The arrival of Fall traditionally brings a sense of change and renewal. And in the midst of these challenging times, never was the anticipation of a new season more welcome. And as the Jewish calendar turns the page on a new year, I wish our entire city l’shana tova – a good year.
As part of New York City’s Recovery Agenda, Mayor de Blasio today announced that outdoor dining will be extended year-round and made permanent. Since June, the City’s popular Open Restaurants program has enrolled more than 10,300 establishments and saved an estimated 90,000 jobs citywide.
In addition, yesterday the Mayor announced that the City is doubling down on its commitment to public health, continuing the City’s momentum in fighting back COVID-19 and making the city a hub for public health research and innovation. By advancing efforts to become self-sustaining in supply chain and testing, the City seeks to assure a safe return of our industries and a strong recovery overall.
At the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), we recognize the significant challenges so many of our businesses and workers are facing. We continue to work with our colleagues in government and other stakeholders to assess impacts, develop recommendations and clarify guidelines to support a safe reopening of the industries we serve.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
As of September 17, selected corridors expanded the hours for Open Streets: Restaurants from weekends to include weekday hours. Hours for each participating location can be found on the Open Streets: Restaurants homepage.
To assist businesses participating in outdoor dining, the Office of Nightlife has made the following guides and informational materials available for download at www.nyc.gov/nightlife:
• ”What to Expect When You’re Inspected”
• “Multi-agency Reopening Toolkit for Restaurants and Bars”
• It’s Up to You, New York social distancing guides and graphics
• Take Out, Don’t Hang Out posters
Additional materials will be made available to assist businesses with the extension of outdoor dining into the winter months.
Indoor dining will return at 25% occupancy on September 30. Under New York State guidelines, New York City restaurants that open for indoor dining will be subject to strict safety protocols, including temperature checks at the door for all customers; collecting contact information for tracing; face coverings at all times when not seated; and tables spaced at least six feet apart. Sitting and standing at bars will be prohibited, and restaurants will close at midnight. Businesses must review and affirm that they will operate in accordance with Interim Guidance For New York City Indoor Food Services During The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. If the infection rate does not increase, restaurants may be permitted to go to 50% capacity by November 1. Information about Restaurant Reopening is also available at nyc.gov/restaurantreopening or by calling the SBS hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC.
With more and more productions returning to set every day, we are thrilled to congratulate the 23 “Made in NY” productions who were nominated at the 72nd Annual Primetime and Creative Emmy Awards last week. Five New York City productions were awarded 16 Emmys: Saturday Night Live garnered 6 awards, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won 4 apiece, and Godfather of Harlem and Mr. Robot each took home an Emmy.
Phase 4 production guidance is available on the Film Permit website. Please check frequently for updates and review the guidelines and FAQ before submitting permit applications. The Film Office is operating remotely, so please allow additional time for Film Permit processing.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Earlier this week, Mayor de Blasio extended Executive Order 148, which sets limitations on event permits through December 31, 2020. The Executive Order limits the types of outdoor events permitted by the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Police Department, and the Street Activity Permit Office in order to minimize crowding, facilitate COVID testing and treatment sites, and to allow for use of streets and parks for recreation, learning and dining. Safe, creative arrangements will be made for community celebrations, performances, and activations to continue in the city. Frequently asked questions about the about Executive Order 148 can be found here.
Last week’s webinar, Culture in Public Spaces: A Webinar with Outdoor Event Permitting Agencies is available to view on the Department of Cultural Affairs YouTube Channel, and features a discussion on current procedures and best practices for applying for event permits in public streets, sidewalks, plazas and parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Transportation, and MOME presented on the process and rules for different types of public event permits currently allowed during the pandemic, and shared examples of successful permit execution and use.
Guidance for group music activities, including live performances and music recording, in New York City during the COVID-19 public health emergency is now available on the MOME website. The music guidance synthesizes COVID-19-related safety requirements from numerous sources, including the New York State Department of Health, the Empire State Development Corporation, the State Liquor Authority, and other State and City laws. The guidance is presented in a plain-language format and includes links to information from other State and City government agencies.
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES
• Information and guidelines for businesses reopening in Phase 4 are available at NYC.gov/nycbusiness. Under the State’s New York Forward plan, each business must develop a written Safety Plan for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Businesses may fill out this template or develop their own Safety Plan, which must be conspicuously posted on site and made available to the New York State Department of Health or New York City health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
• Free Webinars for Small Businesses: The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) offers a wide range of free events, courses, and mentor sessions to provide information about requirements and guidelines to re-opening, emergency preparedness, financial assistance, certification for minority and women business owners, regulatory changes, employee support, licensing, inspections, and more. They also have a small business hotline—888-SBS-4NYC or 888-727-4692—to answer questions about the latest guidelines and regulations.
• The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) offers information about reopening requirements and health and safety guidelines for the workplace, including FAQs for NYC Workers and an update about workplace laws for employers and employees to stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition, they have set up a Worker Protection Hotline at 311 or 1-212-436-0381 for questions about reopening or to report an employer that is not following reopening requirements.
• Free face coverings for small businesses: DCWP and SBS also are working with business-serving partner organizations throughout the five boroughs to distribute free face coverings citywide to small businesses and their employees.
• The NYC PPE + Reopening Supplies Marketplace provides a one-stop-shop for easy-to-access suppliers of (i) face masks and coverings, (ii) face shields, (iii) gloves, (iv) cleaning and disinfectant products, (v) physical barriers and portable furniture, and (vi) other supplies needed for re-opening. It represents both local and national suppliers and manufacturers to provide a wide range of order minimums.
New York State’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory remains in effect. Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Wyoming have been added to the list. The State Department of Health issued an emergency health order mandating that travelers from designated high infection areas provide local authorities with contact information and quarantine for 14 day upon arrival in New York. For more information, visit the New York State website at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/ or call the New York State hotline at 888-364-3065.
A reminder that we’re down to the final week of CENSUS 2020. Get counted now at http://my2020census.gov
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MOME continues to look for ways to assure continuity of programming and to support events and festivals. We are pleased to announce that our Made in NY Animation Project will begin another round of classroom and lab sessions on October 1 and will run through June 7, 2021. The Animation Project offers young New Yorkers the opportunity to engage in storytelling, gain technical skills in 3D computer animation, and qualify for paid internships in the field. This program is in partnership with NYC Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Community Centers, and The Animation Project (TAP).
• The 15th Brooklyn Book Festival is free and online September 28 through October 5, with an array of national and international literary stars including Colson Whitehead, Joyce Carol Oates and Salman Rushdie, plus independent publishers, literary magazines, and literary organizations and a lively day devoted to children’s publishing.
• The Center for Communication 3rd Annual Diversity + Media Career Summit takes place virtually September 30 to October 2, from 12PM to 3PM ET each day. This is a great resource for people starting out in our industries, where they’ll get great advice and ideas from trailblazers and leaders. They can also sign up for skill-building workshops and networking sessions with recruiters from top media companies. Attendance is free!
• The 43d Annual Asian American International Film Festival runs October 1-11 with a daily line up of more than three hours of live-streamed panels, Q&As, and performances. Most of the 16 feature films in the festival are available for the audiences in the US and Canada to view on-demand within a 48-hour window.
• The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival runs October 1 to November 8 and will include a slate of speakers and dozens of films focused on animals from every corner of the globe.