After a nine week pause, some businesses in the Mid-Hudson Region will reopen on Tuesday, including construction, manufacturing, retail (for curbside pickup only), wholesale trade and agriculture.
The seven-county region, which includes Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties, has shown a significant downward trend in the spread of coronavirus and met the seven metrics the state required to enter Phase 1 of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s four-phase reopening plan.
“The counties in this region have worked hard to get to this stage. We stayed home, stayed safe and flattened the curve, and now we are eager to get back to business,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “The businesses that will reopen will make safety their first priority. We want people working, and we also want to keep our communities safe.”
Main Street businesses will need guidance during the reopening and county officials will be there for them, Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County Executive, said.
“We were smart, we were vigilant, and, now, we begin a new chapter,” Molinaro said. “As we begin to reopen, we will keep supporting our businesses, families and farmers. As we keep making smart choices, we will protect lives while helping our community get back to life.”
All seven county executives who are part of the Mid-Hudson Regional Control Room that will monitor the metrics, welcomed the transition to Phase 1.
“While it is critical that we begin reopening the economy and getting people back to work, we will approach this first phase and each additional phase with ‘safety first, people always’ as our motto,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
The lessons learned over the past few months will now be put to good use, Steve Neuhaus, the Orange County Executive, said
“Our region is anxious to get back to work and we look forward to helping businesses as they restart our local economy,” Neuhaus said. “Practical social distancing and wearing masks will help us open all phases as soon as possible.”
A major part of the Phase 1 plan includes having contact tracers notify those who have been exposed to COVID-19. Contact tracers throughout the region will be trained this weekend and begin work on Tuesday. The region’s contact tracers include a mix of health department employees, other county employees, summer interns and volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps.
Phase 1 will last for two weeks while the number of COVID-19 cases in the Mid-Hudson region are closely monitored. If the downward trend reverses and the numbers increase, the state can put the region back on pause.
But if the epidemic continues to subside, the region will progress to Phase 2, which includes professional services, retail, administrative support and real estate. Phase 3 includes restaurants and food service and the last phase, Phase 4, includes arts, entertainment, recreation and education.
The state’s seven criteria for reopening included: a 14-day decline in net hospitalizations; a decline in death; fewer than 2 new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents; at least 30 percent availability of hospital beds; 30 percent availability of ICU beds; and an aggressive testing and contact tracing program.
Businesses seeking more information on the reopening guidelines should see the Forward New York Business Opening Lookup Toolkit at businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward)
The American Red Cross across the regions of New York State have developed a program in response to
COVID-19 to support individuals and families who have lost family members to death as a result of
COVID-19. The program will link crisis counselors with families to provide emotional and spiritual
support, as well as targeted short-term case management to assist with navigating through the
challenging processes they might be faced with as a result of the death. This might include challenges
with moving the family member’s body through the hospital, nursing home, medical examiner and
funeral home systems in this time when those systems may be overwhelmed and their processes may
be different than they normally are. They may also include linkage to legal resources for estate,
custody, immigration or other issues related to the death.
The following links to an online intake form can be submitted by a family member, a friend who thinks
someone needs help, or an agency on behalf of the family. For those without access to the needed
online technology, the phone number will link the caller to an intake person who will assist with the
initial steps for getting assistance.
The program is expected to operate for as long as families will benefit from the service or through the
month of September.
In an effort to help small businesses reopen and recover from the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 shutdown, the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) has formed an advisory committee of local small businesses to help provide, share and disseminate information as we accelerate toward a post-Coronavirus world.
The PCEDC’s Small Business Advisory Committee represents a broad cross section of industries and business leaders from every corner of the county. Members include Tom Feighery, Fiddler’s Green Pub and Putnam County Project Manager; Bryan Kelly, AON Physical Therapy; Ed Galligan, Carmel Flower Shop; Chris DeBellis, Contractor & Assistant Town Code Enforcement Officer; Maria Quezada, Six Diamonds Tree Service and Landscaping; Brian Ledley, Ledley Food Service; Stephanie Tomlinson, Salon Uccelli; Kimball Gell, Dolly’s Restaurant at Garrison’s Landing; Nisim Sachakov, Limni & Mezzaluna Restaurants; Angela Briante, Briante Realty Group; and Emily Simoness, SPACE on Ryder Farm. PCEDC Board members on the Committee include Richard Weiss, CPA, Founder and Consultant Weiss Advisory Group, Margie Keith, retired Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Director, Bob Zubrycki, Concertmaster for the American Symphony Orchestra and Walter Recher, SmallBall Marketing.
“This is a forum for small businesses to voice their concerns and share ideas that will help them to survive and prepare for a new economic reality” said Kathleen Abels, President, PCEDC. “Since the pandemic shut down life as we once knew it, we have seen many small businesses suffer and worry about their ability to carry on. We implore county residents to stay loyal to Putnam’s businesses by continuing to Shop Putnam now and to hold on just a little longer until more area businesses are allowed to reopen.”
“Putnam County is one community, the same community that encompasses the heroes of the pandemic, such as health care workers, first responders, delivery people, sanitation and utility workers, grocers and other essential businesses that have continued to serve us at their own peril,” said PCEDC Board Chairman Daniel Leary, Esquire.
The PCEDC has posted on their website, putnamedc.org, ongoing COVID-19 Related Business Resources to assist businesses to stay abreast of opportunities and orders from the State and Federal Government. NYS Industry Re-Opening Guidelines, including mandatory practices, recommended best practices and templates for business safety plans, can be found on Forward New York at https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase
The PCEDC Small Business Advisory Committee will continue to meet during the coming months to promote Shop Putnam and to develop strategies to adjust to new trends in the way we think, live, work, learn, shop, travel and entertain.
For more information, contact Kathleen Abels, President, Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (845) 242-2212
About Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC)
The mission of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) is to drive the economic vitality of Putnam County by working to attract appropriate new businesses, broaden the County’s tax base, retain and grow employment opportunities within the County and aid in the enhancement of the quality of life for residents. The PCEDC acts as a facilitator, bringing together businesses, government agencies and other stakeholders. Recently, the PCEDC has pivoted its focus to assist existing Main Street businesses to survive and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.
For more information, please visit https://putnamedc.org/