White Plains Business Improvement District

 

 

COVID-19 News, Updates, and Business Assistance

​• News
• Business Assistance
     • COVID-19 Assistance Program (BIDCAP)
     • Street Cafe Ordinance
     • Sidewalk Sales Ordinance
     • Sidewalk Cafe Permit
Grants and Loans
     • Guide to the Cares Act
​• NY Forward Reopening Plan
• Business Restrictions
• Sources for Information
• Promoting Your Business
• BID Office Update

 


 

NEWS

GRANT OPPORTUNITY (Update 8/7)

The Red Backpack Fund: Women-Owned Small Business Grants
The Red Backpack Fund, is a COVID-19 grant relief opportunity for women entrepreneurs created by The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation and administered by GlobalGiving. The goal of The Red Backpack Fund is to provide the opportunity for women-owned small businesses and nonprofits to continue to operate and thrive. GlobalGiving will be making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis.

Businesses or nonprofits must meet all of the criteria below to be eligible to apply:
• At least 51% majority women-owned.
• Have withheld payroll taxes for at least one employee in addition to yourself. (Unfortunately, they are unable to accept applications from sole proprietors or individuals who exclusively employ contractors at this time.)
• Registered in the U.S. and its territories as a legal entity and have a valid EIN number.
• Have fewer than 50 employees.
• Have annual revenues that did not exceed $5M in any of the past three years.
• 18 years or older.

Application portal closes on August 10, 2020 at 12:00 PM. Apply here.

WHITE PLAINS COMMON COUNCIL APPROVES STREET CAFES (Update 8/7)

Effective immediately and valid until November 1, 2020, the Common Council of the City of White Plains authorized use of the City’s right-of-ways for Street Cafés. A Street Café is defined as an outdoor dining area located in the right-of-way and within not more than 3 contiguous street parking spaces intended to provide expanded outdoor seating for wait service by an adjacent food establishment.

The Commissioner of Public Works is authorized to issue a permit for a street cafe, subject to the following conditions, among others listed in the ordinance:
• The Commissioner of Parking must determine that the elimination of parking spaces will not be detrimental to or have a negative impact on the area or existing traffic movement and safety, and that there is sufficient parking to serve the surrounding area.
• The street cafe must be separated from traffic by a suitable temporary and portable barrier* designed for such or similar use provided and maintained by the Applicant, which barrier must be approved by the Commissioner of Public Works.
• Operation of a street cafe shall not adversely impact adjacent or nearby residential, religious, educational or commercial properties, and shall be operated in accordance with all applicable codes and regulations.
• Street cafes shall close operations by 11 :00 p.m.
• Furnishing of a street cafe shall consist solely of readily removable awnings, covers, railings, tables, chairs, planters containing live plants and accessories.
• Where the use of umbrellas is planned, advertising on the umbrellas shall be limited to the name of the food establishment.
• The operator of the street cafe shall keep the street cafe free of all debris, litter, grime and graffiti and shall keep any plants in good health.
• All alcoholic beverages to be served at a street café shall be prepared within the existing food establishment, and alcoholic beverages shall only be served to patrons seated at tables. The operator of the sidewalk cafe shall take whatever steps are necessary to procure the appropriate license from the state liquor authority if the operator intends to serve alcoholic beverages in the street cafe area and shall comply with all other laws and regulations concerning the serving of alcoholic beverages in this state.
• The Applicant shall pay a permit fee equal to $400.00 per parking space requested.
• Permits are valid until November 1, 2020. Restaurants then have until November 4th to clear and clean up the parking spaces they used for their street cafe.

*The BID is looking into getting a BID Member rate from an approved barrier supplier.

Read the full Street Cafe Ordinance.

If interested in obtaining a street café, contact Deputy Commissioner of Public Works Stefania Mignone at smignone@whiteplainsny.gov or 914-422-1222.

VOLUNTEERS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES (Update 8/7)

Whether a business needs a new website, new signage, help with loans, legal advice etc, there are volunteers standing by. Take advantage of this free service of crisis advisors to help with anything and everything related to reopening and recovery, courtesy of Westchester County and RXR.

westchestercatalyst-volunteer.com

OPPORTUNITY FOR BID RESTAURANTS

JAZZFEST (Update 8/7)
With the continuance of halting all large events, the White Plains JazzFest will return for its ninth annual celebration as a primarily virtual celebration. Arts Westchester, together with the BID and the City of White Plains, will be featuring a collection of different jazz styles as a series of stimulating evening programs to be held on Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook. We hope to keep traditions alive by bringing people together that share a passion for great music, culture and FOOD. With the help of our Downtown restaurants, we can make this a truly successful opportunity and event for all.

Spanning five days (September 8th – 11th) we invite you to participate by offering food and/or drink take out specials that will elevate a viewer’s experience. Establishments offering take-out specials will be featured throughout all social media platforms, digital ads in local magazines and Jazz Publications as well as dedicated landing page on our website. A detailed event schedule can be found here: www.wpbid.com/jazzfest

To participate, simply email Jennifer Tillerson with your interest and/or offering.
 

KITCHEN INTERNS (Update 8/5)
Need interns in your kitchen? Here is an opportunity for some extra help in the kitchen at no extra cost. The Culinary Tech Center in White Plains reopened on July 7th and their students are ready to start their externship. The externship is 200 hours and the students are expected to complete 25 hours per week.
There is a group that needs placement in 3 weeks and a group leaving in September. See this document for more details, and if interested contact Adriana Tortorello at atortorello@edtraining.com.

OPPORTUNITY FOR FITNESS BUSINESSES (Update 7/24)

If you are interested in holding classes in White Plains Parks, contact Commissioner Wayne Bass to hear the options: wbass@whiteplainsny.gov or (914)-422-1345

Be sure to keep us informed at the BID so we can help promote your activities!

NYS LIQUOR AUTHORITY GUIDANCE (Update 7/24)

The New York State Liquor Authority has published a new document with important questions and answers to complement the new guidance that was issued requiring the purchase of food along with an alcoholic beverage. View the guidance on the SLA website.

NY FORWARD LOAN FUND (Update 7/21)

New York Forward Loan Fund is an economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Eligibility:
Small businesses and nonprofits with 20 or fewer employees that did not receive a loan from either the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
Small Landlords that lost revenue due to the outbreak/pause that did not receive a loan from either the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

Loan Amount:
Small businesses can apply for a loan in the amount of the lesser of: (a) $100,000 or (b) up to 100% of average monthly revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or first quarter of 2020.
Nonprofits can apply for a loan in the amount of the lesser of: (a) $100,000 or (b) up to 100% of average monthly expenses in any 3-month from 2019 or first quarter of 2020.
Small landlords can apply for a loan in the amount the lesser of: (a) $100,000 or (b) projected reduction in 3-months’ net operating income based on actual reductions in net operating income for the month of April or May 2020.

Pre-applications are open now. Priority will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened. To apply or to learn more, visit NY Loan Fund.

NEW REGULATIONS FOR BARS AND RESTAURANTS (Update 7/17)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new regulations for bars and restaurants in New York City to ensure they are complying with state social distancing and face covering orders. As part of the 'Three Strikes and You're Closed' initiative, any establishment that receives three violations will be closed for business. Egregious violations can result in immediate loss of liquor license or closure before a third strike. Additionally, any establishment facing disciplinary charges by the State Liquor Authority will have its name and location posted publicly and updated on a weekly basis. If the state is alerted to similar noncompliance in other regions of the state, these restrictions will be extended to those areas immediately.
 
The Governor also announced that all restaurants and bars statewide will be subject to new requirements
• They must only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food.
• All service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers.  
• Only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcoholic beverages.

