NY State Business-Individual Updates

We will continue to update this page with links as we receive them.

(We are in this together and we are sharing information from multiple sources, many from the RBA.)

Guidelines for all phases of Reopening can be found on https://forward.ny.gov


July 23,2020

Coping with Financial Stress – Video offered by Affinity Federal Credit Union.

July 6, 2020

Rockland Enters “Modified 4”

1- Governor Cuomo Announces New York City Enters Phase III of Reopening Without Indoor Dining and Subject to State Guidance Today

  • Announces Mid-Hudson Region to Enter Phase IV of Reopening Tomorrow; Long Island on Track to Enter Phase IV of Reopening Wednesday
  • Announces DOH Finalizing Guidance on Possible School Reopening in September
  • Announces Casinos and Movie Theaters to Remain Closed as Government Reviews the Facts
  • Cancels New York State Fair This Summer Out of An Abundance of Caution
  • Announces New York State to Make Industry Recommendations on Air Conditioning Systems
  • Calls on President Trump to Acknowledge That COVID-19 Exists and is a Problem
  • 95 Percent of Yesterday’s COVID-19 Tests were Positive
  • 9 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday
  • Confirms 518 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State – Bringing Statewide Total to 397,649; New Cases in 45 Counties

2- Phase 4 Guidelines

  • The Mid-Hudson region will enter Phase 4 on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020.
  • Phase 4 includes guidelines for:
  1. higher education institutions
  2. low-risk outdoor arts & entertainment, which includes outdoor zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, grounds of historic sites and cultural institutions, outdoor museums, outdoor agri-tourism, local agricultural demonstrations and exhibitions; and other similar institutions/activities

iii.      low-risk indoor arts & entertainment, which includes indoor museums, historical sites, aquariums, and other related institutions

  1. media production
  2. professional sports competitions with no fans
  • Regions in phase 4 will be permitted to hold social gatherings of up to 50 people.
  • If you are an employer included in phase 4, you must take the following steps:
  1. Go to the New York Forward website.
  2. Click on “Phase Three Guidance.”

iii.      Select your industry by scrolling down on the left side navigation bar.

  1. Click on and read “View Summary Guidelines” for your industry.
  2. Click on and read “Read and Affirm the Detailed Guidelines” for your industry, and then click the link at the bottom of the page (orhere) to complete the form and hit submit.
  3. Click on “Print Business Safety Plan Template” for your industry, and then print and fill out the template, and keep on file at your place of business.

vii.      Implement the Safety Plan.

Please continue to monitor the New York Forward website for more details on phase 4 and updates on the reopening of the state.



For help determining whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, use the reopen lookup tool.

June 22, 2020

Mid-Hudson Region Enters Phase 3 Tomorrow

Governor Cuomo has announced that the Mid-Hudson region has been cleared to enter phase 3 of reopening tomorrow – Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020.

You can find guidelines for businesses reopening in phase 3 here.

Also note that gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed in Phase 3.


June 10, 2020


Even though Rockland and the Mid-Hudson Region just entered Phase 2 and won’t be eligible to move into Phase 3 for two weeks, we wanted you to see the guidelines for that level so you can prepare for it. These guidelines were announced last night.

The Governor’s Office has released the guidelines and business safety templates for industries allowed to reopen in phase three. To see complete phase three guidelines and an updated list of industries, click here.

Eligible businesses must complete a safety plan to be kept on premise; a suggested template can be found here.

The following industry-specific guidelines have been issued for businesses eligible for phase three reopening:

Additionally, the Federal Reserve Board announced revisions to the Main Street Lending Program which compliments the SBA’s PPP program. This will make it possible for more small and midsize businesses to receive financial support when the program opens, including lowering the minimum loan from $500,000 to $250,000. Learn more here.

June 4, 2020

State Liquor Authority (SLA) Guidance on Outdoor Expansion of Licensed Premises

As you likely saw/heard yesterday – once the Mid-Hudson enters phase 2 of reopening, food establishments will be able to provide outdoor service. The guidelines for that can be found here.

In light of this, the State Liquor Authority (SLA) has issued guidance on a streamlined process for the expansion of licensed premises for service of alcoholic beverages. That guidance can be found here.

May 29, 2020

Guidance for phase 2 of reopening has been posted.

You can access it via the New York Forward website.

May 22, 2020

Today Governor Cuomo announced the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF), a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.

NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income.

More information can be found here: https://esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans-info


May 18, 2020

Re-Opening Weekend Update

UPDATE:  ESD’s Guidance on Essential Businesses  was updated

on May 16 th , at 1:02pm . You can find the updated guidance  here .

Some of the updates include:

  1. Acupuncture, prescribed by a medical professional is now considered essential (section 1).
  2. Pet grooming but only to the extent necessary to ensure animal health is now considered essential (section 5).
  3. Landscaping, gardening, and horticulture are now considered essential without the previous caveats (section 5).
  4. Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities are permitted so long as social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting measures are in place, including: tennis, non-motorized boat use and rentals, and golf and driving ranges (except miniature golf), with food and retail services subject to the restrictions that are currently in effect within the region (section 13).
  5. Drive-in movie theaters are considered essential, so long as social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting measures are in place (section 13)
  6. Please review the updated guidance in detail on ESD’s website.

New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool

  1. ESD has just published an online tool to help businesses determine whether or not they are eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which they must comply.
  2. To use the tool, start by selecting your county, and then your industry / NAICS Code.
  3. If a business is unsure of its NAICS code, the US Census website has a keyword search available on this page.
  4. This online tool will be updated regularly as guidance is updated.

Planning Ahead for Reopening :

  1. While the Mid-Hudson region has NOT yet met the criteria to begin phase 1 of reopening (see here), all businesses, including essential businesses, must develop a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan. A template for a plan may be found here. Please note: This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
  2. Once the Mid-Hudson region does meet the criteria to begin reopening, the region will begin by reopening some industries as part of Phase 1, specifically: Construction; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; Retail – (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); Manufacturing; and Wholesale Trade.
  1. Reopening Guidance for these industries is now available on the  New York Forward website
  1. Both essential and non-essential businesses in these industries must review the reopening guidance and review and submit an affirmation document. These documents and guidance onsubmission of the affirmation document can all be found on this page .



May 15, 2020

Planning Ahead for Reopening

  • While the Mid-Hudson region has NOT yet met the criteria to begin phase 1 of reopening (see here), all businesses, including essential businesses, must develop a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan. A template for a plan may be found here. Please note: This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
  • Once the Mid-Hudson region does meet the criteria to begin reopening, the region will begin by reopening some industries as part of Phase 1, specifically: Construction; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; Retail – (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); Manufacturing; and Wholesale Trade.

Reopening Guidance for these industries is now available on the

New York Forward website

Both essential and non-essential businesses in these industries must review the reopening guidance and review and submit an affirmation document. These documents and guidance on submission of the affirmation document can all be found on this page.


