Dear New York Members,
New York continues to see a steady decline in the total number of COVID-related hospitalizations, deaths, positive test results, and rate of transmission across the entire state, which is great news for all New Yorkers. New York’s reopening plan is contingent on these numbers that are closely monitored by the Governor’s office and regional control rooms. As the numbers decline, New York’s reopening plan can continue to move forward, which is crucial for the survival of small businesses.
Currently, seven regions (Capital, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York) are in phase three of the reopening plan, which includes indoor dining with occupancy limits and personal care businesses. The Mid-Hudson region and Long Island are in phase two of the reopening plan, which includes offices, real estate, in-store retail, outdoor dining, hair salons and barbershops, and more. Lastly, New York City remains in phase one of the reopening plan, which includes construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting. To see where each region stands and a complete list of the phases, visit https://forward.ny.gov/. Also, businesses can use the New York Forward business reopening lookup tool to help navigate the reopening process.
Before businesses can reopen, the state requires business owners to review industry-specific guidance, develop written safety plans, and complete an affirmation form. Click here and select your phase to find the industry guidelines, business safety plan template, and the required online form to affirm business compliance.
New York State has created a complaint line for customers, employees, or any individuals to report businesses that are not complying with state guidance. There have been over 25,000 complaints filed to date. The state is now urging local officials to step up their enforcement of rules and guidelines, especially for bars and restaurants. Any bar or restaurant that violates reopening rules and guidelines can lose their state liquor license.
Empire State Development (ESD) continues to release updated guidance on essential businesses that supersedes any guidance released to date. The updated essential business guidance is effective statewide and is completely separate from the phased-in, regional reopening plan. ESD continues to release updates; please check their website regularly.
All guidance, Executive Orders, and directives and to whom they apply are constantly changing so please stay informed. NFIB’s New York website is regularly updated with the latest New York State-specific COVID-19 information.
NFIB’s New York office continues to regularly communicate with the Governor’s office, New York Forward Advisory Board, and other state leaders and appointees about a fair, fast, and full reopening process, especially now as the state enters new phases with certain businesses or industries left out. Our office is here to be your voice in Albany and is tirelessly advocating for all small businesses across New York State. Thank you for your continued support and never hesitate to contact us.
All the best,