Along with everyone else, we are following everchanging updates regarding COVID-19. Our focus is to continue to monitor and collect information about how the virus and concerns about it are affecting Times Square specifically, to synthesize and share relevant information from government and industry groups, and to keep calm and carry on within an uncertain and rapidly changing context.

Stay connected and alerted about emergency situations by following the NYC Office of Emergency Management.

New Yorkers are encouraged to text “Covid” to 692-692 for updates.

If you work at or own a business in Times Square and want to receive updates about business-oriented grants, resources, webinars, and more, make sure to sign up for our regular Stakeholder Updates.

Table of Contents:

BEST PRACTICES  HOW YOU CAN HELP 

Financial Relief Resources:

The Actors Fund is curates and updates a list of emergency financial assistance grants and other resources for artists and those in the arts industry.

Facebook has launched a $100M grant program to help small businesses cover workforce and operational costs.

The New York Community Trust's COVID-19 fund gives grants and loans to NYC-based nonprofits that are trying to meet the new and urgent needs that are hitting the city.


Business Resources:

U.S. Small Business Association (SBA)

Funds for the SBA Disaster Loan Assistance Program were temporarily replenished at the end of April. SBA has recently updated their FAQ on the Paycheck Protection Program.

The PPP Loan Forgiveness Application is now available for businesses who already received funds from PPP. Please review and try to fill it out to ensure you have all the information ready to be submitted to your lender. The application also includes clarifications on eligible costs. Since the PPP loans are serviced by individual lenders, the Loan Forgiveness Application process may vary from lender to lender.

The applications reflect changes to the PPP made by the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act of 2020, P.L. 116-142, which became law June 5. There are two application forms. The applications and instructions are available in the links below:

Paycheck Protection Program — The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

If you have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program please call 800-827-5722 or email answerdesk@sba.gov.  

Express Bridge Loans — The Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for an EIDL. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

Business Safety Plans for Re-Opening
As NYC moves towards a phased re-opening, prepare to develop a written Safety Plan outlining how your business will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan. This plan does not need to be submitted to a NYS 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.

Hospitality Industry-Specific Resources:

As we move towards further phases of reopening, NYC & Company are asking tourism and hospitality businesses and their guests to take Stay Well NYC Pledge, backed by public health protocols, to help the five boroughs reopen responsibly.

The NY Department of Health has released interim guidance for outdoor and takeout/delivery food services:

The Open Restaurants program is designed to assist existing food establishments that have been authorized by the Governor of the State of New York to re-open under Phase Two and want to use outdoor areas on a temporary basis. This application is only for food establishments seeking permission to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk and/or roadway.

New York City has released siting criteria for Open Restaurants, including program dates, hours of operation, health requirements, required protective barriers and paths, and more.

Reopening: Fox Rothschild LLP has a list of tips on how to determine when to reopen your restaurant.

Alcohol: The State Liquor Authority and the Governor have approved several temporary measures allowing businesses to deliver alcohol and return alcohol.

Donating food: The Food Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is working to create a space to share resources on available food sources for families, collect information on possible food donations from organizations that will be suspending operations, and share general resources.

Alternative Marketing Opportunities:

  • Are you a Times Square business or organization presenting virtual events? Let us know and we'll add your event to the calendar on our website.
  • NYC&Co has rounded up online resources from museums, galleries, comedy clubs, theaters, and other venues so that you can experience the best of NYC virtually. Submit your venue's virtual experience too.
  • Submit your business's e-commerce site to NYC&Co's Shop in NYC to enable patrons to continue shopping in the greatest shopping capital.
  • The online publication The Skint is collecting open job listings. It doesn’t matter if the opportunity is remote, in-person, high tech, low tech, tech support, desk work, delivery, call center, or anything in between.
  • Google is giving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) worldwide $340 million in ad credits, which can be used towards future ad spending, until the end of 2020 across the Google Ads platforms.

 

  • #SaveNYCEats: SaveNYCEats.com helps restaurants generate revenue to support their teams during this crisis. You can submit your restaurant to be listed at no cost and advertise your unique experiences, gift cards, chef kits, unique take-out offerings, and merchandise.

Pro-Bono Services

  • Are you a NYC pet owner that has been impacted by COVID-19 and need assistance? Call the NYC Office of Emergency Management Animal Planning Taskforce at (877) 204-8821. The pet hotline is open 7 days per week 8am to 8pm ET.
  • Are you an essential worker with young children? Staffed by Department of Education employees and community-based organization partners, the Regional Enrichment Centers provide children of essential workers with three daily hot meals, remote learning time with their teachers, activities like art, music, and physical education, and social and emotional support.
  • Do you have a business needing help with a commercial lease issue in New York City? You may be eligible for free legal services from SBS's Commercial Lease Assistance Program.
  • The City Bar Justice Center COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic is an opportunity for New York City’s entrepreneurs and small businesses who have suffered adversely from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis to receive free, limited-scope legal advice.

