Coronavirus Resources for our HVMTA Membership
SHERIDAN HOHMAN & ASSOCIATES LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
CORONAVIRUS: NY ‘TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS’ USE OF ALL ITS BOAT LAUNCHES FOR RECREATIONAL USE
As part of the ongoing strategy to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, New York State announced last week that “boat launches and marinas are closed to recreational vessels.”
Late Wednesday afternoon, a brief statement was put out by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and state Parks Department in response to a query from NYUP.com to try and clarify things.
“To limit the community spread of COVID-19, use of all DEC, Canal Corp., and State Parks-owned boat launches is temporarily suspended for recreational boaters,” the release said, making reference to the “New York State on Pause Order” executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The announcement will come as a surprise to many as evidenced by the widespread confusion about the situation and the continued use of many launches across the state in recent days.
For example, the launch at Delta Lake State Park was recently closed, noted pictures on the Delta Diehards Facebook page.
However , in the Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast sent out early Wednesday afternoon, it was noted that “launch ramps – DEC and State Parks are open. A few others run by towns or villages are still open. Lewiston is open and so is Olcott. The ramps at Fort Niagara, Wilson and Golden Hill state parks are all open, with a caveat. There are no amenities, no restrooms. Take your garbage with you. If you are using the launch ramp, make sure you abide by the social distancing guidelines.”
On the other end of Lake Ontario, some state and private launches in Jefferson County have seen use in recent days, according to sources there.
Jefferson County Undersheriff Brian McDermott said Wednesday morning that with all that’s going on, his officers are not going to be out looking to ticket someone for launching a boat.
“If we get a complaint, the first thing we’ll look to do is education and try to gain voluntary compliance,” he said. “Everyone’s intentions are in the right place but in some cases (they’re not considering the consequences).”
“Say if a couple (that lives together) launches a boat by themselves, I don’t see a COVID-19 violation there,” he said.
As for marinas, many have closed to the public. The exception noted in last week’s order was that they could stay open, but only to support government of businesses deemed essential, the state ordered.
Last week’s announcement, issued on Thursday about the marinas and boat launches, came as new guidance from Empire State Development, which is designating businesses and gathering spaces as essential or non-essential. Included in last week’s announcement was the closure of golf courses.
More Information can be found at the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
TO KEEP YOU UPDATE TO DATE ON THE LATEST COVID-19 NEWS – WE HAVE INCLUDED A RESOURCE PAGE ON OUR WEBSITE:
- New York currently has 195,013 confirmed cases of COVID-19, to date 10,056 deaths.
- We are seeing a plateau, unsure of how long this “apex” will last.
- Net downturn in hospitalizations. The 3-day rolling average is also down.
- Net change in ICU admissions down as well.
- Net change in intubations 3-day rolling average is down.
- New COVID hospitalizations per day is down. The Governor clarified that though hospitals see about 2000 new cases per day.
- Reopening the Economy
- learn from countries currently undergoing reopening procedures to see what works and what doesn’t to avoid a second wave.
- Actions will be based on public health and economic experts’ recommendations and data.
- Ease isolation, increase economic activity, recallibrate “essential worker” economy, apply more testing and precautions, and to keep infection rate low.
- Regional design and systems must coordinate (economic, transportation, schools, etc.).
- A bipartisan effort is being made with Maryland Governor Hogan to call for $500 billion in state aid.
- Governor Cuomo sent a letter to the US Treasury to ensure that New Yorkers’ stimulus checks do not get frozen or seized by creditors.
Governor Cuomo also hosted a Conference Call with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Delaware Governor John Carney and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island will create a task force to examine how to Re-Open the States. Each state will appoint one health official, one economic development official and each states governor’s chief of staff. The task force will be creating a plan to Reactivate and Re-Open the states and and regional economies. The task force will meet for the first time tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Govenror Cuomo has welcomed other states to join the task force. The sharing of information and resources will allow for the development of a consistent plan between states to.
TO KEEP YOU UPDATE TO DATE ON THE LATEST COVID-19 NEWS – WE HAVE INCLUDED A RESOURCE PAGE ON OUR WEBSITE:
GUIDANCE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A BUSINESS ENTERPRISE IS SUBJECT TO A WORKFORCE REDUCTION UNDER RECENT EXECUTIVE ORDERS
(enacted to address the COVID-19 Outbreak)
Please review our Frequently Asked Questions here.
UPDATED: APRIL 9, 2020 at 8:00 AM
ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIES, including any for-profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction. Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health (DOH) and every business, even if essential, is strongly urged to maintain social distancing measures to the extent possible.
