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New York Forward & COVID-19 Resources for Business

While Ulster County is still in Phase One of Reopening Businesses, NEW Guidelines for Phase Two have now been released.

  • This includes:
  • All Office-Based Jobs
  • Real Estate Services
  • Retail – In-Store Shopping
  • Limited Barbershop and Hair Salon Services

Ulster County and the Mid-Hudson Region are in Phase One of Reopening.

Open for Business, Phase One, will include:

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
  • Retail - limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade

UPDATED Determination of Essential Businesses

An update to the Executive Order: NYS ESD continues to UPDATE new guidance outlines regarding businesses which are now considered essential. This guidance is subject to change as the State adapts its response to combating COVID-19.

Moving New York Forward

Governor Cuomo announced that certain low-risk business and recreational activities have reopened statewide as of May 15th, including landscaping and gardening; outdoor, low-risk recreational activities such as tennis; and drive-in movie theaters.

New York will re-open on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health as businesses re-open.

Each reopening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan.

Certify your business with Ulster County. Ulster County is also requiring businesses fill out this form to certify they have created a plan. The form also includes a one-question survey about Ulster County business needs.

Your reopening plan does NOT need to be submitted to a state agency for approval. You DO need to retain a copy of your plan on the premises of the business and it must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.

Business owners should refer to the State’s industry-specific guidance for more information on how to safely operate.

Empire State Development has published an online tool to help businesses determine whether or not they are eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which they must comply.

County Executive Ryan Announces New Resilience Economic Initiative to Recover, Reopen, and Realign Ulster County’s Economy

County Executive Ryan’s Ulster County Resilience Economic initiative will support Ulster County businesses and workers through the crisis and ensure we emerge stronger on the other side. The initiative includes three main lines of effort: Recover, Reopen, and Realign.


  • Work with the Ulster County Recovery Taskforce to ensure a coordinated and compassionate response to the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 on all workers and families
  • Ulster County Office of Economic Development and the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance (UCEDA) to help businesses navigate federal and state recovery resources
  • Ulster County businesses have already received over $50 million in federal loans


  • Industry-specific working groups tasked with helping businesses develop and implement reopen protocols by sector
  • Business mentors to help guide businesses through the process of reopening planning, provide technical assistance for business model adjustment, and deliver any other needed support
  • Ulster County Office of Employment and Training to lead effort to support job seekers and businesses looking to rebuild their workforce


  • Convene joint meetings of the UCEDA and Workforce Development Board to identify key workforce development needs
  • Ulster 2040 recommendations for county-led investments in targeted growth industries
  • Seek to work closely with the IDA to re-energize Ulster’s economy

As businesses across Ulster County and the Mid-Hudson Region are now re-opening, the NYS Health Department is mandating that businesses post appropriate signage, reminding personnel to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE and cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Chamber Member FASTSIGNS is offering the signs posted below to any business in our region.

Businesses and Workplaces - Plan, Prepare and Respond

Guidance to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19 for businesses and in the workplace.

Governor Cuomo also announced the members of the regional control rooms that will monitor regional metrics during the reopening process. These regional control rooms will monitor the hospitalization rate, death rate, number of new hospitalizations, hospital bed capacity, ICU bed capacity, testing and contact tracing within its region during reopening and alert the state if the region's metrics no longer meet the reopening guidelines and adjust the reopening plan for that region accordingly. Members of the Hudson Valley Regional Council include:


  • Regional Captain: Mike Hein, former Ulster County Executive
  • Jonathan Drapkin, President/CEO of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress
  • Tom Carey, AFL-CIO Westchester-Putnam Central Labor President
  • Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro
  • Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan
  • Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek
  • Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell
  • Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus
  • Westchester County Executive George Latimer
  • Rockland County Executive Ed Day
  • City of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano

Schools Will Remain Closed for Rest of Academic Year

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced all K-12 schools and college facilities statewide will remain closed for the rest of the academic year and will continue to provide distance learning during that time. The schools will also be required to continue meal programs and child care services for essential workers.

Summer School Will Be Conducted Through Distance Learning This Year.

Governor Cuomo Announced collaboration with Gates Foundation to develop a blueprint to reimagine education in the new normal.

The second round of the Paycheck Protection Program loans will continue to provide critical additional funding for small businesses and their employees affected by COVID-19. All eligible borrowers who need these funds should contact their current SBA lender as soon as possible:

Bank of America
Bank of Greene County
Catskill Hudson Bank
Citizens Bank
Community Bank N.A. (Boiceville)
Hudson Valley Credit Union
Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
M&T Bank
Rhinebeck Bank
Rondout Savings Bank
Salisbury Bank
Sawyer Savings Bank
TD Bank
Trustco Bank
Ulster Savings Bank

Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses. The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration recently released the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness with the lender that processed the loan.

Summary of Paycheck Protection Program Round 2 data as of 5:00 p.m. EDT, Saturday, May 16, 2020. Click here to see the latest PPP numbers.

EIDL Loan Program Update

The SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only, in order to provide unprecedented relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. The application is available at:

Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).

SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.

In addition, SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

To check on the status of that application contact the Disaster Center at 1-800-659-2955 or email:

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE)

Chambers and businesses need to prepare for the impacts of COVID-19 transmission in the United States. Learn more about implementing a series of actions that minimize impact on local communities and support the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) containment strategy.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber has compiled CDC’s coronavirus recommendations for businesses and workers across the country. We continue to encourage American businesses to follow data-based guidance from the CDC and state and local officials.

Small Business Development Center (NYSBDC)

The impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on society and business activities are difficult to assess and are changing daily. Small businesses need to be resilient and prepared to manage the challenges of the coming weeks and months. Click on the below button for guidance and resources to help business owners adapting to an unpredictable situation.

New York Forward Loan Fund

New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.

NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small landlords that have seen sharp reduction in rental income. The NYFLF is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with guidelines (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan.

IRS Information for Small Businesses

IRS FAQs for COVID-19 Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses.

Requirement of Face Coverings

Interim Guidance on Executive Order 202.16 Requiring Face Coverings for Public and Private Employees Interacting with the Public During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Essential businesses, as well as state and local government agencies and authorities, must procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings and provide such coverings to employees who directly interact with the public during the course of their work at no-cost to the employee.

Ulster County Government

Get local information, news updates and community resources from the Ulster County Government.

From the Office of NYS Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill

Click on the below buttons to access Resource Guides and Frequently Asked Questions regarding Health Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Federal COVID-19 Stimulus Bill and Immigration Issues from the office of Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill.

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