May 11, 2020

A Re-opening Template
The following was prepared by Business Council of NYS staff based on input from national and regional business organizations, individual member companies and individual safety and health experts, and in consideration of federal and state standards and guidance.  It is intended to provide a template that can be used by businesses as they prepare for a facility reopening, but have not yet developed their own COVID-19 protocol.  As written, we believe it could apply to any business setting that does not have a significant volume of customer/public interaction. The RBA has been a proud member of the Business Council for over a quarter-century.
·         Identify Executive/Administrative team responsible for adopting and implementing the reopening plan.
·         Prepare to maintain a copy of the reopening/operation plan, and documentation of key activities.
·         Employer shall continuously monitor federal and state regulations and guidelines, and state and local COVID-19 case data, in order to inform and update operation and safety practices.
·         Confirm that the location has or has access to an adequate supply of soap, disinfectants, hand sanitizer, paper towels and tissues; face coverings and related equipment, with a target of 30 days’ supply.
  • Employees who are not feeling well are expected to remain away from the workplace and contact their supervisor or HR department.
  • Employees who consider themselves vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus (or share a household with someone considered vulnerable) due to age or underlying health condition should notify their supervisor prior to returning to the office. Human resources will engage in a constructive dialogue to determine what accommodation, if any, is available.
  • By reporting to the office, employees will have attested that they do not present with recognized symptoms of COVID-19.  These symptoms include a fever in excess of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath.   Employees exhibiting such symptoms will be required to leave the work site.  Also, an assessment and record of any incidental or close contact with other employees will be completed.
  • Employers should create a single (or limited number) of entry points to the facility and maintain a daily attendance log of all workers and guests.  Staggered shifts may be necessary to reduce density at entrances and exits and maintain social distancing.
  • The employer may require written self-certification by employees of the absence of COVID-19 symptoms, or temperature screening.
  • Employees are required to adhere to any public health-related quarantine or isolation requirement.
  • Employees should notify their supervisor if they have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to a person who is known to have tested positive.  Supervisors should relay such notices to human resources.  The employer will also provide notice to co-workers and public health officials as required.  In addition, the employer will conduct cleaning, sanitizing, etc. as required by public health guidance.  In providing notice to coworkers of possible contact with employee having laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19, the employer shall maintain confidentiality and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • If an employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately. Surfaces in their workplace should be cleaned and disinfected.
  • When possible, employers should notify employees planning non-work travel outside of the country or a domestic COVID-19 hotspot that isolation may be required prior to return to work.
  • Supervisor/manager training on the employer’s COVID-19 response plan will be provided in advance of any facility reopening.
  • Employees will receive training and written guidance on COVID-19 related workplace practices, in addition to any other training required by law, and provided a workplace contact for addressing questions and concerns, and will receive periodic communications by email, recorded message or workplace postings to reinforce these provisions and be encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback.
  • Workplace will be cleaned and sanitized prior to any facility reopening and on a routine basis by employees or external cleaning service provider, using appropriate PPEs.
  • Employer shall assure daily cleaning and sanitizing of all shared surfaces throughout the facility.  This includes common spaces like bathrooms, conference rooms, lunchrooms, and high-contact surfaces (e.g., doorknobs and handrails), etc.  Records documenting cleaning activity should be maintained.
  • Employees will be provided with cleaners and sanitizers and associated PPE and are expected to maintain their work area periodically and whenever necessary due to use or conditions.   All wastes including cleaning material should be disposed of in waste receptacles lined with disposable bags.
  • Signage will remind employees of personal hygiene including hand washing, cough/sneeze etiquette, social distancing, use of PPEs, cleaning standards, etc.
  • Workstations will be arranged to provide social distancing of 6 feet or physical partitions wherever possible.
  • Face coverings will be provided, and employees are expected to wear them as directed by their supervisor consistent with state and federal guidelines.  Face coverings are required in circumstances where social distancing cannot be consistently maintained.  Employees who may have underlying health conditions that prohibit the use of face coverings should contact their supervisor or Human Resources.  Employer will monitor personal masks brought in by employees to ensure they can be used safely and not trigger additional OSHA requirements. The employer may require use of company-provided face protection, as appropriate. No masks rated N95 or higher to may be used without Supervisor approval.
  • Employees may be required to work from home for an extended period, including after an allowable “reopening”.  Work at home practices may be lifted incrementally.  Supervisors should identify those best positioned to continue to work from home.
  • Signs will be posted, and markers laid on the floor to help employees maintain the suggested six-foot distancing between employees.  Employees are expected to comply with those signs/markers.
  • Access to break rooms will be limited to no more than a designated number of employees at any one time, targeting 50% or less of the rated occupancy.
  • Employees should not congregate at other indoors or outdoors workplace locations, including entrances, exists, timeclocks, elevators, etc..  To extent necessary, employer should adopt a staggered work schedule to avoid crowds at entrances and exits.
  • Employer will provide disposable plates, cups, etc. to discourage re-use of personal items.
  • Microwaves, water cooler, coffee machines, refrigerators, vending machines and similar equipment must have surfaces cleaned and disinfected daily. Gatherings in conference/meeting rooms should be generally avoided, must be approved in advance by a supervisor, will be limited to no more than 50% of room of rated occupancy, and social distancing will be required.  Signs will be posted indicating maximum occupancy.
  • Employees should keep to their assigned work cell location, when possible, and avoid using other employees space or equipment.  Employees who commonly travel between departments or facilities as an essential function of their job should receive COVID-19 training specific to that role.
  • Employees should use phone/email/virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings, even when at office, to the maximum extent possible.
  • No non-essential work travel will be approved.  The essential nature of travel will be determined using company guidelines.
  • Employees that utilize company vehicles are not to share their vehicles with other employees.  If such sharing is unavoidable, employees shall wear face coverings while in the vehicle.  Employees using a shared work vehicle should clean and sanitize services after use.
  • Material handling equipment such as fork trucks and pallet jacks will be disinfected daily.
  • Management shall audit new and established business practices for the purpose of continuous improvement.
  • In general, non-employees will be prohibited from entering the workplace unless authorized by the site owner, manager or designated individual.
  • Any non-employees episodically entering the workplace will be required to wear company-approved face coverings suitable for the type of work being conducted and work environment.  This is consistent with Executive Order 202.16 which said, “For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public.”
  • Non-employees with longer term presence in the workplace, including contractors and temporary workers, will be treated as employees under the company’s COVID-19 plan, unless otherwise addressed in a written agreement with those workers’ employer.
  • Shipping receiving is limited to designated locations. Exterior signage is required to direct deliveries, visitors, etc.
  • A written record of visitors to the site shall be maintained.  Site-specific policies relative to COVID-19 should be communicated to visitors in advance or upon arrival.The employer shall adopt procedures for shipping/receiving materials.  For material received on site that has been in transit and/or storage at the plant for more than 48 hours from last human contact, no specific precautions are required.
·         NYS Executive Orders & Guidance – to be determined
·         CDC cleaning and disinfection guidance.-  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html 
·         EPA list of effective disinfectants – https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
·         OSHA best practices – https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf


