Latest Updates for Businesses

Legislation and Advocacy

NYC Accelerator

NYC Accelerator is a city-backed program to help control costs, meet local law compliance, boost building performance, increase energy savings, and reduce carbon emissions across NYC buildings. This program is here to provide free technical guidance to help the market transform how our buildings operate and are built. The NYC Accelerator team identifies building upgrade projects to help meet emissions limits established under the Climate
Mobilization Act. The NYC Accelerator also provides no-cost building operator trainings and supports green workforce development. For more info, click HERE. 

New York State HERO Act

Earlier this month, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that COVID-19 has been designated a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under New York State’s HERO Act, which requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans in the event of an airborne infectious disease, helping to prevent workplace infections.

The NY HERO Act mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the law, all employers are required to adopt a workplace safety plan and implement it for all airborne infectious diseases designated by the New York State Department of Health. Employers can adopt a model safety plan as crafted by the New York State Department of Labor or develop their own safety plan in compliance with HERO Act standards. Templates (English and Spanish) and more information can be found HERE.

Electric Bicycles and More — Know the Laws!
Not everything is an E-bike — know the laws, including how fast you’re allowed to go and where you’re allowed to ride. Click HERE for a handy graphic! 

Health Inspections have started for the restaurant industry – BE PREPARED!
NYC Small Business Services is offering EDUCATIONAL visits by their advocates to help you comply with your upcoming DoHMH Health Inspection. The advocate will walk through your establishment, like a health inspector, and point out all the issues that need to be resolved, give advice and there will opportunities for you to ask questions. FREE of course! If you are interested, email with the required info below, and we’ll get an advocate to contact you. Happy to help restaurants beyond 5th Ave. 

  • Name of Restaurant/Bar/Cafe/Food Establishment 
  •  Contact person first and last name, email and cell number 
  •  Business Address 
  •  9 digit EIN number 
  •  Number of employees 
  •  What type of food, ie Italian, Coffee…..

Click HERE to go to the DoH inspection page and learn what to expect when you are inspected!

Extension of SLA Use of Outdoor Municipal Property – Governor Cuomo extended the Executive Order that allows the service of alcoholic beverages on outdoor municipal property by SLA licensees. Licensees already utilizing municipal property must email by October 5, 2021 to continue operating under this permission. Additional details and steps for new applicants are detailed in the SLA Guidance here.

RRF Replenishment Act The SBA officially closed its RRF portal on July 14th, leaving approximately $43.6 billion in requests unfunded. The RRF Replenishment Act aims to add $60 billion in additional funding to the program. The bill is in its early stages and you can voice your support here. In the event that funds are replenished, we urge you to organize your financial records now to be ready. 

Permanent Open Restaurants Proposal Public Review Phase 

The City is working to create a permanent, streamlined Open Restaurants program. As part of this program, DCP and DOT have proposed a zoning text amendment to remove geographic restrictions on where sidewalk cafes can be located within NYC. The text amendment entered the 90-day public review on June 21, 2021. Like all proposed changes to the Zoning Resolution, it will be reviewed by Community Boards and Borough Presidents with public meetings for New Yorkers to learn more and give their feedback. This process is anticipated to move in parallel to legislative changes necessary to facilitate the permanent Open Restaurants program.

Click HERE to learn more about the permanent Open Restaurants proposed text amendment and the public review process.

Illegal Dumping Reward Program 

It is illegal to dispose of home and/or business garbage in a public trash bin — this includes our Big Bellies and corner bins in our district. If waste is coming from a vehicle, fines for the owner of the vehicle range from $1,500 to $20,000. In instances where the owner and the operator are different, the maximum fine can go up to $40,000. DSNY has a reward program where individuals who report on illegal dumping can earn up to 50% of the amount collected as a reward. Click HERE to read more. Individuals disposing of home and/ or business garbage in public trash bins can also be fined if the waste is NOT coming from a vehicle (this is called “improper disposal,” and is also illegal).