Dutchess County Business Updates For May 18, 2020

***UPCOMING WEBINAR***

Tomorrow at 1PM: Dutchess Tourism presents a FREE Virtual Lunch & Learn Webinar: "A Guide To Practicing Customer Appreciation As We Prepare To Reconnect" presented by Dawn Hopper, Director of Tour & Travel. With things changing so quickly, it’s more important than ever to explore new ways to practice gratitude and customer appreciation. Learn how to use this as a tool to reconnect, reassure, and retain your customers as we move toward re-opening. Reserve your spotHERE.

Wednesday, May 20 at 8AM: The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce invites members and non-members to attend a presentation given by City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison on Zoom. The mayor will discuss the impact of the COVID crisis on the city and his vision for moving forward. There will be opportunity to ask questions. Thank you to Rondout Savings Bank for sponsoring. Register HERE.

·Empire State Development has just 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. The tool can be found HERE.

·ESD has also updated the guidance for essential businesses that are allowed to be open before Phase 1. Included in that list is golf courses and driving ranges, but food and retail services at the courses must remain closed. This does allow carts to be used on the courses. That guidance can be found HERE.

·The SBA has released the instructions and application for Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness. They can be found HERE.

·The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a final rule to provide greater simplicity and flexibility to retail industry employers when it comes to which employees are exempt from overtime. If an employee is primarily paid by commission, they now may be exempt from qualifying for overtime. The press release and rule can be found HERE.

·Reminder: In order to reopen when it is authorized, a business must fill out, and have on premises, a copy of the company's reopening safety plan. A template of the plan can be found HERE.

·In today’s (Monday) press conference Governor Andrew Cuomo said houses of worship, and other areas where a lot of individuals gather to participate, would be allowed to reopen in Phase 4. The state is looking at ways to allow these organizations to reopen with limited capacity and social distancing measures in place.

·The governor said testing kits and capacity were being set aside for nursing home staff because of his new Executive Order requiring all staff members be tested twice a week. This was done after concerns were brought by nursing home and long-term care facilities regarding the availability of testing for employees.

Governor Cuomo said the 14 day minimum between phases is due to the incubation period of the virus. He did not clarify his remarks on the parameters being shortened to allow regions to move into the next phase before the 14 day minimum.

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