This guidance is issued by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a Empire State Development (ESD) and applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business. With respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the workforce reduction restrictions.
State and local governments, including municipalities, authorities, and school districts, are exempt from these essential business reductions, but are subject to other provisions that restrict non-essential, in-person workforce and other operations under Executive Order 202.
For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, “Essential Business,” shall mean businesses operating in or as:
1. Essential health care operations including
- research and laboratory services
- walk-in-care health clinics and facilities
- emergency veterinary, livestock medical services
- senior/elder care
- medical wholesale and distribution
- home health care workers or aides for the elderly
- doctor and emergency dental
- nursing homes, residential health care facilities, or congregate care facilities
- medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
- licensed mental health providers
- licensed substance abuse treatment providers
- medical billing support personnel
- emergency chiropractic services
- physical therapy, prescribed by medical professional
- occupational therapy, prescribed by medical professional
2. Essential infrastructure including
- public and private utilities including but not limited to power generation, fuel supply, and transmission
- public water and wastewater
- telecommunications and data centers
- commercial shipping vessels/ports and seaports
- transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, for-hire vehicles, garages
- hotels, and other places of accommodation
3. Essential manufacturing including
- food processing, manufacturing agents including all foods and beverages
- medical equipment/instruments
- sanitary products including personal care products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- food-producing agriculture/farms
- household paper products
- defense industry and the transportation infrastructure
- any parts or components necessary for essential products that are referenced within this guidance
4. Essential retail including
- grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
- convenience stores
- farmer’s markets
- gas stations
- restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
- hardware, appliance, and building material stores
- pet food
- telecommunications to service existing customers and accounts
- delivery for orders placed remotely via phone or online at non-essential retail establishments; provided, however, that only one employee is physically present at the business location to fulfill orders
5. Essential services including
- trash and recycling collection, processing, and disposal
- mail and shipping services
- laundromats and other clothing/fabric cleaning services
- building cleaning and maintenance
- child care services
- bicycle repair
- auto repair
- automotive sales conducted remotely or electronically, with in-person vehicle return and delivery by appointment only
- marine vessel repair and marinas, but only to support government or essential commercial operations and not for recreational purposes
- warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
- funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
- storage for essential businesses
- maintenance for the infrastructure of the facility or to maintain or safeguard materials or products therein
- animal shelters and animal care including dog walking, animal boarding
- landscaping, but only for maintenance or pest control and not cosmetic purposes
- designing, printing, publishing and signage companies to the extent that they support essential businesses or services
- remote instruction or streaming of classes from public or private schools or health/fitness centers; provided, however, that no in-person congregate classes are permitted
6. News media
7. Financial Institutions including
- banks or lending institution
- services related to financial markets, except debt collection
8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including
- homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
- food banks
- human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support
All non-essential construction must safely shut down, except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone, but only to the point that it is safe to suspend work).
Essential construction may proceed, to the extent that:
- the construction is for, or your business supports, roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, or public or private schools;
- the construction is for affordable housing, as defined as construction work where either (i) a minimum of 20% of the residential units are or will be deemed affordable and are or will be subject to a regulatory agreement and/or a declaration from a local, state, or federal government agency or (ii) where the project is being undertaken by, or on behalf of, a public housing authority;
- the construction is necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of a structure;
- the construction is necessary to continue a project if allowing the project to remain undone would be unsafe, provided that the construction must be shut down when it is safe to do so;
- the construction is for projects in the energy industry in accordance with Question No. 14 in the FAQ at: https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ESD_EssentialEmployerFAQ_033120.pdf;
- the construction is for existing (i.e. currently underway) projects of an essential business; or
- the construction work is being completed by a single worker who is the sole employee/worker on the job site.
At every site, it is required that the personnel working on the site maintain an appropriate social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exits. Sites that cannot maintain appropriate social distancing, as well as cleaning/disinfecting protocols must close. Enforcement will be conducted by state and local governments, including fines up to $10,000 per violation.
Construction may continue solely with respect to those employees that must be present at the business location/construction site in support of essential business activities. No other employees/personnel shall be permitted to work in-person at the business location/construction site. Any other business activities being completed that are not essential are still subject to the restrictions provided by Executive Order 202.
