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COUNTDOWN TO NYE
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.
Alliance Stakeholder 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:
Financial Relief Resources:
For the Arts Industry:
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.
Vaccinations, Testing, and PPE for Businesses:
Vaccination appointments and walk-ups are available at the ATC Vaccination Center Times Square in the former NFL Experience space.
Mobile Vaccinations for Restaurant and Delivery Workers
New York City has launched a mobile vaccination effort to reach more New Yorkers, and the first bus is focusing on restaurant and delivery workers. Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR) will lead outreach efforts to restaurant workers, helping them sign up for appointments both ahead of time and on-site. Vans will have live interpretation on-site and vaccine materials in 12 languages. Restaurant and delivery workers can schedule appointments by emailing email@example.com or by calling 833-762-7692.
Rapid Testing Location in Times Square
As part of the NY Forward Rapid Testing Program, HealthWorx has opened a public COVID testing clinic at 5 Times Square in the old Sephora location. The clinic is open 7 days a week from 9:00am – 7:00pm and offers both Rapid Antigen Tests ($30) and Rapid PCR Tests ($100) with results available in 15 minutes. Walk-ins are accepted, or schedule an appointment with the link below.
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.
Free Masks for Manhattan Small Businesses
The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is offering free facemasks—surgical as well as KN95/90—to Manhattan businesses with fewer than 100 employees. If you own or operate a small business and would be interested in receiving free masks, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a pickup or delivery.
For Vacant Storefronts:
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.
Other Business Resources:
Reminder: Free Tote Bags Available with the Shop Your City Challenge
Mayor de Blasio is encouraging New Yorkers to shop at small local businesses during the summer with the Shop Your City Challenge. We've received Shop Your City tote bags (to help businesses comply with the plastic bag ban), stickers, and posters and have been distributing these to small businesses in the district for you to share with your customers. Please reach out to Chris Clark at email@example.com if you haven't gotten these resources yet but would like to.
The New York City Department of Small Business Services has recently announced a series of new upcoming programs relevant to operating a storefront business:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
Wish You Were Here in NYC Sweepstakes
NYC & Company's NYC RSVP allows New Yorkers to send an invitation to friends and family encouraging them to book a trip and follow safety guidelines. They'll get a personalized email with information about things to do in New York and will be entered in the Wish You Were Here in NYC sweepstakes for surprise content.
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.
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:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that COVID-19 restrictions are lifted immediately as 70 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series. The State's health guidance and New York Forward industry specific guidelines—including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing—are now optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services, among other commercial settings.
Unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance. Consistent with the State's implementation of the recent CDC guidance, masks are still required for unvaccinated individuals. Further, the State's health guidelines continue to be in effect for large-scale indoor event venues, pre-K to grade 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care settings per CDC guidelines.
Outdoor dining at restaurants is allowed, with many restaurants expanding outdoor seating temporarily through the citywide, multiphase Open Restaurants program.
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.
There are generally no quarantine, work furlough, or testing requirements for asymptomatic domestic travelers.
All unvaccinated domestic travelers who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after arrival in New York, consider non-mandated self-quarantine (7 days if tested on day 3-5, otherwise 10 days), and avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe disease for 14 days, regardless of test result.
CDC and NYS recommend delaying international travel until the traveler is fully vaccinated.
International travelers must comply CDC requirements, which currently include proof of negative test or recent COVID recovery in order to board airplanes headed to the US. Travelers must complete the NYS Department of Health traveler health form.
Currently CDC does not require quarantine, work furlough, or testing requirements for asymptomatic international travelers.
New York follows that recommendation with the following exceptions:
Broadway Ticket Sales Resuming May 2021 for Fall 2021 Performances
With guidance from Governor Andrew Cuomo, based on current health trends and subject to continuing improvement of public health and vaccination rates, as well as the state’s final approval of each theatre operator’s health and safety protocols, the Broadway League announces that Broadway shows in New York City will resume ticket sales this month for Fall 2021 performances.
Anticipated dates for each returning and new Broadway production will be announced in coming weeks on a show-by-show basis as individual productions and their producers determine the performance schedules and timelines for their respective shows. Theatregoers are encouraged to visit Broadway.org for updated information about show times and performances as they are announced.
“We are thrilled that Governor Cuomo clearly recognizes the impact of Broadway’s return on the city and state’s economy and the complexity of restarting an entire industry that has been dormant for over a year,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “Nothing beats Broadway. The theatre owners, producers, and other League members will continue to work with the NY State Department of Health and the Governor to coordinate the industry’s return and the related health and safety protocols required to do so. We remain cautiously optimistic about Broadway’s ability to resume performances this fall and are happy that fans can start buying tickets again.”
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:
Additional tips from the NYC Department of Health:
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.
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.
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: