COVID-19 and Town of Cortlandt Small Businesses and Non-Profit Support

April 3, 2020

Click here for more information on Diaster Relief Loans.

April 3, 2020

IMPORTANT UPDATE INFORMATION FROM THE SBA, April 1, 2020

Dear Cortlandt Business Owner/Operator,

The Town Board and I want you to know that we are doing all we can to assist you in staying open during the current pandemic.  The Town government is making every effort to maintain public health and safety.

The information provided below is a resource that we hope will help you and your business during this difficult time.  Town staff has monitored the SBA webinar this afternoon and below is the latest information given (as of close of business April 1, 2020).  For further background on the available programs please visit earlier postings.

Stay safe.

Sincerely,

Linda Puglisi

Cortlandt Town Supervisor

HOW TO STAY UP TO DATE ON SBA PROGRAMS:

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is encouraging small business to subscribe to their email updates via: www.SBA.gov/Updates and/or to follow the latest news on Twitter at @SBAgov.  This will provide updates.

For assistance on an SBA application, find your local SBA affiliated service organization.  There are several options; www.SBA.gov/Local Assistance

Any SBA questions you may also call 1-800-659-2955.

BEWARE OF FRAUD:

The SBA advises that you should NOT respond to an SBA loan or grant offer from someone not self initiated.  In other words, unsolicited emails or calls.  Any one contacting you requesting a fee to help getting SBA assistance may be a fraud attempt.  Any email with an address ending in “dot” com or “dot” org is not the SBA.  All SBA emails have “dot" gov.

NEW SBA WEBSITE FOR EIDL:(Economic Injury Disaster Loan)

This existing program is available only through direct application to the SBA.  Website has been revised.  The new link is: https://www.SBA.gov/Disaster

If you previously applied through the old link, but want to avail yourself of the $10,000 advance you need to go to the new link.

The other application process for EIDL is to go to:

  1. www.sba.gov
  2. Click learn more
  3. Click EID
  4. Click apply for assistance

Phone assistance for EIDL is 800-659-2955; for Payroll Protection Program, which is through an approved SBA lender or bank, the number is 800-827-5722.

April 3, 2020

EMPLOYEE RIGHTS: PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

FFCRA MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL EMPLOYERS

As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), all employers are REQUIRED to post this flyer (see next page) in your workplace.  For many of you, your business is shut down due to State and Local Stay-At-Home orders.  If your business is shut down, you must share this poster with all of your employees - preferably by E-Mail.  This is an immediate requirement.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 

PAID LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS

Generally, employers covered under the Act must provide employees:

Up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave based on the higher of their regular rate of pay, or the applicable state or Federal minimum wage, paid at:

  • 100% for qualifying reasons #1-3 below, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total;
  • 2/3 for qualifying reasons #4 and 6 below, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total; and
  • Up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 for qualifying reason #5 below for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.

A part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.

ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES

In general, employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons (see below). Employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave for reason #5 below.

QUALIFYING REASONS FOR LEAVE RELATED TO COVID-19

An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to  self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking  a medical diagnosis
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described  in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  1. is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
  2. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

ENFORCEMENT

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has the authority to investigate and enforce compliance with the FFCRA. Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA, files a complaint, or institutes a proceeding under or related to this Act. Employers in violation of the provisions of the FFCRA will be subject to penalties and enforcement by WHD.

April 1, 2020

Click here for an up to date list of Town of Cortlandt Restaurants that are still open for pick up and/ or deliveries.  This list includes Montrose, Buchanan, Verplanck, Croton-on-Hudson, and Mohegan Lake.

The HVGCC is committed to supporting all small businesses- members and non members- during this time.  If your information needs to be added or updated, please email lbrady@hvgatewaychamber.com.

