On Sunday, March 22, Governor Cuomo signed the New York State on Pause Executive Order to limit the spread of COVID-19. The policy encourages staying home and requires all non-essential businesses to close. The list of essential businesses that can remain open can be found here, and the 10-point plan is here. As your local business improvement district, the Village Alliance will continue to operate essential programs and communicate with the public about government policies, business operating information and/or general updates that affect our merchant community and neighborhood public spaces.
Because the Village Alliance is under contract with the City of New York to provide essential services under points 5 and 11 of the Governor's Executive Order, you will still see our Clean Team and Public Safety Ambassadors performing their jobs on the streets (with modified hours). The Clean Team is making sure there is no litter in the district and workers are wiping down and disinfecting all street furniture as often as possible. Our Public Safety Ambassadors are a visible presence in these challenging times, serving as the eyes and ears of the police department, ensuring there are no large gatherings in our public spaces, and providing assistance, if needed. We are evaluating the shifts, number of workers, etc., of our core services and will make adjustments when appropriate or as directed by the Governor or Mayor.
Our Clean Team and Public Safety Ambassadors are following the recommendations from the CDC and WHO by practicing social distancing, not reporting to work if they are sick, and following the guidelines listed below:
• No physical touching while interacting with others, including other employees
• Maintain at least 6 feet distance between the people ambassadors are interacting with and avoid handshakes and all other forms of physical contact
• Clean Team members are required to wear latex gloves and facial masks while on duty
• Shift briefings are to be held outdoors, where feasible. If indoors, the briefing is limited to 2-3 ambassadors at a time
• Indoor briefing areas are thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant before and after ambassadors have occupied the space
• Clean Team workers have been trained and provided with supplies to wipe down all common areas in the public domain that pedestrians may have touched. These include mailboxes, tops of trash cans, door handles and push plates, benches, transit stops and shelters, and other fixed assets
• Ambassadors are using approved disinfectant and disposable rags for the enhanced cleaning effort
• Ambassadors have been told not to report to work if sick and to maintain contact with their supervisor while away from work due to illness
Our administrative staff is working remotely from home, but there will be at least one person in our office at 8 East 8th Street during regular business hours to assist stakeholders. All staff will closely monitor their phone messages and email every day to quickly address any questions or concerns.
We will continue to communicate with merchants in our district about their operating status, and will keep them informed about government policies that impact and/or assist small businesses. A list of government business assistance programs can be found on our websiteand will be maintained and updated as necessary.
We will continue to message the community about the importance of supporting local businesses. We have published an article of ideas on how to continue to engage with our Village merchants during this challenging environment and will continue to update the piece as we learn of new ways to connect, including online cultural programming, exercise classes, podcasts, and crowdfunding. To stay abreast of which local businesses remain open and which are closed, bookmark this list of all district businesses and/or this map of open businesses.
The Village Alliance is here to answer any neighborhood questions or concerns you may have, and if any of our information is incorrect, please let us know. As always, do not hesitate to reach out to us directly at 212-777-2173 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of us at the Village Alliance hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.