Making sure reopening is full, safe, and fair
As New York begins to execute the economic reopening plan, NFIB’s New York office continues to advocate on behalf of our small businesses to ensure that the reopening is safe, full, and fair. Unfortunately, New York’s guidance and information changes often with little notice or clarity, but the office is committed to providing valuable information to our members as soon as practicable. Our office is also preparing for what’s ahead – fighting for COVID-19 liability protections, opposing drastic increases to unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, and pushing against one-size-fits-all mandates that disproportionately burden small businesses.
Governor Cuomo announced New York Forward, which allows regions to reopen in phases as soon as they meet a set of health criteria. New York State has launched a regional monitoring dashboard for New Yorkers to track where their region stands on the criteria. Seven regions, Capital, Central, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York are in phase one, which includes construction; agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting; retail (limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); manufacturing; and wholesale trade.
For businesses, it’s not as simple as just turning the lights on. New York State has industry-specific guidance, requires businesses to develop written safety plans, and complete an affirmation form before reopening. Click here for the list of industry guidelines, business safety plan template, and the required online form to affirm business compliance. Also, businesses considered essential, regardless of region, are now required to adhere to the newest guidelines. This means developing a written safety plan based on the state provided guidance.
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. We remain committed to keeping NFIB’s New York website updated with the latest New York State-specific COVID-19 information.
Throughout this process, our staff is in regular communication with Governor Cuomo’s staff, Empire State Development, the New York Forward Advisory Board, and Regional Control Rooms and task forces. NFIB’s New York office is here to be your voice in Albany and is tirelessly advocating for America’s economic engine and the backbones of our communities – small businesses. Thanks for your continued support. Stay safe, be well, and never hesitate to contact us.
All the best,
Greg Biryla, New York State Director
Ashley Ranslow, Assistant New York State Director