Jamaica Center BID
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June 26, 2020

COVID-19 Updates 6/26/20

COVID-19 UPDATES   

Our BID is committed to ensuring that our local business community receives the latest resources necessary to help them weather the current coronavirus situation. We will be updating this page regularly with information we receive from City, State, Federal agencies and other respected economic development and business support institutions. Please bookmark this page and check back often. *Information changes regularly. Please be sure to skim the full page on a periodic basis to ensure you are not missing new information, such as our recently added “reopening” section.* 

Know something we are missing? See something inaccurate? Please email us at  [email protected].    

This page was last updated on 6/26/20. Items subject to change and we cannot guarantee up to the minute updates. It is your responsibility as a business to follow government directives and stay abreast of the news and changing regulations.    

START HERE (Empieza aqui*)     

  • NYC Department of Small Business Services “SBS”: nyc.gov/sbs.  SBS is an official City agency with a comprehensive home page with many resources about business continuity, workforce support and more. They run a comprehensive Covid-19 Assistance and Information Page for Businesses herea new business reopening hotline (888-SBS-4NYC | 888-727-4692), and virtual interagency reopening resource fairs (learn more and register here nycsmallbizcourses.eventbrite.com) To receive regular updates pertinent to  NYC businesses and coronavirus sign up hereSBS continues to present its small business/Covid-19 webinars weekly. Find a time to enroll here. *Si le resulta más fácil leer la información COVID-19 del NYC departamento de servicios para pequeñas empresas en español,  el departamento tiene una herramienta de traducción en la esquina superior derecha de su sitio web. También puede encontrar información de la Administración de Pequeñas Empresas aquí. Finalmente, nuestros amigos a 82nd Street BID tiene mas informacion utiles en espanol aquí.   
  • Get regular text alerts from City government regarding the novel coronavirus, by texting COVID to 692-692.     

RE-OPENING GUIDELINES/MODELS/SUPPORT 

  • City of New York’s Department of Small Business Service’s Comprehensive Reopening Guide 
  • NY Forward:  The State’s official page for reopening guidelines for all industries in NY State. In addition to clear guidance documents for all industries, this page contains a tool businesses can use to determine whether they are eligible for reopening, and templates for the required safety plans that all businesses/organizations must create. (Plans are not required to be submitted to a state agency for approval, but the plan must be retained on the premises of the business and must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.)   
  • Center for Disease Control’s Reopening Guidelines 
  • City of New York’s Restaurant Reopening Guide: Contains all restaurant guidelines and rules for opening in NYC, including the application for any restaurants that wish to participate in outdoor dining through the DOT’s Open Restaurant Program. 
  • Streetsense.com’s Pandemic Relaunch kit for Restaurants + Bars.  
  • National Retail Federation’s Reopening Checklist 
  • International Council of Shopping Center’s “ICSC” Covid-19 Reopening Best Practices.    
  • Real Estate Board of NY (REBNY)’s Facilities Re-opening guidelines  
  • Mind Body Online’s Salon, Spa, Wellness Business Reopening Guide 
  • Target’s plans here (includes helpful retail signage templates)  
  • Various articles/presentations regarding informative, effective customer-friendly covid-19 wayfinding + signage here, here,  plus useful flyer and floor decal templates from FedEx here, social distancing workplace stickers here, and custom-branded hand sanitizer stations here.  
  • Footwear News’ interesting customer comfort survey regarding demographic perceptions of safety in visiting apparel companies during COVID-19.   

Additional Reopening Support 
Our BID has designed several templates you can insert in your window to alert customers of your COVID-19 opening hours, purchasing/ordering procedures and to remind shoppers of social distancing courtesies towards your employeesDownload the packet here.  

  • Scheduling software to set in-store appointments: Time TradeOpen Table (which can now be used by other businesses for shopping appointments besides restaurants)   
  • QEDC is doing a series of free Reboot & Restart webinars through June focused on reopening logistics and thriving while working through the staged reopening process. All webinars are recorded for future playback.  

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES (Loans, Grants, Capital Raising Platforms)   

City of New York Loans and Grants for Small Businesses     

  • Restaurant Revitalization Program:  Established by the Depts. Of HRAOpportunity, and Mayor’s Fund. Grants up to $30K to cover a minimum of six weeks payroll for five or more employees. Reimbursable grant (with 25% advance). Recipient restaurants must commit to certain wage increases within five years of returning to normal business. Full description here.   
  • To help businesses affected by COVID-19, the City of New York launched employee retention grants as well as a Small Business Continuity Loan Fund in March. Both of these programs have closed.  We will update if either of these vehicles reopen.    

State Loans  

Federal Government Loans (Small Business Administration Loans)      

  • Paycheck Protection Program “PPP”: PPP incentivizes businesses to keep workers on payroll with loans up to $10 million. The largest portion must be spent on payroll and related expenses (now 60%). If borrowers follow loan guidelines, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable and is being administered through SBA’s network of 1800+ local lenders. All applications must be approved by 6/30 Loan Info & Lender List Here 

On 6/5 The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act was passed to give businesses more time and flexibility with the use of the PPP loan and forgiveness. This short webinar explains these new changes succinctly.  

  • PPP Alternatives to Banks: Search for other CDFI’s (click on the “Certified CDFI” icon at the bottom of this page.).   
  • PPP Loan Forgiveness: SBA and Treasury Dept. released the PPP loan forgiveness guidelines and application on May 15. The following page by national payroll provider ADP may be helpful to read as it contains a section on loan forgiveness FAQ’s and a Loan Forgiveness Estimator Tool.  On 6/5 The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act was passed to give businesses more time and flexibility with the use of the PPP loan and forgiveness. This short webinar explains these new changes succinctly. 
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan “EIDL” Program: Provides low-interest loans of up to $2 million with interest rate not to exceed 3.75% to provide working capital for businesses affected by the coronavirus. This program has reopened to small businesses.  
  • Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program: When operational will provide loans to small and mid-sized businesses in the amounts of 250K-300 million. Loans are not forgivable, but also do not come with hiring requirements, etc.  Keep up to date here 

Private Grants  

  • LISC Rapid Relief Resiliency Fund: LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) a national community development intermediary, launched the Rapid Relief Resiliency Fund to assist small businesses to stay afloat. LISC Grant application cycles open and close rapidly. Grant amounts are in range of 5-10K. Grant applications are now closed. Applications are now closed. Register here to receive notification for future rounds. 
  • Go Fund Me Matching Grant program: Go Fund Me has launched the Small Business Relief Initiative for businesses facing financial loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the Initiative, the Small Business Relief Fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.  
  • Thryv Foundation is no longer accepting grant applications, but we think their blog filled with ideas for small businesses on how to survive during the COVID-19 crisis could be helpful.  
  • Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by the coronavirus. For Alice Emergency Grants, visit here.  
  • Business For All is offering grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis. Apply here.   
  • The CND x BCL Nail Professional Relief Grant: Provides a $1,000 grant to nail professionals. Apply here.    
  • New York Forward Loan Fund: On May 22, Governor Cuomo announced the New York Forward Loan Fund (“NYFLF”), a new loan program that will make loans of up to $100,000 to small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords impacted by COVID-19 who did not receive a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.⁠ The pre-application is now open and will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen. Apply here 

Private Loans 

**For Restaurant-specific Grants/Loans, see restaurant section below.    

Organizations with Business Counselors that Can Help Businesses with Loan/Grant Applications (and more):      

  • Free assistance with reconstructing financial records, preparing financial statements and submitting  SBA loan applications is available from SBA Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) here 
  • Queens Economic Development Corporation: book appointments here.   
  • NYC Department of Business Services Business Solutions Centers can also assist with these applications. Currently offering services remotely. Contact them here 
  • Legal Counsel for Businesses: Free Covid-19 Small Business Law Clinic run by the City Bar Justice Center.   
  • Greater Jamaica Development Corporation's one-to-one business appointments with their business services staff, book here or email: [email protected] 

Additional Financial Support for Business (Commercial Rent Relief)     

  • The Governor announced a 90-day moratorium on any residential or commercial evictions, which was extended to August 20. Late payment fees are banned for missed payments during the moratorium and renters facing hardship due to COVID-19 can use their security deposit to pay rent.We will update if other measures are taken.     
  • Need legal help regarding commercial lease issues? Contact the City’s Commercial Lease Assistance Program.   

Financial Support for Businesses (Insurance Relief)     

Per Gov. Cuomo’s announcement 3/27: Small businesses experiencing coronavirus-related financial hardship may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for a 60-day period. This includes auto, homeowners, renters and other kinds of insurance. (No late fees will be assessed and there will be no negative impact to your credit.)     

NY State’s page on understanding Commercial Business Interruption Insurance.     

LOGISTICAL/ADMIN/LEGAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES     

  • Square Payment Systems: Square is waiving March/April subscription fees. Learn more here.  
  • Panda Doc launched free e-sign signature software.    
  • USPS offers the free “Informed Delivery” service allowing business owners to learn via email what pieces of mail have been delivered to their business that particular day. Info here.  
  • Scheduling software to set in-store appointments: Time TradeOpen Table (which can now be used by other businesses for shopping appointments besides restaurants).  
  • Small Business Legal Relief Alliance Covid-19 probono support webpage and City Bar Justice Center’s webpage 

WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY  

Below are updated resources to help you and your business stay safe and prevent the spread of germs.      

