Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Updates


June 22 – A Letter from Leslie Spira Lopez.

Dear Tenants in 1123 and 1133 Broadway,

On behalf of all of us at Kew Management, I want to welcome you back and let you know that we have been working to ensure your safety.

As New York City enters Phase 2 of reopening, we want Kew tenants to be aware of new procedures, policies, and recommendations that have been put in place in order to facilitate a safe and productive reopening for everyone.

Keeping You Safe (Download PDF)

Please familiarize familiarize yourself with the attached guide and share it with your staff members so that we can all keep each other healthy.  It contains:

  • Changes to the building and our policies;
  • The part each of us can play;
  • How business owners can prepare their spaces, policies and staff for reopening; and
  • Helpful resources.

Be assured, as we all go through the process of reopening together, Kew Management will update and revise procedures and protocols accordingly. The health and success of all those who are part of the Kew community is our goal.

We wish everyone a healthy, smooth reopening and are glad to have you back.

Leslie Spira Lopez
CEO and President
Kew Management

Please note: Changes in buildings and procedures have also been made at 11 West 25th Street, 255 Fifth Avenue, and 227 West 29th. A guide for each of these Kew’s buildings will be issued this week.

 


June 15 — Important Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Updates

For those of you who have received or are applying for the Payment Protection Program (PPP), this update summarizes how the government has increased flexibility pertaining to use of these loans. The expanded flexibility still allows 100% forgiveness to those who abide by guidelines and submit the Loan Forgiveness Application. As New York enters Phase I of reopening, we wish you health in resuming and continuing business.  

Updated PPP Legislation Gives Additional Assistance

Updated legislation pertaining to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was recently enacted. The new law triples the amount of time entities can take to spend PPP funds received and still qualify for forgiveness. Other important updates are highlighted below.

NOTE: If it appears that the SBA website may not be updated with all of the specifics below, details of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility law passed in June can be found here.

Loan Period Extension

Existing PPP recipients can choose to extend use of funds to 24 weeks (originally 8 weeks) or keep existing 8-week timeline.

New PPP recipients have a 24-week period or until 12/31/20, whichever comes first.

Payroll Cost Requirements

Payroll must account for a minimum of 60% of the PPP amount to be forgiven (originally 75%).

Employee Headcount

Recipients have until 12/31/20 to restore workforce levels and wages to pre-pandemic levels required for full forgiveness (originally 6/30/20).

The new law adds exceptions if entities are unable to find qualified employees or restore business operations to pre-pandemic levels.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to adhere to Rules and Regulations as detailed in the Federal Register.

Repayment of PPP Not Forgiven – Update

NOTE: this is different for Existing PPP recipients and New PPP recipients for the portion of the PPP loan that is not forgiven:

  • Existing PPP loans can be extended up to five years, if the lender and borrower agree.
  • New PPP loans have five years to repay the loan (originally two years).

The interest rate remains at 1% for all PPP recipients.

Payment of Payroll Taxes

The new law allows entities that received PPP funds to delay payment of payroll taxes. The delay can be after entities receive forgiveness of PPP funds (originally this delay was prohibited under the CARES Act and related previous guidance).

IMPORTANT: Be sure to adhere to Rules and Regulations as detailed in the Federal Register.

REMINDER: In order to receive forgiveness, recipients must file the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application after the funds are used.

PPP Funds Are Still Available

For those who have not yet applied for or receive PPP loans, funds are still available. Detail for application can be found on the SBA website.

If you are having difficulty finding a lender, explore options here.

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act is welcome news to PPP loan recipients, as it increases a recipient’s ability to have most, if not all of the loan forgiven, if updated guidelines are followed and met.

 


May 28 — A Letter from Leslie Spira Lopez

Dear Tenants,

As we look to the reopening of our buildings, we want to keep you abreast of our current policies and the steps we have already taken to keep you safe.  Thanks to our local leaders, the city and state have seen a tremendous decrease in the number of new cases and deaths due to COVID-19, bringing us very close to the day when we can resume business — something we can all take pride and joy in.

Current Policies

There have been some changes to the policies stated on April 27th for the month of May, so we ask you to read carefully the current policies below.  We will continue to revisit these policies as the situation develops.

  • Kew will continue to suspend legal actions relating to outstanding rent payments for current tenants.
  • Kew will be deferring any rent increases for June.
  • We will continue to waive all rent-inclusion electric charges (not billed directly by Con Ed), water charges, and sprinkler charges for June.  We will be charging for seasonal AC for the months going forward.
  • We will continue to waive all Business Center Mail receiving monthly charges for June.
  • While we cannot continue to waive late fees in June, we are giving tenants an extra ten-day grace period to pay their rent.  Late fees will not be charged until after the 15th of the month.

If you cannot pay your rent, it is imperative that you contact mrandle@kewmanagement.com as soon as possible to discuss your situation and possible payment plans.

Your Safety

Many sole-proprietor tenants have taken advantage of using their offices as allowed by law, and we have been continually working throughout the past two months to introduce new methods for keeping them safe.  We are still working on the full set of safety measures we will implement, and we expect to issue a complete plan shortly for the full reopening of the buildings.  In the meantime, we want you to know:

  • Masks are mandatory in the public spaces and social distancing is required.
  • There are limits on the number of people in elevators and bathrooms.
  • Markings will be placed in public waiting spaces to ensure distancing.
  • The buildings are being deep cleaned throughout the day, especially lobbies and elevators.
  • All interior stairwell door handles have been modified to push down levers to minimize the chance of contact transfer of the virus.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed in the lobbies and will be placed in the elevator lobbies of each floor.
  • Plastic guards have been put up in front of security desks.
  • Of course, we continue to encourage all tenants to be concerned for their own health and that of their neighbors and to continue to observe the guidelines that we have all been following since March.  Naturally, if you think you may have been exposed to someone with the virus or experience any symptoms, you should remain home until your doctor says it is safe for you to return.

