COVID-19 Business Resources

CenterState CEO is focused on a four stage response to the economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic: Assess, Respond, Mitigate, and Recover. We are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving developments and its impact on our organization, members and stakeholders in the community. This page will be updated daily with relevant news, information and resources on COVID-19-related business impacts, and how we are responding. 

Policy & Advocacy Updates

CenterState CEO is working to keep its members and the community apprised of the latest policy developments, executive orders, and other critical information impacting business operations and relief efforts.

Federal Economic Stimulus: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act


The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes direct payments to individuals, an expansion of unemployment insurance, billions of dollars in aid to businesses large and small, and significant funding for the healthcare industry. While we are still reviewing the fine details of what is in the bill, here is what we do know:

Support for Small Businesses:

  • Paycheck Protection Program ($350 billion)
  • Zero-fee loans for up to $10 million for payroll – forgiven if businesses retain employees and salary levels.
  • Economic Injury Grants ($10 billion)
  • 10,000 to small businesses and non-profits grants while waiting for paycheck protection program to process.
  • Used for payroll, increased production costs, pay business obligations.
  • Intent is to get this to recipients in 3 days.
  • Debt Relief for Existing SBA Borrowers
  • Relief to small businesses with SBA 7(a), 504 or microloans.
  • SBA will cover all loan payments for six months.

Expanded Unemployment Benefits:

  • Extends unemployment insurance to those unable to work as a result of coronavirus - sick, quarantined, or needed to care for children home from school due to closures.
  • Extends unemployment insurance to sole proprietors and freelance workers.
  • Federal government will provide additional $600 on top of existing unemployment insurance benefit (average $300 per week) for four months.
  • New benefits funded by federal government, not employers.


Tax Cuts for Businesses:

  • Interest deduction goes from 30% (2017 TCJA) to 50%
  • Delays payroll taxes on wages • 6.2% tax paid over following two years (half in 2021, half in 2022)
  • Provides for the hospitality industry to immediately write off costs of building improvements

Additional Funding:

  • Economic Development Funding
    • More than $6.5 billion in Federal funding for CDBG, the Economic Development Administration, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership


  • State and Local Governments - State Stabilization Fund
    • $150 billion for states
    • $8 billion for localities
    • Distilleries Temporary Exemption from an excise tax for alcohol they use to make hand sanitizer that’s produced and distributed within Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office.

Quick Links

Governor Cuomo Executive Order | Essential Business Guidance

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order reducing on-site workforce to 0% for non-essential industries. Visit the Governor's Pressroom and Executive Order pages for the latest updates.

Here is what businesses need to know:

  • The EO is effective March 22, 2020 at 8 p.m. and until further notice.
  • Includes all non-essential workers.
  • This mandate applies to both profit and nonprofit employers.
  • Employers are strongly encouraged to have employees work from home where and when possible. 
  • Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to these restrictions. 

Empire State Development has issued guidance on what businesses and industries are presently exempt from this EO, as well as answers to FAQs. If you believe there is a business or industry not currently listed as exempt on this list, or you have questions about whether or not your business is exempt, we encourage you to reach out to ESD here. The EO further provides that any other business may ask to be deemed essential by requesting an opinion from the Empire State Development Corporation. We will offer members who request and meet guidelines a letter of support as they seek to receive an essential operations designation. If you have questions or if you are in need of support with the waiver process, please contact us at


CenterState CEO Advocacy Effort Highlights

  • CenterState CEO staff collected affidavits from impacted businesses to support New York State’s Application to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which will unlock much needed lending capital for small businesses suffering from a loss of customers and revenue.
  • CenterState CEO is working directly with regional manufacturers and MACNY to advocate for best practice workplace safety standards in an effort to keep as many of our region’s plants up and running to preserve critical industry supply chains and employment. CNY Manufactures Pledge Final-c.pdf.

