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. You can see the five most recent weekly updates below:
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.
The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) has resumed taking new applications for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program from all eligible businesses and nonprofits. As a reminder, eligible borrowers must have 500 or fewer employees and be able to prove COVID-19's effect on their business.
Empire State Development announced recently that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) participants are now eligible to receive low-interest loans from the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF). Small businesses, including small residential landlords and non-profits, that did not receive loans through the PPP are also still invited to apply.
Employee Retention Credit
Please be advised that the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021) broadened the applicability of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), bringing eligible employers the ability for greater financial relief. Under the CAA 2021, there was a retroactive change to how the ERC can now be used in tandem with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Prior to the CAA 2021, an entity was not permitted to file for the ERC if it had received PPP funding. With the new provisions outlined in the CAA 2021, an “eligible” entity may now file for the ERC even if it has received PPP funding as long as the same payroll amounts are not claimed for both the ERC and for PPP forgiveness. We encourage all district employers to review the provisions of the ERC and to discuss their eligibility with their financial advisors and payroll providers.
COVID Testing in Vacant Storefronts
The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is partnering with Governor Cuomo’s office to temporarily bring COVID-19 rapid testing sites to empty street-level storefronts throughout New York City. For participating spaces, a 6-month lease will be immediately available directly with the tenant, which would be a lab/testing service provider. The hours of operation would be about 8:00am – 8:00pm. Please contact Chris Clark at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Art Installations in Vacant Storefronts
Times Square Arts is looking to enliven empty storefronts across the district with art installations. If you have a vacant space and would be interested in partnering with us to bring more art to our neighborhood, please reach out to Jean Cooney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
SBS has guides, guidelines, and more assistance for small businesses struggling during the pandemic, including free face coverings for your employees.
Protect Your Delivery Bikes with Free Etchings from NYPD
The NYPD is offering free etchings for e-bikes and bicycles to protect your bike with a personalized serial number. An etched serial number will assist the NYPD in identifying your bicycle in the event it is stolen, and the serial numbers can be placed anywhere on the frame of the bicycle. E-bikes, delivery and/or personal bikes are all welcome. You can bring your bike between 10:00am and 6:00pm, Monday through Friday, at any of the following precincts: 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 13th, Midtown South, 17th, and Midtown North. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Clark at email@example.com.
Developed in partnership with Northwell Health and Rapid Reliable Testing, Testing WorxWell is a non-invasive, accurate COVID-19 PCR testing program designed for organizations to monitor employee risk from current and future COVID variants. Testing WorxWell includes convenient on-site clinics, integrated scheduling, and seamless digital delivery of results. Organizational leaders are provided with aggregate testing results and trends to identify potential risks in their workforce and the option to activate a fully-integrated contract tracing wearable solution.
Small Business Resource Network
Are you looking for assistance with grants, financial advice, free marketing resources, and other resources to help your business right now? The NYC Small Business Resource Network has a team of on-the-ground Recovery Specialists to guide you to the resources you need. Complete a brief intake form and a Recovery Specialist will reach out to provide personalized guidance & recovery resources to sustain your business.
Courtesy Recycling Inspections from DSNY
The New York City Department of Sanitation has announced that it will extend the grace period for commercial recycling and organics enforcement through the end of November. During this period, DSNY will offer city businesses courtesy recycling and organics inspections with guidance and warnings, but no fines will be issued for non-compliance.
The NYC Department of Buildings sends out alerts regarding inclement weather conditions than can impact the operation of your business, from high wind warnings to storm alerts.
You can also sign up for weather updates with the Times Square Alliance's Flash Alerts, a dedicated TSQ Flash channel for updates about inclement weather and its effect on your business and commute. To sign up for these alerts, please click the link below and check the box for the "Weather Alerts" subgroup. Then, please indicate whether you'd like to receive updates by text, email, and/or phone call.
Neighborhood Challenge: Connect & Recover
The neighborhood challenge program is an online open innovation platform by the NYC Dept of Small Business Services to crowdsource local challenges, build upon those submitted by others, and facilitate collaboration with the tech community on implementing viable pilot projects. Initial challenge submissions for the storefront business campaign will be due by June 1st.
RXR Realty has launched RXRVolunteer, a platform to connect local non-profits and small businesses impacted by COVID-19 with volunteers from the RXR community of employees, tenants, vendors, partners, investors, and friends. Volunteers will have an opportunity to align their professional skills with the needs of individuals, non-profits, and small businesses to help support them through the immediate crises and beyond, and businesses and non-profits will benefit from the connection to high-skilled volunteers.
