This page was updated on June 25 2020 at 09:04 AM
This Webster Chamber of Commerce website page is specifically focused on resources and links for Chamber members who are dealing with the economic impact of the regulations and restrictions put in place that affect businesses and their employees. Check back regularly as the page will be updated as factual information becomes available. We realize that many businesses and employees are now struggling and will continue to struggle with the financial impact of the current situation in New York State, the United States, and the world. We also recognize that this impact may result in businesses failing and closing their doors for good.
New York State Re-opening in Phases
Phase 4 Guidance has been updated and will open Friday June 26th. This Phase includes: Higher Education, Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment, Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment, and Media Production.
Gyms, Casinos, and Malls have been excluded from Phase 4.
Additionally, the Governor is now allowing 33% capacity for religious services and up to 50 people at social gatherings, effective Friday June 26th.
Phase 3 has opened - See the State issued guidance for Phase 3 businesses.
Businesses in each region will re-open in phases. Re-opening refers to non-essential businesses and business activities. Essential businesses and business activities that are open will remain open. There are guidelines and protocols that apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open and essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open. Use the link below to look-up your business to see determine what Phase you are in.
NYS issued Industry Guidelines and Protocols (Summary and Detailed) in each Phase that are specific to that industry/business type. There is also an online form for a business to affirm that they have read the guidelines and have or will be implementing them before re-opening.
Each re-opening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out a template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan. 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.
Business owners should refer to the State’s industry-specific guidelines for more information on how to safely operate - click here for that information.
SBA Disaster Loans, Assistance and Payroll Protection Program:
SBA and Treasury have released new policy updates to the PPP program. In particular, this rule updates and clarifies the forgiveness procedures from the PPP Flexibility Act and the new forgiveness forms. Please encourage borrower to READ this rule and the new forgiveness applications, and if you have questions, feel free to direct them to our office. Highlights from the Rule:
- Businesses may apply for forgiveness at any time during the Covered Period once they meet the requirement for forgiveness. They do not have to wait until the end of the 24 weeks.
- Clarifies the amount that Owners may pay themselves under the new Rule.
- FTE safe harbor for businesses that can document in good faith an inability to return to the same level of business activity as the borrower was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements established or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 related to the maintenance of standards for sanitation, social distancing, or any other worker or customer safety requirement related to COVID-19 (COVID Requirements or Guidance).
PPP Interim Final Rule - Revisions to Loan Forgiveness Interim Final Rule and SBA Loan Review Procedures Interim Final Rule: https://www.sba.gov/document/policy-guidance-ppp-interim-final-rule-revisions-loan-forgiveness-interim-final-rule-sba-loan-review-procedures
See www.sba.gov/ppp in the Loan Forgiveness section of the webpage.
SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process at 1-800-659-2955.
Face Covering now in effect:
Governor Cuomo has ordered all citizens wear face coverings in public areas where social distancing is not possible. Businesses have the requirement that “face coverings” be worn by employees, and may opt to require face coverings for anyone entering the premises.
Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Application
New York State has set up an application for New Yorkers to apply for pandemic unemployment assistance without having to first apply for unemployment insurance. This affects people who not be traditionally eligible for NYS unemployment (sole proprietors, particularly). Here's a link with more detail
NYS Unemployment and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance:
The best way to file a new claim for unemployment insurance is through the improved online filing system. File a new claim here. This is only for new claims. If you already have a claim, please go to labor.ny.gov/signin to make weekly certifications or to view your claim information. New Yorkers who have already filed partial claims under the old UI system and were told to call the call center to finish their application should NOT - instead, the DOL call center will call these New Yorkers directly.
Click on this link to SEE IF YOU QUALIFY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT - most people do, even self employed and sole practitioners
Click on this link for RELIEF FOR WORKERS AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS ACT information
Click on this link for the RELIEF FOR WORKERS FLOWCHART Information
Health Insurance Special enrollment and help with subsidies and low cost insurance:
New Yorkers without health insurance can apply through NY State of Health through July 15, 2020; you must apply within 60 days of losing coverage.
Individuals who enroll in through NY State of Health are eligible for subsidies, cost share reductions, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, and Medicaid - all based on income levels. Reduced income due to COVID closures and layoffs could make you or your family eligible.
Call the Webster Chamber of Commerce to see if you might be eligible and for enrollment on the NY State of Health.
Monroe County Emergency Small Business Assistance for Business Affected by COVID-19:
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, Monroe County has established a loan program to support small businesses (defined as businesses having 50 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees) impacted by the pandemic. Those seeking financial assistance can click here to get the information and the online application.
Monroe County Job Portal:
Monroe County announced a job portal that will connect essential businesses who are looking to expand their workforce during the COVID-19 crisis and individuals across the community who are healthy and looking for work. While the local economic impact of COVID-19 is already visible, this is an effort to direct both employers looking to hire workers and residents seeking work to a single platform. Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use the RochesterWorks system, which may be accessed at www.monroecounty.gov/works.
Guidance on Family Leave Laws - NYS and Federal from the Small Business Council:
The Webster Chamber is a member of the NYS Small Business Council. They are providing guidance (as of 03/19/2020) on the Federal and NYS Leave Laws, including employer mandates, eligibility and strategy for employees. Click here to review that updated information.
New York State Shared Work Program:
Consider the Shared Work program as you manage your work force. Shared Work lets you keep trained staff and avoid layoffs. Employees can receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. Full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are eligible. See the website for details.
The Chamber is in contact with local, regional, State and Federal legislators directly or through our partnerships with the Business Council of New York State, Unshackle Upstate, and the Chamber Alliance of New York State. We are working hard to advocate for our members and assist them in getting our legislators to understand the impact this crisis is having on all businesses.