SIDEWALK SALES ORDINANCE: EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY (Update 7/9)

AN ORDINANCE OF THE COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF WHITE PLAINS AUTHORIZING THE USE OF THE CITY’S RIGHT-OF-WAY FOR SIDEWALK SALES

Section 1. The Commissioner of Public Works is hereby authorized to issue sidewalk obstruction permits, which shall be valid until October 9, 2020, subject to the following conditions:
A. Sidewalk sales are permitted Wednesday through Saturday, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and sunset. After sunset all items, including merchandise and display apparatus, shall be removed.
B. No more than 40% of the width of any sidewalk shall be permitted to be occupied by merchandise and/or equipment or otherwise obstructed, and in any event, unobstructed sidewalk passage of not less than 6 feet of width shall be maintained at all times.
C. No motor vehicles of any kind shall be operated or parked on any sidewalk.
D. No food shall be cooked or served on the public sidewalk.
E. Businesses shall retain responsibility to remove, as often as necessary, any litter that accumulates around individual vending and display sites on the sidewalks.
F. Except as described in this section, businesses must comply with the Municipal Code provisions, including insurance requirements, which govern the use of public rights-of-way.

Section 2. Any fee or deposit for the issuance of a sidewalk obstruction permit, as required by an ordinance establishing Rules and Regulations for Sidewalks, Curbs and Driveways and Controlling Street Openings and Street Obstructions, are hereby waived for the above mentioned permit. 

Section 3. This ordinance shall take effect immediately.

Download the Sidewalk Sale Ordinance from The City of White Plains.

What you need to do:
To participate in Sidewalk Sales, follow the guidelines listed above and submit your insurance certificate. Certificates of Liability should have the City of White Plains as additional insured: City of White Plains, 255 Main Street, White Plains, NY 10601
The certificate should be sent to: smignone@whiteplainsny.gov

STEPS FOR TURNING YOUR SERVICE INTO A PRODUCT
Service companies have been among the worst hit by this pandemic. Consumers and businesses have drastically cut their expenditures on services to conserve cash and avoid human contact. However, we're still buying products that meet an immediate need. To capitalize on this flight to purchase products that meet an immediate need, service providers need to "productize their service." Learn more.
Download this handout on 8 Steps to Productize Your Service.

 


 

BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

ENROLL IN OUR COVID-19 ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (BIDCAP)

White Plains BID members qualify for our COVID-19 Assistance Program (BIDCAP). You are highly encouraged to take advantage of this program.

Under BIDCAP, the White Plains BID will:

• Subsidize gift card purchases at participating downtown businesses, which will allow consumers to buy gift cards at half price. A customer can purchase a gift certificate up to $200 at half cost at participating BID businesses and the WPBID will underwrite the balance for the business. The maximum amount in matching funds per business is $1,000. Enrollment into the Subsidized Gift Card Program may be capped in the future due to availability of funds. Please contact us as soon as you meet the cap.​

• Provide up to 100 hours of free parking validation codes through the ParkWhitePlains App to participating BID businesses for their customers. This initiative is being done to make it easier for people to come downtown as emergency order regulations are lifted. Please contact us when you are out of codes.

• Distribute face masks to BID businesses. Priority will be given to essential employers open currently.

To participate in these programs, submit the BIDCAP enrollment form.

STREET CAFE ORDINANCE (Update 8/7)

Effective immediately and valid until November 1, 2020, the Common Council of the City of White Plains authorized use of the City’s right-of-ways for Street Cafés. A Street Café is defined as an outdoor dining area located in the right-of-way and within not more than 3 contiguous street parking spaces intended to provide expanded outdoor seating for wait service by an adjacent food establishment.

The Commissioner of Public Works is authorized to issue a permit for a street cafe, subject to the following conditions, among others listed in the ordinance:
• The Commissioner of Parking must determine that the elimination of parking spaces will not be detrimental to or have a negative impact on the area or existing traffic movement and safety, and that there is sufficient parking to serve the surrounding area.
• The street cafe must be separated from traffic by a suitable temporary and portable barrier* designed for such or similar use provided and maintained by the Applicant, which barrier must be approved by the Commissioner of Public Works.
• Operation of a street cafe shall not adversely impact adjacent or nearby residential, religious, educational or commercial properties, and shall be operated in accordance with all applicable codes and regulations.
• Street cafes shall close operations by 11 :00 p.m.
• Furnishing of a street cafe shall consist solely of readily removable awnings, covers, railings, tables, chairs, planters containing live plants and accessories.
• Where the use of umbrellas is planned, advertising on the umbrellas shall be limited to the name of the food establishment.
• The operator of the street cafe shall keep the street cafe free of all debris, litter, grime and graffiti and shall keep any plants in good health.
• All alcoholic beverages to be served at a street café shall be prepared within the existing food establishment, and alcoholic beverages shall only be served to patrons seated at tables. The operator of the sidewalk cafe shall take whatever steps are necessary to procure the appropriate license from the state liquor authority if the operator intends to serve alcoholic beverages in the street cafe area and shall comply with all other laws and regulations concerning the serving of alcoholic beverages in this state.
• The Applicant shall pay a permit fee equal to $400.00 per parking space requested.
• Permits are valid until November 1, 2020. Restaurants then have until November 4th to clear and clean up the parking spaces they used for their street cafe.

*The BID is looking into getting a BID Member rate from an approved barrier supplier.

Read the full Street Cafe Ordinance.

If interested in obtaining a street café, contact Deputy Commissioner of Public Works Stefania Mignone at smignone@whiteplainsny.gov or 914-422-1222.

SIDEWALK SALES ORDINANCE

AN ORDINANCE OF THE COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF WHITE PLAINS AUTHORIZING THE USE OF THE CITY’S RIGHT-OF-WAY FOR SIDEWALK SALES

Section 1. The Commissioner of Public Works is hereby authorized to issue sidewalk obstruction permits, which shall be valid until October 9, 2020, subject to the following conditions:
A. Sidewalk sales are permitted Wednesday through Saturday, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and sunset. After sunset all items, including merchandise and display apparatus, shall be removed.
B. No more than 40% of the width of any sidewalk shall be permitted to be occupied by merchandise and/or equipment or otherwise obstructed, and in any event, unobstructed sidewalk passage of not less than 6 feet of width shall be maintained at all times.
C. No motor vehicles of any kind shall be operated or parked on any sidewalk.
D. No food shall be cooked or served on the public sidewalk.
E. Businesses shall retain responsibility to remove, as often as necessary, any litter that accumulates around individual vending and display sites on the sidewalks.
F. Except as described in this section, businesses must comply with the Municipal Code provisions, including insurance requirements, which govern the use of public rights-of-way.

Section 2. Any fee or deposit for the issuance of a sidewalk obstruction permit, as required by an ordinance establishing Rules and Regulations for Sidewalks, Curbs and Driveways and Controlling Street Openings and Street Obstructions, are hereby waived for the above mentioned permit. 

Section 3. This ordinance shall take effect immediately.

Download the Sidewalk Sale Ordinance from The City of White Plains.

What you need to do:
To participate in Sidewalk Sales, follow the guidelines listed above and submit your insurance certificate. Certificates of Liability should have the City of White Plains as additional insured: City of White Plains, 255 Main Street, White Plains, NY 10601
The certificate should be sent to: smignone@whiteplainsny.gov

STEPS FOR TURNING YOUR SERVICE INTO A PRODUCT
Service companies have been among the worst hit by this pandemic. Consumers and businesses have drastically cut their expenditures on services to conserve cash and avoid human contact. However, we're still buying products that meet an immediate need. To capitalize on this flight to purchase products that meet an immediate need, service providers need to "productize their service." Learn more.
Download this handout on 8 Steps to Productize Your Service.

