October 20, 2020 3:00 pm – States added to list and Paid Sick Leave update

Governor Cuomo today announced that Arizona and Maryland have been added to New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed.

 

The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

 

Neighboring states Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania now meet the criteria for the travel advisory.  However, given the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between us, a quarantine on these states is not practically viable. That said, New York State highly discourages, to the extent practical, non-essential travel to and from these states while they meet the travel advisory criteria.

 

The full, updated travel advisory list is available below:

 

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

 

People caught violating the advisory risk civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

 

There are exceptions to the travel advisory for essential businesses.  Guidance on travel to these states for essential employees can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

 

 

Also, last night, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) released guidance and an FAQ regarding the new paid sick leave law that applies to all private sector businesses in the state. You can find the guidance here and FAQ’s here.

In addition to the guidance/FAQ’s, the DOL has indicated that it will soon be publishing proposed regulations regarding certain aspects of the new law. Specifically:

  • Determining employer size when deciding how much paid sick leave is to be provided;
  • Determining employer ‘net income’ when deciding whether leave should be paid or not (for employers of 4 or less); and
  • What kind of documentation can be requested of an employee using paid sick leave.

The Business Council will be holding a special free webinar tomorrow, Wednesday October 21 at 11:00 am, to review these guidelines and discuss employer compliance strategies.

To register for this webinar, click the link below:

https://bcnys.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5PCGuFCCQPeXSW_xOXV3LA

October 14, 2020 4:15 pm – States added to list and PPP guidance

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Ohio, Michigan and Virginia have been added to New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed.

 

The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

 

The full, updated travel advisory list is below:

 

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

 

People caught violating the advisory risk civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

 

There are exceptions to the travel advisory for essential businesses.  Guidance on travel to these states for essential employees can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

 

Also, The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses.

SBA and Treasury have also eased the burden on PPP lenders, allowing lenders to process forgiveness applications more swiftly.

View the simpler loan forgiveness application.

View the instructions for completing the simpler loan forgiveness application.

View the Interim Final Rule on the simpler forgiveness process for loans of $50,000 or less.

Businesses should contact their PPP lenders for more information.

October 6, 2020 8:00 pm – Travel advisory and cluster action initiative

This evening Governor Cuomo announced that New Mexico has been added to New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed.

 

The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

 

The full, updated travel advisory list is below:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

 

People caught violating the advisory risk civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

 

There are exceptions to the travel advisory for essential businesses.  Guidance on travel to these states for essential employees can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

 

The State is also conducting focused testing in areas of hot spot communities and today announced a new cluster action initiative to address COVID-19 hot spots that have cropped up in the State.  The initiative is intended to attack clusters and stop any further spread of the virus, including new rules and restrictions directly targeted to areas with the highest concentration of COVID cases and the surrounding communities.

The initiative is composed of three steps:

  1. Take dramatic action within the cluster.
  2. Take action in the area surrounding the cluster to stop the spread.
  3. Take precautionary action in the outlying communities.

The initiative will divide clusters and the areas around them into three categories with successively higher restrictions within each one:

Red Zone — Cluster Itself

  • Houses of Worship: 25 percent capacity, 10 people maximum
  • Mass Gatherings: Prohibited
  • Businesses: Only essential businesses open
  • Dining: Takeout only
  • Schools: Closed, remote only

Orange Zone — Warning Zone

  • Houses of Worship: 33 percent capacity, 25 people maximum
  • Mass Gatherings: 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
  • Businesses: Closing high-risk non-essential businesses, such as gyms and personal care
  • Dining: Outdoor dining only, 4 person maximum per table
  • Schools: Closed, remote only

 

Yellow Zone — Precautionary Zone

  • Houses of Worship: 50 percent capacity
  • Mass Gatherings: 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
  • Businesses: Open
  • Dining: Indoor and outdoor dining, 4 person maximum per table
  • Schools: Open with mandatory weekly testing of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings. The New York State Department of Health will establish a percentage of teachers and students/staff who need to be tested by Friday.

Steuben County is not yet considered a COVID – 19 Hotspot but officials are encouraging residents to take extra precautions now to slow the spread and keep the county safe.  Residents should also monitor themselves for COVID related symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.  If you or someone close to you experiences any of these symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider.

October 1, 2020 2:00 pm – E-commerce assistance and exposure tracking app

Good afternoon:  Governor Cuomo today announced Empire State Digital, a new initiative accelerating New York State-based small businesses’ ability to grow their online presence through a first-in-the-nation program with leading global e-commerce enablers, including Shopify, Square, Clearbanc, and Etsy.  The partners selected by Empire State Development to participate will offer specialized solutions such as education, free resources, marketing support, and discounted pricing that is unique to the needs of New York’s small businesses.

 

Empire State Digital is an invitation for businesses to explore the benefits of expanding beyond physical brick and mortar location to an online marketplace through the program partners.

 

Partners Benefits Include: 

 

Shopify 

  • First 90 days free for new brick and mortar merchants registering before November 30, 2020
  • Free access to Shopify Point-of Sale (POS) Pro features until October 31, 2020
  • Free* contactless payment Shopify Tap & Chip Reader for new POS retailers (*limited supplies)
  • $500 in Shopify app store credits for new Shopify POS brick-and-mortar retailers
  • 24/7 support, including access to online educational resources and possible eligibility for Shopify Capital

 

Square 

  • Educational workshops for small businesses, including restaurants and retailers, interested in going online and dedicated office hours in English and Spanish
  • Build a free website with Square Online
  • Free processing on up to $1,000 in credit card transactions for the first 180 days after joining Square

 

Clearbanc  

  • Educational content on improving the financial health of your business
  • Discounted rates on funding
  • Free company valuation and track growth week-over-week

 

Etsy

  • Educational content on how to start a successful online business
  • Free listing credits for new sellers

Details on the program can be found at Empire State Digital’s website which includes additional services available to small businesses from Empire State Development’s statewide resource partners, including hands-on assistance, training and counseling.

 

 

New York State has also announced a new app to track exposure.  COVID Alert NY is New York State’s official Exposure Notification App. This is a free smartphone app for anyone 18+ that lives and/or works in New York available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store starting October 1st.  The COVID Alert NY app notifies users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Upon receiving an exposure notification, the app will encourage users to contact their physician or the State Health Department hotline (1-833-227-5045) to get more information about quarantining and testing.

 

Anyone who downloads the app does not have to worry about being tracked, identified or having their personal information shared. The app is completely anonymous and does not track your location or movement. No personal data is collected. COVID Alert NY uses Bluetooth proximity-enabled exposure notification technology provided by Apple and Google which is safe and secure.

 

To learn more about COVID Alert NY, visit ny.gov/covidalerts.

September 29, 2020 7:15 pm – States added to list and international travelers

Governor Cuomo just announced that Colorado has been added to the 14-day travel quarantine list and that Arizona and Virginia have been removed. This requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days.

The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

 

The full, updated travel advisory list is below:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • North Carolina
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

 

 

In addition, yesterday Governor Cuomo signed an executive order reminding international travelers entering New York from Level 2 and 3 countries to quarantine and fill out the NYS Department of Health traveler health form to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 as countries across the globe experience alarming second waves of the virus. Since March 2020, New York State has required a mandatory 14-day quarantine for any traveler entering New York from a Level 2 or Level 3 country; that’s all but 31 countries around the globe.  To complete the Department of Health Traveler Health form online, travelers should visit here.

 

The 31 countries not subject to the Governor’s executive order and mandatory quarantine requirement are listed below:

 

  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Bonaire
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Guernsey
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Isle of Man
  • Laos
  • Macau SAR
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Palau
  • Saba
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste

 

The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

 

In the region, COVID-19 has once again reached the level of community spread and local health officials are urging everyone to do their part by wearing a mask and practicing the appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures to help prevent further spread of the virus.

Residents should also monitor themselves for COVID related symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.  If you or someone close to you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider.

September 25, 2020 12:00 pm – NY Forward Loan Fund and COVID testing

Yesterday, Empire State Development (ESD) announced that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients are now eligible to receive low-interest loans from the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF). This conditional change will provide the Fund’s network of lenders and financial institutions with greater flexibility and enable them to provide more small businesses with working capital to cover expenses associated with reopening.

 

When the NYFLF launched in May, the goal of the NYFLF was to help New York-based small businesses that did not receive PPP funding by providing  flexible working capital to reopen and adapt to post-COVID needs. However, some NYFLF applicants who needed assistance were deemed ineligible because they had already received PPP funds. Yesterday’s change is now making additional resources available to small businesses who received $50,000 or less in PPP assistance. Small businesses who did not receive any federal assistance are still eligible and encouraged to apply as well.

 

Eligible small businesses and small residential landlords can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan with a 3% fixed interest rate.  Eligible non-profits can apply for a 60-month, no-fee loan at 2% fixed interest. The maximum loan amount is $100,000. Loan funds can be used for working capital including payroll, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities and costs associated with refitting physical space to follow social distancing guidelines. More information is available online at nyloanfund.com.

 

As a reminder, the region has seen several clusters of COVID 19 pop up and we have once again reached the level of community spread.  Local health officials are urging everyone to do their part by wearing a mask and practicing the appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures to help prevent further spread of the virus.

Steuben County is offering FREE drive through COVID-19 testing at the Victory Highway Wesleyan Church in Erwin on the following days and times:

Friday, September 25 from 12 – 6 pm

Saturday, September 26 from 10 am – 5 pm

Participants should pre-register at https://tinyurl.com/steubencovidtest. Registration for both dates is available at this link. Date specific registration can also be found at:

Friday: https://tinyurl.com/0925test

Saturday: https://tinyurl.com/0926test

Each person to be tested should be registered separately.

 

Residents should also monitor themselves for COVID related symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.  If you or someone close to you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your healthcare.

September 22, 2020 11:30 am – States added to travel advisory

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that five states—Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming—have been added to New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed.

The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

The full, updated travel advisory list is below:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

People caught violating the advisory risk civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

There are exceptions to the travel advisory for essential businesses.  Guidance on travel to these states for essential employees can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

In our region, COVID-19 has once again reached the level of community spread and local health officials are urging everyone to do their part by wearing a mask and practicing the appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures to help prevent further spread of the virus.

Residents should also monitor themselves for COVID related symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.  If you or someone close to you experiences any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.

September 8, 2020 12:30 pm – States added to travel list and personal care services

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the addition of four states to the travel advisory list—Delaware, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia — which meet the metrics to qualify for New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory.  Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been removed.

The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

The full, updated travel advisory list is below:

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

People caught violating the advisory risk civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

 

There are exceptions to the travel advisory for essential businesses.  Guidance on travel to these states for essential employees can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

 

In addition, last Thursday the State released updated guidance for “under the mask” personal care services.  Personal care services that require customers to remove face coverings (e.g. face massage, facials, face waxing around lip or nose areas, face tattoos, facial makeup, cosmetic lip tattooing, lip/nose piercings, beard trimmings, or shaves) are prohibited, unless the employee is wearing a face shield or similar barrier in addition to their face covering. Additionally, any employee performing such services must be tested, at least once on or after September 3, 2020, for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test and receive a negative result prior to the employee performing such services that require removal of a customer’s face covering.

September 1, 2020 10:30 am – Two states added to list

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced two additional states—Alaska and Montana—meet the metrics to qualify for New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. No areas have been removed.

The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

The full, updated travel advisory list is below:

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Virgin Islands
  • Wisconsin

People caught violating the advisory risk civil penalties ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

 

There are exceptions to the travel advisory for essential businesses.  Guidance on travel to these states for essential employees can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

COVID-19 Updates and Information

Steuben County IDA continues to partner with our local, regional, state, and federal partners to provide the most up-to-date information and resources concerning the effects of COVID-19 on the business community.  Some useful tools are listed below.  Questions and comments can be emailed to scida@steubencountyida.com.

 

Emergency Relief Loan Program – Please click here for information about the loan program for Steuben County businesses.

 

Daily Updates

October 20, 2020 3:00 pm – States added to list and Paid Sick Leave update

October 13, 2020 4:15 pm – States added to list and PPP guidance

October 6, 2020 8:00 pm – Travel advisory and cluster action initiative

October 1, 2020 2:00 pm – E-commerce assistance and exposure tracking app

September 29, 2020 7:15 pm – States added to list and international travelers

September 25, 2020 12:00 pm – NY Forward Loan Fund and COVID testing

September 22, 2020 11:30 am – States added to travel advisory

September 8, 2020 12:30 pm – States added to advisory and personal care services

September 1, 2020 10:30 am – 2 states added to list

 

Reopening Guidance

 

Specific industry reopening guidance:

 

Helpful Documents

Agriculture Resources

Agricultural Q and A

Business Mentor NY guide

Cleaning and Disinfection of Food Manufacturing Facilities or Food Retail Stores

DOH Travel Guidance

Economic Injury Disaster Loan – ESD guidance

Economic Injury Disaster Loan – ESD slides

Empire State Digital

Executive Order 202.16

Main Street New Loan Program – guidelines

Main Street Expanded Loan Program – guidelines

New York Forward Loan Fund – FAQ

NYS Shared Work Program

Paycheck Protection Program – Interim Final Rule

Paycheck Protection Program – Loan Forgiveness Application Instructions

Paycheck Protection Program – Loan Forgiveness Application

Recovery – Platform Solutions – Cushman Wakefield

Recovery – Readiness Guide – Cushman Wakefield

Recovery – Workplace Essentials – Cushman Wakefield

 

Useful Web Sites

Resource Topic Website
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cleaning and disinfecting guidelines https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html
Department of Labor Shared Work Program https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/dande/sharedwork1.shtm
Department of Labor Unemployment benefits information https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/cares-act.shtm
Department of Taxation and Finance Sales tax filing https://www.tax.ny.gov/press/alerts/sales-tax-relief-for-covid-19.htm
Empire State Development (ESD) Various information for businesses in New York State https://esd.ny.gov/
Empire State Digital Assistance in creating an online presence https://esd.ny.gov/empire-state-digital

 

Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/main.htm
International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Reopening plans https://restoreyoureconomy.org/index.php
New York Forward Loan Fund New loan fund https://esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans-info
New York State Travel advisory https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance
Small Business Administration (SBA) Small business loan resources and guidance https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) News and resources for small business owners http://www.nyssbdc.org/covid19response.html
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Emergency loans guide and checklist https://pursuitlending.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/PPP-Summary-U.S.-Chamber-of-Commerce.pdf