Cuomo On Reopening Dashboard, Roles of Businesses and Employees, Importance of Remaining Diligent
At his press briefing today Governor Cuomo demonstrated the new dashboard which displays daily test results for each county. The dashboard shows on a daily basis how many tests have been administered and how many tests were positive as a raw number and a percentage. Currently, all regions are showing low positive rates. The State will monitor the daily test results of all regions to ensure each region can continue through the reopening phases. As each region moves through the reopening phases business owners have a responsibility to provide personal protective equipment and ensure social distancing. Employees have a responsibility to follow the rules and protocols.
Every region of the State is now reopening. The Long Island region is entering phase two today. Phase two industries include offices, real estate, essential and in-store retail, vehicle sales and rentals, retail rental, repair and cleaning, hair salons and barbershops, commercial building management, and outdoor and take-out/delivery food services.
Cuomo on Economy and Infrastructure Projects
Speaking at LaGuardia International Airport in Queens, the Governor was joined by Rick Cotton, Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the two discussed the opening of the new Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport.
The Governor is fast-tracking the rebuilding of LaGuardia airport. It will be the first major new airport built in the United States since Denver International opened 25 years ago. The project is logistically difficult because the airport needs to remain operational while under construction, not to mention the tiny slip on land upon which it sits. Rick Cotton announced today the rebuild has reached a milestone – opening LaGuardia’s Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall. The new Terminal B is 50% bigger than the terminal it replaced. The Governor wants to energize the economy by starting other large scale development projects. The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Port Authority used the time during the crisis to complete capital projects while usage was low. The MTA is accelerating $2 billion in capital projects.
Fed Makes Revisions to Main Street Loan Program
The Federal Reserve Board has announced revisions to the Main Street Lending Program which complements the SBA’s PPP program. This will make it possible for more small and midsize businesses to receive financial support when the program opens, including lowering the minimum loan from $500,000 to $250,000.
Fed Officials Project No Rate Increases Through 2022
Federal Reserve officials projected no plans to raise interest rates through 2022 and said they were committed to providing more support to the economy following shutdowns to contain the coronavirus. Officials also said they would maintain their recent pace of purchases of Treasury and mortgage securities, effectively ending gradual, weekly reductions.
“Over coming months, the Federal Reserve will increase its holdings” of Treasury and mortgage bonds “at least at the current pace to sustain smooth market functioning,” officials said in their policy statement released after the meeting.
The statement also attributed improved conditions in stock and other financial markets to policy measures officials have taken in recent months to keep credit flowing through the economy.
OECD Warns of “Long-Lasting Scars” From Virus
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a group of rich countries, warned that the pandemic will leave “long-lasting scars” on the world economy, even if a second wave of infections is avoided. The tourism, hospitality and entertainment industries will be hit particularly hard, affecting low-skilled, young and informal workers. The OECD’s chief economist called for “extraordinary policies” to ensure a sustainable recovery.
OSHA Face Coverings Q&A
The U.S. Department of Labor has released a question and answer web page specifically on face coverings and masks in the workplace.
Phase Three Guidelines Released for Food Services and Personal Care
As regions prepare for Phase 3 of Reopening, New York State has begun sharing guidelines. These guidelines will apply to non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to reopen, essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open, and commercial and recreational activities that have been permitted to operate statewide with restrictions.
GlobalFoundries Learned from Early Pandemic Experience
Semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries was able to tap into its early pandemic experience with facilities in Europe and Asia to prepare its US plants beginning in January and February. At the factory in Essex Junction, Vt., the daily workforce has been reduced, and employees wear full protective gear after undergoing temperature checks.
Signs Point to Years Long Employment Recovery
Last week’s jobs report from the Labor Department showed the rate of layoffs falling in April and hiring at an all-time low, and economists warn it might take a decade for the labor market to recover. The quits rate dropped to a nine-year low of 1.4%, a measure of low job market confidence. The labor market was slammed by the closure of nonessential businesses in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many establishments reopened in May, with the economy adding a stunning 2.509 million jobs last month after a record 20.7 million plunge in April, government data showed on Friday.
Economists warn it could take even a decade for the labor market to recoup the jobs lost during the COVID-19 recession.