SIDEWALK CAFÉ PERMIT

To start the outdoor dining application process, contact Deputy DPW Commissioner. Stefania Mignone at smignone@whiteplainsny.gov or 914-422-1222.

Outdoor Dining is permitted in Phase 2 of the NY Forward Reopening Plan. White Plains is part of the Mid-Hudson Region of New York, which began on Tuesday, June 9. Outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated. See the guidance below.

____________________________________

The City of White Plains has amended the Sidewalk Cafe Ordinance.

HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Notwithstanding any provision of section 7-9-3 of the White Plains Municipal Code to the contrary, the following provisions shall apply to any license to operate a sidewalk cafe during the 2020 calendar year:

(a) A two-hundred fifty dollar ($250.00) license and administrative fee is required upon the issuance or renewal of the license.

(b) A refundable deposit of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) shall be required prior to the issuance of the license in the instance a deposit is not already on file with the Department of Public Works. The deposit shall be retained by the city until expiration of the license, as security for the faithful performance by the licensee of all the terms, agreements, covenants and conditions of the license on the applicant's part to be done or performed. Upon the failure or default by the licensee of any of the terms, agreements, covenants and conditions of the license on its part to be done and performed, said deposit may be used by the city for any expense incurred by the city by reason of such failure or default on the part of the licensee, and without prior notice thereof to the licensee and the said licensee shall have no claim against the city for loss of anticipated profits or for any losses by reason thereof. Any balance left after the expense of such failure or default, as determined and certified by the commissioner, which has been paid and deducted from the amount of the deposit, shall be refunded to the licensee.

(c) The letter of application and site development plan may be prepared by the owner or operator and need not be prepared by a state licensed architect, landscape architect or professional engineer.

The plan must be submitted and show:

• in relation to the property lines, the design and location of all temporary structures such as retractable awnings, planters, landscaping, tables, chairs and other equipment as well as lighting and electrical outlet locations. Please note, under the current ordinance a restaurant can expand their

sidewalk cafe to an adjacent space if the owner and tenant of that space agree to it in writing.

• all details required for the Commissioner of Public Works to determine if proper clearances can be maintained on the sidewalk during the operation of the sidewalk cafe.

Learn more: https://www.cityofwhiteplains.com/460/Code-Enforcement

OPPORTUNITY FOR BID RESTAURANTS

JAZZFEST (Update 8/7)
With the continuance of halting all large events, the White Plains JazzFest will return for its ninth annual celebration as a primarily virtual celebration. Arts Westchester, together with the BID and the City of White Plains, will be featuring a collection of different jazz styles as a series of stimulating evening programs to be held on Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook. We hope to keep traditions alive by bringing people together that share a passion for great music, culture and FOOD. With the help of our Downtown restaurants, we can make this a truly successful opportunity and event for all.

Spanning five days (September 8th – 11th) we invite you to participate by offering food and/or drink take out specials that will elevate a viewer’s experience. Establishments offering take-out specials will be featured throughout all social media platforms, digital ads in local magazines and Jazz Publications as well as dedicated landing page on our website. A detailed event schedule can be found here: www.wpbid.com/jazzfest

To participate, simply email Jennifer Tillerson with your interest and/or offering.
 

KITCHEN INTERNS (Update 8/5)
Need interns in your kitchen? Here is an opportunity for some extra help in the kitchen at no extra cost. The Culinary Tech Center in White Plains reopened on July 7th and their students are ready to start their externship. The externship is 200 hours and the students are expected to complete 25 hours per week.
There is a group that needs placement in 3 weeks and a group leaving in September. See this document for more details, and if interested contact Adriana Tortorello at atortorello@edtraining.com.

OPPORTUNITY FOR FITNESS BUSINESSES (Update 7/24)

If you are interested in holding classes in White Plains Parks, contact Commissioner Wayne Bass to hear the options: wbass@whiteplainsny.gov or (914)-422-1345

Be sure to keep us informed at the BID so we can help promote your activities!

OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCES ONE-ON-ONE MENTORING ADVISORY SERVICES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19 (Update 7/7)

Continuing the work of its Crisis Advisory Task Force, the Westchester County Office of Economic Development has announced one-on-one mentoring advisory service for small business owners who are struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The County is recruiting a team of seasoned professionals who will serve as volunteer mentors to provide free business advice to small businesses affected by the pandemic. The County will match the small business with a volunteer mentor whose skill set matches the small business owner’s needs.

In launching this new service, the County is partnering with RXR Realty’s RXR Volunteer program, which connects local small businesses affected by COVID-19 with volunteers who have expertise in various business disciplines.

Whether a business needs a new website, new signage, help with loans, legal advice etc, there are volunteers standing by. Take advantage of this free service of crisis advisors to help with anything and everything related to reopening and recovery, courtesy of Westchester County and RXR.

Business owners needing crisis advisory services, and business experts willing to volunteer to provide crisis advisory services, can find more information and apply at WestchesterCatalyst.

FREE BULK DISTRIBUTION OF MASKS (Update 7/1)

As businesses and offices continue to re-open in our county, it is important they have the necessary equipment to keep everyone safe. To fulfill that need, the State Senate office is now distributing masks in bulk to local community organizations, nonprofits, religious organizations, and businesses in the 35th Senate District. These masks are not for medical use; they are washable, reusable, and made out of cotton.

If your organization would like to request masks, please click on this form with your preferred pick-up date and time and the number of masks you are requesting. Each box contains 500 but you may request more or less. Masks come packaged in groups of 5. A member of their staff will follow up to coordinate pick up at their district office in Yonkers. They will try to fulfill every order but may have to limit amounts given out.

State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins thanks the Governor’s Office for their assistance in procuring these masks. If there are other issues that their office can assist with, you can call them at (914) 423-4031 or email scousins@nysenate.gov.

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT ELIGIBILITY (Update 6/26)

The U.S. Department of Labor launched an interactive online tool to assist workers in determining paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave eligibility pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The online resource guides workers through a series of questions designed to determine the FFCRA’s applicability to their employer. If certain provisions of the FFCRA do apply, the resource provides workers with additional information and access to frequently asked questions.

The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with up to two weeks of paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework due to a federal, state or local quarantine or stay-at-home order. Employees are also eligible if a healthcare provider has advised them to self-quarantine for reasons related to the coronavirus or are seeking diagnosis for coronavirus symptoms. Paid sick leave may also be available to workers caring for someone subject to a quarantine order or self-quarantining based on a healthcare provider’s advice, or caring for a child whose school, place of care or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to the coronavirus.

Up to 10 additional weeks of expanded family and medical leave is available for workers forced to miss work to care for their children because the pandemic has closed or made unavailable their school, place of care or child care provider.

For further information and resources about COVID-19, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s coronavirus webpage: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus

TWO MONTH'S FREE RESTAURANT SOFTWARE (Update 5/21)

White Plains-based Zoom Ordering, a software owned and developed by KOI Creative Space and Turkois, is offering any business based in White Plains two months of free access to their ordering software, which allows for adding an order-able menu and order management to any existing website. The software is typically a monthly fixed fee of $99 and allows restaurants to retain more margin vs. using high cost third party ordering services such as GrubHub.

If you are interested, click 'Book a Demo' at ZoomOrdering.com - your White Plains address will instantly qualify your business for the free months.

ONLINE COURSES FROM WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE (Update 5/19)

Advance your skills on computer training.
Take advantage of remote summer classes on Unix/Linux Administration Basics, Microsoft Excel 2016, IBM Skills Academy/Data Science Practitioner, Introduction to Microsoft Project, Computer Programming for the Absolute Beginner.