Business & Financial Resources

CenterState CEO is actively identifying financial resources and tools available to employers, employees, and community partners, as well as other information of importance for businesses.

Financial Resources & Relief for Employers

SBA Statewide Disaster Declaration

In an effort to alleviate some of the negative impacts of the Coronavirus on small businesses, the SBA has also established Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Eligible small businesses can apply online here or review this fact sheet with important information about the declaration and EIDL requirements. Businesses can take advantage of free assistance offered by SBA’s network of Resource Partners for help with preparing their loan applications. Click here to find local help. The NYS Small Business Development Center network recommends submitting a request for assistance here

City of Syracuse Emergency Relief

Additionally, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program for small businesses in the City of Syracuse. The Syracuse Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) will create a dedicated $500,000 fund to provide zero-percent interest, 180-day emergency loans to small businesses in the city of Syracuse. Applications will be available beginning Monday, March 23.

Onondaga County Bridge Loan Funding Program

Onondaga County is accepting bridge loan applications from any small business in the county that have submitted an SBA Economic Injury Loan application. Small businesses can receive up to $25,000 at zero percent interest. You can file your application online through the County office of Economic Development. First round applications are due by March 31. 

Oswego County COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program

Commercial, for-profit entities that own or manage a business with fewer than 50 employees located within the County of Oswego are eligible for up to $10,000, 180 day, interest free emergency loans. The purpose of this relief program is to support operations and employment directly impacted by COVID-19 (coronavirus). For more details see Oswego County’s loan application.

City of Oswego COVID-19 Emergency Business Loan Relief Program

The City of Oswego is offering $10,000 interest free loans for 25 small businesses to assist during the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Businesses must have fewer than 25 employees and must operate a physical storefront with regular posted hours of operations (pre-COVID-19). For more information visit The City of Oswego’s website or if you have questions contact Nate Emmons, Director of Economic Development at

COVID-19 Community Support Fund

The Central New York Community Foundation, in partnership with United Way of Central New York, Allyn Foundation, the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County established a COVID-19 Community Support Fund to support nonprofit organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Learn More | Donate | Apply for a Grant

Quick Links

Operational Resources & Guidance

Workforce & Individual Resources

Additional COVID-19 Informational Resources

CenterState CEO Action

CenterState CEO has rapidly reprioritized and shifted how it deploys its staff and resources to support members and meet the emerging needs of the community.


We’ve begun a formal effort to assess the impacts of the novel Coronavirus pandemic on businesses, institutions and nonprofits throughout our region.

  • survey to businesses across the region is underway to gather insight on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on business; actions to protect operations and employees; and the types of information and best practices most in need of during these unprecedented times. We have also launched an ambitious effort to contact more than 1,500 employers directly over the next 10 days, to best understand their needs. We will use these findings to inform policy-makers and develop new, situationally-relevant programming to support the community in this trying time.


We are working to respond to the hundreds of calls and requests for support we are receiving from members and community partners. Contact us at with your questions and needs, and your request will be routed to an appropriate staff member.

  • We are helping members explore critical financing options, understand rapidly changing emergency regulations and share best practices for remote work and workplace safety
  • We are making connections between the private business community and the needs of the health care crisis.

Our team has been actively reaching out to members who can produce or donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to connect them with the health care industry and other essential responders.

Through our outreach we identified a number of local construction firms able to donate more than 4,500 N-95 masksto hospitals in the Syracuse region. Several hundred nitrile gloves have also been donated. This PPE has gone to Crouse Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health, the Syracuse Community Health Center, and Oswego Health to support their urgent supply needs.  

PPE donors include:

  • Hayner Hoyt Construction
  • Hueber-Breuer Construction
  • Riccelli Enterprises
  • A number of dental offices have also made donations

Other companies in the area are gearing up to manufacture masks, protective gowns, and other PPE. Hillrom is doubling production of ventilators, hospital beds and vital monitoring equipment.

