We are creating this page as a landing page to share resources for businesses as we start to look towards what the reopening process will look like.
Guidelines on Reopening
Prepare Your Business for Reopening
While New York City is still on PAUSE until May 28, 2020 at the earliest, it’s not too early to prepare for our eventual and gradual reopening.
Each business or entity, including those that have been designated as essential under Empire State Development’s Essential Business Guidance, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to 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.
To be clear, New York City HAS NOT entered Phase I yet and businesses are still required to follow the Governor’s and Mayor’s executive orders.
While we are still on PAUSE, check out the recently-released reopening toolkit to make sure you’re prepared.
Reopening by Phase:
Starting May 15th, Phase 1 businesses and business activities will be permitted to begin reopening in the following regions: Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier.
Phase 1 businesses and business activities fall under the following industry categories: Construction, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Retail (limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off), Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade.
The State also 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. See below for links to access the State’s guidance and affirmation forms for each Phase 1 industry category or click here to review more detailed information on the State’s website about the business and business activities included under each industry category.
Phase One: Construction
Phase One: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
Phase One: Retail Trade (limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
Phase One: Manufacturing
Phase One: Wholesale Trade
The Governor has extended the PAUSE order for the following remaining five regions until May 28th: Capital Region, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, New York City, and Western New York. However, these regions could be authorized to begin reopening before May 28th if they meet the 7 metrics required for reopening sooner.
We anticipate that the State’s guidance for reopening for Phase 1 businesses will be largely consistent across the State. Therefore, even if the region in which you operate has not yet begun reopening, we suggest you review the guidance for any Phase 1 business activities that may be a applicable to your organization now so that you can begin to prepare. Please note, each region has been assigned a Regional Control Group which may modify reopening guidelines, adding additional requirements, as appropriate for specific regions. We will continue to follow this closely and provide any updated guidance it becomes available.
Click HERE to access SBDC’s webinar on Relaunching Your Business Post COVID-19. The primary goal of this webinar was to increase your understanding of launching your business post COVID-19. If you would like to contact the presenter with questions, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. HERE is another set of guidelines for reopening.
Resources for Reopening:
The Queens Economic Development Corporation is hosting a series of webinars called Reboot and Restart: Navigating Entrepreneurship post COVID-19
Fitness businesses! Click HERE to check out this guide for reopening post COVID.
HERE is a guide to reopening for spas and salons.
NFBID is launching a partnership with Start Small Think Big to offer FREE legal and marketing resources and consultation of our businesses. For more info, click HERE.
Evictions and Rent Deferment
As of (Thursday, 5/7) Cuomo has extended his suspension of evictions in the state through August 20th. Late fees on rent payments will be banned and security deposits can be used as rent payment. Cuomo has also promised that landlords who face utility bills and mortgages can expect relief from banks and federal programming. More HERE.
We have heard of successful negotiations that are happening with business/ landlord rent arrangements. NFBID recommends reaching out to your property agent to discuss, as soon as possible, and keep a record of when you called, emailed and wrote. HERE is a template letter you can use. Also call your insurance and your credit card company and see what they are offering and keep a record of that, as well.
Con Edison has stopped shutoffs of electric, natural gas or steam service due to non-payment resulting from the health crisis, and is waiving new late-payment charges for all customers. https://www.nationalgridus.com/covid-19
You can pay your Mortgage and NYS taxes late, up to 90 days. The announcement does have some catches so you can learn more from the Governor’s Press Release.
If your business needs help with a commercial lease issue in New York City, you may be eligible for free legal services. Visit nyc.gov/commlease to learn more.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that tax day will be delayed from April 15 to July 15. Read more here.