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Daily Briefing 135

Post: Aug. 24, 2020

Cuomo Briefing: Infection Rate and Western New York “Hot Spots” 

In a press briefing held on Long Island Governor Cuomo announced that the State’s infection rate is 0.66%, the lowest infection rate since the beginning of the pandemic. The State has averaged a one percent or under daily infection rate since June, and has been under one percent for 17 straight days.

Western New York has seen a recent increase in infection rate which has been driven, in part, by clusters identified at a steel plant, food processing plant, new cases at nursing homes, pre-hospital procedure screening, and testing seasonal labor at farms.

This should serve as a reminder to Council members to remain diligent in all health practices.

Read the transcript

Governor Cuomo Announces Lower-Risk School Sports in All Regions May Begin September 21

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced lower-risk, school-sponsored sports in all regions may begin to practice and play beginning September 21st. However, travel for practice or play will be prohibited outside of the school’s region or contiguous regions or counties until October 19th. For the fall sports season, lower- and moderate-risk sports include tennis, soccer, cross country, field hockey and swimming.

Higher-risk sports, including those with full physical contact, may begin to practice on September 21st but cannot play until a later date or December 31st. In accordance with the Department of Health’s guidance for sports and recreation during the COVID-19 public health emergency, practices for higher-risk sports are limited to individual or group, no- to low-contact training. Higher-risk sports include football, wrestling, rugby, hockey and volleyball.

Read the press release

Monday Economic Report – The Housing Market Has Emerged as a Bright Spot in the U.S. Economy

The housing market has emerged as a bright spot in the U.S. economy in recent months. After plummeting dramatically in April to the slowest pace since February 2015, it has been buoyed by low mortgage rates.  New residential construction soared 22.6% from 1,220,000 units at the annual rate in June to 1,496,000 units in July, a five-month high. Single-family housing starts increased for the third straight month from 869,000 units to 940,000 units, the highest reading since February.

Monday Economic Report – August 24, 2020

Manufacturing Up in August, says IHS Markit

U.S. business activity snapped back to the highest since early 2019 this month as companies in both the manufacturing and services sectors saw a resurgence in new orders even as new COVID-19 cases remain stubbornly high across the country, a purchasing managers’ survey showed on Friday.

Data firm IHS Markit said its flash U.S. Composite PMI Index rose to a reading of 54.7 this month – the highest since February 2019 – from 50.3 in July. Its flash – or preliminary – indicator for the manufacturing sector stood at its highest since January 2019 and for the services sector it was the highest since March 2019.

Read more at Reuters

SUNY Appoints Malatras as the Next SUNY Chancellor, Succeeding Johnson

The State University of New York (SUNY) board of trustees on Friday announced the appointment of Jim Malatras as the 14th chancellor of the SUNY system.  The appointment is effective Aug. 31, SUNY said in a Friday news release.

Malatras — the first SUNY graduate to become the system’s chancellor — has been serving as president of SUNY Empire State College. In recent months, he’s also been seen with Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his COVID-19 television briefings, acting as an advisor to Cuomo through the process.

Read more 

Malatras’ First Visit is to New Paltz – Announces New Grant and Internship Program to Accelerate PPE Production Across SUNY

Jim Malatras today toured SUNY New Paltz, announcing the new SUNY Prepare Innovation and Internship Program. The program is designed to accelerate the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) through new innovation and technologies at SUNY colleges and universities statewide. Chancellor Malatras was accompanied by Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. Chancellor Malatras and President Christian reviewed the campus reopening plan – which was previously approved by SUNY – before meeting with students to discuss their goals for the upcoming semester and the importance of COVID-19 safety protocols. The visit comes as the campus community prepares to begin classes on Monday.

Read the press release

PKF O’Connor Davies: The Top 3 PPP Forgiveness Mistakes

Council Associate Member and friend O’Connor Davies write that with each passing day, more and more Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers are focusing on loan forgiveness. Since the program first launched, we have worked with hundreds of borrowers, initially on the loan application process, and then since early June, on loan forgiveness. In the process, we have seen more mistakes than we have clients. Some of the errors involve computations and applicability of the rules. But the most common mistakes are substantial, overarching ones that are likely to have a significant impact on forgiveness. Here are the top three mistakes we’ve seen along with recommended solutions.

Read more at PKF O’Connor Davies

Depression Risks Spike for US Employees

The pandemic has led to a 102% increased risk of depression among US workers, rising to 305% for employees ages 20 to 39, according to Total Brain’s July Mental Health Index. Mental health experts warn the situation will worsen as winter approaches, and Flawless Foundation’s Janine Francolini urges employers to make mental health “the absolute top priority.”

Read the full story at Human Resource Executive

Mid Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Drafting Recovery Strategy – Seeks Business Input

The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) is developing a regional economic recovery strategy.  The document will be used to prioritize funding and shape public policy around economic development. Please review and complete this questionnaire by Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 to give your input.

Take the 10 minute survey