Covid Updates & Resources

The Kings Highway BID continues to monitor the evolving situation with Covid-19 and wants to ensure businesses, workplace and property management, residents, workers, and visitors are informed about the ways in which this is affecting our community and the central business district.

Please use the tabs below for current information.

NEW! “MEND NYC” Program for Hospitality Industry Mediation

The mayor announced the launch of MEND NYC, a program to provide mediation to New Yorkers and hospitality businesses across the city who are in disputes over quality-of-life issues. This program is a free, innovative alternative that can bring lasting solutions to long-standing local matters that have been laid bare by the COVID-19 crisis, which has caused an increase in complaints to 311. Read the press release here, and please consider tapping into this new resource whenever it can help resolve any local disputes your hospitality businesses might be facing

*UPDATED* Map of 311 Business Reopening Complaints

The Mayor’s Office of Operations has created a map of 311 complaints about lack of social distancing and non-compliance with the phased reopening, which you can view here. Recently Added: DOT Open Restaurant 311 complaints. This will be updated on Tuesdays every week with the prior week’s 311 data. If you are a BID, you can select the “Complaints in BIDs” layer and zoom into your district to see specific complaints and their content. If you are a CBDO, you can choose the “All Complaints” or “Total Complaints by CD (Community District)” layer to see specific complaints and their content as well as where complaints are concentrated. This map is intended for internal use only. Please do not share it with your membership.

New York Forward Reopening Plan

New York City is now in a limited Phase 4 of reopening. Gyms, malls, and spaces for indoor dining must remain closed. Restaurants and bars are still limited to only outdoor seating. Businesses must follow industry guidelines outlined by the Governor’s Office, including social distancing requirements, communicating to employees, cleanliness and hygiene, and health screening.  

Before businesses can reopen, they must:   

  • Develop a safety plan and post it at their worksite.
  • Read New York State (NYS) guidelines and affirm compliance. The State requires that you confirm that you have reviewed and understand the State-issued industry guidelines and that you will implement them. Businesses can fill out the affirmation form here.

Access the latest social media toolkit with Phase 4-specific content here

Open Streets: Restaurants

The application for Open Streets: Restaurants is available for CBOs, BIDs, and groups of restaurants of 3 or more to temporarily close streets to traffic on weekends to create outdoor dining space. Learn more and apply here. 

Safe Open Restaurants

SBS, DOT, and the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife are working together to make Open Restaurants safe for everyone.  The City released a “What to Expect When You’re Inspected” checklist to help prepare businesses participating in Open Restaurant for possible inspections. Download and review the checklist here. 

Restaurant owners must comply with requirements for roadway seating, or face revocation of permission to participate in the program.  Tables must be placed 6 feet apart or have physical barriers between them. Find the most up-to-date information and application at nyc.gov/openrestaurants.  

Lastly, the Open Restaurants brochure in multiple languages can be found here.

“Three Strikes” for Violations & New Alcohol Restrictions

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new regulations for bars and restaurants operating in New York City to ensure they comply 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.   

The Governor also announced that all restaurants and bars statewide would be subject to new requirements that they must discontinue walk-up alcohol service. Establishments may only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food. Learn more at www.sla.ny.gov

COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program

Governor Cuomo has announced an emergency rental assistance program that will help keep low-income families throughout New York in their homes. The program was designed to reach those individuals and families with the greatest need will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications opened on July 16th. Click here for more information and to access the application.

Reopening Resources for All Businesses

SBS has launched several resources to help businesses prepare to reopen and begin operating safely and legally. Visit nyc.gov/covid19biz for current guidance and resources.

  • Business Reopening Hotline – Business owners and employers can now call 888-SBS-4NYC (727-4692) to ask questions or find assistance
  • Plain Language Industry Guides – Find clear guidelines about when and how to reopen your business, based on sector and industry. ·       Webinars – Sign up for webinars to help you navigate each phase of reopening. These webinars will review State guidelines and best practices for reopening across sectors, assistance available for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, etc.
  • Webinars – Sign up for webinars to help you navigate each phase of reopening. These webinars will review State guidelines and best practices for reopening across sectors, assistance available for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, etc.
  • Free Face Coverings – Find free non-medical PPE for you and your employees from a distribution partner near you. You should contact partner organizations in advance, as most organizations have varying hours for pick-up.
  • Find supplies – Check out the PPE + Reopening Supplies Marketplace
  • NYC Business Solutions Centers are available to provide consultations for small businesses in need of financing assistance and support connecting to lenders and financing products. You can contact an account manager here.
Resources Specifically for Restaurants

New York Forward Loan Fund

The NYFLF is aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.  The 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. Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund are now open.  Priority will be given to industries and regions that have begun reopening. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen. Learn more here.

DEP Water Conservation and Reuse Grant Program Round 2

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is rolling out Round 2 of their Water Conservation and Reuse Grant Pilot Program following a successful pilot of the program over the past year. The grant program aims to conserve the City’s drinking water supply, with a corresponding reduction of flows into the sewer system, by reimbursing commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential property owners who invest in water efficiency projects, including low-flow fixtures, as well as innovative water-saving technologies such as on-site water reuse systems.

Applications are open until September 15, 2020, and you can learn more and apply here.