Business Resources

Updated May 17, 2021
Niagara County COVID-19 Hotline 1-888-364-3065
New York State Lifting Mask Mandate
for Vaccinated Individuals
Today (5/17/21) Governor Cuomo announced that starting Wednesday, May 19th New York State will adopt the new CDC guidelines as they relate to mask requirements. At that time, vaccinated individuals will be permitted to shed their masks, both indoors and outside, with limited exceptions. Masks will still be required in the following locations:
  • Public Transportation
  • Nursing Homes
  • Homeless Shelters
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Schools
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Private Venues have the ability to require masks
Unvaccinated individuals and those that are immunocompromised are still required to wear a mask in crowded outdoor areas and while indoors with others in public settings. See the CDC Guidelines here.

COVID-19 Testing - Testing is available at your business/home. Contact 
Top 10 things during covid for business
NY Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool -

Reminder to all open businesses:
*Read and AFFIRM your requirements
*Have a safety plan in place and train your employees
*Keep a printed copy of your safety plan on your premises. - Frequently Asked Questions regarding NY Forward and Business Reopening.

Please adhere to Governor Cuomo's Social Distancing requirements.

CARES ACT - The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed. Find out more information HERE.

Know Your Rights -
Information regarding testing, insurance, unemployment, mortgages and banking, utilities, and price gouging can be found HERE.

FAQ about returning to work and unemployment insurance can be found on the NYSDOL website.  The following link is now on the home page of under “What you need to know.”

To help keep up with the quickly changing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some important resources related to the economic impacts for businesses and workers:

There are so many questions regarding the 
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES)
Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep
workers employed amid the pandemic and economic

We have found this PDF from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the best resource to use as a guide / resource to answer any questions you might have.

Download the PDF file HERE.
Source:  U.S. Chamber of Commerce


New York State
State Website     
New York State COVID-19 Info

New York State Department of Labor Unemployment  
The New York State Department of Labor is dedicated to ensuring that every New Yorker who is entitled to unemployment insurance benefits will receive all benefits due. New Yorkers seeking to file an unemployment insurance claim should visit or call the Telephone Claim Center at (888) 209-8124. Below are some resources that will assist New Yorkers in filing their claims:
Unemployment Insurance FAQs
What You Need to Know and Do About the CARES Act

New York State Department of Labor - Shared Work Unemployment Program

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (including people who are self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the #COVID19 emergency.  Easy to read PDF of PUA.

For more information, please visit:

Niagara Small Business Development Center - Contact for Assistance filling out SBA loan applications

Business Mentor NY Program
Find a mentor or become a mentor to help navigate your business during this time.  Click Here for details.

Federal Government

USA Gov - Federal Information

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is providing grants to restaurant industry employees who have been adversely impacted by #COVID19, financially, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Learn more about the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund:

Save Small Business Fund - through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  Application opens 4/20/20

Small Business Relief Initiative through Go Fund Me

COVID-19 Emergency Loan Small Business Guide - Click HERE for the link
Small Business Administration Disaster Loans - Click HERE for the link
Niagara County Center of Economic Development
The U.S. Small Business Administration
is currently accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications from participating lenders. SBDC Business Advisors are prepared to help small business owners navigate their options, determine PPP eligibility, and assemble the necessary documentation to apply for funding. NYS Businesses can connect with a New York SBDC Business Advisor at

Join the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce Member Facebook Group HERE.

The Chamber is operating both in the office and remotely during regular business hours. If you need to contact us , please use the info below:
Call: (716) 754-9500 (OFFICE)
Jennifer:  (716) 940-1063
Suzanne:  (716) 628-4607

Paycheck Protection Program: Important -  Contact your local lender soon to discuss their current position on the PPP Loans.

Recovery / ReStart / Renew Your Business:
Resilience in a Box is based on best practices and designed to educate business leaders on disaster preparedness and business resilience. Amid #COVID19 this information is especially pertinent.

The US Chamber has put together these resources to guide companies toward addressing preparedness issues while building in flexibility to handle potential business interruptions. Learn more here:

Download a customized flyer you can add your Business / Organization policies regarding safety precautions. Provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Download HERE.

Small Business Administration 
Click on the link below for important information from the U.S. Small Business Administration on loans, etc.
NCCC Small Business Development Center
Small Business Administration - Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources

Remote Work 
Guidelines and Template for Employees  - from Complete Payroll
Work from home Employee Agreement - from Complete Payroll

Tax Relief
The Tax Department has extended the due date for New York State personal income tax and corporation tax returns originally due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.  Details HERE.

Graphics to Share on Website/Social Media
Open for Business - Social Media Badges
Downloadable jpg files
OPEN for Business Lewiston OPEN for Business Niagara Falls OPEN for Business Ransomville OPEN for Business Sanborn OPEN for Business Wilson OPEN for Business Youngstown
Niagara Falls
Don't see your township? Let us know and we will create one!  If you are a member of the Chamber and would like a personalized badge with your logo/business name on it, contact

Show your Support for Small Business
Support Small Business
Support Small Business  - JPG File to share on social media
Printable PDF File

Listing of Take-Out / Delivery Options
Brochure format
Listing to share on social media -
JPG File to share here
Link to share with updated businesses

River Region Gift Certificates Accepted Here

Social Media Badge Gift Certificate Accepted Here
River Region Gift Certificates Accepted Here - JPG File to share on social media
A listing of our member businesses who accept River Region Gift Certificates can be found here.

Share the jpg below with your customers!
Gift Certificate Offer 2020 COVID facebook

Village Gift Cards - Tom Deal has created a website for Village of Lewiston businesses to list their information regarding purchasing gift cards.

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is not a health official or government official. Our goal is to share information that is accurate and unbiased in a timely manner.

If you are sick or feel sick, please contact your healthcare provider and follow their instructions.