View these programs here: https://www.sunywcc.edu/continuing-ed/lifelonglearning/career-prep-certificate-program/computers-information-technology/

NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION REOPENING GUIDE (Update 4/23)

View the National Restaurant Association's Guide for reopening: https://wpbid.com/sites/default/files/National-Restaurant-Association-COVID19-Reopening-Guidance.pdf

SMALL BUSINESS HELP WITH ECOMMERCE (Update 4/13)

Here is a link to a recording of Westchester County Economic Development's recent eCommerce webinar which covered how to add gift cards/gift certificates to your existing website, and other eCommerce functions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa2P3tySlUA

The Office of Economic Development has hired an eCommerce expert to provide guidance to small businesses in Westchester County who need help with this. Contact them here and put eCommerce in the subject line if you are interested in a free consultation.
 


 

GRANTS AND LOANS

NY FORWARD LOAN FUND (Update 7/21)

New York Forward Loan Fund is an economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Eligibility:
Small businesses and nonprofits with 20 or fewer employees that did not receive a loan from either the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
Small Landlords that lost revenue due to the outbreak/pause that did not receive a loan from either the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

Loan Amount:
Small businesses can apply for a loan in the amount of the lesser of: (a) $100,000 or (b) up to 100% of average monthly revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or first quarter of 2020.
Nonprofits can apply for a loan in the amount of the lesser of: (a) $100,000 or (b) up to 100% of average monthly expenses in any 3-month from 2019 or first quarter of 2020.
Small landlords can apply for a loan in the amount the lesser of: (a) $100,000 or (b) projected reduction in 3-months’ net operating income based on actual reductions in net operating income for the month of April or May 2020.

Pre-applications are open now. Priority will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened. To apply or to learn more, visit NY Loan Fund.

FEDERAL RESERVE'S MAIN STREET LENDING PROGRAM (Update 7/17)

Update: Federal Reserve's Main Street Lending Program (Update 7/17)
The Federal Reserve's Main Street Lending Program offers business loans to help eligible small and medium-sized companies through the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Designed to help credit flow to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, but now need loans to help maintain their operations until they have recovered from, or adapted to, the impacts of the pandemic.
The program offers 5-year loans, with floating rates, and principal and interest payments deferred as indicated in the chart below to assist businesses facing temporary cash flow interruptions.
The loans range in size from $250,000 to $300 million – a wide range that may support a broad set of employers.
More information is available at www.bostonfed.org/mslp.

Overview: Federal Reserve Announces Main Street Lending Program (Update 4/13)

On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced actions to assist employers of all sizes. The Federal Reserve’s purpose is to promote maximum employment, maintain steady prices, and support the stability of the financial system. The Main Street Lending Program is being conducted under authority granted by the CARES Act.

The Main Street Lending Program will provide funding to businesses that were in good financial standing prior to the COVID-19 crisis. All companies employing up to 10,000 workers, or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion, are eligible for the program. A special purpose vehicle organized by the Federal Reserve will purchase 95% of eligible loans from the lenders. The vehicle may purchase up to a total of $600 billion of eligible loans. The Main Street Lending Program will purchase loans until September 30, 2020 unless the program is extended further.

Businesses seeking Main Street loans must promise to make reasonable efforts to maintain payroll and retain their employees. An entity entering into the loan will also have to abide by the compensation limits set by the CARES Act. Those limits provide that, among other things, an officer or employee of the business whose total compensation exceeded $425,000 in 2019 will not be allowed to receive an increase over the 2019 compensation for a two-year period beginning on March 1, 2020 and ending on March 1, 2022, and any severance for said employee will not exceed two times their 2019 compensation. An exception is allowed for compensation determined by a collective bargaining agreement.

The loans will be originated by banks by either issuing new loans (New Loan Facility) or increasing the size of existing loans originated prior to April 8, 2020 (Expanded Loan Facility). Borrowers cannot participate in both the New Loan Facility and the Expanded Loan Facility. Borrowers participating in the Main Street Program also may not participate in the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility.

Entities that have taken advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program may also take advantage of the Main Street Lending Program.

Loan Details
Loans eligible for the Main Street program will have a four-year maturity and a one-year deferral of principal amortization and interest. The minimum size of eligible loans is $1 million. The maximum loan size for the New Loan Facility is the lesser of $25 million or 4 times 2019 EBITDA. The maximum loan size for the Expanded Loan Facility is the lesser of $150 million, 30% of the borrower’s existing undrawn bank debt, or 6 times 2019 EBITDA. The EBITDA limitations include any existing undrawn debt of the borrower. The interest rate on eligible loans is the secured overnight financing rate (approximately 1.04% as of April 9) plus 250-400 basis points.

Learn more: https://www.pkfod.com/insights/federal-reserve-announces-main-street-lending-program/

COMMUNITY CAPITAL NEW YORK EMERGENCY EXPRESS LOAN (Update 7/7)

If your small business needs immediate working capital, CCNY is offering a $10,000 Emergency Express Loan to help you bridge the gap. You can apply online and a member of the lending team will be in touch with you regarding documentation and next steps.

Terms 
• $10,000
• 24-month term
• 2% interest rate
• Deferred payments Minimum Qualifications 
All business owners must have a credit score of 650 or higher.

COUNTY EXECUTIVE LATIMER CALLS ON THE CWIDA TO LAUNCH FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND SMALL NOT-FOR-PROFITS HURT BY COVID-19 (Update 6/26)

Recognizing that local business are still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, Westchester County Executive George Latimer is calling on the County of Westchester Industrial Development Agency (IDA) to launch the IDA Emergency Loan Program. The Program, recently approved by New York State, would provide temporary authority to the IDA to issue grants and loans to businesses and small not-for-profit corporations negatively impacted by COVID-19. The Program allows the IDA to provide financial assistance through the State Disaster and Emergency Loan and Grant Program.

T o qualify for either a grant or loan, an eligible entity must establish that it was a financially viable entity prior to March 7, 2020, the date on which Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 202 declaring a disaster emergency. Eligible entities must also conduct business in the area served by the IDA, have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, and have less than 51 employees.

The IDA will consider the following factors in determining whether to award a grant or loan:
• Creditworthiness prior to March 7, 2020
• Negative impact the shutdown has had on its operations and finances
• Planned use of funds
• Community ties in Westchester County
• Assurance that efforts will be made to retain jobs during the time at which Executive Order 202 of 2020 remains in effect
• Other sources of funding available

The IDA is administering the program with a partner lending organization. Further details on the no fee application process will be forthcoming.

NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RELIEF FUND (Update 4/17)

This new grant opportunity was just announced. Restaurant employees may be eligible for a $500 grant from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) Employee Relief Fund. Staff may be eligible for a $500 one-time grant if they:
• Worked on a part- or full-time basis in the restaurant industry for at least 90 days in the past year (this includes food delivery),
• Have had a primary source of income in the restaurant industry for the last year,
• Have experienced a decrease in wages or loss of job on or after March 10, 2020, which these grant funds will help offset,
• Live in the United States, an overseas U.S. military base, or any U.S. territory, and
​• Are over the age of legal majority in their U.S. state or territory. Grants will be awarded as soon as possible to those individuals who meet the eligibility criteria.
The grants are subject to availability and are limited to one per person.
Apply here.

GUIDE TO THE CARES ACT: FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STIMULUS PACKAGE

The CARES Act is a stimulus package that includes $367 billion of small business relief. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses.

