MARCH 27, 2020
Visit Buffalo Niagara, as the destination marketing organization for Erie County, is closely monitoring the rapidly moving circumstances, responses and public health recommendations related to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
The health and well-being of the traveling public, as well as our partners, colleagues and staff are our primary concern as this public health event unfolds and impacts the travel and tourism industry.
Everyone is urged to follow the recommended procedures and guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and the Erie County Health Department.
For your reference, here are links to these official sources of information:
Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/index.html
NYS Dept. of Health: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
Erie County Department of Health: http://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=coronavirus
Virtually all businesses that are non-essential are now closed as well as public events and sporting events. Establishments that offer food and beverage service, using delivery service, drive through or drive up, may be found at the link below.
From New York State
New York State is currently assessing options to mitigate hardships to local business, and Empire State Development Corporation has recently created a portal with resources for businesses to submit comments and questions as well as an FAQ sheet for businesses impacted by COVID-19. These are available at esd.ny.gov/esd-covid-19-related-resources.
Following Governor Cuomo’s formal request to the federal government for disaster relief, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) will be issuing Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses across NYS that have been impacted by COVID-19. 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 help overcome temporary loss of revenue.
For more information on SBA assistance, visit esd.ny.gov/resource-guide-covid-19-sba-disaster-loans and www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.
While NYS does not administer these loans or ensure eligibility, it is important that should you apply, keep clear records of losses and make sure to have prior year statements as a reference point. We are attaching a handout with more information on SBA loans and process which you may find helpful.
From the US Travel Association
Economic Impact of Coronavirus Due to Travel Losses 2020 prepared by Oxford Economics
Weekly Travel Data Report which includes an economic impact analysis, travel trends tracker, consumer sentiment
From Visit Buffalo Niagara
Tourism Industry Needs Federal Help to Remain Viable, The Buffalo News, Another Voice by Patrick Kaler, March 23, 2020
Yelp is providing $25 million in relief, primarily focused on supporting independent, local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses that are eligible include small, independently owned restaurants and nightlife businesses in the United States. Businesses may also be eligible for up to a $500 donation match (for the first $1M) thanks to Yelp’s collaboration with GoFundMe.
Restaurants would most benefit from the free features YELP is offering for the month of April. You can also benefit by updating yourYELP page with changes in hours, temporary closures, and take-out/delivery options.
For more information, please contact Alex Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org.