Guidance Issued for Phase 4 Businesses

Phase 4 is expected to begin Friday, June 26th for the Southern Tier.

New York State has issued guidance for Phase 4 businesses and higher education institutions, and social gathering sizes.

Phase 4 includes Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment (at 33% capacity) and Indoor Arts & Entertainment (at 25% capacity), Media Production, and Higher Education. Colleges and universities will be expected to submit plans for approval to NYS (read more below).

Some business that anticipated to open in Phase 4 will NOT be allowed to resume operations because NYS is conducting additional studies on these industries as it pertains to virus transmission. This includes: Movie theaters, gyms, bowling alleys, casinos, and malls, which will all remain closed.

All businesses and organizations planning to open in Phase 4 must:
  • Review your industry specific guidelines
  • Ensure that you can follow the guidelines and have all supplies/materials handy
  • Prepare your Safety Plan and have it posted/available on site
  • Ensure that your workforce understands and can comply with the guidelines
  • Submit the Affirmation at the end of the Guidelines to NYS
Higher Education Guidance Released

New York has released Summary and Full Guidelines for the higher education industry, as well as a Reopening Plan Checklist. All higher education institutions will need to submit plans to NYS and have those plans approved prior to reopening. Having guidance is a promising development, however, our partners at Cornell, Ithaca College, and Tompkins Cortland Community College have been hard at work developing their plans for months and will update the community as soon as possible regarding their future operations.
Essential Businesses & any business or organization that opened during Phase 1, 2, or 3 should:

  • Review your industry specific guidelines
  • Develop plans and procure necessary supplies to adhere to the guidelines
  • Create your Safety Plan and keep on premises (link to template below, or create your own plan)
  • Ensure that your workforce understands and can follow the guidelines
  • Submit the Affirmation that you will operate in accordance with the guidelines

The Chamber recommends reading the guidance, e nsuring that you are prepared for reopening, and having your plan in place and ready to share prior to reopening. This applies whether your business or organization is open to the public, or whether you have employees only reporting to your place of business.

Do not submit the affirmation until your business is ready to adhere to the guidelines. However, if you have already opened, please adhere to the guidelines and submit your affirmation as soon as possible.

Any non-compliant businesses will potentially put their business at risk by opening prior to meeting the guidelines - and be aware that you could have complaints filed against you or be shut down by the Health Department.
TRAVEL UPDATE: NYS, NJ, and Connecticut Governors announced today that these states will require travelers from states hardest hit by current Coronavirus outbreaks to quarantine for 14 days. This will no doubt impact travel to Ithaca & Tompkins County in the coming weeks.

More Resources to Support Your Reopening
If You're Not Sure Whether You're Allowed to Open, Use this Tool
By entering your NAICS code into the tool linked at the right, you can determine whether your particular business or industry category is allowed to open based on NYS Phased Reopen guidance.
Download & Print Signs Communicate Your Expectations/Adherence to Guidelines to Consumers
Tompkins County has created signage to support you in your reopening efforts. You will also receive a poster from the County once you have submitted your affirmation to NYS and they have confirmed your submission to the County.
The Ithaca Promise is a message and promise of commitment among the following community partners: The City of Ithaca, The Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, Local First Ithaca, and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

The Ithaca Promise is more than just following guidance to safely reopen, but a dedicated commitment to the process. Businesses work to ensure they are doing everything they can to conduct business with health and safety of their customers as their primary concern. Customers and the community at large must also follow guidance.

In Ithaca, NY and the greater Tompkins County, we know we’re in this together, so we’re wearing face masks for the safety of everyone in our community, and visitors. From the front line workers to farmers market growers, community members across Ithaca and Tompkins County show off how #masksaregorges . City of Ithaca Mayor Svante L. Myrick shares the message, “…for the safety of everyone around us let’s all wear face masks together.”
Brought to you by:
Tompkins Chamber ( )
Visit Ithaca ( )
Downtown Ithaca Alliance ( )
Tompkins County Area Development ( )
City of Ithaca (
Tompkins County Health Department ( )
Flair Communications ( )
Did you miss one of our recent L.E.A.R.N. Business Impacts webinars? 
You can watch them all right on our website.
Tompkins County Officials Will Host a Town Hall Friday, June 26th at 3:30

County Administrator Jason Molino and the Emergency Operations Center Team have been hosting weekly Town Hall discussions online. The group will be addressing your questions about Phase 4 and other topics, and also provide updates from NYS.
Local and Regional Economic Development Partners Offer Resources to Support Your Business

Local economic development organizations have collaborated since the onset of Covid-19 to offer a coordinated community response, identify funding opportunities, and gather and communicate resources to support your business or organization through this challenging time. The group has pooled key guidance from industry leaders and government organizations, financial resources, and suppliers of PPE and other services to support you through this next phase of reopening. Click the links below to learn more!
Please Take Our Survey

Business Owners or Key Decision Makers Only

Please take our fourth survey about Covid-19 impacts on your business or organization, your plans moving forward, and what resources you need to support your recovery.
** Survey closing soon. Please respond if you have not yet and would like to **
Have questions?

O ur team is here to help.
Just call the Chamber at 607-273-7080, or email us at . For specific need areas:
Ritza Francois, Membership Referrals & Support
Carly Hansen , Operations/Account Assistance
Diane Hemly , Bookkeeper - AP/AR Questions
Ryan Shehu , COVID-19 Resource Coordinator for Chamber/CVB
Jennifer Tavares, Economic Development/Communications & PR
David Walton, Event & Program/Sponsor Inquiries