Struggling to get started? The following questions might help point you in the right direction. Do you need:
• A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now? You might want to look into an Emergency Economic Injury Grant.
• Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees? Then the Paycheck Protection Program might be right for you.
• To ease your fears about keeping up with payments on your current or potential SBA loan? The Small Business Debt Relief Program could help.
• Just some quality, free counseling to help you navigate this uncertain economic time? The resource partners might be your best bet.

Download The Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

SBA'S ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN

SBA'S ECOMOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN AND ADVANCE PROGRAM REOPENED (Update 6/16)

To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.

“The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact. With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Since EIDL assistance due to the pandemic first became available to small businesses located in every state and territory, SBA has worked to provide the greatest amount of emergency economic relief possible. To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.” Learn more.

ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS (EIDL) AND EIDL ADVANCES (Update 4/28)
The SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the EIDL-COVID-19 related assistance program, including EIDL Advances, based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Previous EIDL and EIDL Advances Status: If you submitted an application, received correspondence from SBA, and have a loan number that begins with a “3”, you are in the queue and your patience is appreciated. If you would like to further inquire about the process and understand what to expect next you should contact the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance 24/7 Customer Service line at 800-659-2955.

SBA – ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (Update 3/27)
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.

If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.

Also, we encourage you to subscribe to www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow the SBA on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL) APPLICATIONS (Update 3/26)
As EIDL applications continue to surge, the Office of Disaster Assistance has provided an alternate method for applicants to submit and upload forms while the application portal is down for maintenance.

Here’s the link to the new application page with instructions for uploading documents: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html

IMPORTANT: You may have to clear your browser cache if you receive an error accessing this page. The page has links to all of the relevant forms.

Notes to help with the application:
• The Office of Disaster Assistance is advising businesses to fill out the PDF forms and reach out to SBDC if they need assistance with compiling the financial information. They may request assistance with the application at www.nyssbdc.org to make an online request.
• Applicants will also need to submit the most recently filed tax returns for the business and all owners of the business, or a justification if not available. Sole proprietors are required to complete the 5C loan application form. All other businesses should fill out the form 5 business loan application.

Notes on filling out the forms:
• On all forms “Damaged Property” simply refers to your primary location for the operations of the business.
• On Form 5, skip box 15, this only applies to property damage loans.
• There is no specific location to input a requested loan amount. The loan amount is determined by the supporting documents and any other relevant financial information provided that substantiates the economic injury.
• All owners with 20% or greater ownership in the business must be included in the application.

OVERVIEW OF THE ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (Update 3/24)
SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to (a) small businesses or (b) private nonprofit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus.

Details:
• Your business must be experiencing a business loss due to COVID-19
• Entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million
• Maximum unsecured loan amount is $25,000
• Interest rates: 3.75% for small business; 2.75% for private nonprofits
• Term – up to 30 years
• Use of funds: working capital, paying fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred
• Loans are NOT intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion
• There is no obligation to take the loan if offered
• Applicants can have an existing SBA loan or other SBA loan and still qualify for this disaster loan. Loans cannot be consolidated.

Credit Requirements:
• Acceptable credit history
• Proven ability to repay the loan
• Collateral for loans over $25,000

BEFORE YOU BEGIN THE APPLICATION PROCESS, you are strongly encouraged to complete all of the necessary forms. SBA would like to also manage expectations: it is NOT a quick process.

Loan Application Program:
You will need to set up a username & password at the SBA loan application program: https://www.sba.gov/disaster

You will be applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

For help in applying, here’s the SBDC’s handy guide for “Applying for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Using the Disaster Loan Application Portal”

Loan Application Process:
• Completed SBA loan application (SBA form 5)
• (for sole proprietors/home-based businesses, fill out Form 5c)
• IRS Form 4506-T completed and signed by Applicant business, each principal owning 20% or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member and, for any owner who has more than a 50% ownership in an affiliate business. (Affiliates include parent company, subsidiaries, and/or businesses with common ownership or management).
• Completed copies of the most recent Business Federal Income Tax return – all pages
• Schedule of Liabilities (SBA form 2202)
• Personal Financial Statement (SBA form 413D) - each principal owning 20% or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member.

Other information that may be requested:
These additional forms will likely be requested at some point in the application process. If you have an opportunity to upload them onto the online platform in the process we would recommend you do so. This can save you time.
• Completed copy, including all schedules, of the most recent personal Federal income tax returns for each principal owning 20% or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member, and each affiliate (affiliates include parent company, subsidiaries, and/or businesses with common ownership or management).
• If you do not have completed 2019 business tax returns, submit year-end profit and loss statement and balance sheet for 2019.
• Current year-to-date profit and loss statement
• Monthly Sales Figure (SBA form 1368)

To begin the process the business of applying for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, go to www.NYSSBDC.org and put in your information. That will register you as a client and someone should call back to help you with the application.

There is a SBA Small Business Development Center in Rye Brook that you can reach out to for help:

White Plains Outreach Center at Westchester
800 Westchester Avenue
Rye Brook, NY 10573
M-F, 9 AM - 5 PM; By appointment only
Phone: (845) 356-6065

 

SBA'S PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAM LOANS (PPP)

PPP Application Deadline Extended to August 8 (Update August 5)

The Paycheck Protection Program deadline has been extended to August 8, 2020. The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Small businesses can apply through their primary lender or eligible non-bank lenders.

You can use the SBA Lender Match Tool to find eligible Paycheck Protection Program lenders.

PPP RUMORS AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS (Update 7/17)

Here are accurate details you can trust.
There’s still time to apply for a PPP Loan – The government has extended the application deadline from June 30 to August 8, 2020. If you haven’t already applied, you still can. Need help completing the form? We are here to help.
Independent Contractors CAN apply for PPP loans – Sole proprietors and independent contractors are absolutely eligible. You do not have to be on a payroll to apply. The Small Business Administration bases its loan decisions on current need and filed 2019 tax returns.
There’s still time to apply for loan forgiveness – Loan forgiveness applications are due any time before the maturity of the loan, newly EXTENDED to five years, so there’s no need to rush. The borrowers we work with have plenty of time to apply. We are encouraging them to take the time they need to manage their businesses now and get our help assuring proper supporting documentation to accompany the forgiveness application.
There’s no need to return funds before the new 24-week covered period extension – The initial eight-week covered period has been EXTENDED. You now have the option to spend your PPP loan funds over a full six months from the date on which you received your PPP loan.
Do not jeopardize forgiveness by making mistakes in your application – The forgiveness calculation is complicated. It’s no wonder that, as borrowers begin to complete forgiveness spreadsheets and submit forgiveness applications, we are seeing numerous errors. These can result in outright rejection or lengthy delays when revisions and re-submission are required (should this even be permitted). Don’t risk having to repay your loan when the alternative is simple and sensible: our skilled, objective loan forgiveness application review.
The PPP is still evolving. The government issued new guidelines just last month (for details click here) to help today’s businesses, owners and employees.

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM HAS REOPENED (Update 7/9)

The Paycheck Protection Program resumed accepting applications July 6, 2020. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Read more about PPP loan forgiveness.

How To Apply
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program. View a list of lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program by state.

PPP OPPORTUNITIES, CLARIFICATIONS AND COMPLICATIONS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (Update 7/7)

If you haven’t applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan yet, good news. The deadline has been extended to August 8, 2020 and more than $130 billion is still available.