As always, our aim is to help make your business successful, by ensuring that the buildings are working efficiently and safely for all.  We at Kew trust that all of you, your friends, and your loved ones continue to remain well and are beginning to look to the future with renewed optimism.

Sincerely,

Leslie Spira Lopez
CEO and President
Kew Management

 


May 28 — Covid-19 Advisory

APPLY NOW FOR NY FORWARD LOAN FUND ASSISTANCE (SMALL BUSINESSES) and FEDEX SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS

We have posted two articles on the Kew website about available funds, which we are repeating below.

  1. Loan Fund Assistance from NY FORWARD available to Small Businesses. Click here.
  2. FedEx is giving away a total of $1 million to small businesses. Each grant recipient will receive $5,000 as well as a $500 credit to FedEx Office. Click here.

Time is of the essence, so apply as soon as possible.  Read on for details.

Loan Fund Assistance from NY Forward Available to Small Businesses

New York State recently announced an economic recovery loan program, the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) for small businesses. The NYFLF is primarily to provide working capital loans for companies and other entities with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. Also, the loans are only available to those who did not receive a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for COVID-19 in 2020.

The proceeds are required to be used under the following categories: working capital, inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines, operating and emergency maintenance, property taxes, utilities, rent, supplies, etc. Loan applicants will be required to detail anticipated use of funds when they apply.

Pre-applications for the NYFLF are open starting May 26, 2020. There are no application fees collateral is not required. Applicants are also allowed to prepay the loan without penalty. However, priority will be given to industries and regions that have been re-opened; however, this is not a first-come, first served loan program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries re-open. Prospective borrowers are encouraged by NYS to prepare their pre-applications in advance which will allow them to quickly submit their pre-application once it is announced that its industry and region are phased to re-open.

Brief Details of the Program


Loan Amount

Small businesses and NFPs – the lesser of $100,000 or up to 100% of average monthly revenues in any 3-month period from 2019 or first quarter of 2020.


Fixed Annual Interest Rate

Small businesses – 3%.
NFPs – 2%.
Term: 5 years (60 months)


Repayment

For months 1 – 12: Interest only payments, paid monthly.
For months 13 – 60: Interest and principal payments, paid monthly.


Read all the details here, and pre-apply as soon as possible.

FedEx Giving Away $1 Million in Grants to Small Businesses

In order to strengthen small businesses facing difficulties as they transition, adopt new strategies, and fight to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, FedEx is giving away grants to help in this process.

In an effort to promote resilience in local communities, FedEx is giving away a total of $1 million to small businesses. Each grant recipient will receive $5,000 as well as a $500 credit to FedEx Office. You can apply for a grant here. As small businesses try to find creative ways to transition their work to meet the current challenges, the monetary grants will hopefully aid in the development process. The FedEx credit can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more. So, prepare your “We’re Open” graphics and begin applying!

Small businesses that are eligible must fulfill these requirements:

  • The grants will be given to for-profit businesses based in the U.S. with less than 50 employees.
  • The business must have been in operation and selling for more than one year and have less than $5 million in annual sales revenue in 2019.
  • FedEx understands that its success is tied to the success of these companies. Therefore, the businesses must have shipped in the last 12 months or plan to ship in the coming 12 months.

Those who are not eligible include non-profits, franchised businesses, direct seller/reseller businesses, independent consultants, and previous Small Business Grant Contest winners.

Applications are open from May 25th, 2020 through June 12th, 2020 at fedex.com/supportsmallgrants. A total of 200 grants will be awarded and distributed to the recipients through June and July of 2020.

This is a small step in a long battle of resilience, but hopefully these grants can help small businesses get a boost when they need it most.  We encourage all tenants who believe they are eligible to apply now!

 


May 22 — Covid-19 Advisory

PPP MONEY STILL AVAILABLE — IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TENANTS WHO ARE SOLE PROPRIETORS AND THOSE HAVING DIFFICULTY SECURING PPP THROUGH TRADITIONAL BANKS

 We have posted an article on the Kew website Fintech companies, which many report have made securing PPP loans easier as well as information for sole proprietors who may think they are not eligible for assistance.  We are repeating it here.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Reports on Fintech PPP Assistance

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports on eight FinTech (Financial Technology) companies offering small businesses access to PPP loans.

Originally, traditional banks were the only lenders offering access to the SBA’s PPP loans. Now, FinTech companies have also been approved by the SBA to accept PPP applications.

It is important to realize that sole proprietors and contractors can apply for PPP.  You can find the details about this and more in an article.

Sean Ludwig shares this important information on U.S. Chamber of Commerce site:

Here are eight innovative FinTech companies now offering PPP loans to small businesses, as well as several FinTech firms that can help you apply for PPP loans.

1 BlueVine

BlueVine, an online lender that has processed more than $3 billion in loans since its founding in 2013, has begun accepting PPP applications. On top of a swift application process, BlueVine says it has “experienced advisors” on hand to answer questions and help with the application.

2 Credibly

Since its founding in 2010, Credibly has issued more than $1 billion in loans to small and medium-sized businesses around the United States. Credibly claims it has simplified the process and only takes “minutes” to apply for a PPP loan application using its platform. It also said it has facilitated more than $500 million in PPP loans to date.

