New York.
The CDC has provided recommendations for staying healthy, protecting others, and more. You can find that here.
Group sports and gatherings are prohibited. The High Line is closed. Is your neighborhood park open? Check here to see.
And yes, the subways and buses are running. But walk, ride a bike, or travel at off-peak times if you can.
Small Business Support
The City will open applications for grants and loans for businesses adversely affected by the shutdown. Click on the link above to complete the interest form and you will be notified when applications open. As part of the applications, you will be required to demonstrate a revenue decrease by providing documentation such as: point-of-sales reports, bank statements, quarterly sales tax filings, 2019 tax returns, or CPA-certified profit & loss statements. You should begin to gather these documents in preparation.
The following links are also helpful:
- For small businesses who wish to stay up to date on industry-specific information, please fill out this form
- For the CDC Business Planning Checklist for Pandemics, click here
In addition to these programs from the City of New York, we anticipate the Federal and State Governments to introduce additional economic support programs for affected businesses. As these programs are announced the Meatpacking District will work to inform small businesses of these programs and connect businesses to appropriate resources.
The Shared Work Program gives you an alternative to laying off workers during business downturns by allowing them to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial Unemployment Insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, you can reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group of employees.
New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance for persons who are out of work due to the coronavirus, quarantine, and any associated policies. Please visit the NY State Unemployment Insurance website where you can apply for unemployment insurance. Further to support them during this trying time please provide them with a letter explaining the coronavirus was the cause for their termination.
If you are a bartender or hospitality worker, you may also be eligible for a grant through the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. Visit the website of the USBG National Charity Foundation for more information.