Updated guidance for small business owners

From the NYC Department of Small Business Services:

Dear Business Owner, 
As of August 17, 2021, people 12 and older are required to show identification and proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for: 
Indoor dining 
  • Includes restaurants, catering halls, hotel banquet rooms, bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, grocery stores with indoor dining, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, and other indoor dining spaces. 
Indoor fitness 
  • Includes gyms, fitness centers, fitness classes, pools, dance studios, and other indoor fitness studios such as yoga or pilates. 
Indoor entertainment and certain meeting spaces 
  • Includes movie theaters, music and concert venues, museums, aquariums and zoos, professional sports arenas, indoor stadiums, convention centers, exhibition halls, hotel meeting and event spaces, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, pool and billiard halls, recreational game centers, adult entertainment, and indoor play areas.
This new requirement — called the Key to NYC — also means staff at these locations must be vaccinated. 
If you own of the above types of businesses, we urge you to review the requirements and make sure you are in compliance to protect your employees and patrons and to avoid fines. 
Additional resources to help you understand the requirements can be found below. 
To comply with this requirement, businesses must:  
  • Place the Vaccination Required Poster for Businesses (PDF) or a similar sign in at least 14-point font in a place that is clearly visible to people before they enter your business. 
  • Become familiar with the accepted proofs of vaccination found here.  
  • Develop a written implementation plan that will be available for inspection. This should include how you will check the identifications and vaccination status of staff and customers before they enter — or immediately after they enter — your business. 
  • Help your staff get vaccinated: Consider hanging posters about the COVID-19 vaccines in break rooms and provide information about where to get vaccinated
Additional Resources for Key to NYC
Find full guidance, including posters, FAQs, and other information in multiple languages, by visiting nyc.gov/keytonyc
Have questions about Key to NYC? 
Affected small businesses with questions can call the NYC Department of Small Business Services hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692) or 311.   
Visit nyc.gov/keytonyc to find additional resources for businesses, including printable copies of required signage, a Key to NYC Pass checklist, FAQs, and more. 
Open Storefronts has been extended to December 31, 2021!
This program was launched in November 2020, and built upon the success of the Open Restaurants program.
This program allows storefront businesses to use a portion of the sidewalk to conduct business, including:
Displaying merchandise and pre-packaged food
Completing transactions
Providing areas for queuing and take-out or delivery operations
Businesses may also conduct business activities on roadways in the Open Streets Temporary Full Closure program.
This program is available to all ground-floor storefront businesses after the completion of a short online form acknowledging their understanding of the program’s criteria and restrictions.
If you have a storefront business and you are not yet participating in Open Storefronts, visit nyc.gov/openstorefronts to see the full details and sign up for the program.
Have questions? Call our hotline at (888) SBS-4NYC.
Owe City-Issued Fines?
The City of New York’s Department of Finance is offering a temporary program allowing you to pay a reduced amount for eligible Environmental Control Board judgments, including those issued by the Sanitation, Fire, and Buildings departments.
You could save up to 75% with the FAIRER (Fine and Interest Reduction Enabling Recovery) Program!
To find out if your judgments are eligible, visit www.nyc.gov/fairer or call 311.
Deadline to apply: December 20, 2021.

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