by Adam Roberts
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, AIANY is committed to supporting our members and helping them assess and navigate new local, state, and federal policies.
Below are some of the most recent policy and advocacy updates related to COVID-19 that may be of interest to our members. Additional information will continue to be available at our COVID-19 Resources page.
Federal and City Financial Support
Our Federal and City governments are offering financial support to small businesses, including architecture firms, during this crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering up to two million dollars in low-interest loans at 3.75%. These Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
Locally, NYC Small Business Services (SBS) is offering up to $75,000 in zero-interest loans. These are for companies who have seen sales decrease by 25% or more so they retain employees and maintain business continuity. For businesses with fewer than 5 employees, SBS is offering a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.
AIANY is currently working to develop programming and member engagement on these and other resources.
AIA Call To Action: Fund Infrastructure in Coronavirus Bailout
Currently, Congress is debating options to support those industries and sectors most affected by the pandemic. Infrastructure has been particularly hard hit, as the decrease in ridership for transit agencies like the MTA has led to huge budget shortfalls. This seriously limits the public’s options for mobility, while also imperiling current and potential work opportunities for architects. AIA National is asking members to contact members of Congress and urge them to support additional funding for infrastructure.
New York State Limits Construction
Governor Cuomo has amended Executive Order 202.6 to restrict in-person interactions for any non-essential service. Construction, including architecture, is now limited to projects “necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site.” A $10,000 fine may be issued per violation.