1. We are launching a $100+ million loan program for small businesses. The loan program will focus on supporting small businesses that were less likely to receive federal loans, especially women and minority-owned businesses, and very small businesses with 20 or fewer employees. Learn more at esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans.
2. New York is extending sales tax interest and penalty relief through June 22, 2020. This extension will provide additional support for to 89,000 vendors who had returns due in March. These small businesses file their taxes quarterly and annually, and have taxable receipts of less than $300,000 in the previous quarter.
3. The Mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island could be ready to begin Phase 1 reopening as early as next week. The timing of Phase 1 reopening depends on the continued decline of hospital deaths, among other metrics. See where your region stands on the Regional Dashboard, and remember that how fast we reopen depends on how diligently we take precautions that reduce the spread of this virus.
4. The number of total COVID hospitalizations continues to decline. Total hospitalizations fell to 4,844, from 5,187 the day before. The number of new COVID hospitalizations fell to 225, from 246 the day before. Tragically, we lost 109 New Yorkers to the virus yesterday.
5. Reopening New York must be done responsibly. If you are in a region that has started to reopen, be sure to know your rights as an employee (or your responsibilities as an employer). New Yorkers can call the Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 if they believe their employer is not following PPE, hygiene or social distancing guidelines as more businesses begin to reopen.
6. Reminder that you can still enroll for health insurance on the New York health plan marketplace. If you lost your job or health coverage, or are uninsured, you can enroll in a plan today at nystateofhealth.ny.gov. You may also qualify for health care coverage from Medicaid or Child Health Plus through the marketplace.
7. CVS Pharmacies will open 36 drive-thru testing sites throughout New York. Starting today, New Yorkers can find their nearest CVS drive-thru site locations in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Staten Island, or Inwood. The state also announced a new pilot program with 52 independent pharmacies to conduct 7,000 more tests per week. If you have symptoms — please get tested.
8. Vote for your favorite “Wear A Mask” PSA. We received 600+ submissions in our Wear A Mask NY Ad Contest. Watch the video finalists, the honorable mentions and vote for your favorite at wearamask.ny.gov. Tonight’s “Deep Breath Moment”: Back in March, New York-based fashion designer Christian Siriano answered the state’s call to produce face masks. Since then, he and his team have distributed thousands of masks to health care workers, and our office has been in regular communication with Mr. Siriano. I am beyond grateful that he, and many others in the fashion community, stepped up to help New Yorkers in need.