Image: Michael Kowalczyk via Flickr.
The ban on single-use plastic bags will go into effect on Monday, more than seven months after enforcement was set to begin. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statewide ban on plastic bags was approved by state lawmakers last year with plans to begin enforcement on March 1, 2020. But a lawsuit from the Bodega and Small Business Association and a delay in a court decision on the lawsuit because of the coronavirus pandemic pushed enforcement of the new law back multiple times until a state judge ruled in August that the ban can begin on October 19. Starting Monday, grocery and retail stores that collect state taxes from customers will no longer be permitted to use plastic bags to contain purchases at checkout. Ahead, learn more about the Bag Waste Reduction Law, the exceptions to the law, and alternatives to single-use plastic.
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Photo by Colin Miller
When the ice skating rink and holiday market opens at Bryant Park this month, things will look a little different than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the Bank of America Winter Village will require face coverings, reservations for the rink, and will debut a new layout of shops for optimal distancing. Now in its 19th year, the winter village will open on October 30 and run through March 7, 2021.
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Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels
The plan to rezone two affluent Manhattan neighborhoods will enter the public land use review process, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. The proposed rezoning of Soho and Noho includes replacing 1970s-era zoning rules and incentivizing the creation of about 800 permanently affordable homes, part of an effort to bring affordable housing to all New York City neighborhoods, even upscale ones.
Photo of Peter McManus Cafe © James and Karla Murray
Like thousands of small businesses, one of New York City’s oldest family-run establishments is struggling to survive because of the coronavirus pandemic. Irish bar Peter McManus Cafe, located at 152 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea, has been serving pints of Guinness and their famous burgers since 1936. While the McManus family, who has continuously owned the bar for four generations, has seen their fair share of challenges in its 84 years, COVID-19 has made it increasingly difficult to stay in business.
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A view of Fish’s Eddy’s storefront at 889 Broadway in June 2019. Map data © 2020 Google
“We’re like a fish gasping for air — literally,” said Julie Gaines, the owner of Fishs Eddy, to the New York Post. The much-loved Union Square store has been in business since 1986, selling mix-and-match, reasonably priced dinnerware that includes NYC-themed items and quirky finds like Obama shot glasses and parking ticket plates. Since the pandemic hit, however, they’ve only been doing 30 percent of their usual business, much of which is based on tourists, which is making it harder and harder to afford their high rent.
Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr
A new initiative launched this week that aims to help New York City’s 230,000 small businesses stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic. The NYC Small Business Resource Network connects business owners with specialists from each borough who will provide advice and access to available resources regarding challenges like loan and grant opportunities and legal and accounting services. The program aims to serve owners in the hardest-hit communities, with a focus on minority-, women-, and immigrant-owned businesses.
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Map data © 2020 Google
One of the thousands of small businesses struggling to make ends meet in New York City’s pandemic world is Williamsburg’s Kellogg’s Diner, which has been in business since the 1940s. The 24-hour restaurant at the corner of Metropolitan and Union Avenues says it’s in danger of closing if the city doesn’t increase its indoor dining capacity from 25 to 50 percent. Referring to the fact that restaurants in the rest of the state are able to operate at half capacity, owner Irene Siderakis told Pix 11, “Why is it fair for them and not for us? I don’t understand. I don’t get it.”
, Fri, September 25, 2020
St. Marks Place outdoor dining; Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr
Outdoor dining will be a permanent, year-round feature for New York City restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday. The city’s popular “Open Restaurants” program, which launched in June and allows restaurants to set up outdoor seating on sidewalks, patios, and on some streets closed to cars on weekends, was set to expire on October 31. During his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, de Blasio said the program will be “part of the life of the city for years to come.” The “Open Streets: Restaurants” program, which has closed roughly 87 streets to traffic for car-free dining on weekends, will also be made permanent, the mayor said.
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, Wed, September 23, 2020
Photo by Steven Pisano on Flickr
Plans to rezone Industry City in Sunset Park are dead after developers behind the project decided to withdraw their application on Tuesday. As Politico New York first reported, the decision to pull out of the plan, first proposed six years ago, comes as developers were unable to convince Brooklyn residents and officials, particularly Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the local representative, to support the rezoning efforts. Supporters of the rezoning said it would have brought thousands of new jobs to the city, which currently is seeing an unemployment rate of about 20 percent because of the coronavirus pandemic.
, Tue, September 22, 2020
Photo by ajay_suresh on Flickr
New York gyms, malls, museums, and restaurants, have all been given the green light from officials to reopen. Why not comedy clubs? State Sen. Michael Gianaris is proposing new measures that would allow comedy venues to immediately reopen under the same coronavirus restriction placed on other indoor activities, which would include a 25 percent capacity limit. “I challenge anyone to explain why comedy clubs would be less safe to operate than restaurants or bowling alleys,” Gianaris, who represents parts of Queens, told the New York Post.
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