3 Funding Circle

Funding Circle, one of the largest online lenders, has provided more than $11 billion in loans to 81,000 businesses worldwide since its founding. The company is now accepting PPP loan applications and helping provide those loans to small businesses, adding to its already large portfolio. It has also created an easy-to-digest PPP guide that includes a calculator and walk-through of the process.

4 Intuit QuickBooks

Intuit QuickBooks, which is best known for its ubiquitous accounting and payroll software, is accepting PPP loan applications for current customers. Small businesses that are either Payroll customers or QuickBooks Self-Employed customers who filed 2019 taxes with TurboTax Self-Employed can apply and receive a PPP loan from QuickBooks Capital.

5 OnDeck

OnDeck, the largest U.S.-based online small business lender, has issued more than $13 billion in loans to over 100,000 since its founding in 2017. The company has recently begun accepting applications for the PPP loan program. The company also created a COVID-19 hub, which includes information on PPP loans, EIDL loans, local and state assistance options, and other resources for navigating the coronavirus pandemic.

6 PayPal

PayPal, one of the largest FinTech firms in the world, was one of the first companies of its kind to offer access to PPP loans. The company’s initiative has been primarily set up to help current PayPal merchants, but non-merchants can also apply through their portal.

7 Ready Capital

Ready Capital, a real estate and small business lender that has issued more than $3 billion in loans in the U.S., is yet another large player helping small businesses with PPP loans. As of this writing, the company is backlogged with PPP applications, but it may take new applications soon.

8 Square

Square, which has been providing various payment and business tools to small businesses for years, was an early FinTech company to begin offering access to PPP loans. However, the company is focused primarily on helping Square sellers first with PPP loan applications before accepting non-sellers later.

Other FinTech companies helping businesses with PPP applications

A number of FinTech companies are assisting with the preparation of PPP applications and then sending those applications to partner banks that are SBA-approved. These FinTech companies may be worth checking out if any of the above lenders are unable to help or are overloaded with requests:

For more resources and information, check the U.S. Chamber of Commerce site here.

Informative PPP Video Discussion with Barry Moltz

For an informative PPP discussion, Barry Moltz speaks with Ken Burtnick at Paychex to discuss how small businesses can apply through FinTech companies to get a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Paychex works with three of the companies cited above by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

You can hear their discussion here (9:20 long)

Barry Moltz is an author and speaker in small business and entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame and has taught entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

It’s Worth the Effort (and Frustration)

More than a few people have been frustrated by the process and even initially denied PPP loans. However, with persistence, many have succeeded in securing this essential financial help. If you feel you’ve hit a deadend or are not receiving response, try another resource.

Specifically, we know a number of small businesses that have been successful in receiving SBA PPP loans by applying through Lendio and Kabbage. The process may be frustrating, but if the loan comes through, it’s well worth the headache and effort.

 


May 12 — Covid-19 Advisory

Kew Management Building-wide Planning

Kew Management is developing a comprehensive plan to enhance the safety of our buildings so our tenants will feel comfortable coming back to work.  We expect to have the full plan to you in about a week or two, well before the new opening benchmark set by Governor Cuomo.

In the interim, we wanted all of our tenants to be aware of rules we’d like all to follow in the buildings.

We ask all tenants:

  • To wear a mask at all times when in the public spaces of the buildings.
  • To observe a limit of one person at a time in bathrooms, even when they usually accommodate more.
  • Minimize touching surfaces and use hand sanitizer as often as possible before and after touching door handles.  All door handles on doors into and out of stairwells have been changed to levers to minimize contact, but please be aware of all surfaces you may touch.
Tenant Office Planning

As we get closer to the reopening of New York City and State, now is the time for all tenants think about how to best ensure the safety of their staffs within their office spaces.  We will share some suggestions in our overall building plan, but this is something that will have to be customized to the needs of each office and staff.


April 27 — Covid-19 Update and Urgent New Stimulus Package News

As we all begin another month in our fight to defeat Covid-19 and take the necessary steps that will once again allow us to return to business, we wanted to bring our tenants up-to-date on several important matters.

First

The supplemental stimulus plan voted on by the U.S. Congress last week is already taking effect. In this new round of funding, $310 Billion has been added to the Payment Protection Program and $60 Billion to emergency disaster loans and grants. We congratulate those tenants who received stimulus help in the first round, and we urge tenants to get their applications for the second round completed as soon as possible.

Applications for PPP assistance will reopen at 10:30 EDT today, April 27th.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides SBA loans that help businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information read the FAQ sheet from the Small Business Administration. You can find more details (Who Can Apply, Loan Details and Forgiveness, Other Assistance) and apply for these loans here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing loss of revenue at the low interest rate of 3.75% for terms up to 30 years. You can find more details here.  NOTE:  According to the SBA website, funding has been exhausted, but applications that have already been made are being processed. “With the additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package, SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis,” states the SBA website.

SBA Express Bridge Loans enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan up to $25,000.

We also want tenants to be aware that there are other traditional SBA programs that may be helpful to you during the Covid-19 crisis. You can find details here.

