COVID-19 Impact

Resources for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Last updated March 19 at 9:30 pm EDT

Help us help small businesses!

Is your East Village business open or fulfilling orders online? Fill out this form to get on the map or update your hours!

NY Forward Guidelines:

Our essential local business are our heroes. We have suffered devastating losses: a beloved pharmacist, restaurant workers, essential workers and family members. Let’s keep this foremost in our minds and exercise caution as we find our way forward.

Restaurants / Bars:

Please order takeout and delivery directly from restaurants if possible. Support establishments that are operating responsibly.

Restaurants are open for Outdoor Dining. Outdoor dining enclosures must be at least 50% open. Indoor Dining at 50% capacity resumes March 19.

The announcement that Outdoor Dining will be permanent has caused considerable confusion. Enlargements that are attached to a building require a DOB permit, as does tapping into the building’s electric or gas systems. Propane heaters require an FDNY permit, and fuel must be properly stored or removed from the premises.

Our local businesses may not be aware of all of these new rules. If you feel comfortable doing so, try sharing the guidance and FAQs with them before making a business reopening complaint.

Businesses selling or serving alcohol to be consumed at the business or elsewhere must ensure that everyone within 100 feet of their business is in compliance with open container, face-covering and social distancing rules, and following all existing rules, regulations and laws.

Businesses that cannot follow these guidelines must stop selling alcohol until they can. Violations have resulted in licenses being suspended and revoked, with fines up to $10,000 per violation.

STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY online complaint form

Construction, Retail, Personal Care:

Construction, manufacturing, retail and personal care providers remain open under industry-specific guidelines.

Retail merchants: can vend on the sidewalks within 3 feet of their shops as of right. Many offer online ordering and shipping or curbside pickup!

The Open Streets program has been extended to Open Storefronts. Dry goods businesses may expand to the sidewalks. Dry goods businesses located on Open Street: Restaurants blocks may expand to the curb lane during Open Street: Restaurants hours. Please reach out with any questions.

Licensed Hair Care: many salons are working by appointment only, with limited accommodations for walk-ins. Other personal care services: massage, tattoo and piercing, hair removal, nail salons, etc. are open. Stock up on supplies and tip generously!

Health Care: Local health care providers have reopened by appointment. All are operating under stringent guidelines.

Fitness: Gyms that have passed inspection are operating at 25% capacity. Indoor group fitness classes are not permitted under the current guidelines, but many personal fitness instructors offer virtual classes.


Movie theaters may reopen at 25% capacity on March 5. Some independent movie houses can only offer live-streamed programming under this constraint.

All nightclubs, small theater houses and concert venues remain closed. Many are streaming performances and classes. If you have the means, please keep your memberships current or ask for a donation receipt instead of a refund on tickets to help support your favorite venue.

Workers’ Rights:

For questions on reopening or to report employers that are not following guidelines, see multi-lingual information on workers’ rights or call the hotline: (212) 436-0381

Legal Assistance:

The moratorium on pending eviction proceedings and orders has been extended. Please note that the courts are operating with reduced capacity and have a backlog of cases. See these FAQs from the Commercial Lease Assistance Program.

Fill out this intake form to receive a free 45-minute consultation from the New York City Bar Association’s Small Business Remote Legal Clinic on loans & grants, contracts & force majeure clauses, employment law matters, real estate and commercial leasing issues, and insurance issues.

Financial Aid:

Sign up to receive the latest information from NYC Small Business Services

SBA is accepting new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19. Few businesses are willing to take on debt at this time, but the loans are similar to a mortgage, with a low interest rate and a long repayment period. If access to capital is all that stands in your way, please check it out. SBA 24/7 hotline: (800) 659-2955.

Another option is the New York Forward loan program.

Reach out NOW for one-on-one assistance in reviewing your options, evaluating your offer, deciding next steps or navigating grants:

Renaissance Economic Development Corporation has extensive small business lending expertise, including their own program targeted for our neighborhood, with interest forms in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean.

Nonprofit Online Lender has a wealth of information to help bring you up to speed.

Helpful Information:

Post “What You Need to Know”

Review the NYC Coronavirus Fact Sheet for Business Owners, FAQs and Safety Guidelines for Restaurant Service (where not overruled by mandated closures).

Price gouging for goods or services needed to limit the spread of COVID-19 is illegal. Examples include:

  • Cleaning products
  • Diagnostic products and services
  • Disinfectants (wipes, liquids, sprays)
  • Face masks
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medicines
  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soap
  • Tissues provides gift cards to local businesses. 100% of proceeds go directly to the business!

We’re here for our local businesses in this difficult time. Please let us know how we can help you:

Please check back with this page for updates and sign up for our email list!

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