These are extraordinary, unprecedented times. I hope that you are weathering this public health crisis well, remaining healthy and doing everything possible to comply with the mandates of social distancing. We know that you are following the news on the TV, in the newspapers, and through the many communications that we are all getting in our inboxes. This is the beginning of the third week that the BID staff has been working remotely. We are trying to sort through the myriad of emails flooding our inboxes and will pull out information that we think is helpful and get you what we believe is most relevant.
Both of our teams are out every day. However, we have made some schedule and shift changes in our core Clean and Safe services to ensure the safety of our crews and because there is far less trash and fewer pedestrians out on the streets. Our Clean Team is out there every day collecting and bagging litter and disinfecting remaining street furniture (we have removed tables and chairs from our parks). The New York City Department of Sanitation is continuing with its normal collection services, though some services may be delayed as COVID-19 contingency plans are implemented. Our Public Safety officers are also out serving as our eyes and ears, checking on the status of the neighborhood and our businesses, conducting pedestrian counts, and reporting quality of life matters, including any acts of vandalism, although fortunately there have been none so far. In fact, several pot holes were recently reported by our team and the City has quickly filled them in, and, as you can imagine, our numbers show that foot traffic is significantly down from the same period last year. We are also in touch with the 20th Precinct and they are on patrol ensuring the safety of this Upper West Side neighborhood. And, our beautification efforts are continuing although a little behind schedule.
Staying at home is really tough on people, especially the elderly and those who live alone, and totally devastating for our local economy, especially our businesses and cultural organizations. We have reprogrammed our website so that we focus on how you can get food, how you can continue to enjoy culture and fitness from your home, and how you can support our local businesses--those that are still open and those that have closed. There are ways that you can volunteer as well. As I mentioned, we are trying to cull relevant information from the almost constant stream of emails from multiple sources and only include what we think you will find helpful. I am pleased to report that the City has now opened its application for the NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund, and applications for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program are also open. In addition, I thought I would link you to a great summary of the stimulus bill, the CARES Act, prepared by the NYC BID Association's lobbyist, Cozen O'Connor: Summary and Analysis of Key Provisions of the CARES Act. We will try to update our website as frequently as we can, and need to hear from you if you learn of something that you think will be helpful. We have also reprogrammed our events calendar so that we only include on-line programming, and have stepped up our social media efforts with a focus on keeping you informed on neighborhood updates.You can visit our website at www.lincolnsquarebid.org.
To many it does not seem as if there is light at the end of the tunnel, but there is, and we're in it for the long haul. When we emerge from this pandemic we will be stronger and hopefully healthier. Until then, we will be your connector to Lincoln Square, and to the information and many resources that we think are helpful. Please reach out to us and let us know if there is information that we should be aware of, and if you have suggestions as to how we can better serve you during these challenging times.
Monica Blum, President Lincoln Square BID
Photo credit: Public Safety Supervisor Augustin Javier