An additional $2 million will be contributed to support the Nassau County Executive’s initiative to provide small businesses and nonprofits with personal protective equipment (PPE) kits free of charge. This initiative by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin, and Nassau County Local Economic Assistance Corporation Chairman Richard Kessel will help make another 4,000 personal protective equipment kits available to local small businesses throughout the Town of Hempstead.
“The success of our small businesses depends on employees feeling safe to return to work, and customers feeling confident to once again shop and dine in our malls and our downtowns — and PPE is crucial to building back that confidence,” said County Executive Curran. “The overwhelming response we received to our PPE giveaway demonstrates the need and struggle businesses are having to stock up on these supplies. I want to thank Supervisor Clavin for this contribution, which will allow us to exponentially expand this program and help take some of the pressure off thousands more small businesses. I also want to commend the IDA and LEAC Board and staff for stepping up and being able to administer this program so quickly.”
“Small business is the cornerstone of our communities, and this effort will help make it easier for our small businesses to reopen and operate in a way that keeps customers and employees safe,” said Supervisor Don Clavin. “Distributing personal protective equipment is a vital part of each phase of reopening each community throughout Nassau County. I commend County Executive Laura Curran and the Local Economic Assistance Corporation for the leadership role they’ve taken in identifying this opportunity to support small businesses and our local economy. The Town of Hempstead is proud to help expand their efforts and ease the burden on our small businesses to reopen during this difficult economic time.”
Nassau County launched the program last week with an initial investment of $500,000, which would cover costs for approximately 1,000 PPE kits. The county is utilizing $400,000 through federal HUD funding and the IDA has secured $100,000 through their sister organization, the Local Economic Assistance Corporation (LEAC). The $2 million to support the distribution of PPE kits to local small businesses was allocated from the grant funding the Town of Hempstead received from the Federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act to help offset unbudgeted expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the County’s initial $500,000 investment, more than 5,000 personal protective equipment kits will be distributed to small businesses. All contracts with vendors are subject to IDA/LEAC board approval.
The PPE program is intended for businesses and nonprofits with less than 20 employees, MWBE-owned businesses, and businesses in hard-hit and economically distressed neighborhoods. Other criteria include businesses being open for at least one year and having gross revenue of less than $3 million. The application may be found at BoostNassau.net.
Within 24 hours of accepting applications last week, the county reached its 1,000 kit supply limit — fulfilled on a first-come, first-serve basis — demonstrating the need for these critical supplies. Businesses are encouraged to continue to apply while these additional funds are utilized to secure more kits. Businesses will be added to the list in the order in which they registered. The county is targeting to distribute the first 1,000 kits the week of June 15.
The PPE kits will include: one contactless infrared digital thermometer (employer use to scan employees or customers); five face shields (for employees); 400 3-ply-masks; 100 pair vinyl PPE/powder-free gloves (beneficial for those with a latex or powder allergy); two gallons hand sanitizer with spray pump; and 1,800 sanitizing-wipes in a canister.
“The Local Economic Assistance Corporation is proud to support this vital PPE program and make this essential equipment available to our small business owners,” said Richard Kessel, chairman of the Nassau County Local Economic Assistance Corporation. “Our mission is to provide the necessary resources to spur economic growth and opportunity within Nassau County, and this program will ensure that small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, can open quickly and safely.”
Visit NassauCountyNY.gov/reopen for resources and everything businesses need to know as they prepare to reopen. For more information about the Town of Hempstead and its efforts to improve the quality of life for residents and businesses throughout the region, visit HempsteadNY.gov.
Miller: There’s More to Be Done
After successfully campaigning for summer school programs for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Assemblywoman Missy Miller (R,C,I-Atlantic Beach) is waiting on a directive for guidelines for the programs to start. In the meantime, she is teaming up with Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I-Ballston) to tackle another battle. Miller and Walsh are calling on the governor to reopen day-hab programs and allow visitation in group homes. The duo has written a letter to Gov. Cuomo advocating on behalf of these students.
“Advocating for the reopening of summer school for students with IEPs was only the tip of the iceberg; there’s more to be done to help this vulnerable population,” said Miller. “From parents across the state, I have heard story after story of children who are regressing due to the inability to attend day-hab programs and parents who say the negative mental state of their loved ones comes from parents not being allowed to visit them in group homes for the past three months. As the pandemic is now behind us with safety protocols in place, the special-needs population desperately needs these changes now.”