May 5, 2020

Re-opening The Economy

“Yesterday, a lot was written about re-opening the economy. Unfortunately, not everything I read online or saw on TV was accurate. Too much of it was interpretive.

The information presented below was sent to me last night by Empire State Development. It was a distribution for members of the Regional Council, but with a note that we could share it. We are sending it to you this morning so that you have the information you need without editorialized nuance or bias.” — Al Samuels

Updates: Monday, May 4, 2020

  1. State Will Monitor Four Core Factors to Determine if a Region Can Re-Open: Number of New Infections, Health Care Capacity, Diagnostic Testing Capacity and Contact Tracing Capacity
  2. State Will Monitor Four Core Factors to Determine if a Region Can Re-Open: Number of New Infections, Health Care Capacity, Diagnostic Testing Capacity and Contact Tracing Capacity
  3. Outlines New Safety Precautions Each Business Must Put in Place Upon Re-Opening
  4. More Than One Million New Yorkers Have Been Tested for COVID-19 to Date
  5. New York’s National Guard Has Made Nearly 300,000 Testing Kits to Collect Samples
  6. Announces Special Enrollment through the Marketplace will Remain Open Through June 15, 2020
  7. Confirms 2,538 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State – Bringing Statewide Total to 318,953; New Cases in 45 Counties


  1. Governor Cuomo, Governor Murphy, Governor Lamont, Governor Wolf, Governor Carney, Governor Raimondo & Governor Baker Announce Joint Multi-State Agreement to Develop Regional Supply Chain for PPE and Medical Equipment
  2. States Will Aggregate Demand for PPE, Medical Equipment and Testing on a Regional Basis
  3. Regional Supply Chains Will Help Realize Better Pricing, Delivery and Reliability of PPE and Medical Equipment for States


  1. Governor Cuomo Announces Results of Completed Antibody Testing Study of 15,000 People Showing 12.3 Percent of Population Has COVID-19 Antibodies
  2. State Will Distribute Over 7 Million More Cloth Masks to Vulnerable New Yorkers and Frontline Workers Across the State
  3. State is Distributing $25 Million to Food Banks Across the State Through the Nourish New York Initiative
  4. Confirms 4,663 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State – Bringing Statewide Total to 312,977; New Cases in 44 Counties


  1. SBA Updates
  2. The SBA has updated the FAQ for the Paycheck Protection Program, which can be found here.
  3. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applicationson a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)). More info can be found here.


  1. ESD’s Guidance on Essential Businesses was updated on April 28th, at 5:45pm. You can find the updated guidance here.

Key COVID-19 Resources

Stay home. Stop the spread. Save lives.


April 24, 2020


Last night, the house approved the $484 billion plan, The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Act, to inject additional funding into SBA disaster loan programs — both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

The details:

Paycheck Protection Program

  • Additional $310 billion in funding (on top of $349 billion in CARES Act)$30 billion carve-out for Insured Depository Institutions and Credit Unions with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion in assets
  • $30 billion carve-out for Community Financial Institutions, Small Insured Depository Institutions and Credit Unions with less than $10 billion in asset
  • Additional $50 billion for SBA Disaster Loan Program

For information on the PPP:


Emergency Injury Disaster Loan Program

  • Additional $10 billion in funding (on top of $10 billion in CARES Act)
  • Expands eligibility to agricultural enterprises with less than 500 employee

For information on Disaster Assistance:

Public Health Funding

  • $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic (on top of $100 billion in CARES Act)
  • $25 billion for testing, including $11 billion for states, localities, territories, tribes and employers

The CARES Act was the third of the ‘COVID-19’ relief bills passed by the Federal Government. The bill passed last night (The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Act) should be considered ‘covid-3.5’. This bill was not, nor was it intended to be, of a similar scale and scope as CARES. There is already a fourth bill being discussed by Congress to provide additional relief and support to our economy.

