Urgent! We need your help to measure the economic impact of COVID-19 on our area.
These times of uncertainty are when a sense of community is needed the most. We need to stand by each other and encourage one another not to give into the grip of fear and anxiety in the face of the unknown.
Together, with preparedness and positivity, we face the future.
We want to help our Members keep the public updated on hours and ways they can continue to patronize local businesses.
NY on Pause
Governor Cuomo extended the 'PAUSE' directive to April 15 which includes nonessential businesses to work from home for an additional two weeks. Read the Governor's press release here.
To all of our members, if you are wondering if your business is an essential service, check this link: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026
Some helpful articles on the CARES Act and SBA loans:
- Paycheck Protection Program Looks like a Very Sweet Deal for Employers (Forbes)
- SBA director to small biz: If you think you're going to need a disaster loan, start the application now (Albany Business Review)
- The Albany Business Review lowered its paywall for select COVID-19 coverage. Click here to read the free articles.
UPDATE FROM SBA — 3/26/20
Good morning stakeholders, we have another big announcement that is immediately in effect regarding SBA Express Bridge Loans. Details below, but there are 2 major points to be aware of. Only existing SBA Express Lenders may utilize this, and the borrowers must have an existing bank relationship with that lender. Below the notes is a list of SBA Express Lenders in the 34 counties served by our office for your awareness.
In response to the COVID-19 National Emergency, the SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has been modified and the term extended. The EBL Pilot Program is designed to supplement the Agency’s direct disaster loan capabilities and authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities affected by Presidentially-declared disasters while those small businesses apply for and await long-term financing (including through SBA’s direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, if eligible).
The general eligibility requirements for the EBL are as follows:
- For small businesses with an existing banking relationship with SBA Express lenders as of the date of the disaster.
- Effective March 25, 2020, (announcement by publication of a notice in the Federal Register will follow), SBA expanded program eligibility to include small businesses nationwide adversely impacted under the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Emergency Declaration issued by President Trump on March 13, 2020 (“COVID-19 Emergency Declaration”).
- EBL loans can only be made by SBA Express Lenders that had a valid Supplemental Loan Guaranty Agreement SBA Express Program in effect as of the date of the applicable disaster;
- EBL loans can only be made up to six months after the date of an applicable Presidential Disaster Declaration, however for the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, EBL loans can be approved through March 13, 2021.
- The Lender must have an existing banking relationship with the EBL applicant as of the date of the applicable disaster in order to help mitigate the risks associated with the streamlined underwriting process under the EBL Pilot Program.
- The small business must have been operational when the declared disaster commenced and must meet all other 7(a) loan eligibility requirements (credit elsewhere, size, etc.); This is currently being offered by any SBA approved banks including Glens Falls National, NBT, TD Bank, and more. We encourage you to reach out to your personal commercial lender ASAP.
SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza has approved a statewide disaster declaration for NY. Eligible small businesses may now apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/
Below is the link to the recording of an information session on Economic Disaster Loan Programs.
Topic: SBA Economic Disaster Loan Programs Zoom Information Session
If you need assistance with the application, go to www.nysbdc.org to schedule an appointment with a business advisor.
Convention & Visitors Bureau Update:
Business & Employee Resources
Click here to check out the Constant Contact Small Business Survival Support Kit for great tips to get through these challenging times.
- Click here for the Warren County COVID-19 Response Page.
- Warren County Treasurer Michael Swan has put into place a new tax relief plan to help during the COVID outbreak. Click here to read the statement.
- Warren County's Employment & Training Office staff members are ready to assist those who need help with employment issues in this difficult time, with Director Liza Ochsendorf and staff working remotely at this point.
- If you need help, call 518-743-0925. Online resources and assistance can be found at thejoblink.org/.
From the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance:
- Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order expanding the Tax Commissioner’s authority to abate late filing and payment penalties. This will allow the Commissioner to abate interest on quarterly and annual sales and use tax filings and remittances with a due date of March 20, 2020, for those who were unable to timely file and pay as result of the COVID-19 virus. To view the guidance issued, visit N-20-1, Announcement Regarding the Abatement of Penalties and Interest for Sales and Use Tax due to the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19. For additional information, visit Tax Department response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order (202.12) authorizing the Tax Commissioner to provide relief from certain tax filing and payment deadlines. In response, the Tax Commissioner has extended the April 15, 2020 due date to July 15, 2020, for New York State personal income tax and corporation tax returns originally due on April 15, 2020. In addition, the Commissioner is allowing taxpayers to defer all related tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. Click here to read the announcement from the Department of Taxation and Finance.