WORKPLACE CLEANING AND DISINFECTION    

  • Queens Chamber of Commerce has several Queens-based companies that offer professional cleaning and sanitizing services. Please contact the chamber to be connected to a local company if your workplace needs professional disinfection/deep cleaning services.    
  • NY State Department of Health most recent Interim Guidance for Cleaning/Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities 
  • On March 3, the EPA released a list of registered disinfectant products that have qualified under its emerging viral pathogen program for use again SARS-CoV-2 >> here 

INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC NEWS 

Property Owners/Facilities Management  

  • Real Estate Board of NY (REBNY)’s Facilities Re-opening guidelines.  
  • NY State’s Commercial Building Management Master Guidance document.   
  • Spacesmith is one NYC-based company helping building owners identify how to retrofit their buildings to mitigate corona-virus threats. Quick notes from a recent webinar with Queens Economic Development Org and Spacesmith regarding these issues can be found here (taken by our staff), or you can watch the entire webinar here.   
  • CDC’s page on office & commercial buildings (lots of information here about HEPA filtration systems)  
  • NYC Department of Buildings Guidelines (mainly regarding construction)  

Restaurants   

  • City of New York’s Restaurant Reopening Guide: Contains all restaurant guidelines and rules for opening in NYC, including the application for any restaurants that wish to participate in outdoor dining through the DOT’s Open Restaurant Program. This webinar explains the City’s Open Restaurant plan in more detail.  
  • NYC Hospitality Alliance now has a restaurant-specific COVID-19 page with regular updates 
  • View updated OSHA guidelines for restaurant and employee hygiene and customer interactions here 
  • View list of EPA of approved SARS-coV-2 disinfectants here 
  • COVID-19 Reopening Tips For New York City Restaurants   
  • National Restaurant Association also has a Covid-19 dedicated webpage and provides regular state by state updates of changing regulations here {NY State and NYregions are extensively detailed.}   
  • Restaurant Workers Community Foundation: Restaurant Workers Community Foundation is raising funds to provide 50% for direct relief to individual restaurant workers and 25% for zero-interest loans for restaurants to get back up and running. Sign up for the organization’s newsletter to be notified when these funds are available.   SupportRestaurants.org DiningBonds Initiative: Free platform allowing restaurants to sell gift certificates at a price lower than face value (how much lower is decided by each individual restaurant), but redeemable at face value upon dining at the restaurant. The goal is to sell them for the next 30 days to bring needed income to the restaurants and have them redeemable typically 30-60 days after purchase.  
  • Restaurant Closure Checklist (recently published on the NYC Hospitality Alliance site—thenycalliance.org 
  • Bartender Emergency Assistance Program: Bartenders who have lost jobs due to COVID-19 can click here to learn about an assistance program to help.    
  • Rethink Food’s Restaurant Response Grant Program: Grants up to $40K to stay open, eligible to all NYC restaurants. Grant currently closed, but expected to reopen.   
  • State Liquor Authority Guidance on Restrictions for Licensees and To-Go & Delivery Sales in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak here.    
  • Restaurant Revitalization Program:  Established by the Depts. Of HRAOpportunityMayor’s Fund. Grants up to $30K to cover a minimum of six weeks payroll for five or more employees. Reimbursable grant (with 25% advance). Recipient restaurants must commit to certain wage increases within five years of returning to normal business. Full description here.    
  • One Fair Wage’s High Road Kitchens program is offering flexible funding that can be used for food, safety supplies and more to restaurants committing to a living wage and equitable employment treatment.  
  • Delivery app fees are now prohibited from charging restaurants fees in excess of 20%. This breaks down to 15% for delivery and 5% for the actual order. This goes into effect immediately (May 15) and will remain in place for 90 days following the end of the state of emergency.  Delivery apps are now prohibited from charging restaurants for phone calls that do not result in a food order, with fines of up to $1,000 for violating this rule. This has also gone into effect and will remain in place for 90 days following the end of the state of emergency. City Council documentation here 
  • Sidewalk café fees will be waived through February 28, 2021. City Council documentation here 

Freelancers     

Freelancers Union has a rolling list of resources and advice for 1099 workers and is regularly updating its membership on efforts to include freelancers in the various relief plans.     

Freelancers/1099 workers are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program Loan and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans Grants (Advance) and Loans.     

PROMOTIONAL SUPPORT  

Yelp is offering a variety of temporary free resources to businesses, including $100 in free advertising for restaurants offering takeout/delivery as detailed here.    

Our organization, Jamaica Center BID, can help your business pass on important information to our 15,000 social media followers and 2,000 e-newsletter subscribers. If you offer delivery, takeout or curbside pick-up, let us know and we will promote it. If you sell gift cards, let us know and we will encourage our followers to purchase them so that you can have a continued cash flow. If you offer online shopping, facetime shopping or other innovative methods that customers can utilize to keep spending money at your establishment, let us know. Email Trey Jenkins at [email protected] and we will help promote.    

Have an update your business would like to share with the Queens eco-system? Queens Chamber is accepting business updates on its rolling COVID-19 announcement list. Please email your details to [email protected]ber.org with the subject line – QUEENS BUSINESS CORONAVIRUS UPDATES.    

NYC +Co, the City of New York’s official tourism body, is gathering and publicizing info on local businesses, cultural organizations and more for citywide promotional purposes. Make sure your business is covered.  Museums, theaters, performing arts organizations can submit a virtual experience for consideration here, Restaurants open for business can get listed here.  

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