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COVID-19 Update: Wappinger Town Offers Assistance for Local Businesses

***Wappinger Town and New York State COVID-19 Restrictions Lift as State Reaches 70% Vaccination Rate***

On June 15, 2021, NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that state-mandated COVID restrictions on commercial and social settings will be lifted effective immediately.

Those commercial and social settings include the following: sports and recreation, construction, manufacturing, trade, child care, camps, food services, offices, real estate, buildings, agriculture, fishing, forestry, amusement and family entertainment, personal care services, gyms, retail, malls, movie theaters, and other commercial settings.


According to the Governor’s Office, “Unvaccinated individuals are responsible for maintaining social distancing of six feet and wearing a mask, per CDC Guidance. Large-Scale Events Venues, Pre-K to 12 Schools, Public Transit, Homeless Shelters, Correctional Facilities, Nursing Homes and Health Care Settings will be exempt and will still adhere to the State’s existing COVID-19 Health Protocols.”

As a reminder, until the New York Forward industry guidance is lifted at the 70 percent vaccination rate, the following are current summary health guidelines that apply across most commercial and social settings. Further details can be found here.

Capacity – Capacity is only limited by the space available for individuals or parties of individuals to maintain the required social distancing based on vaccination status. For fully vaccinated individuals/parties, no social distancing is required.
Businesses may require proof of full vaccination status through paper form, digital application, or the State’s Excelsior Pass. Alternatively, businesses may rely upon self-reporting of vaccination status.
Distancing – Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to be socially distanced and unvaccinated/unknown individuals need to maintain six feet of social distance. In lieu of six feet of social distance, appropriate physical barriers may be used so long as they do not present a health or safety hazard.
Masks – Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks and unvaccinated/unknown individuals need to wear masks. Unvaccinated/unknown individuals may only remove their mask indoors while socially distanced, seated, and eating/drinking and outdoors while maintaining social distancing of six feet and, if in an event or gathering setting, seated.
Hand Hygiene – Hand hygiene stations or supplies must be provided for individuals to use; specifically, hand washing, such as soap, running water or disposable towels or hand sanitizing, such as alcohol-based sanitizer with 60 percent or more alcohol where hand washing may not be available or practical.
Cleaning and Disinfection – Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces at least once a day, such as common areas and shared workstations and regularly clean and disinfect other surfaces as necessary given the level of traffic and type of individuals who use the space and general risk of community transmission of COVID-19.
Communication – Clearly communicate to individuals through signage, markers, and other applicable methods the health precautions that are in effect within the specific setting based upon these principles and any other restrictions that the business may choose to implement, such as capacity limits, social distancing, masks, or hand hygiene.
Ventilation and Air Filtration – For indoor environments, increase outdoor airflow and ventilation rates to the extent compatible with individual comfort and safety, in accordance with building codes and standards; in indoor areas where air is recirculated, ensure HVAC system filtration meets the highest rated filtration compatible with the currently installed filter rack and air handling systems, ideally a minimum of MERV-13, industry equivalent, or greater, as applicable for the specific environment; and deploy other appropriate indoor air quality measures and engineering controls, such as portable fans, filters, and air cleaners as necessary.

Gatherings and Events – For gatherings or events that exceed the State’s social gathering limit of 250 indoors or 500 outdoors, these additional provisions apply, consistent with the State’s implementation of the CDC guidance:
Proof of Vaccination – For any setting where there is a concentrated gathering of persons above the social gathering limits without social distancing, proof of vaccination status must be required; self-reporting of vaccination status cannot be used. Event venues can operate up to 100 percent capacity so long as all attendees are fully vaccinated, consistent with applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
To attend indoor events above the gathering limit, attendees over the age of four who are not presenting proof of full vaccination status must instead present proof of recent negative COVID-19 test result, such as a PCR/NAAT test within 72 hours or antigen within 6 hours prior to admission. Outdoor events do not require proof of recent negative COVID-19 test result for unvaccinated/unknown individuals.
Health Screening – All individuals must be health screened for COVID-19 symptoms, recent close contacts, and recent positive COVID-19 test result, prior to, or immediately upon, arrival to the event. Screening may be performed via signage, at ticket purchase, by e-mail/website, by telephone, or by electronic survey before individuals enter the event space. Temperature checks are no longer required.
Contact Information – At least one individual from each party of attendees should sign-in during ticketing, or before or immediately upon entering the event space, providing their name, address, and phone number or e-mail address for use in potential contact tracing efforts. Sign-in process may be conducted through any means, including but not limited to a digital application and/or paper form. Sign-in data should be maintained for a minimum period of 28 days and made available to state and local health departments upon request.

