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March 11, 2020

Updated Novel Corona Virus (Covid19) Info for Business and Public - E-newsletter

Dear Downtown Jamaica business owners, shoppers, customers and regular readers,
We know you are faced with a lot of information from many sources right now regarding the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19). That’s why, in lieu of our usual e-blast, we are issuing a special streamlined email with pertinent information from official City sources detailing how you can protect yourself, your neighbors, and your business during this time. We hope you find it helpful.

Helpful Information for the General Public

  • NYC’s Health Department is regularly updating information about the Coronavirus here.
  • A video of Mayor DeBlasio’s most recent press conference, with included a lot of information about resources for New Yorkers can be located here.
  • Remember that you can call 311 to have many of your novel Coronavirus questions answered as well. 311 can also help you locate a health care provider.
  • If you feel that you, or someone you know, needs counseling to help cope during this time, 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) is a free, confidential help line for New York City residents. You can call 24 hours per day/7 days a week. The staff of trained mental health professionals help callers find mental health services. NYC Well is multilingual and multicultural. More information about this program can be accessed here.
  • If you would like to receive regular text alerts from City government regarding the novel Coronavirus, you can sign up by texting COVID to 692-692.
Helpful Information for NYC’s Business Community
New York City’s Department of Small Business Services “SBS” (nyc.gov/sbs) has updated its home page to feature a variety of resources and up-to-date information regarding novel Coronavirus specifically for business owners.
  • Sign up to receive updates about Covid-19 and City programs to help businesses here.
  • Consider downloading this three page “fast fact” sheet prepared by SBS about novel Coronavirus, and what businesses need to know here. This document provides tips on how businesses can address changing customer behavior during novel Coronavirus, general good practices to keep customers and employees safe and at ease, answers some common workplace FAQs, and lists resources available to lesson financial impact, to name but a few.
  • Remember: price gouging on products like hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and other necessities is against the law and will be fined. Find out more information here.
  • Loan and Grant Assistance for Small Businesses suffering due to Novel Coronavirus-related disruption: The City will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City is also offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months (an average of $6,000) to help retain employees. Eligible owners who would like to learn more about these programs should fill out the form located here.
If you need immediate capital, you should contact one of SBS’s Business Solutions Centers to connect with a network of 40+ lenders. You can visit any location citywide (Find a location: maps.nyc.gov/sbs) but for convenience sake, the Jamaica location is at 90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, 4th Floor, Jamaica, NY 11435, Phone: 718-570-8500.)
Additionally, a new bipartisan spending package was just passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate. This package, when it is implemented, will provide $7 billion in federal funds to assist small businesses that suffer economic harm from the Coronavirus outbreak. You can read more about the bill here.
Other useful resources:
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