Update from NYC Commissioner Anne del Castillo
Dear Friends,

As the COVID-19 emergency continues, please know that the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), along with the rest of New York City government, continues to do whatever we can to help keep our media, entertainment and nightlife communities informed about the city’s response, available resources and opportunities to assist relief efforts.

New York State on PAUSE is now extended through April 29. Accordingly, all schools and nonessential businesses shall remain closed and permitting activities shall remain suspended for an additional two weeks. A full list of city agency service updates is available hereNew Yorkers are advised to cover their faces when venturing out of their homes for essential needs. (To be clear, this does not mean purchasing the masks that first responders and health care workers require; a face covering can consist of any piece of cloth.)

MOME continues to monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 situation on the industries we serve. We received more than 11,000 responses to our Office of Nightlife Survey of Nightlife Workers, Freelancers, and Businesses, and later this week, we will be launching a survey of media and entertainment businesses. Next week, the Office of Nightlife will be holding a series of “Town Calls” for NYC’s nightlife community to hear from City officials and other experts who can address questions and provide updates on the latest resources and government guidelines available.

In addition, our municipal broadcast network, NYC Media, is now running 24-7 programming and information for the COVID-19 crisis on NYC Gov. The channel offers live video coverage of Mayoral press conferences and the latest public service announcements, including COVID-19 related emergency alerts, the latest guidance, and changes in City services. NYC Gov is available on Spectrum 74, FiOS 24, Altice 74, RCN 81 and over-the-air broadcast on 25.2.

On the brighter side of things, we continue to promote the many wonderful ways that New York City’s arts and entertainment community continues to engage and inspire us to enjoy #CultureFromHome. Our colleagues at NYC & Company also have launched Virtual NYC with a roundup of online features from museums, galleries, comedy clubs, theatres, and other venues throughout the City. For updates on MOME’s activities, follow us on our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I also want to call your attention to some other updates and remind you of city resources and programs available.

Applications for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Paycheck Protection Program opened last Friday. This program offers up to $10M in forgivable loans to businesses and non-profits with up to 500 employees, and is available on a first come, first served basis. Additional information on SBA’s funding programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak is available on SBA.GOV.

Applications for the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Employee Retention Grant Program are now closed.

Freelancers Union Relief Fund offers support for freelancers impacted by COVID-19. The fund provides financial assistance of up to $1,000 per household to cover lost income and essential expenses not covered by government relief programs, including food/food supplies, utility payments, and cash assistance for income loss.

Americans for the Arts is conducting a Survey of the Economic Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Arts and Cultural Sector. The survey will capture a broad spectrum of data and stories that will demonstrate how the arts and culture workers are managing through the crisis as well as the effect of the outbreak on operations through cancelled events, lost wages, and additional expenses. While the survey is national in reach, the data can be parsed by specific geographic regions, artistic disciplines, and budget categories, to enable us to see the impact on New York City specifically.

NYC Department of Veterans Services has collected the most up-to-date information from Federal, State, and City agencies, and posted a list of resources to keep NYC veterans informed and prepared during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities launched a new webpage for New Yorkers with Disabilities during COVID-19 with information on Food/Supply Delivery, Social Security/Medicaid Benefits, Home Healthcare Services and more.

The Freelancers Union continues to survey freelancers to gauge how COVID-19 is impacting their work and their lives. While the survey is national, MOME will be working with Freelancers Union to review responses from New York City and communicate feedback to City Hall, as well as state and federal government, to inform policy recommendations.

Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on New York City’s workforce, the City of New York has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. In addition, ACCESSNYC is a city-run portal for NYC residents to determine their eligibility for more than 30 economic programs and benefits.

For those who wish to seek support and assistance during this very difficult time, NYC Well is available 24/7 to connect New Yorkers to a range of free mental health support services. They can be reached by calling 1-888-NYC-Well (692-9355) or texting “WELL” to 65173. In addition, they offer a new guide which includes information on how New Yorkers can access mental health services while staying home, by phone or online.

The latest updates on the City’s response to COVID-19, including recent guidance and case data, are available at NYC.gov/coronavirus or by calling 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115). You can also text “COVID” to 692-692 for updates and information, or text “COVIDESP” to 692-692 for updates in Spanish.

You can also access all these links and more on MOME’s website – www.nyc.gov/mome.

Volunteer and Donation Opportunities

Volunteer with Medical Reserve Corps if you’re a doctor, nurse, or licensed medical practitioner.

Donate critical medical supplies to support the City’s health care workers.

NYC Economic Development Corporation: Businesses can help source or make products needed for health care.

Supply Registration Form: For suppliers interested in selling or donating to the City. This includes offers for medical spaces.

Share Your Space to help support the City’s emergency operations or be used for community outreach events.

Donate to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to support vulnerable New Yorkers.

To find other ways to help New Yorkers affected by COVID-19, or to find COVID-19 related assistance, visit Help Now NYC.

We are so grateful to our industry colleagues and program partners who have come forward with offers of assistance — from space to materials to volunteers. Your enthusiastic response to the COVID-19 relief efforts is a true testament to the character and commitment of our city’s creative sector.

As always, feel free to reach out at any time with questions, concerns or for support.

Stay strong and be safe.


Anne del Castillo
Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

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