News

September 1, 2020 Gerad Bryan

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES NEW STATE GUIDANCE FOR AGRITOURISM BUSINESSES AS FALL APPROACHES

RICHARD A. BALL
Commissioner

AGRITOURISM
FACTS & FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Last Updated: September 1, 2020
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q1. Will I be able to open my business for U-Pick operations?
a. So long as it is done in accordance with Department of Health Interim Guidance for Low-Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment, and any other applicable guidance, businesses may allow patrons to pick their own apples, pumpkins, other produce, or Christmas Trees. However, if operating a U-Pick apple operation, individuals should not be allowed to consume and dispose of apples in the orchard.

Q2. May I offer live concerts on the grounds?
a. Currently, live concerts are not permitted on-site.

Q3. May I offer a petting zoo?
a. Petting zoos are not permitted. However, animal exhibits may be hosted so long as no human to animal contact occurs.

Q4. Do I need to close my playground?
a. The permissibility of playgrounds is dependent on the individual locality. Please reach out to your regional control room for further guidance on this issue (https://forward.ny.gov/members-regional-control-rooms).

Q5. May I offer food on site?
a. Food may be offered if done in accordance with the Department of Health Interim Guidance for Outdoor Food Services or Food Services.

Q6. Are patrons required to wear a face covering?
a. Yes. Anyone who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering must cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance in accordance with 10 NYCRR 66-3, Executive Orders 202.17 and 202.18, and any successor thereof. Farm operators, vendors, and those authorized on their behalf shall deny admittance to any person who fails to comply and shall require or compel such persons’ removal. Provided, however, that this shall be applied in a manner consistent with the federal American with Disabilities Act, New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, and any other applicable provision of law. See 10 NYCRR 66-3.
10B Airline Dr. Albany, N.Y., 12235│ (800) 554-4501│www.agriculture.ny.gov

b. Also, please note, for all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This is to be done in accordance with 10 NYCRR 66-3 and Executive Order 202.16.

Q7. How many people are permitted on site?
a. This is dependent on the respective portion of the operation, e.g. retail, food services, or agritourism.

b. Specific to agritourism, the Department of Health Interim Guidance for Low-Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment states:

i. “Responsible Parties must ensure that the workforce and patron/visitor presence is limited to no more than 33% of the maximum occupancy or capacity for a particular area at any given time, inclusive of patrons/visitors, who must only be permitted entry into the institution if they wear an acceptable face covering, provided that the patron/visitor is over the age of two and able to medically tolerate such covering; and
ii. Responsible Parties should ensure limited indoor capacity to accommodate patrons/visitors who may need to enter or exit through indoor space to access the outdoor arts or entertainment space, restroom(s), payment location, or in the event of an emergency, and allow such ingress and egress in a socially distanced manner.”

Q8. May I offer wagon or hayrides, including haunted hayrides?
a. Wagon or hayrides, including haunted hayrides, may be offered so long as six feet of distance is maintained between individuals or parties, and so long as rides are offered consistent with Department of Health Interim Guidance for Public Transportation (e.g., mandatory face coverings). Additionally, frequently touched surfaces, such as handrails, must be cleaned and sanitized between loads. Riders should be placed 6 feet apart, if not from the same household, and face coverings must be worn for the duration of the ride, so long as the individual is over 2 years old and able to medically tolerate such face covering. Hand washing or sanitizing stations should be placed in the respective drop-off areas for patron and employee use. Directionals should be given to those departing the vehicle to limit contact to those waiting to board.

Q9. May I offer a corn maze?
a. Yes, so long as the activity is performed consistent with Department of Health Interim Guidance for Low-Risk Outdoor Arts and Entertainment (e.g., occupancy in the corn maze is closely monitored to prevent overcrowding, no more than 33% occupancy, and all participants are wearing a face covering).

Q10. May I offer a haunted house?
a. Yes, so long as the attraction operates consistent with the Department of Health Interim Guidance for Low-Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment (e.g., 25% capacity, social distancing between parties or individuals, and mandatory face coverings). If the attraction is in the City of New York, it must operate consistent with the Department of Health Interim Guidance for Low-Risk Indoor Arts and Entertainment in New York City.

Q11. May I offer a drive-thru haunted attraction (e.g. haunted house, haunted corn maze)?
a. Yes, provided the attraction follows the following public health procedures and protocols:
10B Airline Dr. Albany, N.Y., 12235│ (800) 554-4501│www.agriculture.ny.gov

i. Individuals must remain in their vehicle at all times, except when using the restroom. Restrooms must accommodate space for social distancing in line.
ii. Single-direction flow should be clearly marked for cars entering/exiting any celebration area.
iii. Food services are not permitted.

NY FORWARD GUIDANCE
• Agritourism
o Includes: U-Pick Apples and Pumpkins, Tree Farms, Corn Mazes, Hayrides & Wagon Rides
o Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment
 Summary Guidelines
 Detailed Guidelines
 Business Safety Plan Template
• Entertainment
o Includes: live performances offered on site
o Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment
 Summary Guidelines
 Detailed Guidelines
 Business Safety Plan Template
• Food Services
o Includes: any food vendors, restaurants, breweries or cider mills
o Food Services
 Summary Guidelines
 Detailed Guidelines
 Business Safety Plan Template
• Local Agriculture Exhibitions
o Includes: animal exhibits
o Non-Food Related Agriculture
 Summary Guidelines
 Detailed Guidelines
 Business Safety Plan Template
• Store Area
o Includes: any retail space and farm stands
o Essential and Phase II In-Store Retail
 Summary Guidelines
 Detailed Guidelines
 Business Safety Plan Template
• Office Space
o Offices
 Summary Guidelines
 Detailed Guidelines
 Business Safety Plan Template

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS GUIDANCE
10B Airline Dr. Albany, N.Y., 12235│ (800) 554-4501│www.agriculture.ny.gov
• Interim Guidance for Retail Grocery Stores During the COVID-19 Public

Health Emergency
• Interim Guidance for Local Agricultural Demonstrations and Exhibitions
• Interim Guidance for the Operation of Farmers’ Markets
• Interim Guidance for Horticulture
• Guidance for Cleaning Food Retail Stores and Food Manufacturing

Facilities
• Prevention Tips for Farmworkers
• Interim Guidance for Prevention and Response of COVID-19 at Farms
• Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Operator Checklist for Farms
ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE
• NYS Department of Health:
o Transportation
 Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public Transportation

Settings for COVID-19
• Playgrounds:
o This will be up to the locality as to the permissibility of playgrounds
Please Note . . .
• Owners/operators should consult the appropriate guidance documents set forth by NYS Department of Health, https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus, and any other state or local governments with relation to the event or workspace.
• Owners/operators must also thoroughly review the guidance documents on the NY Forward web page, https://forward.ny.gov/ny-forward, to determine if any other business sector or industry function is represented. If an industry is relates to their event or workspace that does not otherwise fall into any of the guidance offered in Phase I, II, III, or IV, the owner/operator should complete the blank template at https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NYS_BusinessReopeningSafetyPlanTemplate.pdf. It is likely that multiple industries are represented in one business venture.
• Guidance is subject to frequent revision as NY continues its measured and phased re-opening through NY Forward. Owners/operators should regularly check the guidance documents set forth by NYS Department of Health, https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus, on the NY Forward web page, https://forward.ny.gov/ny-forward, and any other applicable state or local governments pages for the most up-to-date information.
10B Airline Dr. Albany, N.Y., 12235│ (800) 554-4501│www.agriculture.ny.gov
• Where guidance referenced in this document differs from other guidance documents issued by New York State, the more recent guidance shall apply.
• Owners with questions or concerns on the NY Forward guidance should be directed to the Control Room in the region where the owner or operator is located. For contact information and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit https://esd.ny.gov/nyforward-faq.

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August 18, 2020 Gerad Bryan

The Gym and Fitness Centers Guidance

The Gym and Fitness Centers Guidance has been posted on the New York Forward website, here, under Phase Four.  

A PDF summary of the guidance can be found, here.


For Immediate Release: 8/17/2020 GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS CAN REOPEN STARTING AUGUST 24

All Gyms and Fitness Centers Able to Open by September 2; Indoor Fitness Classes May Be Delayed Beyond September 2

Facilities Required to Operate at 33 Percent Capacity and Follow Rigorous Health and Safety Protocols, Including Masks at All Times

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that gyms and fitness centers can reopen in New York starting August 24. Facilities that reopen will be subject to rigorous health and safety standards and all gyms and fitness centers will be able to open by September 2.

“As New York maintains daily positive test rates below 1 percent, the State has determined that local elected officials can allow gyms and fitness centers to reopen at 33 percent capacity while following rigorous safety protocols, including wearing masks at all times,” Governor Cuomo said. “While it’s encouraging that we’ve reached the point where it’s acceptable for them to begin reopening in our communities, this is not the time to forget that the pandemic is ongoing. New Yorkers must closely adhere to the guidelines and local health departments are required to strictly enforce them to help ensure gyms and fitness centers reopen safely and protect the public health.”

Local elected officials may choose to delay the reopening of gyms and fitness centers until September 2 to, in part, provide time for required local health department inspections, and may also choose to delay the reopening of indoor fitness classes until a date beyond September 2. In New York City, the Mayor will determine whether gyms and fitness centers should postpone reopening. Outside of New York City, the county’s chief executive – county executive, administrator, manager, or chair of the local elected legislative body – will determine whether gym reopening needs to be postponed.

Localities can also determine whether gyms postpone resumption of indoor classes. In New York City, the Mayor and, throughout the rest of the state, the county’s chief executive may decide to opt-out of indoor group fitness and aquatic classes within their jurisdiction, postponing their resumption until a later date. Local health departments must inspect gyms prior to reopening, or within two weeks of reopening, to ensure strict adherence to Department of Health guidance.

Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Centers

  • Capacity: 33% occupancy limit.
  • Access: Sign-in with contact information and health screening required.
  • PPE: Appropriate face coverings required at all times.
  • Distancing: 6 feet of separation at all times.
  • Hygiene/Cleaning: Cleaning and disinfection supplies made available to customers; shared equipment cleaned after every use; staff must also be available to clean and disinfect equipment in between uses; rental equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between customer use.
  • Classes: By appointment/reservation only; maximum class capacity capped at number of people that can adhere to the 6-feet social distancing rules, but in no case more than 33% of the typical class size (i.e., leave stations, cycles, etc. vacant); classes should be scheduled to allow additional time for cleaning and disinfection in between each session.
  • Amenities: Water bottle refill stations permitted, but not shared water fountains; communal showers are closed, but individual showers/stalls can remain open so long as they are cleaned in between use.
  • Air Handling Systems: Gyms should operate at MERV-13 or greater; if they are unable to operate at that level, they must have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional document their inability to do so and adopt additional ventilation and mitigation protocols from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Inspection: Local health departments shall inspect before or within two weeks of the gym/fitness center opening to ensure compliance.

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Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
New York State | Executive Chamber |press.office@exec.ny.gov | 518.474.8418

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August 10, 2020 Gerad Bryan

August 10,2020 How the Most Recent FAQ’s on PPP Loan Forgiveness May Impact You


On August 4, 2020, the Small Business Administration (the “SBA”), in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury (the “Treasury”), issued guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) on PPP Loan Forgivenes s. Some longstanding questions were answered (e.g., what is transportation under utilities? See below for the answer), other questions were not, and some FAQ answers raise new questions. The FAQs are structured in four categories: (i) General Loan Forgiveness FAQs (3 in this section), (ii) Loan Forgiveness Payroll Cost FAQs (8 in this section), (iii) Loan Forgiveness Nonpayroll Costs FAQs (7 in this section), and (iv) Loan Forgiveness Reductions FAQs (5 in this section). In the following outline, we will revisit how we got here and address some of the key FAQs that resolve questions related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”).

See link here for the SBA’s FAQs on PPP Loan Forgiveness effective August 4, 2020: https://www.sba.gov/document/support-frequently-asked-questions-ppp-loan-forgiveness

How Did We Get Here?  

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, and small businesses (as defined by the SBA) started applying for Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans on April 3, 2020. By April 16, 2020, the first tranche of PPP loan funding of $349 billion ran out and Congress passed another law expanding the funding by an additional $310 billion. As of August 6, 2020, $523.4 billion in loans have been approved, which means $135.6 billion of funding is still available. The last day to apply for a PPP loan was August 8, 2020. There have been numerous guidelines and rules issued by the U.S. Treasury and SBA as follow up to the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (the “PPPFA”) in the form of Interim Final Rules (“IFRs”), FAQs, and other guidance. To date, the most common questions remain on how to handle certain aspects of the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application. The recently-issued FAQs address some of these issues as described below.

Selected Questions Answered by the FAQs

General Loan Forgiveness FAQS (Questions 1 to 3) Commentary: These three FAQs generally repeat some of the basic rules for filing the Application for PPP Loan Forgiveness – Forms 3508 and 3508-EZ. Payroll Costs FAQs (Questions 1 to 8) Question #2: Are payroll costs that were incurred before the Covered Period but paid during the Covered Period eligible for loan forgiveness? Answer: Yes. Commentary FAQ #2: The SBA finally resolves that Borrowers can include payroll costs as eligible for loan forgiveness that were incurred prior to the Covered Period and paid during the Covered Period. Keep in mind, if choosing between the Covered Period and the Alternative Payroll Covered Period that the Covered Period likely will allow you to include more costs than the Alternative Payroll Covered Period. Question #7: What contributions for retirement benefits will be considered payroll costs that are eligible for loan forgiveness? Answer: Generally, employer contributions for employee retirement benefits that are paid or incurred by the borrower during the Covered Period or Alternative Payroll Covered Period qualify as “payroll costs” eligible for loan forgiveness. The employer contributions for retirement benefits included in the loan forgiveness amount as payroll costs cannot include any retirement contributions deducted from employees’ pay or otherwise paid by employees. Forgiveness is not provided for employer contributions for retirement benefits accelerated from periods outside the Covered Period or Alternative Covered Period. Loan Forgiveness Payroll Costs FAQ 8 outlines the treatment of retirement benefits for owners, which are different from this general approach. Commentary FAQ #7: The key takeaway here is that forgiveness is not provided for retirement contributions that are accelerated from periods outside the Covered Period. Question #8: How is the amount of owner compensation that is eligible for loan forgiveness determined? Answer: The amount of compensation of owners who work at their business that is eligible for forgiveness depends on the business type and whether the borrower is using an eight-week or 24-week Covered Period. In addition to the specific caps described below, the amount of loan forgiveness requested for owner-employees and self-employed individuals’ payroll compensation is capped at $20,833 per individual in total across all businesses in which he or she has an ownership stake. For borrowers that received a PPP loan before June 5, 2020 and elect to use an eight-week Covered Period, this cap is $15,385. If their total compensation across businesses that receive a PPP loan exceeds the cap, owners can choose how to allocate the capped amount across different businesses. The examples below are for a borrower using a 24-week Covered Period. C Corporations: The employee cash compensation of a C-corporation owner-employee, defined as an owner who is also an employee (including where the owner is the only employee), is eligible for loan forgiveness up to the amount of 2.5/12 of his or her 2019 employee cash compensation, with cash compensation defined as it is for all other employees. Borrowers are also eligible for loan forgiveness for payments for employer state and local taxes paid by the borrowers and assessed on their compensation, for the amount paid by the borrower for employer contributions for their employee health insurance, and for employer retirement contributions to their employee retirement plans capped at the amount of 2.5/12 of the 2019 employer retirement contribution. Payments other than for cash compensation should be included on lines 6-8 of PPP Schedule A of the loan forgiveness application (SBA Form 3508 or lender equivalent), for borrowers using that form, and do not count toward the $20,833 cap per individual. Commentary – C-Corp Owner-Employee: The above section clarifies that Borrowers can include as eligible payroll costs, employer contributions made on behalf of C-corporation owner-employees for health insurance and retirement contributions. This FAQ does not however address the level of ownership required to be considered an owner employee. Some are speculating that 2% is the threshold based on the S Corporations rule below while others feel that any percentage of ownership by an employee would be considered an owner, unless the SBA issues further guidance. The SBA provided clarification that an owner-employee’s employer funded retirement contributions are capped at 2.5/12 of the 2019 employer retirement contribution. Also, keep in mind that the above specific guidance of a compensation cap of $20,833 is for 24-week filers. The cap for an 8-week filer is still $15,385. S Corporations: The employee cash compensation of an S-corporation owner-employee, defined as an owner who is also an employee, is eligible for loan forgiveness up to the amount of 2.5/12 of their 2019 employee cash compensation, with cash compensation defined as it is for all other employees. Borrowers are also eligible for loan forgiveness for payments for employer state and local taxes paid by the borrowers and assessed on their compensation, and for employer retirement contributions to their employee retirement plans capped at the amount of 2.5/12 of their 2019 employer retirement contribution. Employer contributions for health insurance are not eligible for additional forgiveness for S-corporation employees with at least a 2% stake in the business, including for employees who are family members of an at least 2% owner under the family attribution rules of 26 U.S.C. 318, because those contributions are included in cash compensation. The eligible non-cash compensation payments should be included on lines 7 and 8 of PPP Schedule A of the Loan Forgiveness Application (SBA Form 3508), for borrowers using that form, and do not count toward the $20,833 cap per individual. Commentary – S-Corp Owner Employees: The SBA makes a distinction between S-corporation owner employees who own at least a 2% stake in the business and does not permit employer contributions for health insurance for these individuals, which means these costs are eligible for S-corporation shareholders who own less than 2%.
Self-employed Schedule C or F filers: There is nothing new in the Schedule C/F portion of this FAQ other than the borrower must include their 2019 Schedule C or F when applying for loan forgiveness.
General Partners and LLC Owners: There is no additional guidance in the partnership section of this FAQ. Loan Forgiveness Nonpayroll Costs FAQs (Questions 1 to 7) Question #4: Is interest on unsecured credit eligible for loan forgiveness? Answer: No. Payments of interest on business mortgages on real or personal property (such as an auto loan) are eligible for loan forgiveness. Interest on unsecured credit is not eligible for loan forgiveness because the loan is not secured by real or personal property. Although interest on unsecured credit incurred before February 15, 2020 is a permissible use of PPP loan proceeds, this expense is not eligible for forgiveness.
Commentary FAQ #4: Although this question and answer are straight forward, the SBA does provide “auto loan” as an example of a mortgage on personal property. Question #5: Are payments made on recently renewed leases or interest payments on refinanced mortgage loans eligible for loan forgiveness if the original lease or mortgage existed prior to February 15, 2020? Answer: Yes. If a lease that existed prior to February 15, 2020 expires on or after February 15, 2020 and is renewed, the lease payments made pursuant to the renewed lease during the Covered Period are eligible for loan forgiveness. Similarly, if a mortgage loan on real or personal property that existed prior to February 15, 2020 is refinanced on or after February 15, 2020, the interest payments on the refinanced mortgage loan during the Covered Period are eligible for loan forgiveness.
Commentary FAQ #5: This response should resolve any concern Borrowers had regarding leases or mortgages that were in place prior to February 15, 2020, but had some form of change whether through renewal or refinance. Question #6: Covered utility payments, which are eligible for forgiveness, include a “payment for a service for the distribution of . . . transportation” under the CARES Act. What expenses does this category include? Answer: A service for the distribution of transportation refers to transportation utility fees assessed by state and local governments. Payment of these fees by the borrower is eligible for loan forgiveness. This FAQ includes footnote 5, which refers the reader to a url for more information on transportation utility fees – https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/value_capture/defined/transportation_utility_fees.aspx.
Commentary FAQ #6: It is not clear if anyone knew what the CARES Act was referring to when “transportation” was listed alongside electricity, gas, water, telephone, and internet access. Well, now we do. Transportation utility fees are charged to businesses primarily by certain local governments to fund roadway maintenance.  However, the SBA still has not addressed why heating oil is not included as a utility, while gas and electricity are included.
Loan Forgiveness Reductions FAQs (Questions 1 to 5) Question #5: For purposes of calculating the loan forgiveness reduction required for salary/hourly wage reductions in excess of 25% for certain employees, are all forms of compensation included or only salaries and wages? Answer: For purposes of calculating reductions in the loan forgiveness amount, the borrower should only take into account decreases in salaries or wages.
Commentary FAQ #5: This seems to clarify that the 25% test on wage reduction includes only the base rate of pay and excludes other compensation including bonuses.   Disclaimer: Please note this is based on the information that is currently available and is subject to change. Information was provided by Anchin.com 

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August 4, 2020 Gerad Bryan

SCOPED Press Release Clute Park Ground Breaking 8020

Immediate Release

Watkins Glen DRI Project Breaks Ground
Clute Park $5 million Improvements to Foster Year-Round Use

Watkins Glen, NY – The Village of Watkins Glen held a ceremonial groundbreaking on Tuesday,
celebrating the start of construction on the Clute Park redevelopment project. This project, on
the drawing board since 2010, was the leading public project for Watkins Glen during the New
York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) public forums. Village of Watkins Glen
Mayor, Luke Leszyk, said,” This project will take our already beautiful park, enjoyed by
thousands every summer, and enhance it into a park that can be enjoyed year-round by locals
and visitors alike”. The redevelopment and year-round activation of Clute Park is one of several
key initiatives along the waterfront spear-headed by Project Seneca, a privately-funded regional
initiative.

The project, valued at $5 million is funded by several grants from New York State including
those from Department of State, Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, Department of State
DRI, and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Laurie DeNardo, Village
Trustee and DRI Co-Chair, commented, “I’m thrilled at the long-term investment from New York
State as we embark on the improvements to Clute Park. This plan retains the parks unique
character, provides year-round family-oriented enjoyment, and evolved from our community
for our community for years to come.”

The project includes a new year-round pavilion, bathhouse, outside showers, seasonal splash
pad and seasonal ice rink. New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said,
“Parks and public spaces add to the vibrancy of our downtowns and the new Clute Park will
provide year-round, flexible and accessible public gathering spaces for residents and
visitors. Now, more than ever, we see the valuable role that parks and public spaces play in
overcoming social isolation and bringing people together in a safe and healthy manner. I
am proud that the Department of State is able to play a key role in transforming Clute
Park through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and the Environmental Protection
Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.”

Schuyler County Administrator, Tim O’Hearn added, “As the gateway to the Finger Lakes, the
Village of Watkins Glen attracts over 3 million visitors per year. This latest initiative, which is
almost entirely funded through New York State, will further our reputation as a world class
destination while providing year-round recreational opportunities for our residents and visitors.
This project is the cornerstone of the transformational aspirations of Watkins Glen and Schuyler
County, and will weigh heavily in the success of these efforts. It is truly an exciting time for our
community”

“This project will continue to enhance the Village of Watkins Glen and increase its’ reputation
as vibrant community”, said Fred Bonn, Regional Director, Finger Lakes State Parks. Our
agency’s support of the new and improved recreational amenities makes for a wonderful
complement to Watkins Glen State Park and the improvements made to it over the last few
years.”

The design and engineering was completed by Stantec; and Welliver is the general contractor.
The construction is expected to be completed in June 2021.

The ceremony, following social distancing guidelines and mass gather rules, had 35 in
attendance.

For more information, please contact Judy McKinney Cherry 607-535-6862.

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July 8, 2020 Anne

Press Release – SCOPED PPP Performance

 Immediate Release

 Schuyler County Businesses Receive Over $11 million in COVID PPP Assistance

Nearly 53% of employers received approvals for loans  

Watkins Glen, NY – Funding is still available for the forgivable loan program for businesses to support bringing back their employees. The Small Business Administration has released information, by zip code, for PPP loans that were approved for businesses and not-for-profits. Schuyler County organizations were successful in obtaining approvals valued over $11 million dollars in Payroll Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans. These loan monies were processed by 25 different financial institutions and approved by the Small Business Administration. There were 183 businesses or non-profit organizations approved for loans under $150,000 and 20 additional firms approved for loans over $150,000. Loans range in size from $900 to over $2 million dollars. Nearly 53 percent of the 385 establishments with employees in Schuyler County were approved for a PPP Loan. The number of jobs retained, based on the loans, equaled 1,523.

“While the COVID pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our health and welfare, once again, as a community, we have risen to this latest challenge. It is gratifying to see such dramatic results of efforts to gain much needed financial assistance for our business community. The success of this initiative is a testament to the resilience of our businesses and the partnership with SCOPED to facilitate the access of critical resources. Thanks to these efforts our economic recovery and future outlook has become much brighter”, commented Tim O’Hearn, Schuyler County Administrator. There are still forgivable loan funds available from the PPP program for those businesses that have not yet applied. “It’s good to know that we had many businesses take advantage of it to get through the tough spot they were in. There is still PPP money available, and if there are businesses out there that still need a forgivable loan, they are welcome to contact us.” commented Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director of the Schuyler County Partnership.

For more information, please contact Anne Mace at 607-535-4341.

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June 19, 2020 Anne

New EZ and Revised PPP Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Released

New EZ and Revised PPP Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Released

On June 17, 2020, the Small Business Association (SBA) in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised PPP loan forgiveness application and instructions (Form 3508 – revised June 16, 2020), which implements the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020 that was signed into law on June 5, 2020. In addition, the SBA also published a new “EZ” version of the loan forgiveness application – Form 3508EZ. Links for these forms are provided below.

Do You Meet the Requirements to File Form 3508EZ?

The EZ application form requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. The EZ loan forgiveness form does not include a calculation for the FTE Reduction Quotient or the 25% pay rate reduction for employees who made up to $100,000 annualized in 2019. However, Borrowers using this form must still maintain documentation that supports these assertions.

Borrowers can use the EZ form if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • The Borrower is a self-employed individual, independent contractor, or sole proprietor who had no employees when they applied for the PPP loan and did not include any employee salaries in the computation of average monthly payroll in the PPP loan application Form 2483; OR
  • The Borrower did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25% during the Covered Period or Alternative Payroll Covered Period as compared to January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 for employees who did not earn more than $100,000 at an annualized rate during 2019, AND the Borrower did not reduce the number of employees or the average paid hours between January 1, 2020 and the end of the Covered Period. (Borrowers can ignore certain headcount reductions as defined in the instructions); OR
  • The Borrower did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25% during the Covered Period (same as bullet above), AND the Borrower was unable to operate during the Covered period at the same level of business activity as before February 15, 2020, due to the issuance of health directives (as issued by the CDC, OSHA and Health and Human Services) between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 related to COVID-19.

Covered Period Can Be 8 Weeks or 24 Weeks

Both applications (Form 3508 and Form 3508EZ) give Borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if the loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.  There is no current guidance providing an option to use a covered period that is between 8 and 24 weeks.  Therefore, if the Borrower believes they will qualify for 100% forgiveness before the end of the 24-week period, it is not yet known whether they will be able to apply at that time or if they will instead need to wait the full 24 weeks.

What are the Maximum Payroll Costs For Employees and Owners?

For both applications, the maximum amount of cash compensation (wages, salary, tips, etc.) that is eligible for forgiveness for each individual employee is $15,385 ($100,000 x 8/52) for the 8-week period and $46,154 ($100,000 x 24/52) for the 24-week period.

Owner compensation (i.e., sole proprietors, general partners and owner-employees) is limited to 2019 net profit up to $15,385 ($100,000 x 8/52) for the 8-week period and $20,833 ($100,000 x 2.5/12) for the 24-week period.  The owner compensation cap is inclusive of all payroll costs.  In its related Interim Final Rule, the SBA stated that they did not want Borrowers to qualify for additional forgiveness based on owner compensation exceeding the amount they were able to borrow against their compensation, which you may recall was 2.5 months of compensation, capped at $100,000 per annum.

The 60% Rule for Payroll Costs

At least 60% of the PPP loan proceeds shall be used for payroll costs. This rule applies to both the 8-week and 24-week covered periods. The 60% requirement for payroll costs is not an all or nothing rule. The Borrower’s eligible nonpayroll costs cannot exceed 40% of total costs eligible for forgiveness, which includes payroll and nonpayroll costs.

Haven’t Applied for a PPP Loan Yet?

Time is of the essence. The last day to file for a PPP Loan is June 30, 2020. See the revised PPP Loan Application link here.

Links to Updated and New Forms

SBA Form 3508 Application (Revised 6-16-2020) – Link here

SBA Form 3508 Instructions (Revised 6-16-2020) – Link here

SBA Form 3508EZ Application (Issued 6-16-2020) – Link here

SBA Form 3508EZ Instructions (Issued 6-16-2020) – Link here

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June 15, 2020 Anne

We’re hiring! Economic and Community Development Specialist

Job Summary: The primary focus of this individual will be to support Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) and the Schuyler County Industrial Development Authority (SCIDA) in efforts to leverage public & private sector relationships and decision-makers to assist the Villages, Towns and the County improve the local and regional economy. This individual will be responsible for providing technical support related to business development, community development, grant funding, real estate development and community engagement.  This includes, but is not limited to: growing and maintaining the financial resources (local, state and federal grants & loans) necessary to address the needs of new and existing small businesses; providing start-ups and existing companies with knowledge and access to a wide variety of resources critical to their formation and growth; working with local officials. This individual will be responsible for the organization’s social media including posting of legal notices and other regularly updated information on the website.

For a complete job description, click here. If interested in the position, please email a complete resume and coverletter to Judy McKinney Cherry, CEcD FM at judy@flxgateway.com

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June 9, 2020 Anne

PPP Flexibility Act Becomes Law

The U.S. government has enacted changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) including the relaxation of PPP Loan Forgiveness rules with the goal of making it easier for many businesses to qualify for loan forgiveness on a larger portion of their loans. These changes were signed into law on Friday through the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (PPPFA). This new legislation contains many important changes to the PPP.
  • Loan Forgiveness
The PPPFA extends the “covered period” from 8 weeks to 24 weeks from the date of the origination of the covered loan, or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier. A borrower under an existing PPP loan may elect to keep the original 8 week covered period. The requirement that the Borrower use at least 75% of the forgivable amount of the PPP Loan on payroll costs was lowered to 60%. The Borrower may now use up to 40% on nonpayroll costs (mortgage interest, rent and utilities) for its loan forgiveness amount. However, the way the PPPFA is written, the new threshold is now a “cliff”, meaning that at least 60% of the loan amount must be spent on payroll costs in order to be eligible for forgiveness. It is not yet clear whether a Borrower electing to use the 8 week covered period should follow the new 60/40 rules or the original 75/25 requirement.
The Safe Harbor date to restore reductions in Full-time Equivalent (FTE) employees and wages has been changed from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
The PPPFA adds an exemption to the FTE Reduction calculation, if for the period beginning February 15, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020, the Borrower can document:
  1. An inability to rehire employees who were employed as of February 15, 2020, and
  2. An inability to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions on or before December 31, 2020, or
  3. An inability to return to the same level of business activity as such business was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements and guidelines issued by Health and Human Services, CDC or OSHA during March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 related to certain protocols for responding to COVID-19.
  • Deferral of Employer Payroll Taxes
Recipients of PPP loan forgiveness are no longer excluded from the deferral of the employer’s half of federal social security and Medicare taxes. Borrowers may now continue to defer payroll taxes through the end of 2020.
  • Loan Term and Deferral Period
The CARES Act (Section 1106) initially provided that a PPP loan would have a maximum maturity of 10 years from the date on which the Borrower applies for loan forgiveness. In its first Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued in early April 2020, the SBA reduced the loan maturity to two years. The PPPFA requires all new PPP loans made on or after the effective date (June 5, 2020) to have a minimum maturity of 5 years, up to a maximum of 10 years. The PPPFA also does not “prohibit lenders and borrowers from mutually agreeing” to modify the two-year term of existing PPP loans to conform with this new section. The six month deferral period before payments are due has been replaced. The deferral period now begins on the loan date and ends on the date that the SBA remits the amount of forgiveness to the lender.
If a borrower does not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, the deferral period ends on that same date.
  • What’s Next?
The SBA will need to update the Loan Forgiveness Application released on May 15, 2020 for the changes enacted by the PPPFA. Additional guidance may also be released in the form of Frequently Asked Questions and new interim final rules to help borrowers and lenders implement all of the modifications required.
Some companies have already applied for and received forgiveness of their PPP loan amounts. With more than one million borrowers finishing their initial 8 week covered periods this week, time is of the essence to evaluate these options. If you wish to use the 8 week covered period, please contact your lenders about the appropriate steps to take to apply.
It remains unclear whether you can apply for forgiveness and prepare your FTE and salary reduction tests as of the date that you have fully used your loan proceeds towards qualified expenses. If businesses must wait to apply for forgiveness and perform these tests at the end of the 24 weeks, they will be faced with the challenge of having to maintain headcount and salary levels for full loan forgiveness, while not having the benefit of additional loan proceeds.
If you have not previously applied for a PPP loan, or you previously returned or did not accept your loan amount, you are still eligible to apply up until the loan application deadline of June 30, 2020. Of course, you still must meet the requirements of the program including the certification.

SBA Lenders accepting PPP Applications: (updated 6/9/2020)

NOTE: All changes above are retroactively applicable as if they were included in the original CARES Act, except for the change in loan term, which is prospective. As usual, please make sure to stay in contact with your accounting firm.

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June 9, 2020 Anne

June 12th: Phase 3 Reopening Guidance for Indoor Dining, Personal Care, Child Care, and Day Camps

Phase 3 guidance for indoor dining and personal care can be found on the New York Forward Webpage or by clicking here.

Guidance for child care and day camps is also available and can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding completing the safety plan or affirmation, please contact us at 607-535-4341.

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May 29, 2020 Anne

Phase 2 Business Reopening Guidelines and Affirmation Requirements

As we are preparing to move forward, it is extremely important that the health and safety of our employees, customers, and guest be at the forefront of our attention. It is also a requirement of the State of New York that ALL open or soon to be opened businesses (essential, phase 1, and phase 2) must have a Business Safety Plan on premises and must affirm that they are following safety protocols at the following site: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-two-industries.

Guidance for Phase 2 industries has been posted at https://forward.ny.gov/phase-two-industries, including:

If you need assistance with completing your safety plan, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you in developing and implementing a safety plan.

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May 27, 2020 Anne

New York Forward Loan Fund

The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE. The NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income. The NYFLF is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with guidelines (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan.
Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund are now open. Priority will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen.
Small businesses and nonprofits must employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees; Small businesses must have gross revenues of less than $3 million per year; Nonprofits must provide direct services and have an annual operating budget of less than $3 million per year; and Have not received a loan from either SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 in 2020.
For more information and to apply for the new loan, click here.

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May 22, 2020 Njeri P

NYSEG and National Grid Manufacturing Customers Can Receive Up to $40,000

NYSEG and National Grid have partnered with the Alliance for Manufacturing
and Technology (AM&T) and other NYS Regional Technology Development
Centers to offer grants designed to help Southern Tier manufacturers. The
Manufacturing Accelerator Program (MAP) provide reimbursement funds as
detailed below.

Click here for More Information

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May 18, 2020 Anne

New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool

On May 15 as part of Phase 1, non-essential businesses and business activities in Schuyler County began to re-open. Essential businesses and business activities that were already open, will be able to remain open. The guidelines accessible via the New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open, and essential businesses that were previously permitted to remain open.

This tool will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which your business must comply. Click Here to access the tool.

For assistance with the tool or developing a safety plan for your business, contact Amanda at 607-535-6862.

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May 14, 2020 Anne

Phase 1 Business Reopening Guidelines and Affirmation Requirements

The Governor’s office has released guidelines and business safety templates for industries allowed to begin reopening in phase one. As of Friday, May 15, Construction, Manufacturing, Curb-side Retail, Agriculture, & Wholesale industries in Schuyler County will be allowed to start reopening. Below is a list of industries allowed to open during phase one, along with their guidelines and business safety templates. If you need assistance developing your business safety plan, please contact Judy at 607-535-6861 or Amanda at 607-535-6862.

Business owners must read the “Detailed Guidelines” for their industries and provide their digital signature affirming they have read and understand the document.

The State has published a dashboard to track the public health data regions must meet to reopen here.

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April 27, 2020 Njeri P

Shared Work and Unemployment Information for Small Businesses

Shared work programs are unemployment programs that allow businesses to reduce employee wages and hours as an alternative to layoffs. Under a shared work program, employees can receive partial unemployment benefits to offset a portion of their reduced wages.

Employers benefit by retaining skilled employees, eliminating the need to hire and train new employees, and possibly saving recruiting fees when the period of disruption ends.  Employees benefit by receiving partial compensation for lost wages while continuing employment and maintaining health insurance and other benefits.

General Requirements of the Shared Work Program:

  1. Employers must file a Shared Work Plan (the “Plan”) with the Department of Labor identifying the employees included in the Plan.
  2. Employers are required to estimate the number of layoffs that would occur in the absence of the Plan and to certify that the reduced hours for employees included in the Plan are equal to the hours that would be lost due to layoffs.  Reductions in hours and wages must be between 20% and 60% and the Plan cannot exceed 53 weeks.  Once approved, a Plan can be modified due to changing business conditions but must not exceed 53 weeks. Employees may receive unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks during the 53 week period.  These 26 weeks do not have to be consecutive.
  3. A shared work plan covers all employees, or a particular group of employees, which can be a business unit, a shift or a department.
  4. The reduction in hours must be equal for all employees in the specific group.  An employer can develop different plans for different groups within the business.  Employee benefits must be maintained during the effective period of the Plan, unless those benefits are eliminated or reduced for the entire workforce.  No new employees can be hired for any specific group covered by the Plan, unless they are replacing employees covered by the Plan who voluntarily resigned.

Here are the links to NYS Department of Labor:

https://labor.ny.gov/ui/dande/sharedwork1.shtm

https://labor.ny.gov/ui/claimantinfo/sharedworkclmtfaq.shtm

https://labor.ny.gov/ui/employerinfo/shared-work-program.shtm

Some tips:

  • The application should be completed on-line. If submitted in hard copy the system will take 2-3 weeks to process (submit online and complete your weekly submittal  (employee & employer) on line to expedite the process.
  • The pay and hour reduction percentage must match The corporate officers can be included COVID Special: there is no payment into the business UI account until August (it is essentially cost-free for the business).

There have also been changes to Unemployment Claims process, including waiving the 7 day wait period to apply. If you are a business owner that has needed to lay off your workforce, please click here to go to the Department of Labor.

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

Click here for RELIEF FOR WORKERS AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS ACT Guide 

Click here for RELIEF FOR WORKERS AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS ACT flowchart

Click here for RELIEF FOR WORKERS AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS ACT Chart

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May 11, 2020 Anne

Southern Tier Re-opening Plan Released

Monday, May 11th;  Governor Coumo announced that the Southern Tier has met all of the requirements to begin Phased Reopening on Friday, May 15. Click here for the complete plan.

Phased Reopening for Industries:

  • Phase One
    • Construction
    • Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain
    • Select retail using curbside pickup only
  • Phase Two
    • Professional services
    • Finance and insurance
    • Retail
    • Administrative support
    • Real estate and rental leasing
  • Phase Three
    • Restaurants and food service
    • Hotels and accommodations
  • Phase Four
    • Arts, entertainment and recreation
    • Education

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April 28, 2020 Njeri P

GUIDELINES FOR PHASED PLAN TO RE-OPEN NEW YORK

April 28, 2019: Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo  outlined additional guidelines for the phased plan to re-open New York on a regional basis.  

  1. CDC Guidelines: Based on CDC recommendations, once a region experiences a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate they may begin a phased re-opening.
  2. Industries: Businesses in each region will re-open in phases. Phase one will include opening construction and manufacturing functions with low risk. Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. Businesses considered “more essential” with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered “less essential” or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. Regions must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.
  3. Business Precautions: Each business and industry must have a plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business.
  4. Building Health Care Capacity: To maintain the phased re-opening plan, each region must have at least 30 percent of hospital beds and ICU beds available after elective surgeries resume.
  5. Testing Regimen: Regions must implement a testing regimen that prioritizes symptomatic persons and individuals who came into contact with a known COVID-positive person, and conducts frequent tests of frontline and essential workers. Regions must maintain an appropriate number of testing sites to accommodate its population and must fully advertise where and how people can get tested. The region must also use the collected data to track and trace the spread of the virus.
  6. Tracing System: There must be at least 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 people. The region must also monitor the regional infection rate throughout the re-opening plan.
  7. Isolation Facilities: Regions must present plans to have rooms available for people who test positive for COVID-19 and who cannot self-isolate.
  8. Regional Coordination: Regions must coordinate the re-opening of schools, transportation systems, testing and tracing with other surrounding regions.
  9. Re-imagining Tele-Medicine
  10. Re-imagining Tele-Education
  11. Regional Control Rooms: Each region must appoint an oversight institution as its control room to monitor regional indicators during the phased re-opening, including hospital capacity, rate of infection, PPE burn rate and businesses.
  12. Protect and Respect Essential Workers: Regions must continue to ensure protections are in place for essential workers.

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April 3, 2020 Njeri P

CARES Act: Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The comprehensive package and additional funding brings to bear the full resources of the federal government to protect the health and well-being of all Americans. As of  April 23, a total of $659 Billion has been placed into the Paycheck Protection Program and $20 Billion has been dedicated to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Fund.

Comparison Chart Thumbnail
Updated April 10, 2020

Click Here for SBA PPP Application (updated 4/4/2020) 

SBA Lenders  serving Schuyler County: (updated 5/29/2020)

Chemung Canal Trust

Community Bank, N.A. (Not Currently Accepting Applications)

Elmira Savings Bank

Intuit/ Quickbooks

PayPal

Tompkins Trust (Not Currently Accepting Applications)

Visions FCU (Not Currently Accepting Applications)

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April 2, 2020 Njeri P

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

Click here to access the PPP Loan Usage Tracker

Click here to access the PPP Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to access the SBA PPP Guidance Information Sheet

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization including 501c3, 501c19, Religious Organizations,Tribal Businesses,, and Veteran Organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.

Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.

Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible if their individual locations employ less than 500 workers.

Click here to view the SBA PPP application

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April 2, 2020 Njeri P

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Additional Forms

To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.

May 4, 2020: Application is open for farms, dairies and other agricultural producers.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee for businesses with ten or fewer employees) as part of the EIDL. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available quickly after submission of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

Additional Forms that may be required (Do not complete unless directed by the SBA).

 

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April 1, 2020 Anne

NO COST Online Workforce Training Opportunities

CSS Workforce NY is offering no cost online training opportunities for ALL Schuyler County residents! This is a great opportunity for both laid off/ furloughed workers as well as workers seeking to upskill.

The CSS Skill Up website offers access to over 5,000 online courses in topics ranging from basic literacy through soft skills to technical skills for project managers – and include IT coursework, accounting/bookkeeping, and some medical coursework as well.

Click here to register for courses. 

Click here to access the entire course catalog.

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March 23, 2020 Anne

Experienced Business Leaders Needed

Are you an experienced business leader who has owned and successfully operated a business?

We’re pulling together experienced business leaders and mentors to form a Business Continuance Task Force to help in a number of ways,  including: determining if a business could be considered  essential, finding ways around loss of customers, how to pay employees, how to mitigate the need for  layoffs, how to manage cash flows and minimize economic impacts to businesses and  how to safe guard friends and family while operating a business in the new paradigm. Our goal is to guide our businesses to be stronger and better positioned to accelerate their growth after this crisis is passed.

If you’re a semiretired/retired or otherwise experienced business leader who has owned/ operated, has successfully provided hands-on leadership, and has been responsible for payroll, employment, business strategies, and marketing/communication and are willing to volunteer your talent – we need you.

Please  complete the Business Continuance Task Force Member Form so we can begin to assemble our Task Force.

If you have any additional questions regarding the taskforce, please contact Judy McKinney Cherry, CEcD by email at judy@flxgateway.com or by phone at 607-535-6861.

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March 20, 2020 Njeri P

Manufacturers Needed – Production for COVID-19

The federal government is seeking manufacturers that can produce critically needed supplies for the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage all manufacturers to take the survey ASAP.

Due to the urgency of this request, manufacturers should take the survey as soon as possible.

Click Here To Complete The National Response Survey for Manufacturers

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March 18, 2020 Anne

Emotional Support Services

NY OMH Emotional Support Line – 1-844-863-9314

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many New Yorkers feeling anxious and stressed.

Call the support line to talk with a professional  if you are feeling anxious, stressed, or in need of emotional support.

The service is free and open to all New York residents.

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March 17, 2020 Anne

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES EXEMPT FROM WORKFORCE REDUCTIONS

Below is the essential list of common Schuyler County Businesses Exempt from Mandatory Workforce Reductions. For a complete list visit. https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026. If your business is part of an exempt industry/function on the essential list – or if any part of your business provides service to an essential industry – then you are already exempt and do NOT need to submit an application.

If you are business is not on the exemption list yo may request an exemption designation. To request an exemption designation complete the Request for Designation Form and email to covid19designations@esd.ny.gov.

If you have any questions regarding your exemption status, please call SCOPED at 607-535-6861 prior to completing the Request for Designation Form.

1. Essential health care operations including

  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • elder care
  • home health care workers or aides
  • doctor and emergency dental
  • nursing homes
  • medical supplies and equipment providers

2. Essential infrastructure including

  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • hotels, and places of accommodation

3. Essential manufacturing including

  • food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • sanitary products
  • agriculture/farms
  • household paper products

4. Essential retail including

  • grocery stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer’s markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores

5. Essential services including

  • trash and recycling
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution
  • funeral homes
  • animal shelters

6. News media

7. Financial Institutions including

  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting

8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including

  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed programs

9. Construction including

  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
  • other related construction firms

10. Defense

  • defense and national security

11. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses including

  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection

12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services:

  • logistics
  • technology support for online services
  • child care programs and services
  • government owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services

 

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March 4, 2020 Anne

Watkins Glen DRI Fund is open!

Watkins Glen Downtown Revitalization Initiative Fund Application Period is open!

Do you own a commercial building located in the Watkins Glen DRI Area? Is your building in need of commercial façade renovations, interior commercial renovations, and/ or the rehabilitation of residential rental units? The DRI Fund provides reimbursable matching grants of up to 50% for awarded qualified and approved projects.

Project applications and program guidelines are available here. Applications can also be picked up at the SCOPED office located at 910 S. Decatur Street and at the Village Hall at 303 N. Franklin Street. All Applications are due to SCOPED Offices no later than 4pm on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

For more information or to schedule a meeting to discuss your project, please contact Amanda Arnold Rodriguez at 607-535-6862 or at amanda@flxgateway.com.

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January 27, 2020 Njeri P

REOI Waterfront Redevelopment

The Village of Watkins Glen is located at the headwaters of Seneca Lake and is considered the gateway to New York State’s Finger Lakes Region. The beauty of its natural surroundings, authentic and welcoming atmosphere, and accessibility from major metro areas such as NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Toronto as well as nearby cities of Rochester, Syracuse, and Erie, Pennsylvania, make the Village of Watkins Glen a prime location for developers and investors alike. The economies of Watkins Glen and Schuyler County rely heavily on tourism to and through the Finger Lakes Region. Recent tourism statistics estimate Schuyler County hosts over 3 million annual visitors drawn to attractions in the Village and surrounding area including internationally recognized Watkins Glen International Speedway and Cornell University, nationally recognized Watkins Glen State Park, pristine Seneca Lake, nationally-acclaimed Corning Museum of Glass, and the Seneca Lake Wine and Beer Trails. In 2012, the business community in partnership with the Village of Watkins Glen, Schuyler County, and SCOPED began the Project Seneca Initiative which includes redevelopment of the villages of Watkins Glen and Montour Falls as well as transformation of the waterfront in Watkins Glen. When the transformation is complete, investment is expected to total $400 million. Since 2012, the area has experienced capital investment greater than $190 million

Click Here to Learn More About the REOI Waterfront Redevelopment Opportunity

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December 6, 2019 Njeri P

2020 NY to Germany Trade Mission

December 6, 2019 Njeri P

2020 NY to Germany Trade Mission

April 20-24, 2020

HANNOVER, GERMANY

Empire State Development’s (ESD) Global NY division will lead a trade mission to Hannover Messe 2020, the world’s largest trade fair for industrial technology, from April 20-24 in Hannover, Germany. Global NY is recruiting up to 9 New York State small businesses interested in exporting to this key global market that is seeking high-tech products and services from New York companies.

Eligible businesses can receive reimbursement from Global NY’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) for travel and lodging expenses. STEP is a Global NY program that is funded in part through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to increase the number of businesses entering the export market, and to increase the value of exports businesses are already producing.

Please see the attached flyer and factsheets for further details.

Application Details and Deadline:

The deadline for applying to participate in Hannover Messe is January 20, 2020.

Click here to complete the STEP application.

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October 30, 2019 Anne

Grant Writing and Grant Administration Workshop

Grant Administration Workshop 2019

Grant Writing Workshop 2019

Over the past five years, the business, municipalities, nonprofits, and individuals have done an incredible job of writing and winning local, state, federal, and foundation grants.

The workshop is open to all interested citizens, municipal board members and employees, business owners, educators, entrepreneurs, property owners, and nonprofits that have a project idea for grant or need assistance with administering a grant. Local municipalities with open grants are strongly encouraged to attend.

The Workshop will be divided into two sessions. Grant Writing and Grant Administration

What:   Grant Writing and Grant Administration Workshop

When: Tuesday, October 29, 2019

                Session 1: Grant Writing; 9am – 12pm

                Session 2: Grant Administration; 1pm – 4pm

Where: Shared Services Building

                910 S. Decatur Street

                Watkins Glen, NY 14891

The workshop is designed specifically for projects located in Schuyler County. The last hour of each session will be answering your specific questions about current projects.

Registration is required and is limited to the first 20 people for each session. When registering, please indicate which sessions you will be attending.

Please register via email to Amanda Arnold Rodriguez at amanda@flxgateway.com. Include your name, organization, and any grants that you are hoping to apply for or currently administering.

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October 28, 2019 Anne

Over $200,000 in Skill Training Grants Available to Area Businesses

Chemung Schuyler Steuben Workforce New York (CSS WFNY) has Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) grant funds available to provide training to the employees of Chemung, Schuyler or Steuben County businesses.

The program is designed to provide financial assistance to area businesses to hire new employees in need of skill upgrades, or to upskill their existing workforce to meet the demands of today’s globally competitive marketplace. Grant funds can help pay for training provided by external or internal training providers. New hire On-the-Job Training (OJT) grants can provide up to $2,000 per qualifying new hire, and Customized Training (CT) grants can cover up to 50% of the cost of training existing workers. Applications for training grants are accepted on a rolling basis and have no minimum/maximum cap (other qualifications/limitations may apply.) Employees need not be residents of the three Counties to qualify.

Interested applicants should contact Kellie Christopher, Business Services Manager, for additional information. christopherk@csswfny.com or (607) 368 – 8704.

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May 14, 2019 Njeri P

$1.45 million available in grants to promote smart growth in communities and not-for-profits

Grants Support Age-Friendly Economic Development, Tourism, Infrastructure Enhancements and Community Revitalization Projects

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the availability of $1.45 million in grants to promote smart growth in communities and not-for-profits in the Adirondack and Catskill parks. DEC, in partnership with the Department of State and the Adirondack Park Agency, is soliciting applications for projects that link environmental protection, economic development, and community livability within the forest preserves. The focus for this round of Smart Growth Grant applications is creating age-friendly communities. Age-friendly projects help create more livable communities for people of all ages and applicants are encouraged to submit projects that enhance these characteristics.

“The Adirondack and Catskill parks are more than vacation spots with vast mountainous and scenic regions of protected lands,” said Commissioner Seggos. “The parks are composed of public parklands and private property, with more than 100,000 permanent residents and more than 100 municipal governments and hamlets. Smart growth projects enable the communities in the parks to capitalize on their unique natural settings to improve economic vitality, reinforce the assets of villages and hamlets, and help preserve their heritage.”

DEC’s Community Smart Growth Grants Program is modeled after the national “smart growth” movement and promotes growth that harmonizes economic development with the protection of the natural and built environment. For more information, including a list of previous projects awarded under the Smart Growth Grant Program, visit DEC’s website.

Today’s announcement marks the sixth round of Smart Growth Grants. Approximately $5 million has been awarded to communities since 2008 — $1.5 million in the Catskill Park, and $3.5 million in the Adirondack Park. Smart growth is a renewal of land use patterns that once came naturally in the parks and can provide the right balance between development and preservation for Adirondack and Catskill communities.

Funding for this round of Community Smart Growth Grants is provided by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund and includes $1,050,000 for Adirondack Park projects and $400,000 for projects in the Catskill Park. Eligible projects include:

  • Developing municipal comprehensive plans;
  • Providing bike-friendly routes and amenities;
  • Improving or promoting local/regional museums and theaters;
  • Improving main street facades;
  • Refurbishing historic properties;
  • Providing community-based tourism programs and activities;
  • Creating new recreational opportunities;
  • Developing multi-use trails;
  • Installing informational signage and kiosks;
  • Enhancing parks and public spaces;
  • Updating land use laws;
  • Improving visitor centers;
  • Beautifying tourism sites; and
  • Providing sidewalks in hamlets and villages.

Applicants must be a county, town, or village located wholly or partially within the Adirondack or Catskill parks or a not-for-profit organization. Partnerships are encouraged. Projects submitted must be located wholly within the borders of the Adirondack Park or anywhere within a town or village that lies wholly or partially within the Catskill Park and must be consistent with the Smart Growth principles outlined in the grant program Request for Applications.

The Request for Applications is available through the NYS Grants Gateway and the deadline to apply is 3 p.m. June 7, 2019.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/press.html

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May 14, 2019 Njeri P

NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) is now open

Round 9 of the New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) is now open for projects seeking support from up to $750 million of available funding via dozens of State agency programs. Applications will be accepted until July 26th at 4:00pm SHARP.

The press release below includes detailed information about how to apply for CFA funding, including these important highlights…

Below are the various resource materials available to learn more about the CFA process:

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May 2, 2019 Anne

Opportunity Zones

May 2, 2019 Anne

Opportunity Zones

In April 2018, two Opportunity Zones were designated for Schuyler County. The two zones are Orange-Tyrone and Catharine-Cayuta-Montour. Thank you to everyone that reach out to the State of New York on behalf of Schuyler County. Check out our Facebook Post below.

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May 2, 2019 Anne

Workforce Housing

As we gear up for the tourist season, the issue of workforce housing because more timely. There are misconceptions on what workforce is and what it isn’t.

Check out our Facebook post below for more information.

 

 

 

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May 1, 2019 Anne

Two Village Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan Interactive Program – Montour Falls and Watkins Glen

Purpose: To gather community member ideas, project suggestions, and other comments about the futures of both Montour Falls and Watkins Glen. All community members will have unlimited responses. Responses can include possibilities related to housing, recreation, retail, services, historic preservation, and other areas important them and the community. We encourage respondents to be creative and dream big. The community’s input will build on the planning efforts completed to date and will contribute to creation of a Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan.

The Online Interactive Program can be found at https://wikimapping.com/SCOPED-Regional-Strategic-Plan1111111.html

The Interactive Program is available April 26, 2019, 5:00pm — May 24, 2019, 5:00pm

Community members having issues accessing the program can visit one of two locations for personal access and computer access – Montour Falls Library (406 Main St, Montour Falls, NY 14865) or the SCOPED office (910 South Decatur Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891).

For more information on the Two Village Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan, contact Amanda at 607-535-6862.

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March 1, 2019 Anne

Clute Park Architectural Firm Proposal Presentations

In November 2018, a Request for Proposal was issued by Schuyler County for Architectural and Engineering Services for renovation and new construction at Clute Park. Fifteen architectural firms submitted proposals. A proposal review committee composed of Village of Watkins Glen employees and trustees, Schuyler County staff, and SCOPED staff reviewed the proposals and conducted firm interviews. The two highest rated firms were selected and will be presenting their proposals to the public and village board. The proposals will be held on Wednesday, March 6 at 4pm and 6pm at the Village of Watkins Glen Village Hall at 303 N. Franklin Street Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

The public is encouraged to attend. There will be an opportunity for questions after the presentations. For more information, please contact Amanda Arnold Rodriguez at 6047-535-6862.

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November 21, 2018 Anne

Watkins Glen Virtual Reality Video

November 21, 2018 Anne

Watkins Glen Virtual Reality Video

As part of the Watkins Glen DRI Application, a virtual reality video was created to highlight Watkins Glen and give the viewer a true sense of what Watkins Glen is really like. We are proud to announce that we have gone live! For the full VR experience, view on a touch screen device. The video can be found on the SCOPED You Tube channel or by clicking here.

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November 6, 2018 Anne

Discover, Engage, Transform Lookbook and RFPs

SCOPED hosted an information session on November 14 at 2pm. to provide information to potential contractors and the general public regarding upcoming 2019 projects in Schuyler County.

Click here for the Project Look Book

Click here for the Clute Park RFP

Click here for the Project Seneca Plan Refinement RFP

Click here for the DRI Revitalization Fund RFQ

Click here for the PowerPoint Presentation

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October 29, 2018 Anne

Discover Engage Transform

Over $60 million dollars in projects are planned for Schuyler County in 2019! This event is designed to provide information to potential contractors and the general public regarding upcoming 2019 projects in Schuyler County. Project representatives will be present to answer project specific questions and meet with interested contractors.

The event will be held on Wednesday, November 14 at 2pm at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, NY.

Click here to RSVP. Seating is limited.

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February 23, 2018 Anne

New FLX CDC Board Members Appointed

We would like to congratulate and acknowledge Brian Kenney and David Mizerak on their appointment to the CDC Board. Thank you for your dedication to the residents of Schuyler County! We would also like to thank Rich Greenberg for agreeing to serve for three more years. Rich has been instrumental to the success of our downtown beautification efforts.

We would also like to thank Beth Duane and Jessica Ryan for their past service. You both will be missed on the CDC Board but we know that each of you will continue to support the CDC and Schuyler County!

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March 7, 2018 Anne

New DRI Documents

The latest DRI documents have been added to the DRI page. The project list is almost finalized and the final proposal will be submitted on March 30! The lat public input session was March 7. The final draft will be presented at the final local planning committee on Tuesday, March 13.

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January 8, 2018 Anne

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING
Monday, January 22, 2018
from 6:00 – 9:00pm
at The Glen Theater
112 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen, NY

For more information contact the FLXCDC at 607-535-4341
JOIN US… To learn recent efforts to develop a Business Improvement District
for Downtown Watkins Glen and its positive impacts on the community.

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December 28, 2017 Anne

Governor Cuomo Announces Local Waterfront Revitalization Program

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES LOCAL WATERFRONT REVITALIZATION PROGRAM FOR WATKINS GLEN

 Program Will Spur Local Economy and Waterfront Access Opportunities

 Development to Increase Tourism Season as Part of the Southern Tier Revitalization Plan

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Village of Watkins Glen will be part of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to develop projects that will spur economic development in the community. The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program serves as a management program for the Village’s treasured waterfront resources along the Seneca Canal system outlined in the Southern Tier Soaring Upstate Revitalization Initiative plan.  The Local Waterfront Program is aimed to invigorate targeted New York areas with potential to grow into communities where the next generation of workers want to live, work, and play.

 “Through our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, we are laying the groundwork for the growth of the tourism industry in the Seneca Canal system,” Governor Cuomo said. “The transformed Watkins Glen will be ready to offer a world class destination for thousands of tourists to visit year-round and will serve as an economic engine to keep the Southern Tier rising for decades to come.”

The Watkins Glen Local Waterfront Revitalization Program consists of an assessment of the Village’s current and desired waterfront uses, identifying exceptional opportunities to grow the local economy, bolster waterfront access opportunities, and preserve the unique community vision of natural and cultural resources. The program also seeks to strengthen the relationship of Watkins Glen with Seneca Lake in light of the economic resurgence that is transforming the Southern Tier. While Watkins Glen is currently a summertime destination, the Village intends to stretch the tourist season by increasing the attractiveness and accessibility of the Village’s commercial areas and waterfront parkland well into the fall season.

 The Capital projects identified in this Local Waterfront Revitalization Program for Watkins Glen include:

  • The rehabilitation of Clute Park bathhouse;
  • Upgrades to the Village’s public boat launch and marina; and
  • Improvements to the Catherine Valley and the Queen Catherine Marsh Loop Trails that provide public access to the waterfront.

New York State has focused a variety of resources to help Watkins Glen advance the goals of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program and re-imagine the community as part of the plan to create economic development in the southern region of the state. Schuyler County won a 2016 Environmental Protection Fund-Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant for nearly $1.1 million for part of the first phase of Project Seneca. Schuyler County will use the funds to prepare a regional strategic plan that will generate job opportunities, development and tourism, benefiting local residents of Watkins Glen and Montour Falls.

 As part of the overall economic development plan for the Southern Tier, the state also awarded over $1.3 million through the 2017 Environmental Protection Fund-Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to Schuyler County for the second phase of the proposed Project Seneca Redevelopment of the Village Seneca Lake Waterfront. Improvements will include design and construction of a four-season pavilion with restrooms and a commercial grade kitchen in Clute Park, as well as preparation of a Reuse Feasibility Study, exploring options for redevelopment of the soon to be decommissioned lakefront Waste Water Treatment Plant.

 Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program establishes a consensus between the Village and the state, assuring that we work in partnership to promote activities and projects that are appropriate and benefit the greater community. As Watkins Glen advances its vision through this year’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the LWRP will provide an essential and complementary plan for the lakefront to spur economic development, job creation and tourism for local residents to be part of the Southern Tier boom that’s transforming this region.”

Senator Tom O’Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “These are exciting projects to revitalize the Watkins Glen waterfront and strengthen the village’s position as an anchor of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes economy. This program will benefit local residents, taxpayers, employers, and workers, as well as enhance the attraction of Watkins Glen as one of New York State’s premier destinations.”

 Assemblyman Phil Palmesano said, “Village leaders and the community at large are taking important and exciting steps to ensure that Watkins Glen remains strong for generations to come.  This waterfront revitalization program is a critical piece of this overall strategy to benefit village residents and taxpayers, create new economic opportunities, and keep Watkins Glen as one of the absolute highlight attractions of the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and all of New York State.”

Dennis Fagan, Chairman of the Schuyler County Legislature, said, “The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program for Watkins Glen announced by Governor Cuomo will spur the local economy of Schuyler County by extending our tourism season into the fall.  We are currently experiencing record sales tax and room tax growth and this program will help us sustain our tourism related revenues.  This will in turn help Schuyler County to minimize property tax increases to our businesses and residents.”

Sam Schimizzi, Watkins Glen Mayor, said, “First, we are grateful to Governor Cuomo for his investments in our community.  The waterfront revitalization award will provide the Village of Watkins Glen enhanced ability to transform our lakefront and further cultivate the economic growth for our municipality.  This investment, along with the Downtown Revitalization Initiative award, recognizes the Governor’s commitment to strengthen and invest in communities to enhance economic development.  For that, we are grateful and look forward to working with our State Officials.”

Judy McKinney Cherry, Co-Chair of the Watkins Glen DRI Local Planning Committee, said, “We are so thankful for Governor Cuomo’s attention to Update New York and especially his focus on the revitalization of the waterfront and waterways. Our local economic development efforts have definitely been bolstered with the State’s investment in the waterfront and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative for Watkins Glen.  We expect jobs and significant private investment as a result of these public monies being invested in our community.”

Watkins Glen was also selected as the second-round Downtown Revitalization Initiative winner for the Southern Tier region, which has directed $10 million to the Watkins Glen downtown. The Village is in the process of refining information from their Downtown Revitalization Initiative application to develop a list of projects suitable for funding. The program is designed to undertake redevelopment activities that will affirm the Watkins Glen downtown as an active, inspiring, and fun place to be.

 The Department of State’s Office of Planning, Development & Community Infrastructure works in partnership with waterfront communities across the state through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. This partnership focuses on strengthening the local economy and expanding public access opportunities while protecting natural and cultural resources.

 Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring

This announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. New York has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the Southern Tier since 2012, building a redevelopment foundation, attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. The region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The state’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion, with the region’s plan, as submitted, projecting up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

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December 27, 2017 Anne

NYPA’s Reimagine the Canals

A competition to reimagine the New York State Canal System​

The New York Power Authority and the New York State Canal Corporation, under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership, are looking for visionary, implementable concepts and initiatives that promote the Canal System’s heritage, foster economic development and tourism, and improve the Canal System’s long-term financial sustainability.

Click here for more information and to submit your idea.

The submission deadline is January 12!

The direct link is https:/www.canals.ny.gov/reimagine/overview.html.

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December 15, 2017 Anne

Updated December 15, 2017 – Watkins Glen DRI $10M – Continuing to Accept Potential DRI Projects

The Watkins Glen DRI Local Planning Committee (LPC) is continuing to accept proposals for private projects for DRI funding.  The DRI plan will likely include a combination of public and private projects to help revitalize downtown.  See full initiative here

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August 11, 2017 Anne

Notice to the Community of Watkins Glen

We’d like to update the community on the $10 Million DRI award from NYS to Watkins Glen. First, we are excited about this opportunity and the planning process is just beginning.  In the communities that were awarded the DRI last year, this planning process took nearly a year to complete.  There will be a VERY PUBLIC process used to develop the plan and project list.  The projects put forth in the DRI application were submitted to identify potential investment and related jobs.  Because a project is listed does not guarantee any grant funding.  The $10M is designed to leverage private sector match.  We will work diligently to have a mechanism to ensure a fair and transparent process.

 

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February 28, 2017 Anne

RFP Engineering Services for an Ultra-Premium Shared Wined Production Facility

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The Schuyler County Partnership has recently begun development work on a proposed state-of-the-art shared wine facility for production of premium wine for exportation outside Schuyler County.

SCOPED is requesting proposals from qualified engineering firms or individuals to provide schematic design and construction documents for bidding and construction of an ultra-premium wine production, warehousing and distribution facility that is approximately 19,500 Sq. Ft. The overall intent of this proposed facility is to build a physical asset on the vacant business park site allowing for three (3) wine manufacturing entities to be housed simultaneously. The tenants will have a common loading dock area, warehousing space, bottling area, employee parking, and restrooms while maintaining individually secure production and crushing space. This facility will serve as the anchor for future development/investment in the business park. The facility should also be easily expanded in at least two directions.

Below is a link to the RFP:

Business Park RFP

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February 7, 2017 Anne

RFP Architectural Services for an Ultra-Premium Shared Wined Production Facility

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The Schuyler County Partnership has recently begun development work on a proposed smart, state-of-the-art shared wine facility for production of premium wine for exportation outside Schuyler County. 

SCOPED is requesting proposals from qualified architectural firms or individuals to provide schematic design and construction documents for bidding and construction of an ultra-premium wine production, warehousing and distribution facility that is approximately 19,500 Sq. Ft.  The overall intent of this proposed facility is to build a physical asset on the vacant business park site allowing for three (3) wine manufacturing entities to be housed simultaneously.  The tenants will have a common loading dock area, warehousing space, bottling area, employee parking, and restrooms while maintaining individually secure production and crushing space. This facility will serve as the anchor for future development/investment in the business park. 

Below is link to the RFP.

Request for Proposal

 

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January 6, 2017 Anne

Schuyler County: Partnering for Resources

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Schuyler County: Partnering for Resources

Below are information from the Schuyler County: Partnering for Resources Workshop.

 

1.      Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council 2016 PROGRESS REPORT http://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/sites/default/files/regions/southerntier/ST_ProgressReport2016.pdf

 

2.      2016 Regional Economic Development Council Awards https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/REDCAwardsBooklet2016.pdf

 

3.      2016 Regional Council Handbook https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/REDCGuidebookFINALV3.pdf

 

4.      2016 CFA Resource Manual https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/2016ResourcesAvailableGuideFINALV4.pdf

 

5.      2016 CFA Application Guide https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/2016CFAApplicationManual_FINAL2.pdf

 

6.         Handbook for New Yorkers: Sustainable Development and Collaborative Governance:        

www.ny.gov/programs/sustainable-development-collaborative-governance

 

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November 28, 2016 Anne

Schuyler County Percentage Job Increase Strongest in the Southern Tier Region

From October 2015 to October 2016, Schuyler County has continued to stand out within the Southern Tier region of New York.  The county has had sustainable growth with a 2.6% increase in the Private sector jobs.  This number includes a 11.1% increase in production of goods jobs and 16.7% increase in manufacturing jobs.  In comparison with the Southern Tier, production of goods employment is 12.3% higher and manufacturing is 18.7% higher within Schuyler.

