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Reminder: Effective 8 pm tonight, all non-essential businesses statewide must discontinue 100% of in-office personnel functions; violators could face penalties


Governor Cuomo signed the NY on PAUSE Executive Order “a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.”


Any non-essential business violating the order may face penalties consistent with violations of an order pursuant to section 12 of the Public Health Law, meaning:

  • Violators could face a civil penalty up to $2,000 for each violation and up to $5,000 for subsequent violations
  • Penalties may be increased to no more than $10,000 if violation directly results in serious physical harm
  • Section 12 also provides for the state to bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction, which could be in addition to other penalties
  • Further, DOH has the ability to request the AG bring an injunction against a violator


A list of essential services, organized by category, is available here:

If the function of your business or business function is not listed, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business by applying to ESDC.


Today, Governor Cuomo accepted Army Corps of Engineers recommendations of sites to be used to increase hospital bed capacity, announced that FEMA will create hospital facilities within the Javits Center in NYC, requested federal help in securing supplies, launched drug trial program and asked the FDA to approve serological testing for COVID-19 Antibodies, directed DOH to work with all hospitals to increase capacity and canceled all elective surgeries starting March 25. Read the Governor’s Press Release here:


NYS has developed a system to handle offers of donated goods, services, and space; interested donors may use the New York State COVID-19 Volunteer and Donation Assistance form.

Offers submitted through the form will be reviewed, referred, vetted, accepted, and distributed on a rolling-basis by a multi-agency team. This form will replace the COVID-19 Assistance e-mail address <[email protected]> which served as an interim measure to receive these offers.

While a permanent public health emergency charitable gifts trust fund is being established, direct financial donations can be submitted through HRI using this form.

For more information on other assistance efforts, please visit the “Get Involved: How You Can Help” page.


According to the Governor’s press release:
New Yorkers can sign up to receive daily email updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation here and can ask questions about COVID-19 here. New Yorkers can also find more information about the new COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law here.

New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Webpage

Center for Disease Control and Prevention Webpage:

Local health department contact information can be found at:

Business Council of NYS Please note: content is normally for Business Council members. However, during these unusual times BCNYS has decided to share all critical information. If you are interested in becoming a member of BCNYS, click here.

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