Web Resources

General Overview: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
https://www.sba.gov/…

Coronovirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist
PDF

Summary Highlights of the Guide Above
https://www.uschamber.com/report/…

Offices That Can Help

Better Business Bureau
Serving Metropolitan New York, Long Island, and the Mid-Hudson Region
30 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016
https://www.bbb.org/local-bbb/…
Special Coronavirus Page:
https://www.bbb.org/council/coronavirus/
(212) 533-6200

Small Business Development Center at Baruch College
55 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010
nyssbdc.org
(646) 312-4790

New York City SCORE — SCORE Business Mentor
26 Federal Plaza, Room 3100, New York, NY 10278
https://newyorkcity.score.org/
(212) 264-4507

Atlantic Region — SBA Regional Office
26 Federal Plaza, Suite 3108
New York, NY 10278
https://www.sba.gov/offices/regional/ii
(212) 264-1450

New York District Office — SBA District Office
26 Federal Plaza Suite 3100
New York, NY 10278
https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/ny/new-york
(212) 264-4354
(212) 264-4963

New York U.S. Export Assistance Center — U.S. Export Assistance Center
290 Broadway, Rm 1312, New York, NY 10007
https://2016.export.gov/newyork/…
(212) 809-2675
(212) 809-2687

Second

As Leslie Spira Lopez, President and CEO of Kew Management, mentioned in her letter of March 27th, we are all facing unprecedented challenges, and Kew, too, must meet its responsibilities to the city, state and federal government, utilities, lenders, suppliers and staff. That said, we want to help our tenants remain viable and return as soon as possible to the success they enjoyed before this crisis, and so, we are providing the following assistance:

  • We encourage you to pay your rent on time. However, Kew will continue the policy of not adding late charges to your accounts for May. We will revisit this policy each month and keep you informed.
  • We are waiving all rent-inclusion electric charges (not billed by Con Ed) and unmetered water charges. We are waiving all Business Center mail receiving monthly charges.
  • Kew has suspended all legal actions relating to outstanding rent payments for current tenants.
  • Kew will be continue to deferring any rent increases for April and will defer rent increases for May. Please contact us if you are affected by this.
  • As Leslie mentioned, each tenant has different needs, from those in sectors completely shut down at this time to those that can still operate virtually and those sole-proprietors still working in their offices. We are willing to review the needs of individual businesses, and within the week, we will be announcing a procedure to review requests.

Reminders

  • Kew buildings remain open.
  • We reiterate our alert on April 16th advising that sole-proprietor/single-employee tenants are free to operate their business from their offices and are not subject to the current lockdown. You do not need to apply for any special permission.
  • Access to 1123 Broadway is through 1133 Broadway until further notice.
  • The Business Center closed at the end of the business day Thursday, March 19th. We announced at the time that packages not picked up by March 19th would be unavailable until the present crisis had subsided. On March 18th, we advised that any deliveries (UPS, USPS, FedEx normally going to the Business Center) be rerouted, cancelled or postponed. There is no one to receive packages nor space to store them during the crisis, and we want to make sure our tenants’ property is safe and does not get lost or stolen.

 


April 17 — Covid-19 Advisory

On Thursday, April 17, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State on PAUSE has been extended to May 15th. The primary impact of this action is that all non-essential workers are ordered to continue working remotely until May 15th. As a reminder, building service staffs have been deemed essential and will continue to work in Kew buildings.

 


April 16 — Covid-19 Advisory

There are three developments we would like to bring to your attention.

First

Face masks will become mandatory in New York State on Friday through an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  “You have to wear it,” Cuomo said during his daily new coronavirus briefing. “Stopping the spread is essential — how can you not wear a mask?”  New Yorkers must wear face coverings — masks, bandanas or any fabric that covers the mouth and nose — in any situation where social distancing might be more difficult, such as on the subway or in busy streets.  See The New York Times article on this: https://www.nytimes.com/…

Second

If you are unaware of it already, we want you to know that our sole-proprietor/single-employee tenants are free to operate their business from their offices and are not subject to the current lockdown.  You do not need to apply for any special permission.

“Restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business:

Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business.”

For full information, please refer to this full document from the governor’s office:

https://www.governor.ny.gov/…

Third

A group of New York City organizations has sent a letter to New York’s elected leaders asking to take specific additional steps in the face of the crisis businesses and individuals are facing as a result of Covid-19. Kew’s tenants have been represented in this effort by REBNY and the NYC Bid Association. You can view the full letter here.

The key points are

  • Implementation of steps to facilitate of business interruption insurance.
  • Amendment of the Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act to, among other things, allow loans to be forgivable if businesses hire back needed staff at a minimum of six months after they fully reopen and increase ease of applications to banks.
  • Look for ways of applying sales tax as grants to restaurants.
  • Introduce a backstop of direct federal financial assistance, rent and mortgage forbearance, and/or a property tax deduction for landlords who provide rent concessions to their tenants.

 

Kindness Lights Our Way in Dark Times

We have a number of people in our buildings and in the neighborhood who are doing wonderful things to ease the pain people are feeling during this crisis. Examples are:

https://kewmanagement.com/…

https://experiencenomad.com/…

If you know of any HEROES whose great work we can highlight, please let us know. Write to: rfalk@kewmanagement.com

 


April 8 — Access to 1123

Dear Tenants,

As you are aware we have kept the buildings open and fully functional during the current coronavirus crisis, including keeping the lobbies of both buildings open.  However, due to the very limited use of the buildings during the crisis and to further limit the chance of infection among security staff members, we have decided to close the lobby of 1123 Broadway beginning at 5:30 p.m. this evening (Wednesday, April 8th).

As is the case on holidays and weekends, all access to 1123 Broadway will be through the lobby of 1133 Broadway.  The buildings will otherwise continue to remain open and functioning.

We again hope that all tenants, their loved ones and friends remain health during this difficult time, and we look forward to the time when we will all be together again.  While the times are preventing us all from celebrating the usual rites of spring, we want to wish all the hope and happiness symbolized by Passover and Easter.