New York Forward - Industries Reopening by Phase

New York Reopening phases:


  • If you or an employee are trying to find a location to be tested for COVID-19, you can find a location HERE.
  • A new Executive Order was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday that extends his previous Executive Orders through January 17, 2021. A copy of the new Executive Order can be found HERE.
  • This order also authorizes tenants to be eligible for the COVID-19 Rent Relief Act without having to provide proof they were paying more than 30% gross monthly income towards rent prior to March 2020.
  • In a separate Executive Order found HERE, the moratorium on commercial evictions or foreclosures was extended until January 31, 2021.
  • Additional guidance was also issued for Orange Zones. Gyms and fitness centers are now permitted to remain open at 25% capacity. Personal care services, such as barbers or hair salons, are now authorized to remain open, provided that employees performing such services are tested on a weekly basis for the duration of the time the business is located in an Orange Zone.
Update for Thursday, December 31, 2020


·     On December 26, 2020, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) updated its mandatory quarantine requirements (the Quarantine Advisory) for people who have been exposed to COVID-19 but do not develop symptoms. Previously, asymptomatic individuals who had been exposed to COVID-19 had to quarantine for 14 days. Now, such individuals must quarantine for 10 days. Importantly, the Quarantine Advisory also applies to individuals who traveled to a non-border state or country. The Quarantine Advisory can be found HERE.


Federal COVID Relief Legislation Pertaining to Employers –


·     Mandatory FFCRA Leave Ends on December 31, 2020: There is no extension of Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid sick leave/paid FMLA benefits. Employees are not entitled to additional FFCRA leave after December 31, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, covered private-sector employers may voluntarily provide paid leave that otherwise would have qualified for FFCRA if the FFCRA had not expired, and if they do, they may take the tax credit associated with this leave. The tax credit may only be taken for leave through March 31, 2021.


·     The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): An additional $284 billion is allocated for the PPP. In addition, PPP eligibility is expanded to include all nonprofits, including 501(c)(6) organizations, with some limitations based on employment (under 300) and lobbying activity (less than 15% of expenditures). Businesses that already received a PPP loan will be eligible to get a second one under the new terms. Some of the PPP funds will be set aside for the smallest businesses and community-based lenders and provides $20 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loans grants for smaller businesses. A summary of the PPP provisions can be found here.


·     The legislation also includes provisions clarifying the tax treatment of expenses paid for with the proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan. The bill specifies that forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans will not be included in taxable income, and further clarifies that deductions are allowed for expenses paid with proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan, effective as of the date of enactment of the CARES Act and applicable to subsequent PPP loans. This same tax treatment also applies to EIDL grants and certain loans and loan repayment assistance. Earlier IRS guidance had established that expenses funded with PPP proceeds could not be deducted as business expenses. At this point, this treatment of PPP loan proceeds should flow through to state business and personal income tax returns of New York State taxpayers as well.


·     EIDL: The new law reopens the $10,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program, allowing businesses to apply until December 31, 2021. Priority for the full amount of the EIDL grant will be given to businesses with less than 300 employees, located in low-income neighborhoods, who have experienced a 30 percent reduction in gross receipts during any 8-week period between March 2, and December 31, 2020, compared to a comparable 8-week period before March 2. If you meet this description and received a grant that is less than $10,000 you can reapply to receive the difference.


·     Employee Retention Tax Credit Extension: The bill extends (through June 30, 2021) and expands the refundable Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), which was established in the CARES Act. The credit rate is increased from 50 percent to 70 percent of qualified wages; expands eligibility for the credit by reducing the required year-over-year gross receipts decline from 50 percent to 20 percent and provides a safe harbor allowing employers to use prior quarter gross receipts to determine eligibility; increases the 100-employee delineation for determining the relevant qualified wage base to employers with 500 or fewer employees, and allows businesses with PPP loans to qualify, among other changes.


·     Health and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Arrangements: The bill allows taxpayers to roll over unused amounts in their health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022. This provision also permits employers to allow employees to make a 2021 mid-year prospective change in contribution amounts.


·     Employer-provided Student Loan Repayment: The CARES Act temporarily allowed employers to provide student loan repayment as a benefit to employees through December 31, 2020. Under this provision, an employer may contribute up to $5,250 annually toward an employee’s student loans, and such payment would be excluded from the employee’s income. The $5,250 cap applies to both the new student loan repayment.


·     Expanded Unemployment Insurance Extension: The bill extends two Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) unemployment programs for 11 weeks and provides $300 per week for all workers receiving unemployment benefits, through March 14, 2021. The bill also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, with expanded coverage to the self-employed, gig workers, and others in non-traditional employment, and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides additional weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals who exhaust their regular state benefits. Additionally, the bill increases the maximum number of weeks an individual may claim benefits through the combination of regular state unemployment plus the PEUC program, or through the PUA program, to 50 weeks. The bill also provides an extra benefit of $100 per week for certain workers who have both wage and self-employment income but whose base UI benefit calculation does not take their self-employment into account.


·     Business Meals Deduction: The bill provides a temporary allowance of a full deduction for business meal food and beverage expenses provided by a restaurant that are paid or incurred in 2021 and 2022. Currently, the deduction is available for only 50 percent of such expenses.


·     NYS Quarantine Guidance Update – The state Health Department has issued new guidance that aligns with recent CDC guidance, to limit the quarantine period for persons exposed to COVID-19 to ten days without any testing if the person has no symptoms. It requires exposed persons to continue to monitor health symptoms for 14 days, and directs such persons to self-isolate and contact local health officials if they develop symptoms. While this guidance supersedes previous NYS guidance on the length of quarantines, it notes that the state’s provisions for travelers set forth in EO 202.5 and DOH provisions for essential worker travelers remain in force. It also provides that for health care personnel working at nursing homes or adult care facilities, while the person can be released from quarantine in 10 days, they must remain furloughed from work for 14 days. Importantly, this does not preclude an employer from adopting and applying more strict workplace safety standards, e.g., to require that an exposed employee obtain a negative test before returning to their place of employment.


Update from County Executive Molinaro

May 29, 2020

Phase Two Update

Phase 2 guidance has been posted in anticipation of our region moving into Phase 2 on June 9th.

You can access the guidance via the New York Forward website.


Businesses impacted by Phase 2 include:

  • Office-based jobs
  • Real Estate
  • Essential and Phase 2 In-Store Retail
  • Vehicle Sales, Leases, and Rentals
  • Retail Rental, Repair and Cleaning
  • Commercial Building Management
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops


Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Orders, the following businesses remain closed during Phase 2:

  • Malls; specifically, any indoor common portions of retail shopping malls with 100,000 or more square feet of retail space available for lease; however, any stores located within shopping malls, which have their own external entrances open to the public, separate from the general mall entrance (e.g. strip malls), may open;
  • Dine-in and on-premise restaurant or bar service, excluding take-out or delivery for off-premise consumption;
  • Large gathering/event venues, including but not limited to establishments that host concerts, conferences, or other in-person performances or presentations in front of an in-person audience;
  • Gyms, fitness centers, and exercise classes, except for remote or streaming services;
  • Video lottery and casino gaming facilities;
  • Movie theaters, except drive-ins; and
  • Places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions.

5/5/2020Dutchess Business Notification Network Update including Webinars and helpful links

Download the PDF

March 27, 2020

The Governor has defined essential construction services in part 9 of Executive Order 202.6. That section is also pasted below:

“9. Construction
All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
For purposes of this section construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.”

Below are updates and resources for businesses, employers, and employees. Please feel free to forward this information to anyone you believe would benefit.

IMPORTANT: Share Your Organization’s Needs: Complete the survey online.

Join the Dutchess Business Notification Network Facebook group.

Update for Wednesday, March 25, 2020:

  • The New York Small Business Development Council has created a website designed to help businesses navigate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan process. It can be found HERE.
  • Governor Cuomo has created a new website that will be used to update individuals and businesses on the new paid leave measures. The page is still in it’s basic stages but updates are expected. It can be found HERE.
  • Governor Cuomo requested the federal government relief for more categories of workers. This would include unemployed gig economy workers, farmers, independent contractors and others. For more information, please read THIS ARTICLE.
  • For information on the liquor authorities guidance on the sale of delivery and to-go alcoholic beverages, click HERE.
  • If you are forced to reduce your employees’ pay during this downturn, you would still be required to provide that employee a new Wage Acknowledgement Form. For model versions of the form, please see HERE. Additionally, if you are forced to lay off an employee, you must provide them with the required Record of Employment.
  • Part of the stimulus package being proposed at the federal level will boost the SBA’s 7A program. The 7A program will be managed by local SBA lender banks. So the advice to local businesses and nonprofits is to compile all of your financial documents as you would to secure any loan. Please note that it will take a few days for the SBA to provide all required information to SBA lender banks about the 7A program AFTER it is signed into law. They DON’T have ANY information at this time.
  • The way the legislation is structured 7A loans will be eligible to “forgive” costs associated with payroll, utilities, mortgages, rents, and debt payments. There will be a cap on the amount that can be forgiven but that is not yet known. This means these 7A loans are more like grants and are designed to allow employers to retain employees.
  • The 7A program will be for businesses and nonprofits with less than 500 employees and does cover self-employed or sole proprietors adversely impacted by COVID 19. The fees for the 7A program will be waived. As more information is released, we will provide links and more information. This may change as the legislative process continues, but we wanted to inform you on what is currently being considered.
  • On Monday March 30, at 9AM, Patterns for Progress will host a web panel as they discuss how the housing industry has been impacted by COVID-19. They will discuss how real estate transactions, lending, and title processing has been affected by this crisis, and what that means for Homeowners, Buyers, Sellers, Landlords, tenants, and employers in this industry. You can watch this webinar on March 30, at 9AM on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this notification or any other business related concerns and suggestions, please email Contact@DutchessBNN.com. Please do NOT contact elected officials regarding information in this email as they are currently inundated with handling the government response to this crisis. This network was created to help coordinate responses and share the burden, and we ask that you please contact us with any questions or concerns so our elected officials can focus on their task at hand. Thank you for your continued support through this time.