From the NYS Department of Labor:
- Click here for a link for Unemployment Assistance.
- The Shared Work Program allows staff to be partially laid off during a downturn in business. Once a company is approved for Shared Work, staff can collect a partial UI benefit while working reduced hours. Staff do not have a "work search requirement" as they are still employed. Click here for more information.
- Click here for Paid Sick Leave Guidance for mandatory or precautionary quarantine.
From the NYS Department of Health and NYS Agriculture and Markets:
To help prevent spread of COVID-19, procedures and supplies should be in place to encourage proper hand and respiratory hygiene as well as routine cleaning and disinfection of high-risk locations. This guidance is provided for any food manufacturing facilities, food distribution centers or food retail stores so that owners, operators and other individuals can incorporate these procedures into their facility protocols.
Cleaning Protocols from the NYS Department of Health
- Office spaces/meeting rooms -- Clean and disinfect door handles, hard-surface chair arms, and telephones daily.
- Lunch/break rooms -- Clean and disinfect lunch tables and chairs regularly (at least once daily).
- Restrooms -- Establish a regular cleaning schedule for surfaces such as floor mats, doors, countertops, partitions, wall-mounted hardware, toilets. Disinfect at least daily.
- Counters, displays, vending machines, POS/self-checkout -- Clean and disinfect surfaces multiple times per day.
- Cleaning product options:
- Premixed bleach solution at 10% (3.2 ounces of any over-the-counter chlorine bleach per quart of water) -- Wiped on with a clean cloth and allowed to quickly air dry. At the end of business applied as a light mist and let to air dry.
The Business Council of New York State:
- Click here to access The Business Council Webinar with guidelines for employers.
- Click here to access The Business Council Webinar with information on PFL/ADA/FMLA/Workers’ Compensation/NYS Short-term disability – managing an employee’s leave status while out sick.
Restaurant Employee Relief Fund:
The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Through this Fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have demonstrated being financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. These grants will be made on a first-come first-served basis, subject to availability of funds. 100% of the Fund’s proceeds will go to providing grants to restaurant workers. This Fund is operated by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, whose mission is to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workers. APPLY FOR A $500 GRANT STARTING THURSDAY, APRIL 2.
Special note for Property Owners and Commercial Tenants:
With April 1st this Wednesday, we're hearing from both property owners and commercial tenants with questions about rent payments. Thanks to a recommendation from D'Orazio Peterson LLP, we'd like to share the following link with you to the NYS Homes and Community Renewal website where you can see everything Governor Cuomo has announced relative to this issue. Here are a couple of important highlights:
Q: I’m a landlord and my tenants are unable to pay rent due to the virus, so I am unable to make my mortgage payments. What should I do?
Governor Cuomo has ordered a 90-day mortgage relief period for borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders are suspended for renters, but rental payments have not been waived. There is no moratorium on a tenant’s obligation to pay rent or an owner’s obligation to provide essential services.
Q: Do I still have to pay rent during this outbreak?
While there is a temporary moratorium on evictions, there is no stay or moratorium on a tenant’s obligation to pay rent or an owner’s obligation to provide essential services. The Executive order states in part: There shall be no enforcement of either an eviction of any tenant residential or commercial, or a foreclosure of any residential or commercial property for a period of ninety days.
The situation with J1-Visa student workers continues to evolve. We will provide updates as soon as we have them.
- InterExchange has paused all placements and job approvals for J1 Visas until further notice. They continue to monitor the situation. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-621-1202. Click here to access InterExchange COVID-19 Updates page.
- From CIEE: "Given the uncertainty about what lies ahead for this summer, we believe it is best to focus our attention and resources supporting those applicants who have already committed to CIEE’s Work & Travel USA program. CIEE will not be permitting any new applications for Summer 2020, effective immediately as of March 23, 2020. Any applications in our system as of March 23, 2020 will be allowed to move forward. Additionally, we will continue to make placements until May 1, 2020. All prospective applicants must plan to arrive in the U.S. on May 11, 2020 or later. Click here to access the CIEE COVID-19 Updates page.
Watch the video above for a Q&A with U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, Sen. Betty Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec.