KOLB: Important information, resources for residents and business owners

The coronavirus isn’t just an unprecedented public health emergency. It’s turned life as we know it upside down.  Tens of thousands of afflicted New Yorkers are fighting the virus, and selfless healthcare professionals are working around the clock to help them win. They’re in our thoughts and prayers every day.

Our efforts to contain the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable populations have also disrupted nearly every facet of our day to day lives as Americans- weddings and funerals, worship and entertainment, even voting. The devastating impact on our economy right here in our community can’t be overstated. Small business owners and their dedicated employees need relief now.

Help and critically important information is available to assist those who have been impacted.

Small business owners can apply for disaster loan assistance at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. A fact sheet and downloadable presentation can be accessed at https://esd.ny.gov/resource-guide-covid-19-sba-disaster-loans.  Important tax information for small business owners and their employees can be found at https://www.tax.ny.gov/press/alerts/nys-tax-response-to-covid-19.htm.

Business owners can receive up-to-date guidance and updates from Empire State Development at https://esd.ny.gov/esd-covid-19-related-resources. To access an FAQ about what designates an essential business based on the governor’s recent Executive Order, you can visit https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ESD_EssentialEmployerFAQ_032220.pdf.  To apply for the designation, visit https://esd.ny.gov/content/request-designation-essential-business-purposes-executive-order-2026.  To submit a question to Empire State Development, visit https://esd.ny.gov/covid-19-help.  Important information for farmers can be found at https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus.

A step-by-step guide to help New Yorkers file for unemployment insurance can be accessed at https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/pdfs/Unemployment-Filing-Instructions.pdf. Additional instructions can be found by logging on to https://labor.ny.gov/pressreleases/2020/march-17-2020-1.shtm.  Additionally, details about the state’s paid sick leave plan, including instructions on how to apply, can be found at https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/paid-family-leave-family-care.

Details regarding the temporary suspension of state debt collection can be found at https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/2020/attorney-general-james-and-governor-cuomo-temporarily-suspend-state-debt.  A database of county health departments is featured at https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/index.htm.  Information for parents about about the state’s expanded remote learning capabilities for students at home can be found by logging on to http://www.nysed.gov/news/2020/state-education-department-and-new-yorks-public-television-stations-announce-expanded.

Last but not least, we know this is a tough time for everyone. This epidemic is putting millions of New Yorkers in extremely difficult circumstances. You need to continue to be mindful of your mental and emotional health. If you’re struggling, please don’t hesitate to contact the state’s emotional support hotline at 1-844-863-9314.

What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov, or find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook.

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