Kew Management

 


April 6 — Covid-19 Emergency: Employee Assistance Programs

We will be passing along additional information as it becomes available so please follow this page for future updates.

General

NY Unemployment Insurance: New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance for those who are out of work due to COVID-19, quarantine, and any associated policies. The Federal CARES Act will add $600 weekly to unemployed workers for a period of up to four months through July 31.

New York State Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance
Summary of Key Employee Benefits Under the CARES Act

Architects and Interior Designers

Please see our in-depth article on aid and help available through industry associates here.

Restaurant Employees

We will be issuing an in-depth report on assistance for Restaurants, including help for restaurant workers. Look for it.

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation: RWCF is compiling resources for restaurants and hospitality workers to cope with the COVID-19 emergency, with a complete list of relief funds, which may be able to help.

Resources for Restaurants and Workers Coping with the COVID-19 Emergency

 


April 3 — Federal, State and City Government Business Assistance Programs

The United States Chamber of Commerce has a very helpful list of things small business owners should be doing right now in terms of seeking financial assistance and taking action to sustain their businesses.  We suggest you review the Chamber’s Covid-19 Coverage Page.

The Chamber also has a concise guide to help you apply for assistance Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist

If you need help applying for assistance, contact:

Your banking institution.

The Small Business Administration (Its Covid-19 Page had a list of contact methods if you need help).

The Flatiron Bid at Covid19@FlatironDistrict.nyc.

Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Help Desk at helpdesk@manhattancc.org or call (212) 473-7875.

Federal Business Assistance

CARES Act: The Federal government CARES Act represents more than $376 billion in relief for small businesses and nonprofits (under 500 employees, including startups, the self-employed, and cooperatives).  A thorough and helpful guide: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act published by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses and nonprofits with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits, rent, utilities, and interest on mortgages. Funds are provided in the form of loans, but are fully forgiven when used for payroll costs and employees are kept on the payroll or rehired quickly. Program applications are expected to open Friday, April 3. Applications are to be made through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.

Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.

Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.

Applications can be submitted through June 30, 2020, however applicants are encouraged to apply in a timely manner given the funding cap and lenders’ timing to process loans

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
Additional PPP Information 

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan: As a small business or nonprofit affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible to borrow up to $2 million in working capital from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster (EID) Loan program. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses, 2.75% for nonprofits. The SBA recommends that all EID Loan applications be submitted online and envisions a processing time of two to three weeks.   For additional help, call (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Website
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application

State Business Assistance

New York State has extended the deadline for personal income tax and corporation tax returns from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.   For additional information on this JD Supra advisory page or the New York State information page.

Quarterly and annual sales tax filers unable to file or pay by March 20 due to COVID-19 may request a waiver from penalty and interest. This relief is not available for sales tax vendors who file returns monthly or participants in the Promptax program for sales and use tax or prepaid sales tax on fuel. Returns must be filed and the amount due must be paid within 60 days of the due date. Click here for additional details. 

City Business Assistance

Assistance with Taxes.  New York City Department of Finance has announced that taxpayers may request a waiver of penalties on late-filed extensions or returns of business and excise taxes due March 16 – April 25. Interest must be paid on all tax payments due after the original due date.  For more information click here.

Assistance with Property Tax Payments.  The Department of Finance also offers several programs to assist property owners who face hardships making their property tax payments including the Property Tax and Interest Deferral ProgramExemption Programs, and Standard Payment Plans.

Small Business Employee Retention Grant: APPLICATIONS CLOSING AT 5:00 P.M. MARCH 3

The City is also offering eligible small businesses with fewer than five (i.e., 1-4) employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.

Retention Grant Information
Retention Grant Application Document Checklist

NYC Small Business Continuity Fund: Businesses with fewer than 100 employees, seeing a documented decrease in sales up to 25% or more, are eligible for zero-interest loans up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit.

Small Business Continuity Loan Program
Small Business Continuity Loan Application Checklist

For more information, please visit the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Assistance & Guidance for Businesses​ webpage.

 


April 3 — Non-Governmental Organizations Assistance Programs

See our article on Assistance for Restaurants to be published Monday.

Bloomberg Philanthropies & NY Community Trust: The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus. Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture. The new $75 million fund will provide grants and loans to small and medium-sized nonprofits.

The New York Community Trust: NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund Launched to Support NYC Nonprofit Organizations

Facebook Small Business Grants Program: Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 businesses in countries around the world affected by COVID-19. Applications will open in the coming weeks.  You can sign up for updates at the site.

Program Information

Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Help Desk: For expert advice on a variety of small business topics (funding, legal issues, government regulations, staffing, marketing, real estate, health care, technology, etc.), businesses can utilize the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Help Desk. The Help Desk is currently open to all who need it.  Contact the Help Desk at (212) 473-7875 or helpdesk@manhattancc.org

Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Help Desk

 


April 2 — NOTICE OF URGENT DEADLINE

The NYC Employee Retention Grant Program will officially stop accepting applications on Friday, April 3, 2020, at 5 p.m.

The City is offering eligible small businesses with fewer than five (i.e., 1-4) employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.

Don’t miss this opportunity. This deadline will not be extended, because of the Federal assistance programs soon taking effect. Receiving help from the  NYC Employee Retention Grant Program does not preclude you from getting help from the Federal program.  Benefit from both if you can.

For more information on this program and to apply please go to:
https://www1.nyc.gov/nycbusiness/article/nyc-employee-retention-grant-program

 


April 1 — Important Online Rent Billing and Payment Information

Dear Tenant,

In the event that the coronavirus crisis further escalates and further travel restrictions are implemented, payment delays for checks and money orders are to be expected (i.e. The Post Office may be delayed from delivering mail).  Remitting your payments by mail may become impractical.

We want to remind you that we provide a fast, easy, and secure way for you to make your payments online through our provider, ClickPay.

If you are not already paying online, we strongly encourage you to sign up with ClickPay in order to avoid any possible payment delays.  Once you have signed up you can keep a constant check of your Kew Rent Account, including all updated billing and payment information as well as your current statement.  It’s a great tool, that we believe you will find helpful.

To get started, visit the KEW website TENANT SECTION: kewmanagement.com/tenant-center

Click on: CLICKPAY

  1. When you arrive on the ClickPay page, Click Register and then create your online profile with ClickPay
  2. Connect Your Unit using either your account number or street address and zip code
  3. Add a Payment Option (ACH is free or credit card for a fee)
  4. Set up Automatic Payments or click Pay Now to make one-time payments

For help with your account or setting up payments online, please visit ClickPay’s support center at ClickPay.com/Help. Please note that fees may apply to payments made online.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Kew Management

 


March 27 — A Letter from Leslie Spira Lopez

Dear Tenants,

Each of you as a business owner knows the tremendous demands we are all facing under the current health emergency. Here at Kew we have been working to keep the buildings open and safe for anyone who must access their offices, and our staff has been completely converted to work from home and all operations are running much as they would were our offices open.

Once the basic functions were put in place, we turned to looking for ways to reduce the stress you, indeed we all, are experiencing under the current economic pressures. As you, we are facing unprecedented challenges and still must meet our responsibilities to the city, state and federal government, utilities, lenders, suppliers and staff. I wanted to share with you some steps we feel confident that we can take now. We will be revisiting these policies as the situation develops.

  • Kew has suspended all legal actions relating to outstanding rent payments for current tenants.
  • We encourage you to pay your rent on time. However, Kew will not be adding late charges to your accounts for April. We will notify you going forward if we are able to extend this consideration.
  • Kew will be deferring any rent increases. Please contact us if you are affected by this.
  • We are waiving all rent inclusion electric charges (not billed by Con Ed) and unmetered water charges. We are waiving all Business Center Mail receiving monthly charges.

Tenants have different needs from those in sectors completely shut down at this time to those that can still operate virtually. A complete single solution doesn’t work for everyone, but we are willing to work with individual businesses to find ways of helping them remain viable and successful. We are developing a procedure to review specific requests; please give us time over the next 30 days to implement and begin this review process. We will continue to keep you updated as the situation progresses and as resources are made available and I hope that you are able to do the same.

I ask for your continued patience and understanding as we remain focused on the real-time challenges that COVID-19 is presenting to our communities, employees, and company, and that all of us will find creative ways to keep moving ahead with our personal and business lives.

I, and the entire Kew staff, sincerely wish that all of you, your friends, and your loved ones remain well during this trying time.

Sincerely,

Leslie Spira Lopez
CEO and President
Kew Management

 


March 23 — All Tenants

Sites for General Information on Coronavirus

World Health Organization:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Center for Disease Control (CDC):
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Federal Government:
https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus

State Government:
https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

City Government:
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-main.page

 

Sites with Info on Assistance and How You Can Apply

NYC Employee Retention Grant Program:
https://www1.nyc.gov/nycbusiness/article/nyc-employee-retention-grant-program

Financial Assistance for Businesses Affected by Covid-19:
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-financial-assistance.page

US Small Business Administration — Disaster Loan Assistance:
https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

 

News on Taxes

Federal: The deadline for Businesses and Individuals Income Tax filings has been moved to July 15th.

State: With respect to Sales Tax in NYS, the failure to timely remit sales tax will not be subject to interest or penalties.  State income taxes filings has been extended to July 15th.

 

Know Your Rights

You can find information on testing, insurance, unemployment, price gouging, utilities, mortgage and rent at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/know-your-rights.

 


March 21 – 1123 and 1133 Broadway

Earlier today, the Governor of New York issued a “stay at home” rule, effective Sunday, that restricts movement outside except for activities related to essentials such as food, prescriptions, health care and commuting to jobs considered crucial.  100% of nonessential workforce must stay home. 

Pursuant to that order, our buildings will be opened but working with reduced staff.   Management has determined that the following operations will be followed for the foreseeable future:

Security Services
1133 Broadway — 24/7.
1123 Broadway — 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Weekend access will be through 1133 Broadway as usual.

Building Services
Will be on limited basis.

Of course, we will be monitoring the building for safety, as possible.

We ask that anyone using the building please be mindful of the high contagion rate with this disease and wipe any surfaces you touch.  Try to sanitize them after use, particularly the front door handles, elevator buttons, bathroom door handles, faucets, etc. and any other public surfaces.

Thank you for your cooperation.  Should you need assistance, please call our emergency number: (844) 539-6468 (844-KEWMGMT)

We will continue posting information on kewmanagement.com and specifically on this page dedicated to the coronavirus situation (kewmanagement.com/coronavirus-updates/).

 


March 20 – 11 West 25th Street, 255 Fifth Avenue, 227 West 29th Street

A short time ago, the Governor of New York issued a “stay at home” rule, effective Sunday, that restricts movement outside except for activities related to essentials such as food, prescriptions, health care and commuting to jobs considered crucial.

Pursuant to that order, our building staff will not be allowed to come to work starting Monday, March 23rd.  The building will be open should you deem entry necessary, and of course, we will be monitoring the building for safety as possible.

We ask that anyone using the building please be mindful of the high contagion rate with this disease and wipe any surfaces you touch.  Try to sanitize them after use, particularly the front door handles, elevator buttons, and any other public surfaces.

Thank you for your cooperation.  Should you need assistance, please call our emergency number: (844) 539-6468 (844-KEWMGMT)

We will be posting information on kew.management.com and specifically on this page dedicated to the viral situation (kewmanagement.com/coronavirus-updates/).

 


March 18 – New York Buildings

These are difficult times for all of us, and we understand from our own experience over the past few weeks, that your businesses are being interrupted by the slowdown of activity and reductions in your workforce, as well as mandatory shutdowns in certain industries.

Kew is here to help you and your staff, as much as we are able as we are all in this together. The situation is changing almost hourly, but we are we are constantly monitoring developments to determine what is the best course of action to provide needed services and maintain everyone’s health, the latter being our primary goal as it is for the nation.

The buildings will remain open and your office accessible if and until the government mandates closure.  We have closed our physical office, but we are all working as normal and are available by e-mail and phone just as though we were on-site.  Our building staff is on duty; if cuts in staff are required, we will advise you in advance.

Business Center

The Business Center is currently open, but will close at the end of the business day Thursday, March19th.  Only services related to Mail Receiving will be available until then; all other services have been discontinued.

We want to make sure tenants have what they need so as we noted the other day, please pick up any packages that you have been told are in the Business Center before closure on Thursday.  If they are not picked up, we will be unable to make them available until the present crisis has subsided.  There will be no one to receive packages nor space to store them after the closure on the Center on Thursday, so please have any deliveries that may be in process rerouted, cancelled or postponed.

Financial Concerns

We know that in these stressful times, in addition to staying healthy ourselves and preventing the spread of this virus, finances are on everyone’s mind.  We at Kew are discussing actions we might be able to take to help tenants through the current business downturn and we will be advising you of these ameliorating steps as soon as we determine our own financial position and develop precise policies.  We ask you to be patient as this may take a few days especially as we all face an unknown future and each situation may be different.

In the meantime, we will update you with financial assistance news as possible.

Inquire About Insurance Coverage

We suggest that you begin to contact your insurance carriers and determine how you may be covered, especially if you have business interruption insurance.  Begin processing claims right away to ensure early resolution and to avoid the flood of claims that may be entered in the next few weeks.

City, State and Federal Assistance Being Planned

We are also looking at assistance from the city, state and federal governments.  Steps are being discussed, but as you are aware, these are complicated budgeting and policy matters and will take time for governmental agencies to finalize.   We will pass along all information we can find about relief for our tenants.

City Assistance Available Now

The City has announced that it will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit.

The City is also offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months (an average of $6,000) to help retain employees. Eligible owners who would like to learn more about these programs should call 311 for assistance.*

*This is the main New York Help Hotline, but operators will route your call to the appropriate agency.

We hope all tenants will stay healthy, and we remain committed to serving you and helping you work through this challenge.

 


March 17 – New York Buildings

Review and Follow the Simple Precautions in our First Memo (See below)

Remember that taking precautions during this health emergency is not only about keeping yourself healthy but preventing illness from spreading to your neighbors, particularly those in higher risk groups such as the old and those with chronic medical conditions. Perhaps the best way to think about it is acting as though you might be infected and acting to prevent those around you from catching the virus.

If a Building Tenant Gets Sick

Medical authorities are strongly urging all persons who exhibit symptoms to stay home and avoid public spaces until the illness has passed (“Self-quarantine”).

If a tenant Returns from Travel to a “High-Risk” Country

The CDC has designated numerous countries as Level 3 “high-risk” areas. This list may change, please check the CDC website. Persons traveling from those countries are being separated at airports and screened for symptoms for the virus. Asymptomatic travels are being allowed to continue to their destination, but are being urged in the strongest terms to “self-monitoring,” which means remaining isolated for at least 14 days, while taking your temperature and checking for other symptoms of Coronavirus. The CDC states on its website “Stay home for 14 days from the time you left any areas with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) and practice social distancing.” A tenant who is “self-monitoring” should follow the same procedures as we recommend for residents who are actually ill. At present, the CDC does not require family members of tenants who are self-monitoring to also quarantine themselves.

In case of Staff Shortages

The building may experience temporary staff shortages because employees get sick or are required to remain at home. Some activities may have to be cancelled or postponed until staffing levels recover and situations are better controlled as indicated by the CDC and other experts. We ask all tenants for their understanding and cooperation at this difficult time.

Your Cooperation is Vital

Thank you all for your anticipated cooperation during this period of uncertainty. Our recommended procedures may change as the medical establishment learns more about how Coronavirus operates. In the meantime, please be assured that management and staff will seek to implement the best practices recommended by the medical community so as to protect the residents of the building.

The Kew Management Office is Open

The Kew Management Office is open and will remain opened to answer questions and respond to your needs. Work Hours: 212.255.3346. Evenings and Weekends: 844-539-6468 (844-KEWMGMT).

The Kew Management Business Center is Open

Currently the Business Center will remain open, however, we have decided to close down the conference rooms to avoid group meetings that may increase the chance of infection.

Regarding DELIVERIES:

The Business Center will continue to receive mail and packages, but due to the number of tenants that are not coming to pick up their deliveries we may be forced to refuse deliveries in the near future.

To avoid this eventuality:

  1. If you have been advised that you have a delivery in the Business Center, please pick it up immediately.  In case the complete closure of the Business Center is required as the virus situation develops, we want to make sure you have the packages you need.
  2. Please suspend ordering anything that is not absolutely necessary or have orders rerouted to your homes.
  3. All subscription orders, such as water cooler bottles, Amazon shipments, etc should be cancelled, suspended, or rerouted.
  4. If it is absolutely necessary to receive a large shipment, please alert the Business Center beforehand so we can let you know if we can accommodate it or not.
Temporary Business Hours:

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.

If you have any questions lease direct them to
center@kewmanagement.com
Please follow the directives of New York’s Health Officials.
nystateofhealth.ny.gov

 


March 17 – Cloister Tenants

Review and Follow the Simple Precautions in our First Memo (See below)

Remember that taking precautions during this health emergency is not only about keeping yourself healthy but preventing illness from spreading to your neighbors, particularly those in higher risk groups such as the old and those with chronic medical conditions. Perhaps the best way to think about it is acting as though you might be infected and acting to prevent those around you from catching the virus.

In addition to our earlier recommendations, we would ask that people using the laundry room be diligent about cleaning machines after you use them, sanitizing all knobs, handles and surfaces, including the door handles both in and out of the laundry room.

If a Building Tenant Gets Sick

Medical authorities are strongly urging all persons who exhibit symptoms to stay home and avoid public spaces until the illness has passed (“Self-quarantine”) This means remaining in your unit until you are well. If a resident needs to visit a doctor, please call the healthcare provider first so they can prepare for your visit. Avoid opening doors with your hands.

If a tenant Returns from Travel to a “High-Risk” Country

The CDC has designated numerous countries as Level 3 “high-risk” areas. This list may change, please check the CDC website. Persons traveling from those countries are being separated at airports and screened for symptoms for the virus. Asymptomatic travels are being allowed to continue to their destination, but are being urged in the strongest terms to “self-monitoring,” which means remaining in your unit for at least 14 days, while taking your temperature and checking for other symptoms of Coronavirus. The CDC states on its website “Stay home for 14 days from the time you left any areas with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) and practice social distancing.” A tenant who is “self-monitoring” should follow the same procedures as we recommend for residents who are actually ill. At present, the CDC does not require family members of tenants who are self-monitoring to also quarantine themselves.

In case of Staff Shortages

The building may experience temporary staff shortages because employees get sick or are required to remain at home. Some activities may have to be cancelled or postponed until staffing levels recover and situations are better controlled as indicated by the CDC and other experts. We ask all tenants for their understanding and cooperation at this difficult time.

Your Cooperation is Vital

Thank you all for your anticipated cooperation during this period of uncertainty. Our recommended procedures may change as the medical establishment learns more about how Coronavirus operates. In the meantime, please be assured that management and staff will seek to implement the best practices recommended by the medical community so as to protect the residents of the building.

The Kew Management Office is Open

The Kew Management Office is open and will remain opened to answer questions and respond to your needs. Work Hours: 212.255.3346. Evenings and Weekends: 844-539-6468 (844-KEWMGMT).

Please follow the directives of New Jersey’s Health Officials.
www.nj.gov/health

 


March 4 – All Tenants

COVID-19 Advisory

We hope all of our tenants will stay well and that the worst of the current coronavirus will not be felt in our area.  Nevertheless, as there is yet to be a cure for COVID-19, precaution is our best way to combat this illness.

The virus can live for up to nine days on a surface, so transmission by hand is a high risk.  For our part, we will be sanitizing public door handles and elevators on a significantly increased, regular basis in all our buildings to increase the safety of the Kew environment.

We ask you to do your part by heeding the advice of health agencies.  We have listed below some essential tips, which you may have heard elsewhere.  We are also including some additional cautionary steps you can take during your time in our buildings.  By observing these measures, you can help to keep yourself and your fellow tenants and visitors healthy.

First

Be Aware of the Presenting Symptoms of the Coronavirus

These symptoms may occur from 2 to 14 days after exposure and include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever\
  • Dry Cough

Second

The New York City Department of Health recommends that all New Yorkers practice general flu prevention measures including those below.
  • Wash your hands regularly – keep in mind that you should wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (Hum “Happy Birthday” twice and that will measure out 20 seconds for you).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue (discard immediately) or into your sleeved elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get your flu shot — it’s never too late.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you’re feeling sick. Call your doctor and let him or her know your symptoms and travel history.

We are attaching flyers from the CDC on the Spread of Germs and a FAQ sheet addressing causes, spread, treatment of the disease, etc.

For more information, you can visit this link:
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/index.page

or the website for the Center of Disease Control:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Third

For our tenants, we would like to pass on these additional hints.
  • Keep an alcohol-base liquid hand sanitizer handy so you can disinfect your hands regularly.
  • When using the elevators, remember to press the button for your floor using your gloves or your knuckles to avoid contaminating your finger tips. Likewise, be conscious of touching public door knobs and other surfaces and make sure you sanitize your hands afterwards.
  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms.
  • Consider suspending the courtesy of shaking hands; people will understand.
  • When in conversation, be mindful of how close you stand to others and try to keep a six-foot distance between yourself and others.
  • Whenever possible, use conference calls, Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Skype for meetings. Stay aware of current travel advisories as they shift and change.

If we all take these simple, but necessary, steps we can continue with our schedules confident that we can meet this challenge and continue in good health.

Tenant E-mails

If you are not receiving regular updates from Kew in your e-mail or know a tenant who isn’t and would like to, please contact rfalk@kewmanagement.com

Other Helpful Information

Please check out the Tenant Headlines Section for additional information you may find helpful in your business and personal life during this challenging time.