Retail and COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 on retail across New York has been significant. We are working diligently to keep you up to date through our website, eBlasts and social media channels. Check back frequently for new information.

Governor orders 100% closure of ‘non-essential’ businesses statewide
On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo ordered all businesses statewide deemed not essential to close in-office personnel functions effective at 8 pm on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

You can read the Governor’s updated Executive Order guidance here:

Below is the Governor’s Friday press conference when he made the announcement

It is also important to visit the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ website since the Department regulates retail in New York State. Ag and Markets continues to provide exemplary guidance in a clear and concise way. Click here to access updates from the New York State Department of Health.

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 Retail Council President Ted Potrikus at

Sales tax
While your sales tax was due on Friday, March 20th, 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.

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

Click here for NYS Department of Health guidance on cleaning.

Statewide Job Opportunities
Download the Department of Labor flyer for details.