How Businesses in NYC are Coping with the Covid-19 Shutdown

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down. While grocery stores are allowed to remain open (alongside a handful of other essential businesses), many organizations in NYC remain closed. 

Thankfully, NYC has started its phased restart and is planning for a responsible and safe comeback that will revive businesses and visitation. With many business owners losing patience with the government over being unable to operate, here is a guide on what the next month will look like and how businesses can return back to normal.

The Road to Reopening

As outlined in Governor Cuomo’s New York Forward plan, companies across NYC will be allowed to open doors in four phases. Each of the phases will be spaced by at least two weeks apart to make sure that public health and safety are maintained. 

Phase 2 came into effect on June 22. In Phase 1, businesses like electronics and appliance stores, clothing shops, home furnishing stores and florists were permitted to operate as a pickup service only. Phase 2 sees hair salons, outdoor dining, and in-store retail stores back open. Phase 3 will allow dining in restaurants to open, with phase 4 permitting education and arts, recreation and entertainment outlets to open.

What to Know Now

Many of New York City’s nonessential companies are continuing to operate, as long as their workforce stays at home. Residents in the city are now allowed to gather in small groups of 10 or less, as long as each participant strictly adheres to the social distancing measures implemented. 

Technology to Use

If your business is able to operate online, it’s important that you have the right technology and tools to keep your operation running smoothly. Many essential businesses have been using video conferencing tools to connect and engage with clients, enabling them to continue operating while protecting their clients and workforce. There are tools like Skype, Zoom, and Go to Meeting, which are great collaboration platforms to use. 

Payment Protection Plan

There have been emergency measures passed by the government, which provides financial aid to small businesses. Known as the Paycheck Protection Plan, if you haven’t done so already, businesses can apply for the program and benefit from a business loan that can cover payroll expenses, such as payroll tax, salary and wages, healthcare benefits and retirement benefits.

Health and Safety Tips

If you can now operate your business in person, there are various health and safety tips that you need to follow. Cleaning your hands regularly, using hand sanitizer and adhering to social distancing measures is crucial. The safety of your team should be your top priority, so to avoid personal injuries from occurring in the workplace, it’s important that you follow health and safety guidelines provided by the government. Should a personal injury occur in your business, you can read more here about how a personal injury lawyer in NYC can help.

Tool Kit

Over the next couple of months, the phases laid out by the government will come into play, helping businesses across the state resume activity. To keep up to date, you can check out the CDC who provide official recommendations and resources in response to Covid-19. 

While NYC businesses are beginning to reopen, there is still a long road ahead before normal business resumes. Staying up to date with government guidelines and following the correct health and safety protocol will ensure that you and your business are not put at risk.

Chung Nguyen

Chung is a seasoned business journalist with a focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility. With over 15 years of experience covering the world of finance and economics, Rachel has established herself as a respected authority on responsible business practices. Throughout her career, Chung has interviewed some of the most influential leaders in the corporate world and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the United Nations Climate Change Conference. She is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for her work. Chung's passion for promoting sustainable business practices has also led her to author a book on the topic.