Resources With Links

Centers For Disease Control

United States Small Business Administration

Disaster Loan Application

New York State Government

New York State Economic Development

Guidance for Exempt Businesses in New York

Request To Be Exempt

New York State Department of Labor

Dutchess County Government

Dutchess Tourism Open Restaurant List

Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce

Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board

If you were forwarded this email but would like to be added to the email list, please let us know by emailing contact@DutchessBNN.com


Most Recent Updates for Wappinger Businesses

    • The Small Business Administration has now made low interest loans of up to $2 million available to organizations in New York. It will take roughly 3 weeks to process the application and has interest rates of 3.75 % for small businesses and 2.75 % for nonprofits. For more information, click the SBA link below.
    • In Governor Cuomo’s press conference Monday, March 23, 2020, he announced he is mandating that all hospitals increase their bed capacity by 50%, and is asking that any hospital that can increase their capacity by 100% to do so.
    • He also announced he would be issuing an Executive Order later today that would enlist all registered nurses in New York to assist health centers during the crisis, including any nurse currently working at an insurance firm. When this order is published we will post it onto our Facebook page.
    • Governor Cuomo also announced that he has instructed his team to begin formulating the NY FORWARD plan, in preparation of reopening businesses when it is deemed appropriate. He did not indicate a timeline of this plan being initiated since the spread of the virus has not yet been contained, but said they would look into ways to have health individuals return to work.
    • Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order expanding the Tax Commissioner’s authority to abate late filing and payment penalties. This will allow the Commissioner to abate interest on quarterly and annual sales and use tax filings and remittances with a due date of March 20, 2020, for those who were unable to timely file and pay as result of the COVID-19 virus.
    • The above is available HERE.
    • An Interim Guidance to Restaurants to Sell Grocery Items has been released by the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets.
    • The above is available HERE.
  • In Governor Cuomo’s press conference on Sunday, March 22, 2020 he announced that all elective, non-emergency surgeries must be cancelled effective Wednesday.
  • Reminder: All non-essential businesses are mandated to have 100% of their employees work from home beginning  (Sunday) at 8PM.
  • Guidance on who is considered exempt from the Executive Order  HERE. The list is also posted further down in this email. We have asked elected officials for consideration to create an unemployment program for small business owners.
  • If you are not on the list of exempt businesses, but believe you should be, you can request a waiver from Empire State Development HERE.
  • Clarification has been sent by the state to confirm that the construction exemption listed in the Governor’s Executive Order applies to “all construction.”
  • Yesterday (Saturday), Governor Cuomo released two new Executive Orders pertaining to COVID-19. The First order can be found HERE and the second order can be found HERE. The summary bullet points are as follows:
  1. Court operations are now limited to essential matters and any time limit that would pass while this order is in effect is suspended.
  2. Driver licenses and vehicle registrations that expired after March 1, 2020 are to be considered valid until the executive order is rescinded.
  3. Evictions or foreclosures on both individuals and corporate entities are suspended for 90 days.
  4. The payment of sales tax from businesses to the state is deferred for 60 days.
  5. Financial institutions are required to provide any consumer an opportunity for a forbearance of payments for a mortgage for any person or entity facing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the applications must be granted “in all reasonable and prudent circumstances.”
  6. Fees for the use of ATMs, overdraft fees and credit card late fees, may be restricted by the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this notification or any other business related concerns and suggestions, please email Contact@DutchessBNN.com. Please do NOT contact elected officials regarding information in this email as they are currently inundated with handling the government response to this crisis. This network was created to help coordinate responses and share the burden, and we ask that you please contact us with any questions or concerns so our elected officials can focus on their task at hand. Thank you for your continued support through this time.


Request For Essential Business Designation Form

Please sign up for the Dutchess Business Notification Network (DBNN) which pushes out the latest information related to COVID-10 for the business community.


Registrants will also receive a survey this week so that we can determine what their latest and future needs are so we can find solutions and request assistance from the appropriate agency or government.

If a small business needs immediate cash flow, they can apply for an Emergency Express Loan with Community Capital New York (CCNY) for up to $10,000 with expedited closing. Please see the terms in the link https://lnkd.in/dNiHUGP


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