Coronavirus: NYC Small Business Services releases new Guidance for Business Owners

The New York City Small Business Services released on March 14, 2020, a new Guidance for Business Owners to help them deal with the Coronavirus crisis

General Good Practices
• Have a contingency plan in place. Gather employee and supplier contact information, legal,
insurance, and financial records.
• Have hand sanitizer and tissues visibly available for employees and customers to use while in
your place of business.
• Monitor your inventory. Make sure you have enough materials on hand and contact your
suppliers to stay up to date on any changes in inventory needs or availability of supply.
• Contact your insurance company to determine if your insurance will cover expenses incurred,
liability, or business interruption.
• Hang signage in your place of business with information on how to stay healthy. You can find
signage here: nyc.gov/coronavirus
• Promote tap and pay to limit handling of cash and the use of touch screens.
• Use booking and scheduling to stagger customer flow to comply with the new rules
surrounding occupancy restrictions; read more about changes to capacity in the Mayor’s press
release: https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/138-20/mayor-de-blasio-issues-stateemergency
• Increase ventilation by opening windows and adjusting air conditioning units.
• Consider selling gift cards in person and online, if possible.
• Text COVID to 692-692 to receive regular updates via text message. (Text COVIDESP to 692-692
to receive updates via text message in Spanish.)

Restaurants and Food Services
• Consider providing delivery services (if you don’t already). Even a limited delivery menu can help maintain business during times of less foot traffic.
• If you already offer delivery, consider expanding your delivery zone and training additional employees on food delivery processes.

Starting on March 16, 2020 at 8pm, restaurants and bars statewide will only do delivery and takeout while gyms, casinos and movie theaters are closed.

Professional Services
• Consider remote access and video conference capabilities for employees and clients.
• Make sure you are equipped at home to run a home office (i.e., find a quiet space, share your
cell phone number with clients, create a dedicated phone line, make sure you have access to
any documents you may need, have chargers and all tech needs on hand).

Personal Services
• If customers are wary about public spaces, consider providing in-home services.
• Consider more lenient cancellation policies if it appears that a customer or employee may
exhibit symptoms or has concerns about home visits.
• Make sure the policies and procedures around home visits are clear to all employees.

Financial relief
Businesses with fewer than 100 employees, seeing a decrease in sales up to 25% or more, will be eligible for zero-interest loans up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. Small businesses with fewer than five employees can apply for a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months, to help retain employees.

Businesses interested in the relief program can fill out the form on the NYC Small Department website at:
nyc.gov/covid19biz

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