The timeline for the next bill is hard to pin down, but it appears likely we will not see significant movement until the middle of May. There are several items that still need to be addressed in future relief bills including infrastructure, increased testing, targeted economic development funding, payroll tax relief, and direct assistance to states and local governments.

Our gratitude to Ryan Silva, Executive Director, NYSEDC, for the above summary.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to The RBA if you have any questions.


April 13, 2020

Upstate New York’s SBA director:  Best advice for small biz seeking PPP loans  (and for lenders approving them)
By Chelsea Diana   Reporter, Albany Business Review


April 10, 2020


Purpose: This guidance was created to provide owners/operators of retail grocery stores and customers with precautions to help protect New York’s vulnerable populations during this public health emergency and to clarify social distancing in retail grocery store settings. For the purpose of this guidance, retail grocery stores shall include but are not limited to supermarkets, bodegas, bakeries, specialty markets, superstores offering groceries, and warehouse clubs.

Please read the release COVID19 Grocery Guidance 4.10.2020.pdf


April 9, 2020


  • Announces “New York Loves” Effort to Coordinate All Foundations, Philanthropies, Not-for-Profits, Charities and Other Entities that Want to Help or Donate to the State
  • Asks New Yorkers Who Have Recovered from Virus to Donate Blood
  • Governor Will Issue Executive Order to Bring in Additional Funeral Directors to Help with High Number of Deaths
  • Confirms 10,621 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State – Bringing Statewide Total to 159,937; New Cases in 55 Counties

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced five new testing facilities downstate, primarily in minority communities. A drive-through mobile testing facility will open at the Sears Parking Lot at 2307 Beverly Road in Brooklyn tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., and a drive-through mobile testing facility opened at the Club House at Aqueduct Race Track Parking Lot, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd, in Queens on Monday April 6th. In addition, the state is opening three walk-in facilities at health care centers in the South Bronx; Jamaica, Queens; and in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The walk-in facilities will open next week and will be by appointment only.

The state has opened nine testing facilities to date. The sites will prioritize tests for individuals that are among the highest risk population. Residents who would like to be tested at these facilities must make an appointment by calling 888-364-3065.

The Governor also announced the “New York Loves” effort to coordinate all foundations, philanthropies, not-for-profits, charities and other entities that want to help or donate to the state during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. New York Secretary of State Rosanna Rosado and State Director of Nonprofits Fran Barrett will coordinate this effort and any resources that are collected, and will work with local governments that need additional help.

The Governor is also asking all New Yorkers who have recovered from COVID-19 to contact the state and donate blood. Individuals who have recovered from the virus may have convalescent plasma in their blood, which has antibodies against the virus and could help with the development of a treatment for the virus. More information about how to donate is available here.

Governor Cuomo will also issue an Executive Order to bring additional funeral directors to New York to help with the high number of deaths due to COVID-19.

“Our efforts to reduce the spread of the virus through social distancing are working better than we expected because people are complying with them,” Governor Cuomo said. “Rapid testing and increasing our testing capacity is going to be the bridge to the new economy and restarting, but we also need to make sure we are learning the lessons of what we’re going through now because we haven’t finished going through it yet. We are going to increase testing and open new testing sites to collect more data in African-American and Latino communities so we can better understand why this virus kills and has higher fatality rates in certain communities, and what we can do to address it.”

Finally, the Governor confirmed 10,621 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 159,937 confirmed cases in New York State.


April 9, 2020

We wanted to share with you links to key material on the final New York State Budget for FY2021 as prepared by the Business Council of NYS. As always, please feel free to contact Al Samuels of teh Rockland Business Association at 845-735-3573 with any questions.


April 6, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program Updates

Helpful information has been rolled out regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Please see below:


April 3, 2020

COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by

Small and Midsize Businesses FAQs | IRS



April 3, 2020

From Rockland County Economic Development

Please see the link below and  feel free to share with your business networks regarding paid leave tax credits.



April 3, 2020

Empire State Development has rolled out clear and helpful guidance and resources related to the new Paycheck Protection Program and other SBA Loan programs. You can find it all here. It includes:

Click this link for the final version of the

Paycheck Protection Program’s regulations.


April 3, 2020

US Treasury & SBA Release
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Information for Lenders & Borrowers

(Info Courtesy of Rockland Business Association)

US Treasury & SBA Release Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Information for Lenders & Borrowers

We are sharing the below information directly from the US Treasury’s website.

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

  • For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
  • The application for borrowers can be found HERE

We are sharing the below information directly from the SBA’s website.

This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.

Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.

Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible at the store and location level if the store employs less than 500 workers. This means each store location could be eligible.

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.

Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.

The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of .5%.

If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download a sample form to see the information that will be requested from you.


April 2, 2020


Of all the financial assistance initiatives being made available, the Paycheck Protection Program is probably the one that has generated the most interest and the most questions.

The RBA has endeavored to ensure that the information we have provided has been the most up to date and accurate. But, I have had gnawing reservations about the clarity of some of the material we are receiving

The Small Business Roundtable apparently also had concerns and crafted a letter that I believe is important to bring to your attention.Please be assured we will continue to monitor all available information so you are prepared, as best as possible, to apply for loan assistance. — Al Samuels, RBA President/CEO

Small Business Roundtable Sends Letter to the Treasury Department and SBA on PPP Guidance

Dear Secretary Mnuchin, Administrator Carranza:

On behalf of the organizations representing this nation’s 30 million small businesses we write to you today with an urgent request for clarity around the Paycheck Protection Program, as detailed by your guidance released yesterday. We ask for consideration or clarification of the following points (listed in no particular order):

These Funds May Not Prove Enough

While the amount provided to the Small Business Administration is limited by statute, we are immediately concerned that this may not be enough funding to support American small businesses during this time. We have seen in some states an extension well into June of conditions that effectively prevent business operation. In the guidance, the Department alludes to this challenge, indeed, suggesting a new limitation on the program (more below).

Read the full letter here


March 30, 2020

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

From the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

To help small business owners and entrepreneurs better understand the new programs that will soon be available to them, the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship created a comprehensive guide to many of the small business provisions in the CARES Act that was just passed by Congress. Click the link below for the guide.



March 29, 2020

Budget Decisions Will Tell If New York State is Serious About Economic Recovery

Click to read the EMPIRE REPORT


March 28, 2020
Small Business Guide & Checklist for Emergency Loans – Prepared by the US Chamber of Commerce

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. The US Chamber has provided a resource guide for eligibility and requirements.

View the guide here


March 27, 2020 – NY State Unemployment Insurance

Here’s the new NY State site for unemployment insurance.  It now covers employees, freelancers and gig workers.  It also covers employees who were working for a short time, and might not be usually covered by unemployment insurance.



(courtesy of the RBA)

As the EIDL applications continue to surge, our 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, and I’ve also attached them to this message.

Some notes to help folks with the application:

The Rockland Business Association 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.nysdbc.org to make an online request.

In addition to the attached forms, they 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.



We are working to keep New York State’s business community up-to-date regarding Executive Order 202.6. To slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, businesses were required to reduce their onsite workforce by 100% as of 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Only organizations and entities that are deemed essential by the Executive Order are exempt from these restrictions.

The Executive Order also directed ESD to establish guidance outlining which businesses are considered essential. ESD’s guidance has been updated as of March 27, 2020. Please note that ESD’s guidance is subject to change as the State adapts its response to combating COVID-19.

Be advised that any previous designation or determination by ESD that a firm is an essential business that is inconsistent with the revised guidance is no longer valid.

UPDATED GUIDANCE – as of 3/27/20

For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, “Essential Business,” means businesses operating in or as:

  1. Essential services including
  • Bicycle repair
  • Laundromats and other clothing/fabric cleaning services
  • Automotive sales conducted remotely or electronically, with in-person vehicle return and delivery by appointment only
  1. Construction
  • All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
  • Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
  • For purposes of this section construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.

Continue to visit esd.ny.gov, where you will find additional COVID-19-related business resources, such as Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application assistance, FAQs and other information.


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