COVID-19 Help/Info

The WBCC understands the importance of your health during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, and the monetary impact it may have on your business.  As your chamber, we're in close contact with local government officials, and will consequently share any kind of relevant information to assist you during these hectic times.

Please check this page often, we are here to help, we are in this together!

Stay safe, see below for news & links and to be better informed:

 


- What is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) -

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html  <- click on link

Familiarize yourself with true information about the virus from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, learn exact facts from true experts in the health field.

 


- Do not fall victim to any COVID19 scams -

 


- Explanation of Essential vs Non-Essential Businesses from Town of Babylon IDA -

Essential vs Non-Essential Businesses
Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.6 outlines the parameters of essential
businesses. Some qualifying businesses include the following:
● Research and lab facilities, senior/elder care, medical billing and support
● Food processing and manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications,
grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, building material stores
● Restaurants/bars (takeout only), laundromats, child care, auto repair,
landscaping (maintenance only), banks, law enforcement, first responders
● For more information, visit: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026
● If you do not qualify you can request to be designated as essential here:
https://esd.ny.gov/content/request-designation-essential-business-purposes-e
xecutive-order-2026

Essential vs Non-Essential Construction
All non-essential construction must be safely shut down, except emergency
construction. Exceptions include but are not limited to:
● Construction is for roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals, schools,
etc
● Housing where a minimum of 20% of the units are or will be designated as
affordable and will be subject to a regulatory agreement
● The construction is necessary for the health and safety of the occupants
● Projects that, if remaining undone, would be unsafe
● The construction is being done by a single worker who is the sole person on
the job site
● For more information, visit https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026

Avoiding COVID-19 Scams
During this time of crisis, it’s important to be on alert for those who would attempt
to defraud you or your family. To learn how to protect yourself from scams, refer to
the following sites:
● Avoid Coronavirus Scams (Federal Trade Commission)
● Guidance on Coronavirus Resources and Warnings about Consumer
Scams (NYS Attorney General)
● Consumer Protection (NYS Department of State)

You can view/save/print pdf file HERE

 


- Town of Babylon Small Business Connections Resources -

As of 4/13/20
1. Town of Babylon Government Operations – Update
2. Latest Resources
i. Town of Babylon COVID-19 Business Assistance
https://www.townofbabylon.com/455/COVID-19-Business-Assistance
ii. Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
iii. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – Paycheck
Protection Program (PPP)
https://www.townofbabylon.com/DocumentCenter/View/4262/US-ChamberCARES-Act-PDF
iv. Facebook Small Business Grants
https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants
3. Upcoming Webinars
i. Second installment of Councilman Anthony Manetta SBA Small Business
Series, “How to obtain MWBE certification”. April 16th, 1pm
https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/916073911337310989
4. Feedback – In addition to the direct financial assistance, are their any resources
that can be helpful to your business?
5. Key Contact Information:

Small Business Administration (SBA)
Robert J. Piechota
Branch Manager- Long Island, NY Office
(631) 454-0762
Robert.Piechota@sba.gov

Farmingdale College Small Business
Development Center (SBDC)
(934) 420-2765
finnm@farmingdale.edu
darrowm@farmingdale.edu

Town of Babylon IDA
Tom Dolan, CEO
Phone: (631) 587-3679
info@babylonida.org

Anthony Manetta
Town of Babylon Councilman
(631) 957-4482
amanetta@townofbabylon.com
sluongo@townofbabylon.com

You can view/save/print pdf file HERE

 


- Help for small businesses from SBA -

Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

CLICK HERE for more information

Check out the small business guidance, loan, and resources page HERE

or visit them at: https://www.sba.gov

 


- Explanation of "Essential" Businesses or Entities -

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo had announced that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM tonight (Sunday, March 22). Guidance on essential services under the executive order is as follows:
ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIES, including any for profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction.
(Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health).
This guidance is issued by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a Empire State Development and applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business and steps to request such designation. With respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the restrictions.
For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, "Essential Business," means:
1. Essential Health Care Operations, Including:
  • research and laboratory services
  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides for the elderly
  • doctor and emergency dental
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
2. Essential Infrastructure, Including:
  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • airports/airlines
  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
  • hotels, and places of accommodation
3. Essential Manufacturing, Including:
  • food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • sanitary products
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • agriculture/farms
  • household paper products
4. Essential Retail, Including:
  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer's markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores
5. Essential Services, Including:
  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • animal shelters
6. News Media
7. Financial Institutions, Including:
  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting
  • services related to financial markets
8. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:
  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support
9. Construction, Including:
  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes
10. Defense
  • defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government
11. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, Including:
  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection
12. Vendors that Provide Essential Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:
  • logistics
  • technology support for online services
  • child care programs and services
  • government owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services
If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.
Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained.
Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet.
Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should only be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.
To request designation as an essential business, please click here.
Restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business:
  • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business.
  • Businesses ordered to close on Monday, March 15, 2020 under the restrictions on any gathering with 50 or more participants, including but not limited to, bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, casinos, auditoriums, concerts, conferences, worship services, sporting events, and physical fitness centers, are presumed to be compliant with NYS issued restrictions and must remain closed and are not eligible for designation as an essential business for purposes of this guidance.

- Below is a letter received from Town of Babylon Industrial Development Agency -

It can be used as a reference guide for our local businesses during this pandemic.

 

Dear Business Owners,

The Babylon IDA is working with our economic development partners across the state to ensure the stability of our local economy at this time of uncertainty. Please see the below program information, advice, and guidelines from Agencies across all levels of government and NGOs that we have compiled for your benefit. 

Please know that the Town of Babylon and Babylon IDA stand in solidarity with our business community at this difficult time, and we will be doing everything possible in the coming days, weeks, and months to keep Babylon and our community strong. Thank you and stay safe.

