Reopening Safely

Reopening Safely

By now you have all heard our motto, Safety First, People Always, and it is being enacted not just within Rockland County government but by each and every business that is in the process of reopening. Each business that reopens as part of one of the Phases of the NY Forward plan is required by NYS to create a Business Safety Plan.

These plans are based on guidance from the NYS Department of Health and the CDC and they must be on file at each business in case of inspection. They mandate things like social distancing, wearing face coverings, hand washing and enhanced cleaning procedures. Additionally, each business that reopens must submit an affirmation to the State of New York that they understand these guidelines and will follow them. Almost 1,100 of these have been filed so far.

The Governor has said that there will be a brief grace period for businesses to prepare these plans but has also threatened to suspend state licenses for those that violate the law. And as of mid-June, the State Liquor Authority had suspended the licenses of 18 establishments statewide found to be in violation of the Governor’s orders. At least two of those have paid $10,000 fines in order to have their licenses restored according to an SLA spokesman.

Another 55 establishments across the state have also been charged by NYS with violating the Governor’s orders, with suspensions of their licenses still possible. We know many businesses are in tough financial shape after being mostly shut down for the last few months, the last thing you need is to have your license pulled by Governor Cuomo or to face that type of fine. So please, go to the FORWARD.NY.GOV website, read the guidelines and submit your affirmations.

And for those who complete New York State’s process and submit their affirmation they will receive a Reopening Certificate from our Office of Economic Development and Tourism. Now you’re asking, what does that mean to you, a resident who isn’t a business owner or manager? Well you should be on the look out for these Reopening Certificates, think of them like a good housekeeping seal of approval.

Each business that receives a certificate shows that they are reopening with the safety of their employees and customers as their top priority. The entire reopening process is being done with Safety First, People Always as our motto. We will keep a close eye on our numbers, the latest health and safety information and will not tolerate those who risk the health and safety of our community. It is critically important to all of us that this safe and measured Reopening of our Economy is not slowed down.

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