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We are here to support you during this uncertain time. Please let us know if we can help with COVID-19 resource information or other info you feel is valuable to your fellow business owners. Email Sheryl Heather

In this edition:
Small Business Insurance Tips | How to help get DMV back on track
Free Delivery for Seniors from Town of Southampton
New Village of Southampton Facemask Regulation
Free Counseling for Small Businesses
Small Business Insurance Tips During Covid-19
Thomas J. Crowley, CPCU, CRM, CIC

Information is overwhelming all of us:  SBA Loans, Disability insurance, PFL, FFCRA, FMLA, Unemployment insurance and other legislated and regulated ways to help businesses and individuals get through our world pandemic and its economic impact. What can be done aside from these programs though to control cost?

I have tried to boil down some very practical steps businesses can take to immediately impact their insurance costs. Not every insurance carrier behaves the same way but all of them should be flexible, empathetic and willing to work with their customers. Call your broker if you have not already and see if any of the following can help you.

1)       File a business income (BI) claim.  While it is extremely unlikely normal BI coverage under business policies will cover losses from Covid 19 we recommend you file anyway. Tracking the impact on your business now, not down the road, will make it easier to track the data. If carriers are forced to expand the definition of BI to include these losses you will have filed a claim and been tracking your loss. If we see government intervention with a relief program, it would likely require a declination from an insurance carrier and all of the supporting data to show your loss. Track expenses you incur to avoid a loss, track your decreased revenues and overall impact on profit.

2)       Lower your sales and payrolls on Liability and Workers Compensation policies based on what you project Covid impact will be. All carriers have shown a willingness to do this. If you anticipate a 3 month impact, lower all exposures by 25%. That will result in a 25% decrease in cost. You can always increase levels back in the future if the impact is less than 3 months or if you have a tremendous rebound once this is over.

3)       Ask your insurer if they can provide any kind of credit to your auto policy . Vehicles are being used less. Some carriers are rolling back premiums and others are laying up vehicles without turning in plates. Make sure you keep “Comprehensive” on your vehicles if you actually mail plates to the DMV and take vehicles off the road. Comprehensive is Fire, Theft and Vandalism and you want to be sure to retain that even if the vehicles are parked.

4)       Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No.202.13 which includes among many items a deferral of premium payments for 60 days . This applies to immediate billings – whether it extends into future billings remains to be seen. Ask your broker to request deferral of payments due now. The carrier has to extend them by 60 days and then bill those premiums on a 12 month equal pay plan. This can help with cash flow.

5)    Look at your inventory levels.  If you are not installing or servicing and you’ve worked your materials down and not replaced them yet, do you need the same contents, stock and inventory limits?

6)    If you are renewing in the middle of all of this contemplate two strategies: 
a.        Ask carrier for a 60 or 90 day extension so you can evaluate your business going forward more reliably than current guestimates you would be making today. 
b.        Or, try and negotiate renewal based on your current exposures with agreement to lower them after renewal is agreed to and locked in. If you lower them at renewal the lower exposures will result in higher rates due to filings insurance carriers make with the DFS and credits based on premium size.

7)   If you apply for a receive a PPP loan and put all employees back on payroll even though many or all are not working, ask your broker if carrier will waive those payrolls (or reclassify to a clerical rate) on GL and WC since the payrolls are being incurred but the employee is not working.

8)   Consider if any insurance carried is not needed at this time . A Foreign Liability policy could be dropped since business travel is no longer occurring and likely will be stopped for some time. Other examples might include installation floaters (if you are not doing any work in the field), Exhibition floaters and other policies that support activities that would be discontinued.

Articles and webinars on our company website are accessible to anyone.
Visit  to catch up on all our coverage.  If you would like information on PPP, FFCRA, PFL/DBL or any other government or insurance program please feel free to reach out as we have resources on all of these items.

Good luck to all of you as we navigate our way through this unprecedented event. Stay safe, social distance and please feel free to call me with any questions.

Thomas J. Crowley, CPCU, CRM, CIC
Cook Maran Insurance- An EPIC Partner | 631-332-7390
NY State DMV Closed | Need to register vehicles?
From Sheryl Heather, Executive Director

In response to many inquiries regarding the status of vehicle registration, please see below the response from NYS Assemblyman Fred Thiele. This issue is already severely impacting many local businesses who lay up trucks for winter, and/or anyone wanting to register or transfer a new vehicle. The response from DMV is unacceptable.

Please cut and paste the letter below and send to our State representatives. Even if you are not directly affected, please help your fellow Business Alliance members as we try to resolve this!

