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COVID-19 Neighborhood Guidance and Business Assistance

Updated Friday, March 27th

As your local Business Improvement District, the Village Alliance would like to share pertinent business assistance information and neighborhood guidance about the COVID-19 virus.  (To see information about our own services and programs during this time, read about Village Alliance Operations During COVID-19). Also, make sure to check our list of Helpful Links here.

Stay Informed and Reduce Your Risks 

  • The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the Office of Emergency Management are working to provide the public with constant updates. For the most up to date information, visit the NYC Coronavirus Website.   

  • To stay connected amidst social distancing, many neighbors are creating a Nextdoor account. Nextdoor is a neighborhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services. Users in the Village are offering to help the immunocompromised grocery shop, pick up prescriptions and other miscellaneous errands.  

  • For immediate updates from the DOHMH delivered directly to your phone, text COVID to 692-692 (or COVIDESP for notifications in Spanish). 

How To Support Your Local Businesses During the Economic Slow-Down 

COVID-19 has resulted in an immense economic slow-down that is affecting our small businesses.  Already, several local merchants have reported a drop in sales to the Village Alliance.  And effective Monday, March 23rd only essential businesses are allowed to stay open in New York State.  All bars, restaurants and cafes are limited to take-out and delivery only, for example (see the complete list of essential businesses here)

So how can neighbors support our local businesses?

  • Order delivery or take-out. Rather than ordering from delivery platforms, first check individual restaurants’ websites to see if they offthe priceer their own delivery service to ensure they get maximum profit from your support and avoid third-party fees.  Some third-party apps charge 30% of the total order.

  • Many of our local fitness establishments like New Vibe Yoga, 305 Fitness and Core Power Yoga are offering online classes.  Stay active in your own home and keep them in business.

  • Shop online if you’re practicing social distancing, hop on your favorite store’s website and order something you love! Check out some Village Alliance tips on how you can support our local economy here

  • Small donations can make a BIG difference to local businesses and institutions. Find crowdfundining initiatives and ways to volunteer in our Helpful Links blog here.

** Check out our full listing of Village Alliance merchant operations, or peruse our map of open establishments.  If you would like to inform neighbors about your business/event closing or remaining open, please email us at** 

Small Business Assistance Measures Available in New York City 

  • NYC Small Business Servicesoffers resources, health materials, up-to-date information, business planning checklists and guidelines for addressing changes in customer behavior due to the novel coronavirus, click here. 

  • The Shared Work Program allows you to manage business cycles and seasonal adjustments. Shared Work lets you keep trained staff and avoid layoffs. Employees can receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. Full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are eligible. Find more here.

  • Unemployment Insurance for persons who are out of work due to coronavrius, quarantine, and any associated policies. NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for these insurance benefits. Click here to see if you are eligible.

  • USBG National Charity Foundation is conducting a Bartender Emergency Assistance Program for bartenders and hospitality workers. Please visit their website to see if you qualify.

  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. See if you apply here.

  • Mayor de Blasio has announced an assistance program for small businesses by providing financial relief to those who are affected by COVID-19. Two relief programs are on the way:

    1. Zero-Interest Loans - Businesses with fewer than 100 employees may be eligible for an interest-free loan of up to $75,000 if they document a 25% loss in customer receipts because of coronavirus-related happenings.

*If you think that you may be eligible for financial assistance, call 3-1-1, view the Eligibility Criteria and/or click here to complete an interest form to be notified when applications are open. 

**For a more conclusive list on business assistance and employment relief measures, check out the Business and Worker Guidance section under our Helpful Links blog post.**

Feedback for Business Assistance 

  • New York City’s Small Business Services has developed a survey, COVID-19 Business Assistance Survey, in order to collect data on business-related impacts due to the virus in a standardized way. This information will be used to develop additional assistance programs for NYC merchants. Please provide your feedback.     

  • Please feel free to reach out to Rachel Brandon at any time with questions or concerns.  You can email at and/or call us directly at 646-525-4140. 

COVID-19 Neighborhood Guidance and Business Assistance


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