Resources for Reopening

Guidelines on Reopening

Monday June 8th, is the beginning of the phases to open our businesses in NYC. NYC is the last region in the State to open up. New York City entered Phase Two of reopening on Monday, June 22nd. NYC entered Phase 3 of reopening, minus indoor dining, on Monday, July 6th. NYC entered Phase 4 of reopening on Monday, July 20th,

Please keep an eye on the news as each phase has at least two weeks in between. We have outlined all four phases at the bottom of this post, and have the links for the guidelines, affirmation of guidelines and safety plan template. Please note that this information changes day to day, so please keep checking.

NYC Department of Small Business Services has a hotline to support business reopening: 888-SBS-4NYC

HERE is Governor Cuomo’s plan for reopening New York State. HERE is a map of where each NYS region stands on reopening. HERE is NYS’s guidelines for reopening in NYC.

The State released guidelines for each industry category and prior to opening, businesses must submit an online form affirming that they have read and understood their obligation to operate in accordance with the State’s guidance.Click here to review more detailed information on the State’s website about the business and business activities included under each industry category.

NYS Reopening safety plan template here  (keep in your store for audits and inspections). A business may fill out this template fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan. This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. 

NY Forward Biz Reopening Look Up Tool – can you reopen here

Determining leave of absence with Covid with this simple chart here

HERE and HERE are some other examples of reopening plans in other areas.

Fire Safety:

As the city reopens, building owners and occupants may be unfamiliar with fire and life safety hazards linked to extended closures. The Fire Department is committed to identifying these hazards and alerting businesses of unsafe conditions, with a goal of supporting the safe reopening of New York City businesses and protect the life and safety of all New Yorkers. For more information and resources, click HERE.

For Salons and Barbershops

  • NYS Guidelines hereNYS Affirm Read Guidelines hereNYS Template for Safety Plan that must be kept in store here
  • NYS Interim guidelines for curbside pick up detailed here (must affirm for audits and inspections)
  • HERE is a guide from Mind Body to reopening for spas and salons.

For Restaurants

  • Click HERE for guidelines on outdoor seating.
  • National Restaurants Re-Opening Guide here
  • Street Sense has created a Pandemic relaunch kit specifically for bars and restaurants. Check it out HERE.  Check out their Small Business Resource Kit HERE. 

For Retail

NYS Curbside & In-store Pick Up guidelines Guidance Sheet here

For Fitness Businesses

Click HERE to check out this guide for reopening post COVID.

Guidance by Phases:

Phase 1: Starts June 8th

Industries that can open but with LIMITED service
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Retail – (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
Wholesale Trade

For detailed guidelines on all these industries click HERE.

Phase One includes delivery, curbside, and in-store pickup service ONLY for the following businesses:

Clothing Stores
Electronics and Appliance Stores
Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores
General Merchandise Stores
Health and Personal Care Stores (not services)
Jewelry, Luggage, and Leather Goods Stores
Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores
Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores
Used Merchandise Stores
Shoe Stores
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument and Book Stores
Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers

What can you do?
Customers can order online or by phone and come and pick up curbside or in-store. They can also drop off (for example returns) in-store. Please read carefully and adjust them to suit your store.

There are mandatory guidelines and recommended guidelines on how you provide these services. For example:
For any work occurring indoors, limit workforce presence to only the employees necessary to conduct curbside and in-store pickup activities, but no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area set by the certificate of occupancy, inclusive of customers picking up an order who must maintain 6 ft. of space from others or wear an acceptable face covering.

Best Practices
Here are a few pick up best practices:
– Post on your door how many people are allowed in store at any one time. With 50% reduction in occupancy including staff, that might not be many.
– Ask customers to wait outside with a sign until you let them in. It’s a good idea to put your phone number on there too.
– Put up a plexiglass screen around your counter and try and provide contactless payment if possible. It’s illegal to refuse cash so be careful about that.
– Consider a cornered off section so customers can’t come right into the store. We’ve also seen many stores with tables in the doorway to help control customers or put up racks to just allow the customer at the desk.
– Many stores have a hand sanitizing station as soon as you walk in the door and customers and staff must wear their face covering (not have it hanging around their chin or under the nose). Another sign here is useful.
– What is your return policy? Some stores are saying final sale not return, but you may have a different way of ensuring returned items can be safe, like waiting 3 days before they go back on the rack for example.
– Do a virtual shopping event where customers could buy straight away via Facebook Live/Zoom.

HERE are Phase 1 guidelines for retail. HERE is where you can read and affirm retail guidelines. HERE is the in-store safety plan template.