APRIL 1, 2020

PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT FLOWCHART

MARCH 31, 2020

UPDATED INFORMATION (3/31) REGARDING APPLICATIONS FOR RELIEF UNDER THE CARES ACT

FROM THE WESTCHESTER COUNTY OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Payroll Protection Program Clarifications

  • EIDL Applications - the EIDL application process has been simplified and a new application portal is live right now at: www.sba.gov/disaster. Businesses that successfully submitted an application or uploaded documents late last week via the temporary document upload portal do not have to take additional action as their applications have been received for processing. Anyone that was unable to complete an application on the prior application portal AND/OR did not upload their application to the document upload portal, should restart their application via the new portal.
  • EIDL Advances­ - also available now are advances of up to $10,000 on EIDL loans. The form is part of the new EIDL application process above. If approved, these funds can be used for payroll and other operating expenses and will be forgiven. All applicants who successfully submitted an application prior to yesterday received an email notifying them of this. Below are the instructions the SBA sent:
  • This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
  • If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
  • EIDL and Faith-based organizations - faith-based organizations may now apply for EIDL with the new application for any public service/secular operations they may have.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)/Stimulus questions:

  • PPP and stimulus-related changes will be available in the coming days as SBA completes the rule-making process, updates procedures/systems, and then on-boards lenders. Please apply here www.SBA.gov/Disaster in the interim. Businesses may benefit from both, so long as they don’t use them for the same purposes/time periods. No duplication of the use of proceeds, in other words.

March 30, 2020

Click here for more information about the Payment Protection Plan.

March 30, 2020

SBA Guidelines to Business Benefits under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security) Act.

The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is intended to assist business owners during the current coronavirus crisis.  It provides various programs and resources for small business, some not for profits and various other employers.

Click here for the Small Business Administration’s informative guide to the CARES Act.

March 27, 2020

Dear Cortlandt Business Owner/Operator,

The Town Board and I understand this is a most difficult time for most of our Cortlandt businesses.  The Town wants to be a resource by providing information that the federal, state and county government are providing.  Daily there are new guidelines covering operations, employee benefits, notice requirements and programs designed to assist you with the adverse financial impact you are suffering.

Below is information gathered today, March 27th.

Be safe. 

Sincerely,

Linda Puglisi

Cortlandt Town Supervisor

NYSDOL Fact Sheet on New Paid Sick Leave Requirements:

  • The New York Department of Labor has put out a "Fact Sheet" on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This is the act that created the new paid sick leave, and emergency medical leave. This website will provide further information:  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questionsThis is not a direct link, you must copy and paste into google.

USDOL Posting Requirement for employers, even if operating remotely:

  • The Department of Labor (DOL) has published model notice WH1422 that is required to be posted by all employers with 500 employees or less. The notice outlines the expanded paid sick leave and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The notice must be displayed in a conspicuous place(s) that employees regularly visit. If your workforce is operating remotely at this time, the DOL stipulates that the notice can be electronically posted by emailing it to all current employees or posting it to an internal or external employee website. The model notice can be found below.

Updated SBA Loan Application:

  • An updated SBA site for users to use to upload loan documents in applying for a SBA loan has been released. The most important thing is that the user should first clear their cache and history browsing before going to the new site. We are being told this is very important before continuing. After clearing cache/browser history, all users should copy and paste this website, use the top google search that comes up:   https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 

PAID LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS

Generally, employers covered under the Act must provide employees:

Up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave based on the higher of their regular rate of pay, or the applicable state or Federal minimum wage, paid at:

  • 100% for qualifying reasons #1-3 below, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total;
  • 2/3 for qualifying reasons #4 and 6 below, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total; and
  • Up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 for qualifying reason #5    below for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.

A part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.

ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES

In general, employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons (see below). Employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave for reason #5 below.

QUALIFYING REASONS FOR LEAVE RELATED TO COVID-19

An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to  self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking  a medical diagnosis;
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described  in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  1. is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
  2. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

ENFORCEMENT

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has the authority to investigate and enforce compliance with the FFCRA. Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA, files a complaint, or institutes a proceeding under or related to this Act. Employers in violation of the provisions of the FFCRA will be subject to penalties and enforcement by WHD.

March 26, 2020

New York State and the United States Department of Labor have issued guidelines to assist employers regarding leave time to employees affect by COVID-19

NYS Emergency Sick Leave Update

The state has provided clarification regarding the number of emergency paid sick leave days an employer must provide in light of the paid sick leave law. In FAQ’s revised by the state just last evening, they indicate that the number of days required (5 or 14 depending on employer size) are calendar days. Previous guidance suggested that these were business days.

Therefore, if you are an employer of more than 100 employees and required to provide 14 days of paid sick leave to an employee quarantined by a public health official, the number of paid days is calendar days, and the pay required should represent the amount of money that the employee would have otherwise received for the 14 day period.