The Onondaga County Medical Society reached out to CenterState CEO to coordinate an effort to engage local distillers and companies to begin producing hand sanitizer, and connecting them to Onondaga County Emergency Management to determine distribution based on the greatest need and the best product match.

Companies contributing to this effort include:

  • 1911 Distilling / Beak & Skiff
  • Last Shot Distilling
  • Madison Co. Distilling
  • Lock 1 Distilling
  • Waterman’s Distillery
  • Old Home Distilling
  • Cornell University
  • Rapid Cure Technologies
  • Attis Biofuels (Attis Industries)
  • Hall Island Distillery
  • Haun Welding Supply, Inc.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev

Bold denotes CenterState CEO member


We are working to proactively mitigate anticipated economic fallout; advocating for relief packages at the local, state and federal levels; and working directly with partners on best practices and strategies to address critical industry, employer and human needs.

CenterState CEO is working with a group of our region’s manufacturers and our partners at MACNY to advocate for best practice workplace safety standards in an effort to keep as many of our region’s plants up and running to preserve critical industry supply chains and employment. CNY Manufactures Pledge Final-c.pdf.


We are prepared to lead during what is certain to be a sustained period of economic recovery. Our organization has always found opportunity on the horizon, and this time will be no different. To do so we will need your help and support, now more than ever, to keep both the near-term needs and long-terms objectives in focus. We are also  working with our partners to lead critical recovery efforts with an eye toward the future.

Economic Resiliency Task Force

CenterState CEO joins the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, and MACNY to deploy a joint Economic Resiliency Task Force of government and private sector leaders to help guide Syracuse and Onondaga County business community through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Task Force will devise strategies to respond to the economic challenges presented by the pandemic, and help businesses continue operations and plan for the recovery of the local economy. It will draw on the resources and expertise of a working team made up of staff from the City Department of Neighborhood and Business Development; the County Office of Economic Development; CenterState CEO, the Downtown Committee of Syracuse; Visit Syracuse; MACNY; and the Central New York International Business Alliance.

Member Spotlight

CenterState CEO members are responding in an extraordinary ways, whether by stepping up to offer products and services most in need, adapting their business models in new and creative ways in the face of challenges, or offering products and services to support fellow local businesses and the community.*

Member Services & Resources

  • Hammerback Media is offering a free marketing strategy review session to all local businesses. They will review your existing efforts and offer simple tips and advice your business can act on today to save money and increase effectiveness. You can find out more here
  • Nationally ranked Top 50 CPA firm The Bonadio Group will be hosting a series of free webinars to assist individuals with the SBA Disaster Relief Loan Program application process and provide updates for Senate Bill 3548 (which includes expanded eligibility and loan forgiveness for amounts used to fund payroll).
  • Fidelis Care can answer your questions and help you enroll in health insurance or renew your coverage by phone. You can also visit and click on Get Coverage.
  • Bonadio Group is assisting businesses with tax filing relief and completing SEDCO loan applications and US SBA Disaster Loan applications. 
  • Delaney Worldwideoffers virtual home surveys to customers preparing to move.
  • Centro offers free rides to everyone throughout its entire system, including Call-A-Bus services.

  • I Heart Oswego and Step One Creative compiled a comprehensive list of restaurants with curb-side and/or delivery service in Oswego, Fulton, Hannibal and Mexico.
  • Wired Telcom LLC offers free IT services.
  • Courtyard & Residence Inn Syracuse Downtown at Armory Square is offering discounted rates for those who are seeking isolation quarters. For discounted rates please reach out to either hotel directly.
  • The Central New York Community Foundation, in partnership with the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the Allyn Foundation and United Way of Central New York, established a COVID-19 Community Support Fund to support nonprofit organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Find volunteer opportunities to assist with the COVID-19 situation in Onondaga County by contacting the United Way of Central New York at
  • Northland Communications offers free software-based phones, video conferencing to help local businesses implement teleworking technology plans.
  • M.A. Polce is offering a free 90-day trial of Cisco Webex to existing and new customers to help them work remotely.

