HYDE PARK – Senator Sue Serino is urging the state to immediately release health and safety guidance to any and all businesses that have yet to receive clearance to reopen.
“Thousands of businesses across the state are on the brink of financial ruin as they desperately await guidance from the state,” said Senator Serino. “Since the start of Phase 4, these businesses have been totally left behind, and I am hearing from countless constituents who are at a total loss as the state has gone radio silent, refusing to answer questions or provide even a timeline for when they can expect to receive any guidelines that would allow them to plan for a safe reopening. It’s not right, and these hardworking business owners—and the thousands of New Yorkers they employ— deserve answers.”
Impacted businesses include New York gyms, banquet halls, amusement parks, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and so many more.
According to guidance originally issued by the state, Phase 4 reopening would include many of these businesses like gyms, malls and movie theaters. However, just before most regions were set to move into Phase 4, in the dark of night, local officials quietly received guidance noting that those businesses would not be opening as originally planned. At the time, the state indicated these other businesses would be allowed to open ‘soon,’ yet no date, plan or guidelines were released that would indicate when that would be, and now, after nearly three weeks later, still no information has been released and most of these businesses remain in the dark. Serino released a petition when the Phase 4 rules were rewritten and in a matter of a few days, over 3,000 residents signed in support of those businesses reopening as originally scheduled.
Serino continued saying, “Let me be clear: no one is asking for a ‘rush to reopen.’ We all recognize that public health and safety must be our top priority. But these business owners and their employees are real people, with real families to feed and all they are asking for is for increased communication from the state, a clear set of rules for reopening and a timeline they can effectively plan around. These very basic questions have been answered for most businesses across the state who have been allowed to safely reopen with restrictions, and that same courtesy should be extended to the thousands of businesses left waiting.”