Retail & COVID-19


The New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act) was signed into law on May 5, 2021. The law mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the NY HERO Act is to protect employees against exposure and disease during a future airborne infectious disease outbreak.

On September 6, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease under the HERO Act. This designation requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans. See below for additional updates.

Airborne infectious disease – workplace standards (A.2681-B, Reyes – S.1…

NY HERO Act – Chapter Amendments (A.7477, Reyes)

Memorandum re NYS DOL Guidance Relative to the NYS HERO Act

Memorandum re Impact of the NYS HERO Act on Private Employers

Coping with COVID

NY Project Hope – Coping with COVID: NY’s free and confidential COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline.

Call 1-844-863-9314 8am-10pm / 7 Days

NYSDOH – Quarantine guidance

New York State Insurance Fund

NYSIF will be resuming routine billing and cancellation procedures with your September bill. The temporary suspension of policy cancellations due to COVID-19 will end on August 31, 2020. NYSIF will not be charging interest on audit installments between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021. Please contact the Retail Council to let us know whether you experienced any changes in your workers’ compensation payroll so that we can adjust your premium accordingly.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Premium Credit Program – Current NYSIF policyholders can receive a credit of up to 5% of your annual premium (capped at $500) for the purchase of PPE and other eligible items. Items include masks, goggles, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer and any other COVID-19 safety related items. Login to your NYSIF account to claim your credit.

Signage for Customers & Employees 

Guidance from the New York State Department of Health requires retailers reopening under PHASE ONE to post certain signs for customers and employees.

Once you have signed the Department’s required affirmation, you may wish to use these printable PDFs for your store – Affirmation Sign, Employee Notice & Face Mask Sign.

Please be certain to read and follow all of the guidelines at the Department’s link and at

Signage from Business Partners

Call Business Partners at (518) 489-4518 for more information on COVID-19 signage.

Signage from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

  • Restaurants and Indoor Dining Signage
  • Office Signage

COVID-19 Travel Advisory 

List of restricted states 

New York State Insurance Fund Resources 

Video & Guide for Safe Reopening 


A Guide To Reopening & Building Back Together

Reopening New York

Curbside and In-Store Pickup Retail Guidelines for Employers and Employees

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets

The Department regulates retail in New York State – visit their website here.

Guidance for retail grocery stores.

New York State Department of Health

Click here to access updates from the Department of Health.

Unemployment Insurance

Click here to download the NYS Dept. of Labor’s FAQ on Unemployment Insurance Benefits.

Personal Protective Equipment 

Click here to see a list of New York based, FDA registered companies selling PPE.


Click here for NYS Department of Health guidance on cleaning.

Y2X Life Sciences – Powerful, non-toxic solutions for a safer post-COVID world.

Sales tax

You will not face interest or penalties if your business fails to make the payment. Click here for guidance on this issue.

SBA frees up loans for NY small business

Following an enormous amount of prodding from the Cuomo Administration, the United States Small Business Administration announced expanded statewide access to Small Business Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Business. The Retail Council began pressing for at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in an effort to get cash into the hands of small businesses with minimized bureaucracy. This SBA breakthrough is significant. Click here for details. As the Retail Council understands the general rules, SBA loans can go up to $2 million per applicant and can be repaid over a maximum of 30 years.

The Small Business Administration has established a new online application portal for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Click here to visit the simplified portal.

Click here to download an overview of the SBA program.

For more information, please read the following information from the National Retail Federation.

On March 27, Inc. hosted a live expert Q&A on what you need to know about the package and its $367 billion program for small businesses. Click here to watch it. 

The Small Business Administration has established a new, simplified, online application portal for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.  The portal can be reached at

Webinar: Loans, Payroll Tax Credits & More from The Bonadio Group. 

‘While we are still waiting for SBA guidance regarding the specifics of debt forgiveness, we highlight in our discussion different interpretations of the CARES bill surrounding debt forgiveness and what businesses need to be aware of when spending their PPP funds after the 8 weeks of receipts. We also discuss the interaction between payroll tax credits and the PPP loan. Lastly, we highlight the terms sheets regarding the Main Street loan program that is expected to launch in early May.’

US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship 

Click here to see The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act. 

Statewide Job Opportunities

See the Department of Labor Immediate Hire Opportunities here. For members who want to post their critical hiring opportunities on the site – click the “Post Jobs” box in the top right corner to register or log in to an existing account.

Download the Department of Labor flyer for details.

NY State of HealthThe Official Health Plan Marketplace

With the impact of COVID-19, more New Yorkers may be in need of health coverage due to job loss. All health plans are open for enrollment now.

Find a Navigator Here. 

Find Other NY State of Health Enrollment Assistors.

Find Coronavirus and COVID-19 Information Here.

What You Can Do To Help
New York is reaching out to vendors across the country and the globe to secure supplies that we’ll need in the coming days when COVID-19 moves from the street to the hospital bed. The Governor has secured 2 million N-95 respirator masks and is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to build four temporary hospitals downstate.

While you may not have access to 170,000 portable pulse oximeters, you may have connections through your suppliers for things like N-95 respirator masks (the 2 million will be used quickly), medical masks, gowns, exam gloves, eye/face shields, goggles, boot covers, and hair covers.

One Retail Council member has already stepped up making arrangements for  25,000 of the 2 million N-95 masks procured by the State. If you can help, please email Melissa O’Connor at

Card Networks to Postpone Interchange Adjustments

Click here to see the article from Digital Transactions.