Other Business Resources:
Business Safety Plans for Re-Opening
If you haven't yet reopened your business but plan to, 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:
Mayor Bill De Blasio has issued an executive order mandating that hotels and short-term rental companies have travelers from restricted states fill out the New York State Traveler Health Form before providing lodging.
The Department of Health is beginning to conduct modified restaurant inspections, which will be shorter, more limited in scope, and focused on education rather than on issuing a summons or a letter grade, with some exceptions.
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report outlining the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on New York's restaurants. The Comptroller's report demonstrated the severe straits that many restaurants are in and concluded by urging all levels of government to provide support to restaurants through mechanisms such as rent and lease assistance, grant funds, and support for outdoor dining.
Learn more about outdoor and takeout food services:
Con Edison and National Grid have compiled heating safety instructions for restaurants participating in outdoor dining.
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:
- What's your reopening story? NYC & Co's All In NYC campaign is a revitalization initiative that aims to support local businesses by rallying New Yorkers behind our city’s immutable spirit and infinite experiences. The Times Square Alliance wants to help YOU share your story. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested and we will send staff to interview you, take photos/videos and post content to our widely followed social media accounts. Here's an example from a Times Square business.
- 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 to NYC&Co's Virtual NYC.
- 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. Submit your job listing.
- Restaurants can sign up to be promoted for free through Schneps Media outlets through The World's Fare.
- #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.
- 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.
- 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. Request free legal commercial lease assistance.
- 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. Contact the legal clinic.
Updates on Closings and New Regulations
New York City is currently in Phase IV of reopening.
Outdoor dining at restaurants is allowed, with many restaurants expanding outdoor seating temporarily through the citywide, multiphase Open Restaurants program.
However, beginning Friday, November 13, any establishment with a state liquor license, including bars and restaurants, must close at 10pm. Gyms must also close at 10pm.
As of March 19, indoor dining has reopened at 50% capacity.
Asymptomatic travelers entering New York from another U.S. state or territory are no longer required to test or quarantine as of April 1, 2021. Quarantine, consistent with the CDC recommendations for international travel, is still recommended for domestic travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 during the previous 3 months. Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testing.
All travelers entering New York from a non-border state who have been outside of New York for more than 24 hours must fill out the Traveler Health Form.
Irrespective of quarantine, all travelers must:
- Monitor symptoms daily from day of arrival in New York through day 14;
- Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated); and
- Must immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.
Upon arrival in the U.S., international travelers must either quarantine for 7 days with a test 3-5 days after travel, or quarantine for the full 10 days without a test. This requirement applies to all international travelers whether they were tested before boarding, are recovered from a previous COVID-19 infection, or are fully vaccinated.
All Broadway Performances Suspended
Broadway shows in New York City have suspended all performances through the May 30, 2021. Contact your point of purchase if you have a ticket for a show before this date.
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.
Stop the spread and help NYC recover by practicing these 5 steps: 1) Wash your hands, 2) practice social distancing, 3) wear a face covering, 4) stay home if you're sick, and 5) get tested regardless of symptoms. Free COVID-19 tests are confidential and safe. Go to NYC.Gov/COVIDTest or text "COVID TEST" to 855-48 to find a testing site near you. Most results are returned in about 3 to 5 days. Be sure to answer any calls from NYC Test+Trace or (212) numbers to get free resources and support.
Guidelines from the Center for Disease Control:
- Wear a mask
- Stay 6 feet away from others
- Get vaccinated
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
- Wash your hands often
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect
- Monitor your health daily
Additional tips from the NYC Department of Health:
- Stay home if sick or if recently exposed to COVID-19!
- Avoid travel
- Get tested, whether or not you have symptoms. You can access free COVID-19 tests in New York. Find a testing site.
Covid Alert NY App
COVID Alert NY is a voluntary, free, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app that will alert you if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. The more people who download COVID Alert NY, the more effective it will be. Help protect your community while maintaining your privacy.
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 email@example.com to volunteer to help deliver meals or pack up food, Monday through Saturday.
- Project FIND is also providing take-out meals at all four of their senior centers. Their Woodstock location on 43rd Street will be providing breakfast and lunch. Project FIND is also doing outreach to all members to confirm they have what they need.
- 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.
- TDF is asking for donations to their Lifeline Campaign, as their primary stream of revenue has been closed with performance venues. They are hoping to raise $500,000 before June 30.
- 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: