Cuomo Says LI Can Reopen Wednesday

updated 2:05 p.m. Long Island can reopen its economy for phase one on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday, but cautioned that it must be done carefully to avoid future public health crises.

Those appointed to Cuomo’s Regional Control Room are charged with carefully monitoring the situation for possible outbreaks and to take action if new problems occur.

He also said that as the state’s economy comes back to life, the restart should be “supercharged,” tackling big projects such as power transmission lines, travel to the airports and rail tunnels.

Brian Yudewitz, chairman of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, said, “In my recent talks with business owners I am clearly seeing that they all want to get back to business safely and immediately.  Retail has been decimated but should bounce back.  The overwhelming concern of many has been how to address the debts that have built up.  There is optimism that once business comes back the public will safely come out and the local economy will come back. 
“The town board has formed a reopening advisory committee that should provide some quality input as to what the steps can be taken on a local level to most help the businesses damaged by the pandemic.  We are interested in seeing the recommendations.”

Phase One allows construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chain businesses to reopen, as well as many retailers for curbside pickup, in-store pickup, or drop off. Phase One retail categories include clothing and shoes, electronics and appliances, web and mail-order, florists, jewelry, luggage, and sporting goods, among others. Many nonessential retail businesses throughout the state were already been offering curbside pickup ahead of the reopening.

Huntington Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci said, “The Phase I reopening comes just in time as the Town Board acted last week to help accelerate our local economic recovery with a collaboration of ideas with our local business leaders and approving measures like the extension of building permits set to expire between March 12 and July 31 for six months to relieve the burden on construction that has been delayed for over two months, and the allowing of parking spaces to be reserved by businesses in our largest downtown to enable easier curbside pickup and delivery. We are also working with small businesses on the closure of street blocks where feasible to enable more walk-able open outdoor spaces for local merchants.”

“Good to see early steps taken to end the extended shutdown,” said Eric Alexander of Vision Long Island/LI Main Street Alliance. “Local small businesses, downtowns and local municipalities across Long Island are all ready to get back to work safely.   Hopefully some restrictions that hurt Main Street businesses, particularly retail, can be loosened in short order as well.   The sooner our communities can reopen safely, to protect our public health, it will bring back to life the ailing economic health most working (or not working) people are experiencing.” 

Business reopening tool

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