Phase 2: Monday, June 22nd

NYC Entering Phase Two of Reopening
New York City will enter Phase Two of reopening on Monday, June 22nd. Prior to reopening, business owners should familiarize themselves with industry-specific guidelines and develop the required Safety Plan outlining how they will prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Business types allowed to reopen include:

Click HERE for more information!

NYC Opening Outdoor Dining June 22
NYC’s Open Restaurants Program (Outdoor Dining) is an effort to expand outdoor seating options for restaurants and bars to promote open space, enhance social distancing, and help them rebound in these difficult economic times.
This program is designed to assist existing restaurants and bars that have been authorized by the Governor to re-open under Phase Two and want to use outdoor areas on a temporary basis. This program is only for restaurants and bars seeking permission to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk and/or curbside lane. 
Applications will open Friday, June 19th.
Helpful Resources:

Click HERE for more information.

Salons and Barber Shops – Guidelines

What you can do?
You can open! Hoorah but naturally there will be a lot of mandatory guidelines and recommendations. You are NOT allowed to do manicures or pedicures, facials, nose trimmings, make up, threading, tweezing or waxing.

Guidelines & Best Practices
– the link is just below to the guidelines but note there is a 50% occupancy capacity so be really tight on your customer procedures.
– Book, don’t come early, wait outside until you are called in. If you are clear on your health and safety protocols, the customer will feel more comfortable that they are being looked after.
– you are there with your client so advise them on what they can do at home, nails, nose trimmings, facials etc, and feel free to sell them the tools or products to do it themselves and an even link to a youtube video!

HERE are guidelines for salons and barbershops. Go HERE to read and affirm guidelines. Fill out in-store safety plan HERE.

Essential In-store Retail

What can you do?

You can finally let people in your door to shop. But naturally social distancing is very important. 6 feet between customers. This may require you to layout your store differently.

Guidelines & Best Practices
Ensure fitting rooms are equipped with appropriate cleaning/hygiene supplies for employee and customer use, including hand sanitizer. Having a few spare masks isn’t a bad idea either. Gloves may be ideal for the changing rooms.
Think about your policy if the customer doesn’t buy the item. Does it go straight back to the rack or do you need a protocol?
Think about the direction the customer has to walk in order to stay 6 feet away.
In a small store maybe customers ask the staff to show them an item, rather than touch everything.
Keep the inventory on the shelves low, just have one or two of each item.

Click HERE for guidelines for in-store retail phase 2. Click HERE to affirm guidelines for in-store retail.

Outdoor Dining, Take Out and Delivery – Guidelines

What you can do?
Open your sidewalk cafe, outdoor areas and backyards that have seating permits with many many restrictions so read the guidelines carefully. Note: specific rules for street seating locations in the city are still being developed by the City.

Guidelines & Best Practices
All tables with seats must be at least six feet from any other table, seat, patron, or pedestrian thoroughfare or corridor.
Space tables & chairs a minimum 6’ away from each other and any other seating/leaning element in the space.
Make sure customers can enter and exit the building to use the bathroom, pay or leave safely with 6 feet social distance.
Customer face coverings must be worn at all times except while seated. You may wish to extend this rule so face coverings are worn when the server comes to the table.
Let the customer book the table and order food online if possible to reduce the time spent with the server.

Click HERE for outdoor dining guidelines, takeout and delivery. Click HERE to read and affirm guidelines.

Phase 3: Personal Care

New York City is entering Phase Three of New York Forward reopening of “non-essential businesses and business activities” today (Monday, July 8th) according to Governor Cuomo, but indoor dining will not reopen as of now. Phase three includes personal care businesses and services including tattoo and piercing facilities, massage therapy, spas, cosmetology, and nail specialty. 
These openings come on the heels of the recent phase two businesses to reopen, including offices, outdoor & take-out delivery food services, real estate, in-store retail, vehicle sales, hair salons and barbershops. Check out the NY Forward reference page, which includes online guidelines for each sector that your business must read and AFFIRM.
As a reminder, upon reopening, all businesses must develop a written Safety Plan outlining key topics such as physical distancing, protective equipment, hygiene and cleaning, communication, screening, contact tracing, and disinfecting of contaminated areas. A business may fill out this New York Forward Safety Plan Template to fulfill the requirement or may develop its own Safety Plan. Note that this plan must only be retained on-premises and available to local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. 

Phase 4

NYC officially entered Phase 4 of reopening on Monday, July 20th.  This phase includes reopening for Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment, Media Production, and Professional Sports Competitions with No Fans. 
The date for Higher Education, Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools, Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment, and Malls have not yet been determined.
Learn what your business needs to know to prepare for reopening: