News Flash

Coronavirus Updates for Businesses

Posted on: May 13, 2020

May 13 Business Update

Hello Business Owner,

Wishing you strength and good health in dealing with the ongoing pandemic.  Here is the latest news for the New Rochelle business community with key resources listed throughout. 

Topics for this week:

  1. Moving New York Forward (New York’s phased approach to reopening by region and industry - no date yet for New Rochelle but gardening / landscaping and outdoor tennis permitted after May 15)
  1. Getting Ready to Reopen (business planning to prepare for reopening)
  1. SBA Funding Availability and Guidance (limited PPP funds still available and business guidance for forgiveness)
  1. New Ro Strong (New Ro Cheers!, masks / posters / lawn signs)
  1. New Rochelle News (Sidewalk Café permits, community news, Chamber of Commerce)
  1. Business Council of Westchester (BCW) New Member Acquisition events

Moving New York Forward

Governor Cuomo has outlined a plan to reopen New York State. The plan focuses on getting people back to work and easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread of the virus or overwhelming the hospital system. New York State will allow non-essential businesses to reopen on a regional and industry-specific basis, as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health. Essential businesses can remain open under existing guidelines. 

New Rochelle is part of the Mid-Hudson region, which has attained 5 of the 7 milestones as of 5/13/20. The reopening of non-essential business will be permitted once the region has attained all 7 milestones. See the Regional Monitoring Dashboard for the latest assessment. 

Once the Governor announces that the Mid-Hudson region, including New Rochelle, has met all the criteria, a phased approach by industry will define the timing of reopening for different types of businesses and will outline additional guidelines for safety precautions. 

Across New York, the PAUSE continues through May 15.  Certain low-risk business and recreational activities will be ready to reopen statewide on May 15th, including landscaping and gardening businesses; and recreational activities such as outdoor tennis and drive-in movie theaters. Landscaping and gardening businesses are reminded that gas-powered leaf blowers are not permitted for spring as of May 1 in New Rochelle.

Getting Ready to Reopen

Businesses are encouraged to begin building a plan now for reopening safely:  to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business. In developing these plans, businesses will need to consider three main factors:

  • The first factor is protections for employees and customers. These include possible adjustments to workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace; enacting social distancing protocols, and restricting non-essential travel for employees.
  • The second is changes to the physical workspace, including requiring all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent close contact with others and implementing strict cleaning and sanitation standards.
  • The last factor for businesses to consider is implementing processes that meet our changing public health obligations, like screening individuals when they enter the workplace, or reporting confirmed positives to customers. While these processes will vary from business to business, almost everyone will have to adapt, in some way or another, to our new normal.

Several industries and groups have begun sharing sample reopening plans. Here are few for reference:

SBA Funding Availability and Guidance

The Small Business Administration provided additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on April 27 and as of today, some funding is still available for small business loans. The loan provides funding for payroll and other operational expenses, which are forgivable under certain guidelines.  More information is available on the SBA website

If you have received PPP funds, you must follow procedures for that loan money to be forgiven (turned into a grant.) Work with your lender to ensure you take the appropriate actions.  The Bonadio Group guidance on PPP loans and forgiveness provides useful information to help understand the process once the funds are received. 

The Office of Senator Gillibrand shared the following information today:

Please see the updates that we received from the SBA as we wait for guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness to be issued. The SBA has been receiving a lot of questions on a few topics, particularly the following:

  • An updated FAQ has been posted today on treasury.gov addressing how SBA will evaluate the good faith certification regarding the necessity of the PPP loan request:  https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf
  • The safe harbor deadline for businesses to return PPP funds if they determine that they were ineligible has been extended until tomorrow, 5/14, pending publication of the procedures for returning the funds. If the guidance for loan forgiveness is not ready by then, there could be another extension of the deadline. SBA has been receiving a lot of questions from PPP borrowers about the “economic uncertainty” certification and any constituent questions should be directed to an SBA regional office.
  • There are no updates to the 8-week forgiveness period, and we can’t speculate on any legislative or regulatory changes to this. Businesses should plan based on the rules as they are now.
  • The first PPP Interim Final Rule requires that 75% of the use of proceeds be used for payroll costs. This is distinct from the rule that 75% of the forgivable expenses must be payroll. 
  • The EIDL Advance has no reporting requirements and does not have to be repaid. It is designed to provide immediate economic relief. This is independent from the EIDL Loan and not part of the Loan’s terms and conditions. Any Advance funds will be deducted from PPP forgiveness, however.
  • The EIDL Loan funds may only be used for working capital expenses. Business expansion or acquiring fixed assets are not eligible uses of proceeds.

Updated PPP and EIDL Advance numbers:

In Round Two of the Paycheck Protection Program (April 27 - May 8, 2020), the SBA has guaranteed 2,571,167 loans. For more information on Round Two loan activity, click here.

Report: EIDL Advances as of 5-8-20

Volunteers are available to assist businesses throughout the loan process.  See the City’s Business Coronavirus page for more info.

New Ro Strong

The coronavirus pandemic has challenged the very core of our community. In response, we are meeting the crisis with resolution and determination, and even more: rising above, with acts of generosity, support and encouragement. The City’s New Ro Strong page is dedicated to the residents, organizations, businesses and others who are going above and beyond in proving that we are resilient and always #NewRoStrong. Follow@NewRoStrong on instagram for more pictures and stories.

We want to blanket the City with the New Ro Strong message.  I have a supply of posters and lawn signs for businesses to display. If you are interested, please email me and let me know which you want to display.  These are available until supplies run out.

New Rochelle received a donation of washable face coverings from Hanes through Westchester County. We are distributing them to essential businesses who request them. If you need some, please email me, let me know you are an essential business, and tell me how many employees you have.  We will arrange to have them dropped off to you.

New Ro Cheers! is a way to share your story of how you are helping the community in the time of corona. Share by emailing newrostrong@newrochelleny.com or tagging @NewRoStrong on instagram using the hashtags: #NewRoStrong #WeAreInThisTogether

New Rochelle News

Sidewalk cafes:  As the weather warms up (slowly) and restaurants plan for reopening, the City is beginning the application process for sidewalk cafe permits. Permits will be used once the state guidelines allow for seating at restaurants which is potentially phase 3 of the state’s industry plan. To allow for proper social distancing, the seating capacity for 2020 will be reduced to 50% of previous capacity - or 1 seat for each 30 square feet of usable cafe space. Apply online

Our condolences on the deaths of several long time New Rochelle business owners.  The families at Little Mexican Cafe, La Michoacana and IB Cohen have recent losses and our sympathies are with them.

New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce has been a valuable source of business assistance and networking opportunities to the New Rochelle business community.  Consider joining today or supporting the Chamber’s fundraising efforts.

Invitation to participate in Business Council of Westchester’s first virtual Circles of Influence New Member Acquisition events

The Business Council of Westchester (BCW) is a member organization of Westchester’s most influential business professionals. Now more than ever, membership at the BCW is providing valuable and timely information as well as creating opportunities to make strategic and meaningful business connections.

For those who join on May 19th, 21st or 26th and their sponsors, special member incentives will be offered:

  • Membership Spotlight: Photo, logo, contact information and 50 word business description to be sent to the entire BCW membership community (over 4000+ emails.). 
  • Your company logo will be included for two weeks in either our weekly Monday Memo or Friday news e-blast.

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