Central NY could start phase 2 this Friday (edited)

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As long as Central New York stays the course, phase two businesses can begin reopening this Friday including barber shops/salons and other professional services, retail, administrative support and real estate.

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Campgrounds and RV Parks statewide were permitted to open yesterday and veterinarians are OK’d to do so today.

Additionally, Governor Cuomo announced that professional sports in New York can begin their training camps as long as proper health protocols are followed.

Two areas that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 are set to enter phase one of their reopenings this week, including the Mid-Hudson region today and Long Island tomorrow.

“As we move forward with reopening, we have to keep one eye on the future and start talking about building back better, not just building to what we had before,” Governor Cuomo said. “There are new rules now, and we must learn from what we’ve been through so that we can be prepared when another inevitable public health emergency happens. New York State has led the way in so many difficult times in history – people look to New York for guidance and example and now we are writing history for a whole modern day governmental and societal response.”

Cuomo also said more than 10k downstate households in-need have gotten food and products from Upstate farms through an effort called Nourish New York. Additional distributions are scheduled for this week.

Meanwhile, any New York agricultural producer suffering from pandemic-related financial stress can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which offers direct payments to offset impacts from COVID-19.

An application and payment calculator are available online, along with more information and contact info regarding assistance from Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff. A deadline to apply is set for August 28.

According to the latest Department of Labor report, New York State saw its largest-ever decline in private sector jobs last month and a 14.5% unemployment increase, the largest over a month’s time since at least 1976.

Just under 3k non-agricultural jobs were lost in Cortland County, most of which occurred in the leisure and hospitality fields – a trend found across the state, as well.

In an attempt to continue helping small businesses, the state launched a new $100M New York Forward Loan Fund over the weekend intended to provide flexible and affordable loans.

Funding will be targeted to minority and women-owned businesses, along with those that have 20 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in gross revenue.

The Department of Labor reminds anyone who claims unemployment while on a temporary layoff or furlough due to COVID-19 that they must return to work if called back by an employer at their normal pay rate and weekly hours.

Failure to do so could result in termination of your unemployment period and even the need to repay certain benefits.

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