If you have already received your PPP loan and are eager to move forward with the forgiveness process, the SBA’s June 22 ruling offers more good news. Here’s why:
Clarifications include:
• The opportunity to submit loan forgiveness applications before the covered period ends.
• An extension to 24 weeks of the covered period in which funds may be used.
• An extension in loan maturity date to five years.
• A reduction to 60% of loan proceeds that must be used for payroll.
• Important new exemptions and safe harbors to help optimize loan forgiveness amounts.
Complications include:
• Employee salary or wages reduced by more than 25%.
• Deferring claims of forgiven loan amounts as income.
• Documenting good faith efforts to rehire or replace employees.
• State and local government shutdown orders that prevent you from returning to a previous level of business activity.
• Calculating forgivable owner compensation for C-corporation owner-employees, S-corporation owner-employees, Schedule C or F filers, general partners and others.
Federal support is proving vital for organizations struggling to stay afloat and retain staff. Understanding and complying with complex requirements, however, remains a challenge. In this critical arena, knowledge and experience are essential to leveraging the promise of the Paycheck Protection Program. For details on the new ruling, click here.

Contact your accountants for further clarification.

Paycheck Protection Program Lending Operations (Update 4/28)
Due to the unprecedented demand for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans by the nation’s small businesses and to ensure equitable access and system integrity, SBA and Treasury are taking prudent and reasonable steps to protect SBA’s loan systems for the next phase of PPP loan processing.

SBA and Treasury are implementing the following measures:
• Pacing the number of loans processed in the E-Tran system for participating lenders when processing resumes on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30 am EDT;
• Instituting a maximum dollar amount at 10% of PPP funding authority that any lending institution will be able to originate, exclusive of the additional $60 billion preserved for lenders with assets under $50 billion (i.e., $60 billion cap);
• Implementing operational standards to ensure that lenders access PPP funds based on their asset size;
• Ensuring the PPP continues to operate on a first-come, first-serve basis so that every small business has access to PPP loans to sustain their business and retain their employees; and
• Issuing the following Guidance For Lenders who have received a significant amount of loan applications.
• SBA and Treasury value all lenders and their small business customers and will continue to provide updates to the PPP lending community as loan processing resumes this week.

SBA FUNDING TO BE REIGNITED SOON - BE PREPARED  (Update 4/23)

Download the Final Interim Guide for the Payroll Protection Program.

Link to the Payroll Protection Program Application:
https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/PPP%20Borrower%20Application%20Form.pdf (All applicants should check with their bank concerning any other forms or documents that need to accompany it.)

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM UPDATE (Update 4/2)

Please note that while an application form has been made public by the US Treasury Department, SBA advises us that currently there is no mechanism to apply for the program yet. SBA is telling us that it is shooting for a Friday April 3, 2020 target date for when lenders can start processing applications. Therefore, you will not be able to apply for this program until then. We will keep you updated as we learn more. You can find out more information about the PPP on SBA’s website at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp#section-header-4

Please note SBA’s instructions on HOW TO APPLY – IT WILL NOT BE THROUGH AN SBA PORTAL like the Economic Injury Disaster Loan:
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program. START BY TALKING TO YOUR BANKS.

Download a SAMPLE Small Business Administration Paychek Protection Program Application to start gathering what you will need to apply.

Qualified SBA Lenders: https://www.sbalenders.com/top-sba-lenders-new-york/

OVERVIEW OF THE PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAM (Update 3/31)

PPP and stimulus-related changes will be available in the coming days as SBA completes the rule-making process, updates procedures/systems, and then on-boards lenders. Please apply here www.SBA.gov/Disaster in the interim. Businesses may benefit from both, so long as they don’t use them for the same purposes/time periods. No duplication of the use of proceeds, in other words.

The program provides cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers remain employed, as well as help affected small businesses and our economy snap-back quicker after the crisis. PPP has a host of attractive features, such as forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees, and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year. Small businesses and other eligible entities will be able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, in order to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. Loans are available through June 30, 2020. PPP Loans are available from any SBA 7(a) lender.

Some highlights:
• Fund can be used for expenses such as payroll, group health insurance, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities.
• We are awaiting more guidance from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Until then, here’s what we know so far:

One thing you CAN do in advance: Start gathering information about your average monthly payroll, which you’ll need for the application.

Who’s eligible?
All Businesses that have 500 or fewer employees (including sole proprietors and 501 (c) (3) organizations; but not government entities), were in business on or before February 15, 2020, and have suffered economic hardship as a result of the corona-virus pandemic.

What is the interest rate and term?
The legislation calls for a maximum interest rate of 4% for a term of not more than 10 years.

How will loan amounts be determined?
The maximum loan amount is 2.5 times the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs up to a maximum of $10M, whichever is lower. Any employee of the borrower who has an annual salary in excess of $100,000 must be excluded from the calculation. Monthly payroll should be calculated using average monthly payroll for prior year (or first two months of 2020 if business did not exist before 2020). As an example, a customer with an average monthly payroll of $10,000 might be approved for a $25,000 loan. Borrowers should consult their own legal, financial and tax advisers.

How is “payroll costs” defined?
Payroll costs are generally defined by the legislation as the monthly amount the business owner is paying his/her employees. It includes payroll tax, healthcare, retirement, etc.

Will payments be deferred?
Yes, payments will be deferred for a minimum of 6 months, per the legislation.

Can customers have a portion of the loan forgiven?
Yes. Customers may be eligible to have the loan principal forgiven if they use the funds for the approved purposes under the legislation and maintain the average size of their full-time workforce throughout the first 60 days of the loan term. In this case, they will only need to pay back the interest accrued. More information will be provided during the loan application process.

GET HELP COMPLETING THE SBA'S EIDL AND PPP APPLICATIONS (Update 4/17)

At the direction of Westchester County Executive George Latimer, the Office of Economic Development has organized a large group of dedicated volunteers to assist small businesses in preparing their applications for the EIDL program and PPP loans. While we are aware that both of the SBA's programs are not currently accepting applications, it is expected that these programs will be refunded sometime next week.

We want our small businesses to be ready when additional funding comes through. If you need help preparing your EIDL or PPP applications you can sign up with one of our volunteers by going to this website: https://www.volunteernewyork.org/vvc

Volunteers are available 7 days per week from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

 


 

NY FORWARD REOPENING PLAN

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the Mid-Hudson Region, of which Westchester County is a part, has met all 7 metrics required to begin phase one of the state's regional phased reopening plan starting on Tuesday, May 26. Westchester is currently in Phase 4 of the NY Forward reopening plan.

PHASE 4

NYS has released detailed guidance for businesses reopening in Phase Four. Businesses reopening in Phase Four include:
• Higher Education including community and junior colleges, universities, graduate and professional schools, medical schools, and technical schools.
• Low Risk Outdoor Entertainment, including outdoor zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, grounds of historic sites and cultural institutions, outdoor museums, outdoor agritourism, local agricultural demonstrations and exhibitions.
• Low Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment including museums, historical sites, aquariums, and other related institutions or activities.
• Media Production including all activities undertaken in motion picture, music, television, and streaming productions on set, on location, or at any production or recording site.

Please note that gyms, malls and movie theaters are not currently included in Phase Four. Social gatherings will also be allowed up to 50 people in one setting, up from 25 in Phase 3.

The NYS Summary Guidelines, Detailed Guidance and Affirmation, Business Safety Plan Template for Phase Four businesses can be found here: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-four-industries

PHASE 3

NYS has released detailed guidance for businesses reopening in Phase Three. Businesses reopening in Phase Three include:
• Restaurants/Food Services establishments, including food trucks, and other food concessions.
• Personal Care
• Low Risk Sports
• For all other sports and recreational activities described below, this guidance is effective on July 6, 2020 in regions that have reached or surpassed Phase 3 of the State’s reopening.
Gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed, up from the limit of 10.