From: Fred Thiele <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 1:47 PM
Subject: Re: Thiele Question re DMV

Dear Ms. Heather,
I raised the issue of registering vehicles that were taken off the road in the winter that need to be re-registered in the spring with the Governor's office as this is a fairly widespread practice on the East End of LI to save on insurance costs. I was directed to the  New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a determination.  Please see DMV's reply:   
"As we have said previously, original vehicle registrations and registration transfer transactions require an office visit and, since our offices are currently closed until further notice, customers will need to wait until offices reopen to process their transaction.   
Customers may wish to visit our website’s Document Guide at ( ) to make sure that they have all of their paperwork in order.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. I hope this information proves helpful."
I regret that the DMV is unable to accommodate another option to assist customers with vehicle registrations while offices are closed. Please be assured that I will let you know if there is any reconsideration of this policy as New York's PAUSE order remains in effect. You may wish to reach out to the Governor's office directly to relay your concerns on behalf of the Southampton Business Alliance as well,
Thank you.
Fred W. Thiele, Jr., Member of Assembly
Please cut and paste this message below
and email to our representatives:
To whom it may concern:
I am writing to request immediate consideration of a new policy for NYS DMV regarding vehicle registration. Many essential service businesses lay up vehicles for the winter season and have no way to re-register at this time. Likewise, businesses (and individuals) needing new vehicles may purchase them, but cannot use them. This is causing further financial damage to NY State businesses, and impeding their ability to perform essential services.
Please help by providing relief. Thank you for your consideration.
Governor Cuomo (cut & paste the message into the bottom of the form)

NY State Senator Ken LaValle
NY State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr.
NY State DMV Email Form (select Registration & Title as topic & paste the message into the form)
Southampton Village issues facemask order

Effective Friday, April 10, 2020

Southampton Village Mayor has mandated
wearing of facemasks in local businesses

Town of Southampton offers "ASAP"
Free Delivery Service To Seniors
All Seniors Assistance Program (ASAP) is a new Town service that will provide FREE delivery from participating local stores who do not have their own delivery services. All seniors over the age of 60 within the Town, regardless of income, are eligible.

Seniors are the most vulnerable to COVID19. However, trips to the local markets, pharmacies or other retail stores are still necessary. To address this need and to help our seniors remain safe, the Town is providing a new FREE delivery service.

Please help get the word out to seniors you know!

Counseling available for small businesses
If you're in need of advice, please contact the Stony Brook Small Business Development Center. The SBDC at Stony Brook maintains services both at the Stony Brook University Main Campus and at the Southampton Campus (part-time). The SBDC at Stony Brook can be reached at (631) 632-9837 or by e-mail at:  

Suffolk County has a Business Recovery Unit dedicated to COVID-19 issues
Please take the County's Business Impact Survey to get on list for updated information.
Campolo, Middleton & McCormick offering
free business counseling hotline:
Business Alliance member (law firm) Campolo, Middleton & McCormick has launched a complimentary coronavirus hotline – (631) 738-6781 or . Members of the business community, whether or not they are CMM clients, can reach out with questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business and they will provide guidance free of charge. 
Click here for Campolo Middleton COVID-19 resource page with many helpful links 
Resources for your small business:
Federal Actions & Resources :
Families First Coronavirus Response Act- provides paid leave for employees absent from work for reasons related to COVID-19  See website here
The act provides for tax credits and tax exemption for businesses as follows:
  • Payroll tax credit for required paid sick leave 
  • Income tax sick leave credit for the self-employed
  • Payroll tax credit for required paid family leave (Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act)- this leave is available when an employee must take off to care for their children under age 18 because of  a COVID-19 emergency declared by a government authority that either closes a school or place of childcare or makes a childcare provider unavailable   
  • Income tax family leave credit for the self-employed  

The IRS has issued an extension of deadline to file and pay 2019 federal income taxes- any returns or payments due by April 15, 2020 are now due by July 15, 2020 (no forms need to be filed to obtain the extension and no interest   or penalties will accrue until July 16, 2020)

U.S. Small Business Administration
Small business owners in all 50 states are eligible to apply for disaster loans due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Additional Federal Resources:

New York State Actions & Resources :
Local Resources:
Thank you to our corporate sponsors:

Southampton Business Alliance Executive Committee:
President:  Larry Hoffman , Dockers Waterside Restaurant & Marine
Vice President:  John LaMura , Esq
Secretary:  Bob Strebel, Jr. , Sabel & Oplinger
Treasurer:  Joe Mammina , Markowitz, Fenelon & Bank
Immediate Past President:  Ann LaWall,  Ann LaWall & Company

Directors: Ellen Cea , Rechler Equity Partners 
Sheryl Heather   (Executive Director),  Spring & Summer Activities
Tony Panza , Turtle Pond Builders | Mollie Scruggs , Southampton Limousine
Aram Terchunian , First Coastal Corp.

Do you have good news to share about you or your business?
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... and if you know someone who shares our interest in protecting the business community, please pass along a membership application!  Download membership application here