As noted above, local governments, including municipalities and school districts, are allowed to continue construction projects at this time as government entities are exempt from these essential business restrictions. However, to the greatest extent possible, local governments should postpone any non-essential projects and only proceed with essential projects when they can implement appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols. Essential projects should be considered those that have a nexus to health and safety of the building occupants or to support the broader essential services that are required to fulfill the critical operations of government or the emergency response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
- defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government
11. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other businesses including
- law enforcement, including corrections and community supervision
- fire prevention and response
- building code enforcement
- emergency management and response, EMS and 911 dispatch
- building cleaners or janitors
- general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
- automotive repair
- residential moving services
12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services including but not limited to:
- technology support for online services
- child care programs and services
- government owned or leased buildings
- essential government services
- any personnel necessary for online or distance learning or classes delivered via remote means
- Parks and other open public spaces, except playgrounds and other areas of congregation where social distancing cannot be abided
- However, golf courses are not essential
- However, use of boat launches and marinas for recreational vessels is not considered essential
14. Professional services with extensive restrictions
- Lawyers may continue to perform all work necessary for any service so long as it is performed remotely. Any in-person work presence shall be limited to work only in support of essential businesses or services; however, even work in support of an essential business or service should be conducted as remotely as possible.
- Real estate services shall be conducted remotely for all transactions, including but not limited to title searches, appraisals, permitting, inspections, and the recordation, legal, financial and other services necessary to complete a transfer of real property; provided, however, that any services and parts therein may be conducted in-person only to the extent legally necessary and in accordance with appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols; and nothing within this provision should be construed to allow brokerage and branch offices to remain open to the general public (i.e. not clients).
Pursuant to Executive Order 202.10, all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reasons (e.g. worship services, parties, celebrations, or other social events) are canceled or postponed. Congregate services within houses of worship are prohibited. Houses of worship may only be used by individuals and only where appropriate social distancing of, at least, six feet between people can be maintained. Further, individuals should not gather in houses of worship, homes, or other locations for religious services until the end of this public health emergency. If possible, religious leaders should consider alternative forms of worship, replacing in-person gatherings with virtual services, such as phone or conference calls, videoconference calls, or online streaming.
If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.
Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should only be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.
To request designation as an essential business, please click here.
Restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business:
Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Orders, the following businesses are specifically enumerated as non-essential and are, therefore, unable to request a designation:
- Any large gathering or event venues, including but not limited to establishments that host concerts, conferences, or other in-person performances or presentations in front of an in-person audience;
- Any dine-in or on-premise restaurant or bar service, excluding take-out or delivery for off-premise consumption;
- Any facility authorized to conduct video lottery gaming or casino gaming;
- Any gym, fitness centers, or exercise classes, except the remote or streaming service noted above;
- Any movie theater;
- Any indoor common portions of retail shopping malls with 100,000 or more square feet of retail space available for lease;
- All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions; and
- Any barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors and related personal care services, including nail technicians, cosmetologists and estheticians, and the provision of electrolysis, laser hair removal services.
For more information on New York’s response to COVID-19 and guidance on cleaning and disinfection of facilities, please refer to the New York State Department of Health’s webpage at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.
Additional information from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.
Big I HEART NY President & CEO, Lisa Lounsbury spoke to Eric Madoff, CEO & Executive Director at New York State Insurance Fund, this morning regarding NYSIF’s approach to work with policyholders regarding the coronavirus. We are very pleased to share the following correspondence that will go out to NYSIF policyholders later today. In addition to offering premium payment flexibility, NYSIF recognizes that payrolls may decrease and is willing to adjust premium payments to meet policyholder needs.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary solutions. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) takes its toll on New York businesses, NYSIF stands ready to help by lowering your premium to reflect current business conditions and extending payment terms to those who need them.
We realize that some of our policyholders may be experiencing financial difficulties at this time. If you’ve experienced a significant decrease in your payroll, please contact your Policy Representative or Safety Group Manager to lower your premium. If you are experiencing coronavirus-related financial difficulties, we can adjust your premium payments to help meet your financial situation. To contact your Policy Representative, please visit our website at nysif.com, click “Get Policy Help” and have your policy number handy.
For those policyholders who do not have a NYSIF online account, we strongly encourage you to sign up; it’s simple and easy. Having an online account will allow you to access important, up to date policy information and will allow NYSIF to quickly and effectively communicate vital information to you. To create a NYSIF online account, please visit our website at nysif.com.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.
Coronavirus Funding Options
Our nation’s small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.
To learn more about the relief options available for your business, click here.
Guidance for Businesses and Employers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Preventing Stigma Related to COVID-19
- Share Facts about COVID-19
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Web page
- Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Prevention, Symptoms and FAQ
The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.
