Updated COVID-19 Guidance from the NYC SBS


First, Governor Cuomo today announced the New York Forward Loan Fund, a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.

The NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits, and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income. The NYFLF is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with guidelines (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan.

Pre-application for the New York Forward Loan Fund will be open on May 26, 2020 at Noon Eastern Daylight Time. Priority will be given to industries that have been reopened. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen. Businesses who have already received SBA funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) are not eligible.

Our Business Solutions Centers are available to answer questions and help with applications, visit: nyc.gov/financingassistance.

Guidance for Bars and Restaurants

With mostly blue skies and warm weather coming this weekend, the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife created a printable poster to remind patrons to take out, not hang out. Bars and Restaurants can Download the poster here.

Bars and restaurants are allowed to be open for take-out/delivery only.

On-premises licensees can sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Bars and restaurants should adopt policies that promote social distancing for waiting patrons and cannot exceed 50% of capacity for patrons waiting inside the premises.

While bars and restaurants are allowed to operate take-out windows onto the sidewalk for alcohol, congregating and consuming alcohol on the sidewalk is not permitted.

While patrons are responsible for practicing social distancing while waiting for food and/or alcohol, bars and restaurants should adopt policies that promote social distancing and should also arrange to:

· Manage lines to allow for social distancing

· If there’s a take-out window onto the sidewalk, allow for enough space for those passing by to practice social distancing

· Ensure that there is no congregating/gathering outside of the take-out window

When adopting policies related to face coverings and social distancing, bars and restaurants must offer reasonable accommodations to customers with disabilities and should follow the guidance of the New York City Commission on Human Rights for “Public Accommodations Protections,” found here.

How to Recognize COVID-19 Scams

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection released guidance on how to recognize and prevent COVID-19 related scams.

Scammers often take advantage of vulnerable people during times of crisis and distress. It is important that businesses are aware of any potential scams in order to protect themselves and their money. This publication, describes common COVID-19-related scams and tips to stay safe.

Has Your Business Been Impacted by Open Streets?

SBS can help. Our Emergency Response Unit will work with businesses 1-on-1 to figure out the best way to get the services they need, including making it easier to access deliveries – call (212) 618-8810.

We can also help businesses learn how to communicate any changes to their customers. View our full list of upcoming digital workshops to help businesses boost their marketing skills here.

Download and share our outreach flyer here in order to help spread the word to other impacted businesses. You can also find this flyer in multiple other languages at nyc.gov/covid19biz.

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, please share the recently-released reopening toolkit to make sure businesses are prepared.

New York City businesses should visit nyc.gov/covid19biz for additional information.