The NYS Summary Guidelines, Detailed Guidance and Affirmation, Business Safety Plan Template for Phase Three businesses can be found here: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-three-industries

PHASE 2

NYS has released detailed guidance for businesses reopening in Phase Two. Businesses reopening in Phase Two include:
• Offices
• Real Estate
• Essential and Phase II In-Store Retail
• Vehicle Sales, Leases, and Rentals
• Retail Rental, Repair, and Cleaning
• Commercial Building Management
• Hair Salons and Barbershops

The NYS Summary Guidelines, Detailed Guidance and Affirmation, Business Safety Plan Template for Phase Two businesses can be found here: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-two-industries

PHASE 1

NYS has released detailed guidance for businesses reopening in Phase One. Businesses reopening in Phase One include:
• Construction
• Manufacturing
• Wholesale Trade
• Retail Delivery, curbside, and in-store pickup service
• Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting

The NYS Summary Guidelines, Detailed Guidance and Affirmation, Business Safety Plan Template for Phase Two businesses can be found here: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-one-industries

REOPENING GUIDANCE

Each company seeking to reopen must read the detailed Guidance provided by NYS, submit an affirmation, and document a detailed plan for a safe reopening.

Guidance for Phase 1: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-one-industries
Guidance for Phase 2: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-two-industries
Guidance for Phase 3: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-three-industries
Guidance for Phase 4: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-four-industries

All businesses must file an affirmation with New York State indicating that they have reviewed the reopening guidance provided by the state and understand their obligation to operate in accordance with that guidance. https://forms.ny.gov/s3/ny-forward-affirmation

NYS STATEWIDE GUIDANCE

New York State is permitting certain commercial and recreational activities to operate statewide with restrictions. Refer to the guidance as it may apply to you or your business. The guidance pertains to:
• Childcare/Day Camps
• Lake and Ocean Beaches
• Religious and Funeral Services
• Racing Activities
• Dentistry
• Auto Racing
• Professional Sports Training Facilities
• Public Transportation

Each company wishing to reopen must review their industry's summary guidance, read and affirm the detailed guidelines, and print and complete the business safety plan template. Read the NYS Statewide Guidance here: https://forward.ny.gov/statewide-guidelines

 


 

BUSINESS RESTRICTIONS

NEW REGULATIONS FOR BARS AND RESTAURANTS (Update 7/17)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new regulations for bars and restaurants in New York City to ensure they are complying with state social distancing and face covering orders. As part of the 'Three Strikes and You're Closed' initiative, any establishment that receives three violations will be closed for business. Egregious violations can result in immediate loss of liquor license or closure before a third strike. Additionally, any establishment facing disciplinary charges by the State Liquor Authority will have its name and location posted publicly and updated on a weekly basis. If the state is alerted to similar noncompliance in other regions of the state, these restrictions will be extended to those areas immediately.
 
The Governor also announced that all restaurants and bars statewide will be subject to new requirements
• They must only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food.
• All service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers.  
• Only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcoholic beverages.

NYS LIQUOR AUTHORITY GUIDANCE (Update 7/24)

The New York State Liquor Authority has published a new document with important questions and answers to complement the new guidance that was issued requiring the purchase of food along with an alcoholic beverage. View the guidance on the SLA website.

COUNTY’S CONSUMER PROTECTION DEPARTMENT CLARIFIES “COVID-19 FEES” AT LOCAL BUSINESSES (Update 7/9)

The Westchester County Consumer Protection Department has been notified that retail businesses in our County have been adding COVID-19 related fees to bills, so the Department believes it’s important to clarify the County law in this area for both businesses and consumers.
 
Pursuant to the Westchester Consumer Protection Code, businesses can add these fees, but consumers must be clearly notified about the fees at the point at the point of sale while they are involved in making a decision during a consumer transaction, not at the last minute when they get the bill. It is a violation of the consumer protection code: “To sell or offer for sale any consumer goods or services at a greater price than the price displayed or advertised therefor.”

Consumer Protection Department Director Jim Maisano stated: “We request that business should post signage in retail stores that are clearly visible to consumers upon their entrance into store and while shopping or ordering. If a retailer is passing along these fees, consumers have the right to know about those fees and costs before making their purchases. These fees should be set forth on price lists at retail stores and on menus at restaurants.

Consumers need to know that there are no “COVID-19” or “Pandemic” tax or fees that has been placed on goods and services, so these fees are being added by the stores and restaurants on their own. Further, Consumers should never be charged a price above posted prices (outside of sales tax). If there is two tier pricing (Cash vs. Credit), both prices must be clearly posted.

View the full Press Release from Westchester County.

MALL REOPENING GUIDELINES (Update 7/9)

Beginning Friday, July 10, malls in regions that are in Phase Four of reopening can open as long as they have enhanced HVAC filtration systems and measures in place. These consist of:
• MERV-13 or highest compatible with the system - but not less than MERV-11 rating. MERV-13 filters out the coronavirus.
• Ventilation Protocols - Increased outdoor air, reduced air re-circulation, longer system run times, and frequent filter checks.

Read the complete Malls Summary Guidelines from NYS.

MESSAGE FROM GOVERNOR CUOMO REGARDING BARS/RESTAURANTS (Update 6/19)

Businesses that violate health guidelines can face the immediate loss of their liquor license or a shutdown order. I issued an Executive Order strengthening state enforcement during the phased reopening to protect New Yorkers and ensure businesses comply. I will also issue an Executive Order to expand the enforcement areas of the State Liquor Authority by giving bars responsibility for the sidewalk/area in front of their establishments

TEMPORARY CURBSIDE PICKUP BAGS (Update 6/19)

Phase 3 is anticipated to start on Tuesday, June 23 and includes re-opening of personal care retailers and restaurants for inside dining. As a result, the City of White Plains has decided to remove the temporary curbside pick-up bags and return the on street bagged spaces to normal use on June 23. The BID previously has advocated for continued use of the temporary curbside bags. If you have any issue or feedback, please feel free to contact City Hall directly as well.

GOVERNOR CUOMO'S GUIDANCE ON SPORTS AND RECREATION (Update 6/19)

Governor Cuomo today issued new guidance on Sports and Recreation during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This guidance is available here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/SportsAndRecreationMasterGuidance.pdf

EXECUTIVE ORDER REGARDING FACE MASKS (Update 5/29)

Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Authorizing Businesses to Deny Entry to Individuals Not Wearing Masks or Face-coverings.

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/amid-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-issues-executive-order-authorizing-businesses

FACIAL COVERINGS REQUIRED (Update 4/15)

In support off Governor Cuomo's recent Emergency Order, the following order has been issued from the City of White Plains:

  1. All persons must wear facial coverings when visiting or patronizing businesses and when working at or for such businesses, including groceries and pharmacies; food service businesses, including restaurants, cafes and delis that provide carry out, walk up or delivery service; construction sites; public transit vehicles or facilities; vehicles for hire, including taxis; and when visiting any location where social distancing of at least six feet from another person is not possible. All delivery, service and repair workers must wear facial coverings when they are within 10 feet of the entrance to or on the premises of any office, business_or residence. Facial coverings include any covering which snugly 'covers the mouth and nose, whether store bought or homemade, and which is secured with ties or ear loops.
  2. This Emergency Order which requires the wearing of facial coverings does not change or alter any operational or social distancing requirements imposed in any other emergency order.
  3. This Emergency Order shall be effective at 4 PM on April 14, 2020 and shall remain in effect until modified or rescinded by order of the Chief Executive. This Emergency Order may be extended in five (5) day increments.
  4. Failure to obey this Emergency Order is a criminal offense punishable by law in accordance with Section 24(5) of the New York State Executive Law.