Member News

  • Hillrom more than doubles production of critical care products, including ventilators, hospital beds and vitals monitoring devices to support COVID-19 response.
  • Clean All offers kits for businesses and consumers to make their own hand sanitizer.
  • Wegmans is adding plexiglass shields to protect cashiers.
  • Cascade Maverik Lacrosse in Liverpool has begun emergency production of plastic face shields for those on the front lines battling the virus. XTO Inc., also in Liverpool, is supplying parts needed to switch from manufacturing lacrosse helmets to the face shields. Bauer, a sister company that makes hockey equipment outside of Montreal, Canada, has also switched to making medical face shields.
  • The Scholar Hotel Syracuse volunteers to take less critically ill patients from local hospitals if they get overrun with coronavirus patients.
  • Help CNY Hospitals and Hospitality is a way for people to “pay it forward” by donating to local restaurants to provide meals for workers at hospitals, grocery stores and other essential businesses. Six restaurants are signed up to provide food. They include The Brine Well EateryAnything But BeerScratch Farmhouse CateringCirca Ce SoirPure Catering and EventsColonial Lodge, and Mello Velo.
  • WellNow Urgent Care is providing options for safe, accessible and reliable health care by disinfecting their facilities and using protective gear per the CDC guidelines, rearranging waiting rooms to adhere to social distancing, and performing in-car triage at all locations in order to help minimize exposure to COVID-19. You can also choose to access a WellNow provider through your smart device 24/7 with WellNow Virtual Medical. For non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries visit a local facility or start a virtual visit at
  • Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Baldwinsville is producing and packaging hand sanitizer. They are working with the American Red Cross to distribute it to communities where it’s needed most.
  • Pulaski-based company, HealthWay, sees demand for its air purifiers soar amid pandemic.
  • Syracuse Stage costume designers create masks to support hospitals.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. donates $50 million to address immediate and long-terms impacts of COVID-19.
  • Green Hills Farms dedicates special hours for senior citizen shopping.
  • Riccelli – Northern LLC – donates masks and exam gloves to local hospitals.
  • Barrett Paving donates masks to local medical facilities.

  • Salt City Market creates Westcott Mutual Aid initiative with partners Rise N Shine and Beer Belly Deli to provide meals to community centers.
  • Menter Ambulance / Oswego County Ambulance scour region for medical supplies.
  • Central New York distillers: Life of Reilley Distilling Co. in Cazenovia; Old Home Distillers in Lebanon; Last Shot Distillery in Skaneateles; Waterman’s Distillery in Apalachin; Cornell UniversityBlack Button Distilling in Rochester; and Lock 1 Distilling Co. in Phoenix, collaborate to produce hand sanitizer.
  • Hall Island Distillery in Cicero teams up with Haun Welding Supply, Inc. to produce and package hand sanitizer.
  • TOPS Friendly Markets and Price Chopper create early morning senior shopping hours.
  • Hueber Breuer Construction Company, Inc. and The Haynor Hoyt Corporation responded to an urgent call for help from major medical centers and delivered thousands of N-95 masks to doctors and nurses.
  • Food Bank of Central New York volunteers pack 500 emergency boxes in 2 hours. Volunteers needed: sign up at
  • WCNY and Syracuse-area schools plan “TV classrooms” to get through coronavirus pandemic.
  • Syracuse University offers students free buses to return home.
  • Loretto  and Little Luke’s Daycare devised creative childcare solutions for those working on the front lines of the coronavirus.
  • Eagle Beverage Company loaned a refrigerated truck on a moment’s notice to transport 1,000 COVID-19 test kits from Albany to an area hospital.
  • NBT Bank announces efforts to relieve financial hardship due to COVID-19.


CenterState CEO members in bold*

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