GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING/Friday, May 22
ALBANY – Governor Cuomo today launched the $100 million New York Forward Loan Fund to provide flexible and affordable loans to help small businesses, focusing on minority and women-owned small businesses, that did not receive federal COVID-19 assistance.
The state will take a smart, targeted approach for distributing these loans, focusing on businesses with 20 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in gross revenues. Businesses interested in receiving a loan should visit esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans.
Cuomo also announced:
• the Long Island and Mid-Hudson Valley Regions will be permitted to begin construction staging in anticipation of Phase One of reopening. If the number of deaths continues to decrease and the tracing is online, both regions could reopen next week. If so, eight of the state’s 10 economic development regions would be open, with only New York City and the Buffalo region remaining closed.
• the launch of a new pilot program with 52 independent pharmacies to conduct 7,000 tests per week. New York State now has more than 750 testing sites across the state. The Governor also encouraged eligible New Yorkers to visit coronavirus.health.ny.gov to find a nearby testing site and get tested.
• the state is making its contact tracing training curriculum available at no cost to all states through the National Governors Association to speed the process of creating contact tracing programs. The state partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University to develop this comprehensive online curriculum to train potential contact tracers. Contact tracing is currently underway in seven regions of the state – the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, the Southern Tier and Western New York.
The governor also reminded New Yorkers to vote in the state’s Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest, which was launched by the Governor on May 5 and is being overseen by his daughter Mariah Kennedy Cuomo. New Yorkers can vote for the winning ad until Monday May 25 at WearAMask.ny.gov, and 92,000 people have voted to date. The winning ad will be announced on Tuesday, May 26th, and that ad will be used as a public service announcement.