To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use the guidance described below and on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page.
Below are recommended strategies for employers to use now. In-depth guidance is available on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
- Separate sick employees
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
- Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from designated countries with risk of community spread of Coronavirus, and information for aircrew, can be found on the CDC website.
- Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
- Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
Common Issues Small Businesses May Encounter:
- Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business’s financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it. See SBA’s capital access resources.
- Workforce Capacity – Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It’s critical to ensure they have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected.
- Inventory and Supply Chain Shortfalls – While the possibility could be remote, it is a prudent preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event one supplier cannot meet an order request.
- Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.
- Insurance Coverage Issues – Many businesses have business interruption insurance; Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.
- Changing Market Demand – Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand.
- Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.
- Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA’s website at: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-planning-exercises
SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses. The SBA has 68 District Offices, as well as support provided by its Resource Partners, such as SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. When faced with a business need, use the SBA’s Local Assistance Directory to locate the office nearest you.
Join the SBA’s Relief Efforts
Join our team! The SBA is hiring additional employees to assist with disaster relief efforts. Bilingual language skills are a plus. Remote jobs are available nationwide.
SBA Products and Resources
SBA is here to assist small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their own preparedness plans as described by the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor and train small businesses. The SBA has 68 District Offices, as well as support provided by its Resource Partners, such as SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. When faced with a business need, use the SBA’s Local Assistance Directory to locate the office nearest you.
Access to Capital
SBA provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business. For more information on loans or how to connect with a lender, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans.
- 7(a) program offers loan amounts up to $5,000,000 and is an all-inclusive loan program deployed by lending partners for eligible small businesses within the U.S. States and its territories. The uses of proceeds include: working capital; expansion/renovation; new construction; purchase of land or buildings; purchase of equipment, fixtures; lease-hold improvements; refinancing debt for compelling reasons; seasonal line of credit; inventory; or starting a business.
- Express loan program provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than 7 years with an option to revolve. There is a turnaround time of 36 hours for approval or denial of a completed application. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.
- Community Advantageloan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in underserved markets with a maximum loan size of $250,000. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.
- 504 loan program is designed to foster economic development and job creation and/or retention. The eligible use of proceeds is limited to the acquisition or eligible refinance of fixed assets.
- Microloan program involves making loans through nonprofit lending organizations to underserved markets. Authorized use of loan proceeds includes working capital, supplies, machinery & equipment, and fixtures (does not include real estate). The maximum loan amount is $50,000 with the average loan size of $14,000.
SBA provides export loans to help small businesses achieve sales through exports and can help these businesses respond to opportunities and challenges associated with trade, such as COVID-19. The loans are available to U.S. small businesses that export directly overseas, or those that export indirectly by selling to a customer that then exports their products.
- Export Express loan program allows access to capital quickly for businesses that need financing up to $500,000. Businesses can apply for a line of credit or term note prior to finalizing an export sale or while pursuing opportunities overseas, such as identifying a new overseas customer should an export sale be lost due to COVID-19.
- Export Working Capital program enables small businesses to fulfill export orders and finance international sales by providing revolving lines of credit or transaction-based financing of up to $5 million. Businesses could use a loan to obtain or retain overseas customers by offering attractive payment terms.
- International Trade loan program helps small businesses engaged in international trade to retool or expand to better compete and react to changing business conditions. It can also help exporting firms to expand their sales to new markets or to re-shore operations back to the U.S.
SBA is focused on assisting with the continuity of operations for small business contracting programs and small businesses with federal contracts. For more information on federal contracting, visit https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-guide
- 8(a) Business Development program serves to help provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities, and the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate. The 8(a) program offer and acceptance process is available nationwide, and the SBA continues to work with federal agencies to ensure maximum practicable opportunity to small businesses. 8(a) program participants should stay in touch with their Business Opportunity Specialist (BOS).
- HUBZone program offers eligibility assistance every Thursday from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET at 1-202-765-1264; access code 63068189#. Members of the HUBZone team answer questions to help firms navigate the certification process. For specific questions regarding an application, please contact the HUBZone Help Desk at email@example.com.
- Women-owned Small Business firms who have questions, please visit www.sba.gov/wosbready or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a situation occurs that will prevent small businesses with government contracts from successfully performing their contract, they should reach out to their contracting officer and seek to obtain extensions before they receive cure notices or threats of termination. The SBA’s Procurement Center Representatives can assist affected small businesses to engage with their contracting officer. Use the Procurement Center Representative Directory to connect with the representative nearest you.