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Tuesday, October 31, 2012

As the city begins its recovery from this week's storm, the show goes on in Times Square and on Broadway. Times Square businesses and theaters are back open and readying for a busy two months before the new year. Special thanks to all the NYPD, FDNY and Times Square Alliance employees who were in the area and offering support services during the storm in spite of the transportation challenges.

Of course, we are here to assist if there are any needs in the community. To alert the Times Square Alliance to any new issues or concerns, please contact our Dispatcher at 212-452-5218.

In addition, here are a few helpful resources to guide you in the recovery effort and keep you up-to-date on the latest information regarding restoration of City Services.

Also, New York City, including the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), is coordinating a set of services to assist small businesses in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Below is an outline of available programs and relevant contact information.

New York City Business Assistance Programs

For small- to mid-sized businesses that have experienced business interruption

Emergency loans will be available, patterned after similar programs deployed in past emergencies. Loans will be capped at $10,000. Please click this link to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Emergency Loan.

For mid- to large-sized businesses that need to undertake rebuilding

An emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) will be available allowing businesses to avoid payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. IDA will also waive all fees and, while following State law, look to streamline its normal procedure. This program is expected to offer economic benefits to reconstruction projects costing $500,000 or more. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at smitsugi@nycedc.com for further information on this program.

For any business that is temporarily displaced from its space

Short-term "swing" office space at Brooklyn Army Terminal available free of charge for the next 30 days. NYCEDC has approximately 40,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Terminal that can be used for this purpose. Please click this link to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Solutions.

For any business in need of other emergency assistance

The SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit's Large Scale Response Team will be deployed after the storm to help all impacted small businesses. This team is currently on-call for any storm-related business inquiries and is closely coordinating with the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Please click this link to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Solutions.

Federal Aid Programs for Disaster Recovery

Click here for information from the Federal Small Business Administration on disaster recovery assistance.

Updated 10/30/12

NYC Begins Recovery From Sandy

With the worst of Sandy behind us, the City is working to help New Yorkers recover from the storm. Shelters will remain open until residents can safely return to their homes.


Con Edison has reported widespread power outages across the five boroughs.

Customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at www.conEd.com. They also can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).


All MTA subway and commuter railroad service is suspended. Partial MTA bus service resumed at 5 PM, Tuesday, fare-free. MTA will attempt to run as close to a full weekday schedule as possible on Wednesday. Rides will continue to be fare-free. For more information, visit the MTA website.

Alternate Side Parking regulations (street cleaning) will be suspended citywide on Wednesday, 10/31. Payment at parking meters is also suspended throughout the city on Wednesday, 10/31.


Alert issued 10/29/12 08:00 PM.

Due to severe storm conditions, all NYC residents are being instructed to go indoors immediately and to remain indoors until further notice. Go indoors, and stay away from windows. Only use 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Governor Cuomo Directs MTA to Move Forward with System-wide Shutdown

The MTA has been directed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to begin an orderly shutdown and suspension of all subway, bus and commuter railroad service at 7 p.m. Sunday. The decision was made to protect customers, employees and equipment from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy as the strong storm continues its march up the east coast. Read More >>

New York City Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

The City is closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to bring dangerous storm surge and high winds to New York City Monday.

Street cleaning and parking meter rules are suspended for Monday, October 29.

All NYC public schools will be closed to students Monday, October 29.


Friday, October 26, 2012

The National Weather Service is reporting that the Tri-State area will feel the impacts of a dangerous coastal storm beginning late this weekend and lasting through early next week. There is the potential for heavy rainfall and high winds. The Times Square Alliance will continue to monitor the path of the storm. Our Public Safety Dispatch will be operational 24 hours a day beginning Sunday, October 28, 2012 through the end of the weather emergency. Should you require assistance from the Alliance during the storm you can contact our Dispatcher at 212-452-5218.

The New York City Buildings Department issued the following advisory:


Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri today ordered all exterior work at construction sites in New York City suspended as of 5 p.m. Saturday, October 27, 2012 until further notice due to the severe weather conditions expected from Hurricane Sandy. All previously issued construction permits for exterior work, including crane permits, scaffold and sidewalk shed permits and after-hours variances are suspended during this time period. This excludes work related to safeguarding construction sites or damage repair work related to the storm. The National Weather Service is forecasting impacts from the hurricane will reach the New York City area by early Sunday evening, bringing heavy rainfall, high winds and potential flooding of coastal areas, rivers and streams.

In preparation for the stormy weather, the Department of Buildings is reminding all contractors and property owners to secure their construction sites and buildings. The Department will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites throughout the City to ensure all equipment is secured and enforce the no-work order. If sites are not safely secured in preparation for the storm, inspectors will take immediate enforcement action with the issuance of violations and other necessary actions.

Winds during the storm may reach higher speeds than forecast depending on the area of New York City. All contractors and property owners must take steps to secure their construction sites and buildings, which includes cranes, suspended and supported scaffolding, hoists and any other building appurtenances that may come loose under heavy winds and rain. Structures that have been subject to deferred maintenance or in delicate condition could be at greater risk. The Department strongly suggests consulting a professional to advise how to safely secure construction sites and buildings.

To secure construction sites, builders, contractors and developers should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:

  • Tie down and secure material and loose debris at construction sites.
  • Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.
  • Store loose tools, oil cans and extra fuses in a tool box.
  • Secure netting, scaffolding and sidewalk sheds.
  • Suspend crane operations and secure crane equipment when wind speeds reach 30 mph or greater.
  • Suspend hoist operations and secure exterior hoists when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater, unless manufacturer specifications state otherwise.
  • Brace and secure construction fences.
  • Call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency on a construction site.

Buildings Bulletin 2010-019 outlines the requirements for vertical netting, debris netting and material fall protection devices at buildings and construction sites.

To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:

  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.
  • Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
  • Close up and secure patio umbrellas.
  • Secure retractable awnings.
  • Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.

New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to report non-compliant conditions or 911 to report emergencies at construction sites or buildings. New Yorkers who suspect a building or property has been structurally compromised should call 911.

Under §28-301.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, property owners are legally obligated to maintain their properties in a safe condition. Department weather advisories are strictly a courtesy to remind property owners to prepare their properties for inclement weather and cannot be read to suggest that the Department, rather than the property owner, is responsible for maintaining his or her property.