These positive trends have not only set Schuyler County apart from the Region but within the state of New York, the third largest economy in the country.  The growth within the private sector employment in the county is 1.4% higher than the State with a 11.9% higher increase in production and 16.6% in manufacturing. These numbers are very similar in comparison to the country with 11% higher in production and 14.1% higher in manufacturing.

The Schuyler County government and Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) is committed to continuing to grow our local economy.  We are dedicated to continue these positive trend to a building a stronger, thriving and sustainable economy in Schuyler County.

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August 9, 2016 Judy

Watkins Glen Effort for $10M Recounted

dri_cover

Do changes in your local surroundings ever catch your eye? Do you ever wonder how these changes come to fruition? The answer to these questions is not a simple one; in fact there are many pieces that come together to create improvements.

Recently, the Village of Watkins Glen submitted an application for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) launched by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. This is a $100 million revitalization effort to be distributed amongst one downtown in each of New York’s 10 economic development regions. Finalizing this application in the time allotted required an all-hands-on-deck effort. Many organizations, such as the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED), the newly formed Finger Lakes Gateway Community Development Corporation (CDC) and the Schuyler County Department of Planning, came together with Village officials to ensure a complete and thorough proposal for the $10 million that was on the table for the Southern Tier Region.

Once the Village made the decision to apply, the writing commenced over the Memorial Day weekend. Kristin VanHorn, Director of Planning for Schuyler County, led the effort by creating an outstanding outline with stellar graphics that everyone would write their pieces for, and without that outline, it would have been virtually impossible to produce a competitive, visually appealing proposal.

Following the many hours of researching statistics and trying to put the potential and value of investment our downtown holds into words came editing. Editing and additions occurred through the following days and nights.

As mentioned, all hands were on deck. Some of these hands included friends and family members of officials, co-workers and residents. The collection of different styles, viewpoints, and knowledge of our downtown came together tastefully to emulate what great things we could accomplish with the DRI.

After numerous hours of hard work, the application was submitted prior to the initial deadline. However, this was not the end. We soon learned that the application deadline had been extended by 7 days. We took this as an opportunity to build and strengthen our application and argument. We waited patiently for the results and soon heard that we made it through the first round as a top-three submittal and that in less than a week’s time we would be in Binghamton presenting a seven-minute presentation to the Regional Council.

Once again, a number of individuals and organizations in Watkins Glen came together to help prepare to pitch our potential. The creative juices flowed and it was decided to send postcards to all the voting members of the Regional Council indicating that $10 million would transform the Village of Watkins Glen. The message, created by Ben Stamp, was “34 cents sends a postcard; 10 million dollars transforms a community.”

Integral members of the CDC were tasked with presenting the material along with the County Administrator and a Village Trustee. In some final efforts to smooth the presentation, members of the CDC came over to the Shared Services building and prepared to walk through the presentation. In a rallied effort — as our community is known for — several Village and County personnel in the Shared Services building, and from other places around the Village, came together to listen, support, and offer feedback to the presentation. Once again, different viewpoints and knowledge were coming together to add more depth and variety to the DRI presentation.

After many more hours of dedication, gathering data, writing, editing and rehearsing, a small team, made up of Brittany Gibbs, Kristin VanHorn, Tim O’Hearn and Kevin Thornton, made their way towards Binghamton on June 22 to deliver the presentation. The presentation could be no longer than seven minutes. This was then followed by 10 minutes of questions to the presenters from the Southern Tier Regional Council. Again, local officials came together to answer these questions in an effort to explain why the Village of Watkins Glen should be awarded the DRI funding.

Unfortunately, Watkins Glen did not receive the DRI funding. However, this was not the first time, nor will it be the last, that public and private partners have come together in a collaborative effort to secure funding for areas in our county. Efforts such as this are what bring beautiful and positive change to not only our downtown, but our county as a whole.

Despite not receiving the award, the process of submitting the DRI application had many positive outcomes. Momentum was gained, partnerships were formed and strengthened, and important facts about the Village of Watkins Glen’s potential — including the role of Project Seneca — were acknowledged. Wonderful things are happening in Schuyler County thanks to the efforts of those who wish to move things in a forward direction.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Schuyler County Partnership (SCOPED), please accept the deep appreciation for the contributions of each and every person who participated, contributed and supported this effort.

Judy McKinney Cherry CEcD
Executive Director
Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development
To read the proposal submitted, please visit https://flxgateway.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Watkins-Glen-DRI_FinalApplication.pdf

To see videos of developments in Schuyler County be sure to visit the Schuyler County Partnership’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClCms-aVJI12WaE32l_KQ_g and remember, a loss is not always a loss. As the quote goes, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”

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May 20, 2016 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

Cornell Design Connect Presentation

May 20, 2016 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

Cornell Design Connect Presentation

Cornell Design Connect Presentation on Waste Water Treatment Plant Reuse

On May 19th at the Watkins Glen Village Hall, Cornell Design Connect students presented two creative concepts they formed as a result of researching international best-practices for waterfront development, obtaining feedback from attendants at the public meeting session held in April and collecting information provided via 80 online surveys completed by area residents.

The team presented two option that would both (1) create a longer-term revenue source for the village with the goal of helping to reduce the property tax liabilities of village property owners and (2) ensure that there is public access to the lake that benefits both village residents and tourists to the area.

This is just the start of a longer-term, community engagement and project feasibility process that will help village officials determine the highest and best use for the property once the waste water treatment plant is relocated.

The slides from the presentation can be viewed HERE

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May 13, 2016 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

Design Connect Presentation

May 13, 2016 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

Design Connect Presentation

Cornell Design Connect students will present their recommendations and ideas for the reutilization of the existing Watkins Glen waste water treatment plant site at a public meeting on Thursday, May 19th at 6:30 pm at the Village of Watkins Glen Board Room (303 North Franklin Street).  Their recommendations will be, in part, based on feedback they received at the public meeting session held in April as well as the 75 responses they received to the online survey.  This is not a final plan for the redevelopment of the site, but is the start of a conversation.  Come and hear what Design Connect has to say!

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March 28, 2016 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

Public Meeting for Community Input Regarding the Reuse of Watkins Glen Waste Water Treatment Plant Site

When the new Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant comes online at the fall of 2019, the site of the existing plant in Watkins Glen will be available for the Village to redevelop.  To help Village officials and community members think through redevelopment options, Cornell’s Design Connect Program will be hosting a Open House to gain input from community members on what the future use of the site could be.  Design Connect will use this input to provide–to the Village of Watkins Glen–design ideas for the reuse of the site.

Join us from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm on Thursday, April 7th at the Watkins Glen Community Center (across from Clute Park off of Boat Launch Road behind the RV Park).

This Design Connect project is sponsored by Project Seneca.

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January 27, 2016 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

Successful 2016 Annual Meeting

January 27, 2016 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

Successful 2016 Annual Meeting

On January 26, 2016 SCOPED held its 2016 Annual Meeting.  At the event, new board members were elected; outgoing board members were recognized; a recap of 2015 was given; Richard Tobe–the Director of Upstate Economic Development for New York State–provided a keynote address; and members used interactive key-pad polling devices to provide the Board of Directors with feedback on potential areas of focus for the organization.  Over 70 members and non-members were in attendance.

To Learn more about the 2016 Annual Meeting, you can review the following documents:

(1) 2015 Annual Report

(2) 2016 SCOPED Annual Meeting PowerPoint Presentation

(3) 2016 SCOPED Annual Meeting – Pre-Meeting Slideshow

(4) Richard Tobe PowerPoint Presentation

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December 10, 2015 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

Southern Tier Wins URI

December 10, 2015 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

Southern Tier Wins URI

Governor Cuomo has announced that the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) is one of three New York State Upstate Revitalization (URI) winners. As a URI winner, the Southern Tier has been granted $500 million to be allocated over the next five years to implement transformational economic development initiatives.
“We are very excited about this announcement and applaud the Governor’s decision in selecting the Southern Tier as a winning region,” said Jeff Confer, chairman of the Board of Directors of SCOPED. “This win validates the efforts that have been made to date in our region.”
As one of eight counties in the Southern Tier, Schuyler County has four projects that are in line for funding in the first year alone. These projects include: (1) an Ultra Premium Beverage Center at the Schuyler County Business Park, (2) a Vineyard Reclamation program to provide low-interest loans to vineyards looking to upgrade to Vinifera grapes varieties or re-plant abandoned vineyards, (3) the establishment of the Southern Tier Agriculture Education Fund, including a Viticulture NYS Certified Apprenticeship Program and (4) additional funding for the Watkins Glen-Montour Falls regional wastewater treatment plant.
In addition, Project Seneca’s efforts to continue the revitalization of the Seneca Lake waterfront and canalway were specifically identified as a “Signature Project” in year 2 and beyond.
“This award will provide the additional resources that are critical for the betterment of the businesses and workers in our community,” said Judy McKinney Cherry, CEcD, Executive Director of SCOPED and member of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council.
For additional information about the URI and projects within Schuyler County, visit the Project Seneca page of the SCOPED website: www.FLXGateway.com/project-seneca/uri

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December 8, 2015 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

New Farmer Grant Available from New York State

December 8, 2015 Amanda Arnold Rodriguez

New Farmer Grant Available from New York State

Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development organization, is making grant funding available for new farmers.  There is $1,000,000 in funds available to support beginning farmers who have chosen farming as a career and who materially and substantially participate in the production of an agricultural product on their farm. These grants will help farmers improve profitability resulting in the growth of agribusiness and the concomitant tax revenues within the state.

To learn more and to apply, visit the website:  http://esd.ny.gov/businessprograms/newfarmersgrantfund.html

Applications must be postmarked by January 22, 2016.

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