Download the PDFs below for signage to post at your business.
Facial Coverings Required - English
Facial Coverings Required - Spanish

WAYS TO OBTAIN REQUIRED FACIAL COVERINGS
The White Plains BID has obtained some face masks for BID businesses. Priority will be given to essential employers still currently open. If you have a need, please contact brittany@wpbid.com

Essential workers can now fill out a needs form on these two sites for free masks: https://www.masksforny.org/#recipients or https://www.sewforny.org/

EXECUTIVE ORDER REGARDING FACE MASKS
Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Authorizing Businesses to Deny Entry to Individuals Not Wearing Masks or Face-coverings.
https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/amid-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-issues-executive-order-authorizing-businesses

NYS DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES EMERGENCY REGULATION (Update 4/9)

A recent Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo, together with recent amendments to the insurance and banking regulations issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services, extend grace periods and give you other rights under certain property/casualty insurance policies if you are an individual or small business and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. These grace periods and rights are currently in effect but are temporary, though they may be extended further. Please check the Department's website for updates.

If you are a small business, only certain types of commercial lines property/casualty insurance policies are covered by these amendments, generally including property, fire, commercial general liability, special multi-peril, medical malpractice, worker' compensation, commercial auto (including livery and other for-hire vehicles), and commercial umbrella insurance. A business qualifies as a "small business" if it is resident in New York State, is independently owned and operated, and employs 100 or fewer individuals. If you are a small business and an affected policyholder, please contact your insurer or broker if you are uncertain whether your policy is covered.

A copy of the Executive Order and regulations can be found on the Department's website or through this direct PDF.

SLA GUIDANCE ON RESTRICTIONS (Update 3/18)

View the New York State Liquor Authority's guidance on restrictions for to-go & delivery sales in response to COVID-19 outbreak: https://sla.ny.gov/Restrictions-in-Response-to-COVID-19

 


 

SOURCES FOR INFORMATION

Watch County Executive George Latimer's Daily Coronavirus Briefing: Every Monday through Friday at 2 pm, George Latimer's Daliy Coronavirus Briefing will be streamed LIVE on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/westchestergov

NY Forward Reopening Plan
• The Governor launched the state's regional monitoring dashboard, which continues to be updated here: https://forward.ny.gov/regional-monitoring-dashboard

• New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool: https://www.businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward

• NYS guidelines, best practices and safety plans for each phase of reopening so you may be prepared.
   • Phase 1: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-one-industries
   • Phase 2: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-two-industries
   • Phase 3: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-three-industries
   • Phase 4: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-four-industries
 

The CARES Act
• Apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
• Apply for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan:
https://wpbid.com/sites/default/files/PPP_Lender_Application_Form.pdf
• SBA's Loan Forgiveness Application: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/3245-0407-SBA-Form-3508-PPP-Forgiveness-Application.pdf
• Download The Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act:
https://wpbid.com/sites/default/files/The-Small-Business-Owners-Guide-to-the-CARES-Act.pdf
• A Guide to Expanded Unemployment Insurance Benefits in the CARES Act:
https://westchestercatalyst.com/images/stories/pdfs/Cares_Act_GUIDE_Expanded_UI.pdf
 

Facebook's COVID-19 Business Resources provides tips on what you can do to stay connected and supported, tools such as Groups and Live that can help you share updates with customers and more: https://www.facebook.com/business/resource
 

Resources for Small Businesses from The City of White Plains: https://www.cityofwhiteplains.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1050
 

COVID-19 Disaster Funding Guidebook provided by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:
https://westchestercatalyst.com/images/stories/pdfs/COVID-19_Disaster_Funding_Guidebook.pdf
 

New Unemployment Insurance FAQ: https://westchestercatalyst.com/images/stories/pdfs/DOL_UnemploymentInsuranceFAQ_032720.pdf
 

Business news and resources from Westchester County: https://westchestercatalyst.com/coronavirus-updates/
 

Learn if your business is essential: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026
 

Coronavirus updates from NYS: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
 

Sign up for email updates from NYS: https://now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-updates
 

Ask NYS questions about COVID-19: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/form/ask-us-a-question
 

Find more information about the new NYS COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave law: https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-new-yorkers

MANAGING THROUGH TODAY'S CHALLENGES

Below you’ll find links to information and insights that have just become available. We encourage you to connect directly with our specialists for answers to any questions you may have.

IRS Issues Guidance on Refunds for NOL and AMT Carrybacks

Economic Impact Payments for Non-Filers

SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness – Best Practice (blog)

 


 

PROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS

KEEP US UPDATED ON YOUR BUSINESS STATUS

We are keeping a running list of businesses on our website who are remaining open for takeout, delivery and otherwise within compliance of the emergency orders. wpbid.com/openforbusiness

This page will be shared with neighborhood associations, building managers, and other White Plains residents. Please keep us updated on your business status as it changes.

ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES

INSPIRIA ADVERTISING IN CITY CENTER
Inspiria Ourdoor Advertising is offering a discounted rate exclusively for BID Members. City Center is still very active due to ShopRite and Target being essential businesses. Any BID Member can take a slide in the City Center Digital Screens for only $200 from now through June 30th.

Contact Ronnie Ram at rram@inspiriaoutdoor.com or (914) 205-2040.

SUPPORTLOCAL FROM LOHUD
LOHUD recently launched SupportLocal, sparking communities to take action through the purchase of gift cards, online shopping, delivery service options, and ordering take-out or delivery from restaurants. In the coming days, they will be adding extra features.

Visit the site and click the "Add a Local Business" link at the top and list your business for free: https://supportlocal.usatoday.com

RESTAURANT FEATURE FROM WESTFAIR COMMUNICATIONS
"In your kitchen with your favorite restaurateur." This new Westfair feature is meant to bring our readers together with their favorite restaurants – at home, in their kitchens. We’ve invited all local restaurants to participate and share their recipes, messages, take-out services and whatever else they wished to share.

Sign up to be featured: https://wbp.formstack.com/forms/restaurant

IDEAS FOR CONTINUING BUSINESS DURING SOCIAL DISTANCING

Restaurants and Bars
• Offer "front door" drop off deliveries for seniors and immunocompromised customers
• Picnic baskets: Provide lunch, plates, utensils, drinks for families to eat outside
• Family sized meals and bundle packages. For example: Salad, entrees and drinks for a family of four
• Offer a kids menu options
• Sunday brunch delivery including sangria or mimosas
• "Social Distance Happy Hour" with cocktails for delivery, specials such as "quarantinis"
• DIY Kits that include ingredients for family meals. Examples: Make your own pizza, bake your own bread, grill your own steaks

Retail Stores
• Sell products online or on social media. For example: Show new products over Facebook livestream and allow customers to reserve them
• Offer curbside pickup and shipping/delivery for items purchased online
• Sidewalk Sales to sell products, gift cards, etc.

Gym and Fitness Studios
• Stream classes online through Facebook, Youtube, or another streaming service
• Send members daily workout videos
• Suggest at-home exercise routines to members

Services
• Virtual appointments and meetings over webcam or video calls

We are promoting BID businesses on social media. Please tag us in your posts so we can share them.
Facebook - WhitePlainsBID
Instagram - @whiteplains.bid
Twitter - @WhitePlainsBID

 


 

BID OFFICE UPDATE

Our physical office is closed, but we are still available to you. Feel free to contact us by email or at 914-328-5166. If we don't answer, please leave a message and we will call back as soon as we can.

Alison Malecot - amalecot@wpbid.com, Ext. 4
Brittany Brandwein - brittany@wpbid.com, Ext. 6
Danielle Foti - dfoti@wpbid.com, Ext. 2
Kevin Nunn - knunn@wpbid.com, Ext. 5
Jennifer Tillerson - events@wpbid.com, Ext. 3

We are here to help,
The White Plains BID