Thursday, November 12, 2020

Third Avenue Business Improvement District - COVID-19 // 2nd Wave Planning, Business Impact and Resources


Third Avenue Business Improvement District remains committed and steadfast in our resolve to support South Bronx small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As New York State experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, yesterday Governor Cuomo announced new restrictions that will go into effect tomorrow, Friday, November 13th, at 10PM.

The new restrictions include:

  • Bars, restaurants, and any establishment with a state liquor license will be required to close in-person service from 10PM to 5AM daily. Restaurants can continue to provide food-only pick-up or delivery after 10PM, but will not be permitted to serve alcohol to go.
  • Gyms and fitness centers must close daily from 10PM to 5AM. 
  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences must be limited to no more than 10 people.

According to the Governor’s office, local governments will be responsible for enforcing these new restrictions.  Third Avenue BID has been on calls with the Governor's office, Mayor's office, and business leaders throughout the night and this morning to better understand and ask for clarity on these restrictions.  We have also requested a briefing on the timeline for future restrictions which will impact our district and small businesses.

While I urge you to remain calm, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over yet – our communities must stay vigilant and continue to take the necessary precautions to keep flattening the curve. This includes wearing a mask outside of your home, maintaining six feet apart from others, frequently washing your hands, staying home if you are sick, and following New York State travel and quarantine guidelines.

Learning from the previous wave, Third Avenue Business Improvement District created pandemic plans based on transmission rates and restrictions mandated by NYS and NYC. According to the latest information from NYC DOH, our neighborhood rolling 7-day transmission rate is from 3.86 and 4.08% and increasing depending on zip code.

Initial preparedness plans include the following:

  • Effective, Friday, November 20th - all in-person public programs will be suspended.
  • All programs will transition back to digital offerings through Zoom and WebEx, with an emphasis on holiday programming, business development, financial programs, legal programs, and navigating COVID-19 restrictions
  • Third Avenue BID will again serve as a PPE distribution center for the South Bronx
  • Third Avenue BID's website, social media, and contact lists will be updated and utilized accordingly to maximize impact and reach.
  • Fundraising capacity will increase to support cash infusion grants to district small businesses
  • Effective immediately, all outdoor furniture (plazas and open streets inclusive of tables, chairs, umbrellas, etc.) will no longer be deployed. These items will be put in storage until Spring 2021.
  • Effective next week Roberto Clemente Plaza and Willis Avenue Open Streets will become COVID19 rapid testing sites.  
  • Pending weather, guidance from NYCDOT and guidance from NYC DOH, outdoor dining installations may be closed and moved to storage until Spring 2021.
  • Professional services staff will fully transition to remote work effective, Friday, November 20th.  Teams have been fit out with laptops and cell phones to assist with this transition
  • Pending notice from NYC Department of Health, public health outreach programs will be suspended.
  • Continuous Access and Overdose Prevention programs will continue through the pandemic
  • Pending notice from NYS, an evaluation of MTA ridership, and DOT pedestrian count numbers, Clean Street Team / Sanitation service hours may be reduced. 
  • Security team services will be reduced and adjusted based on district data.
  • In-person holiday programs (Thanksgiving Drive, Toy Drive, and WinterFest) will transition to vouchers and online offerings. Holiday lights have already been installed, trees will be installed on November 18th, and digital promotions have begun in the Daily News, El Diario, 1010 WINS, and digital platforms 
As was the case during the 1st Wave, the information that we receive is fluid and can change with out notice.  As updates are made available we will share this information with staff, the Board, and stakeholders.

Again, I thank you for your patience and partnership as we begin what looks to be a very long Winter.  We will approach it with positivity and resolve to ensure our small businesses, district, and South Bronx weather the storm. 

Michael Brady
Chief Executive Officer

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