FAQ: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/new-york-paid-family-leave-covid-19-faqs

Federal Bill Requiring Employee Leave, FAQ Available

Last night the US Department of Labor released preliminary FAQ’s related to the Family First Coronavirus Response Act. As you know the Act provides emergency sick time for those affected by the COVID-19 virus as well as an enhanced paid Family and Medical Leave Act for those who require leave to care for children at home as the result of COVID-19 related school closings. This Act applies to leaves that begin after April 2, 2020 and is not retroactive. Additional guidance is expected. We will notify members when that is available.

FAQ: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

March 26, 2020

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL) APPLICATIONS

As EIDL applications continue to surge, the Office of Disaster Assistance has provided an alternate method for applicants to submit and upload forms while the application portal is down for maintenance.

Here is the link to the new application page with instructions for uploading documents: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html

IMPORTANT: You may have to clear your browser cache if you receive an error accessing this page. The page has links to all of the relevant forms.

Notes to help with the application:

  • The Office of Disaster Assistance is advising businesses to fill out the PDF forms and reach out to SBDC if they need assistance with compiling the financial information. They may request assistance with the application at www.nyssbdc.org to make an online request.
  • Applicants will also need to submit the most recently filed tax returns for the business and all owners of the business, or a justification if not available. Sole proprietors are required to complete the 5C loan application form. All other businesses should fill out the form 5 business loan application.     

Notes on filling out the forms:

  • On all forms “Damaged Property” simply refers to your primary location for the operations of the business.
  • On Form 5, skip box 15, this only applies to property damage loans.
  • There is no specific location to input a requested loan amount. The loan amount is determined by the supporting documents and any other relevant financial information provided that substantiates the economic injury.
  • All owners with 20% or greater ownership in the business must be included in the application.

March 26, 2020

Two Informative Websites for Small Business and Preliminary Information on the Federal Stimulus Package

*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 at: http://www.nyssbdc.org/EIDL.html

  • 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 at:  https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-new-yorkers
  • 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.

March 25, 2020

TWO REQUIREMENTS TO KNOW REGARDING YOUR EMPLOYEES DURING THE COVID -19 CRISIS

Reduction in Pay

Employers are using a variety of strategies to adapt to closed businesses or dramatic reductions in revenue. (layoffs, reduction in hours, reducing pay, etc.).  One thing to remember – if you need to reduce an employee’s pay during the crisis you would be required to provide that employee a new Wage Acknowledgement Form.  The NYS Wage Theft Prevention Act requires employers distribute these forms upon the date of hire or whenever a rate of pay is reduced.  The notice must include:

  • Rate or rates of pay, including overtime rate of pay (if it applies)
  • How the employee is paid: by the hour, shift, day, week, commission, etc.
  • Regular payday
  • Official name of the employer and any other names used for business (DBA)
  • Address and phone number of the employer's main office or principal location
  • Allowances taken as part of the minimum wage (tips, meal and lodging deductions)

The notice must be given both in English and in the employee's primary language.

The employer may provide its own notice, as long as it includes all of the required information, or use the Department of Labor’s sample notices.

Federal Bill Requiring Employee Leave FAQs

Tuesday night the US Department of Labor released preliminary FAQ’s related to the Family First Coronavirus Response Act. The Act provides emergency sick time for those affected by the COVID-19 virus as well as an enhanced paid Family and Medical Leave Act for those who require leave to care for children at home as the result of COVID-19 related school closings. This Act applies to leaves that begin after April 2, 2020 and is not retroactive. Additional guidance is expected.

See this link:  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

March 25, 2020

 
March 25, 2020

Dear Cortlandt Business Owner/Operator,

On behalf of the Town Board and all Cortlandt residents, please know that your Town government is taking every action and precaution to protect the public health and safety.  The health and safety of you and your families and employees is paramount.  Together, we will get through this.

Many of our Cortlandt businesses are going to suffer economic and financial loss.  The town, county, state and federal governments are still working on a several measures to support business through this crisis.

The attached PowerPoint was prepared by the Small Business Development Center, a state agency.  It is a guide to a disaster relief loan program from the US Small Business Administration.

Unlike many natural disasters, this situation is nationwide and touches nearly every type of business.  While the application turnaround is generally 21 days it may take longer.  When filling out any application online, it is recommended that you “save” each page as you go along since the volume of applications sometimes freezes or crashes the system. 

These loans feature a first payment deferment of one year.  The loans are to cover costs such as employee pay, vendors and utilities that must be paid even while your income is limited or nonexistent.  These are direct loans from the US Treasury with no application fee or other charges, unlike other SBA loans which may go through a bank.

If you have questions or need more information, several useful links are presented in the PowerPoint and you can always contact the Town’s Economic Development consultant, George Oros (geooros54@gmail.com) who is monitoring programs available to business.

Sincerely,

Linda Puglisi

Supervisor Town of Cortlandt

March 25, 2020

Attention Town of Cortlandt Businesses:

The Westchester County Economic Development, The Catalyst, has provided helpful information (please find below) for small businesses in the County, which includes the Town of Cortlandt.

Loans for Businesses

Community Capital Emergency Loans for Businesses Affected by the COVID-19 Virus

For immediate needs, both current clients and those who are new to Community Capital can apply for an Express Loan:

  • Express Loan: Business owners who have a credit score of 650 or above can apply for an Express Loan of up to $10,000. This loan will have all payments deferred for 90 days and carries a 2% interest rate.

As an SBA Lender, Community Capital will continue to make larger loans and loans to those with credit scores below 650, however they will not able to turn them around as quickly as the Express Loans. Applying for an Express Loan does not limit your ability to apply for one of Community Capital's other loan products.

For more information call Rachael Dubin (914) 747 8020 extension 118 

Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Available to Westchester County Businesses 

The SBA has made available low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). If you are interested in an SBA loan, apply here.

For additional information, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

Sources of Information

News and resources for businesses on Coronavirus: Westchestercatalyst.com/coronavirus-updates

Learn if your business is considered "essential" here.

Sign up for email updates from NYS here and ask questions about COVID-19 here.

Find more information about the new NYS COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave law here.

March 25, 2020

During these uncertain and trying times as our community strives to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, please know that the Town of Cortlandt government is doing all it can to keep our residents safe and healthy while continuing to maintain all governmental services and provide accurate and important information to you, your business and your customers.

IN addition to providing needed Town services to your business, we are also monitoring programs that are being put in place to mitigate the impact COVID-19 pandemic is having on your business.

The United State Small Business Administration has announced that low interest loans may be available to impacted businesses.  The Town’s consultant for economic Development, George Oros has been following the program and its criteria and application process.  If your business is interested in this program or has any questions, I encourage you to contact Mr. Oros at goros@townofcortlandt.com or through his personal email at geooros54@gmail.com.

For your information, here are other valuable links to agencies and programs assisting small business:

https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businessesemployers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Another valuable source is Empire State Development Corporation at this website: https://esd.ny.gov/esd-covid-19-related-resources.

Above all, as much and where sales of products and services can be maintained, the Town is asking residents to use Cortlandt businesses first.

Thank you for your attention and be safe.

Sincerely,

Linda Puglisi

Supervisor

Town of Cortlandt

March 25, 2020

Support Local Businesses- Restaurants

A Message from The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber:

We have been working on a Town of Corltandt restaurant list for those providing take out and delivery. This TOC list includes businesses in Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Buchanan, Montrose, Verplanck & Mohegan Lake. If your restaurant is missing or needs to be updated, email LBrady@hvgatewaychamber.com.

While we normally only promote HVGCC members, right now we all need to come together to support ALL small business, so we have included as many restaurants as we could find take out information for.

Town of Cortlandt Restaurants (Please see link, https://tinyurl.com/ugulg85)

Montrose, Buchanan, Verplanck, Croton-on-Hudson, Mohegan Lake Restaurants: If your information needs to be added or updated, please email LBrady@hvgatewaychamber.com.

March 19, 2020

Click here for information regarding assistance for businesses and employees affected by COVID-19.

March 19, 2020

Looking to support our Town of Cortlandt local businesses during this difficult time? Here are a list of restaurants providing take-out and delivery. Thank you to Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber for putting this together! If any restaurant or deli would like to be added to the list, they should contact the Chamber at LBrady@hvgatewaychamber.com.

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