 

World Health Organization

  • Information and updates about the outbreak from the WHO can be found here

 

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning
  • Respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged
  • More thorough interim guidance for businesses and employers can be found here

 

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans

  • The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19
  • The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing
  • States must make a request to the SBA in order for businesses to be eligible. NYS and the Governor’s office has made this request as of last Thursday and are in the process of receiving approval
  • In the interim, businesses are advised to reach out to their regional Empire State Development (ESD) office and the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES). They will be coordinating, assisting, and communicating once NYS receives its approval
    • Contact information on the Long Island ESD office can be found here 
    • Contact information for the NYS DHSES can be found here 
  • Additional small business guidance and loan resources from the SBA can be found here

 

US Chamber of Commerce

  • The Chamber is advocating for immediate unemployment benefits for those who are displaced from their jobs and lack income to make ends meet
  • The Chamber supports a tax credit to help businesses continue to pay people even if they can’t be on the job due to quarantines, closings, or limited operations
  • The Chamber is also calling for low to no-interest business loans to cover revenue losses as a result of the outbreak
  • Additional information about and advice from the US Chamber of Commerce can be found here

 

New York State

  • New York State banned gatherings of 50 people or more
  • NYS strongly advises only essential services remain open after 8pm
  • NYS is asking private businesses to aggressively consider voluntary closings and to allow employees to work from home
  • All schools in NYS will be closed for a period of two weeks at a minimum (March 18th to April 1st)
  • The Governor has announced that NYS will be opening drive-through testing facilities in Suffolk, Nassau, Richmond, and Rockland Counties. 
  • The Nassau drive-through testing facility will be open as of 3/17
  • Find interim guidance for procedures when identifying an employee with concerns for COVID-19 exposures here
  • The latest update on the virus from the New York State Department of Health can be found here

 

Suffolk County

  • Suffolk County is in talks with Villages and Towns across Long Island about whether or not to postpone property tax due dates
  • Suffolk County is working with NYS to set up a drive-through testing facility in the County
  • More information on the County’s response can be found here

 

Town of Babylon / Babylon Industrial Development Agency

  • The Town of Babylon is asking residents to utilize online services and/or call rather than visiting town facilities
  • If the Town of Babylon, in conjunction with the County and Villages,. decide to postpone property tax due dates, the Babylon IDA will mirror those postponements for Pilot payments
  • More information on the Town of Babylon’s response to the outbreak can be found here

 

PSEG

  • PSEG said it would suspend electric shut-offs for non-payment through the end of April
  • The policy is aimed at addressing customers who “may be negatively affected by issues related to the pandemic”
  • Customers facing financial difficulty related to the pandemic should contact the utility to work out a deferred payment plan. The number is 800-490-0025
  • Babylon IDA clients may also contact Tim Harris with PSEG, our partner in economic development, at timothy.harris@pseg.com
  • More information about PSEG Long Island business services can be found here

 

National Grid 

  • National Grid said it would be temporarily suspending “collections-related activities,” such as shut -offs
  • Customers facing financial difficulty related to the pandemic should contact the utility at 
  • Babylon IDA clients may also contact Lyle Sclair with National Grid, our partner in economic development, at lyle.sclair@nationalgrid.com
  • More information about National Grid Long Island business services can be found here

 

Suffolk County Water Authority

  • A Suffolk County Water Authority spokesman said it would not shut off water because of non-payment
  • Customers facing financial difficulty related to the pandemic should contact the utility at 631-698-9500

More information about the Suffolk County Water Authority can be found here

 


 

- See below note and link from Mr. Anthony Manetta, Town of Babylon Councilman -

 

Small Business UPDATE: New York is now showing as approved for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Economic Impact Disaster Loans on the SBA’s website.

Here’s the link to apply online: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Account/Register1


 

- A nice noble offer for free adverting from our friends South Shore Living -

Be Part of our Spring Issue for FREE!

Because we are all in this together!

We have all been affected by the COVID-19 disease, and we want to do our part to help local businesses. We invite all small businesses to advertise in our on-line, Spring Issue (April/May).
When this health crisis is over, we will start our print magazine again. Until then, we want to offer you a FREE full Page Ad that will be placed in our on-line issue of South Shore Living.
Please send in your FREE ad by Monday, March 30th. Click the submit button below and attach your ad. High resolution ads only. Every ad is a full page 7.5 x 10.

- A message from your Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey -

US Treasury, IRS, and Labor Department Press Release

In our effort to keep our business community informed with the latest information from federal, state, and local governments we would like to share this press release from the US Treasury that was released last night. It explains in further detail the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.

“ Attached is guidance sent last night from the US Treasury on reimbursement for providing paid leave related to the Coronavirus. This reimbursement is geared to mid and small businesses with less than 500 employees. Self- employed individuals are also eligible for the credits. The reimbursement is in the form of payroll tax credits. If the amount of the credits due exceeds the amount of the reimbursement the business can file a request for an accelerated credit for the balance.
We are awaiting details of phase 3 of relief for small businesses and individuals which is expected early this week. “

Please click link below:

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/treasury-irs-and-labor-announce-plan-to-implement-coronavirus-related-paid-leave-for-workers-and-tax-credits-for-small-and-midsize-businesses-to-swiftly-recover-the-cost-of-providing-coronavirus-related-leave

Stay Well,

Legislator Kevin McCaffrey
125C South Wellwood Avenue
Lindenhurst, NY 11757
(631) 854-1100  F (631) 854-1103

Image result for legislator kevin mccaffrey


- Coronavirus Emergency Loans Checklist by U.S. Chamber of Commerce -