Updates on Closings and New Regulations

Guidelines for Reopening

The Governor outlined additional guidelines for when regions can re-open. The state will monitor four core factors to determine if a region can re-open:

  • New Infections: Based on guidelines from the CDC, regions must have at least 14 days of decline in total net hospitalizations and deaths on a 3-day rolling average. In order to monitor the potential spread of infection in a region, a region must have fewer than two new COVID patients admitted per 100,000 residents per day.
  • Health Care Capacity: Every region must have the health care capacity to handle a potential surge in cases. Regions must have at least 30 percent total hospital and ICU beds available. This is coupled with the new requirement that hospitals have at least 90 days of personal protective equipment stockpiled.
  • Diagnostic Testing Capacity: Each region must have the capacity to conduct 30 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents per month. 
  • Contact Tracing Capacity: Regions must have a baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, and additional tracers based on the projected number of cases in the region.

NYC Reopening
New York City is currently in Phase II of reopening. Office-based jobs, real estate services, and retail can reopen if each business has a detailed plan of how to meet state health standards.

Outdoor dining at restaurants is also allowed, with many restaurants expanding outdoor seating temporarily through the citywide, multiphase Open Restaurants program.

Travel Advisory
On June 24, Governor Cuomo and the New Jersey and Connecticut governors announced a joint incoming travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average must quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact within the identified state. This Executive Order is now in effect.

All Broadway Performances Suspended

Broadway shows in New York City have suspended all performances through the end of 2020. Those holding tickets for performances through January 3, 2021 will receive an e-mail from their point of purchase with detailed information regarding refund and exchange options. Any customers holding tickets through January 3, 2021 that have not received an e-mail by July 13th are advised to contact their point of purchase for assistance after this date. See statements from Telecharge, Ticketmaster, TodayTix, and TDF below.

Those who have bought tickets from a box office in cash should visit that theater's box office as soon as possible for a refund, as many will be closing.

Telecharge: Your tickets will be automatically refunded back to your credit card. If you bought tickets at a box office with a credit card, your tickets will also be automatically refunded back to your card.

Ticketmaster: Ticketmaster will automatically generate a full refund to the original point of purchase.

TodayTix: If you have a ticket to any cancelled show in NYC, you will be given a TodayTix voucher worth 110% of your original order. The vouchers will be worth 110% of your original order total and will be valid for one year.

TDF: TDF will automatically issue refunds for any canceled performance to the original form of payment. All three TKTS by TDF booths will remain closed until Broadway performances resume.


Resources for Immigrants/Recursos para immigrantes

The following documents contain advice, resources and support options for immigrants living in New York City. / Los siguientes documentos contienen consejos, recursos y opciones de apoyo para inmigrantes que viven en la ciudad de Nueva York.


Best Practices 

From the NYC Department of Health:

Daily Activities: 

  •  Stay home. All New Yorkers — healthy or sick — need to stay home. You should only leave your home for essential tasks, such as work (if you cannot work from home), getting groceries and supplies or essential medical care. Try to use delivery services when possible.
  •  Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds every time, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (It must contain at least 60% alcohol.)
  •  Do not touch your face unless you recently washed your hands.
  •  Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands.
  •  Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  •  If you are an older adult or have any chronic health conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a weakened immune system, avoid all unnecessary gatherings and events.

Avoiding Crowds in NYC:

  •  Orders from the Governor require every New Yorker to stay at home from work, unless they are an essential worker. All non-essential businesses that are normally open to the public must remain closed. 
  •  Walk or bike to work, if possible and if you can't work from home.
  •  If you need to take the train or bus and it is too crowded, wait for the next one.

If You Are Sick, Stay Home:

  •  If you are sick, stay home. If you do not feel better in three to four days, consult your health care provider. Try to call, text, telemedicine or use your patient portal to contact your physician.
  •  Avoid the emergency department and other places you seek healthcare if you are not severely ill. Stay home and keep healthcare access available for others with more severe illness.
  •  If you need help getting medical care, call 311. You can get care in NYC regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.
  •  If you have family or friends who are older adults or have chronic conditions, do not visit them if you feel sick.
  •  Stay home for seven days after your symptoms started and for three days after your fever has stopped without the use of fever-reducing drugs, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen, and your cough or sore throat symptoms have improved.

New Guidance on Face Coverings
People who do not show symptoms may still be able to spread COVID-19. A face covering can help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to other people. An order from the Governor requires everyone to wear a face covering when outside their home and when they cannot practice physical distancing, such as maintaining 6 feet of distance from others.

Do not use medical grade masks, such as N95 or surgical masks, as those must be reserved for people in the health care system. Health care workers are at high risk for COVID-19 and need these masks to stay safe and keep serving New Yorkers who are very sick.

Even if you have a face covering, continue to stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with other people.

Additional guidance from the Center for Disease Control:

Cover coughs and sneezes

  •  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  •  Throw used tissues in the trash.
  •  Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and Disinfect:

  •  Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  •  If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

From the MTA

If you need to use the subway to get to your job, the MTA has information about current service and the precautions they're taking.

The MTA has launched a new MTA Essential Plan Night Service to continue moving essential workers during the closure period, which includes an increase in overnight bus service.

As per the Governor's New York on PAUSE order, individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders.

The MTA has announced a pilot program that will deploy approximately 150 dual-headed mobile devices from Denver-based startup PURO Lighting to test and evaluate the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of UVC technology in a number of settings across New York City Transit including trains, buses, stations and occupational facilities, using strict protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of the employees and customers. After evaluation, the pilot's second phase will expand to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.  


How You Can Help

A number of organizations in the area and across New York are working their hardest to make sure that those in need are able to get help as we deal with the impact of business closings, layoffs or uncertain employment, lack of healthcare, illness, and more.

  •  Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has a COVID-19 donation page to help those onstage and behind the scenes in the theater world get health care, emergency financial assistance and counseling during the pandemic. 
  •  The Actors Fund provides emergency financial assistance and more to those working in the entertainment industry.
  •  Encore Community Services is providing take-out lunch and home delivered meal service for the elderly and homebound in Midtown. Donate through the link below, or email Jennifer Asquino at jasquino@encorenyc.org to volunteer to help deliver meals, Monday through Saturday. 
  • Breaking Ground develops and sustains exceptional supportive and affordable housing as well as programs for homeless and other vulnerable New Yorkers in order to break the cycle of homelessness.
  • Covenant House provides housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness. They have identified accessible, safe quarantine space at each of their houses so they can care for any of their residents in social isolation if necessary.
  • Other organizations like Food Bank of New York City and City Harvest are also continuing their work to make sure that New Yorkers in need have access to food, including working with local soup kitchens, food pantries, and other community food programs.
  • The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City has a special COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to deliver hot meals to medical professionals; raise money for personal protective equipment for hospitals; and support health care workers, local businesses, displaced hourly workers, and other vulnerable New Yorkers.
  • In lieu of their regular senior center residency programs, which are paused due to the pandemic, Town Hall is inviting people to submit a piece of correspondence to be sent to one of their seniors. This can be in the form of a letter, a piece of art, a poem, etc.
  • You can also help support local restaurants just by ordering contactless delivery/take-out from them, or buying gift cards to be used later.

Entertainment at a Distance

As everyone in the theater community knows, the show must go on... in a socially responsible way. Numerous performers and organizations have been putting on digital shows and performances, or making older performances available online, so that everyone staying home can still enjoy the incredible New York arts scene while being safe.

In addition to the options below, you can find a variety of virtual events on the What's Happening page.

Looking for an activity? Check out our Times Square coloring pages.

Time Out New York, Playbill, and Broadway Briefing have compiled lists of live streams and other theatrical events to watch from home:

This year's Broadway Backwards — the annual benefit performance where Broadway’s biggest stars and beloved legends share LGBTQ twists on classic and modern favorites — may have been cancelled, but Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has put up a playlist of phenomenal performances from Broadway Backwards of the past:

Seth Rudetsky and his husband James Wesley are producing Stars in the House, a daily online mini-show featuring stars of stage and screen singing and performing live (from home!). The shows will take place every day at 2pm and 8pm.

Broadway World is presenting Living Room Concerts — performances direct to you live from the living rooms of Broadway performers!

Broadway icon Laura Benanti has asked students whose high school musical has been cancelled to post video clips on twitter with the tag #SunshineSongs. Scroll through the performances or post your own!
 

The Metropolitan Opera is doing free nightly streams of past performances. If you've enjoyed their opening night live streams on Times Square's electronic billboards, make sure to check it out.

BroadwayHD is an ad-free streaming service with a library of hundreds of productions from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and more.

PBS has several Broadway and West End performances, including Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I, 42nd Street, and Kinky Boots, currently available in their streaming service PBS Passport. Additionally, PBS Great Performances has select classical programming streaming for free through April 13: