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Urban CNY News

The Society of New Music to present the PREMIERE of a commissioned work by Octavio Vazquez

plus, feature SNM’s 2021 NY Fed. Of Music Clubs Israel Winner Katie Jenkins.

Syracuse, NY, November 30, 2021The Society of New Music will present the Premiere of SNM’s NEA commissioned work “Migrants” by Octavio Vazquez (on the faculty of Nazareth College in Rochester, NY) on Sunday, December 5th at 3:00 pm at Park Central Presbyterian, located at the corner of E. Fayette and Townsend St. in downtown Syracuse. The program includes works by Reza Vali, Katie Jenkins, and Derek Bermel.

Vazquez was born in Galicia, Spain, while composer Vali was born in Iran (Persia) and Jenkins in Wales. All three have lived in the US for years, but their music resonates with their respective heritages. Derek Bermel’s work was inspired by the NASA Mars missions.

Vazquez’ multi-movement work reflects on migrations and how it effects future generations. Vazquez’s great-grandfather immigrated to NYC in the early 1900’s, where he spent 30 years before returning to the Galician Highlands. Historically Upstate NY has been shaped by many waves of migrants.

Octavio Vazquez

The music of Octavio Vazquez has been performed throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the National Auditorium of Spain, Cologne’s Philharmonie, and the Big Hall of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He has also written for film and collaborated with world-music artists as an arranger, orchestrator and producer, most notably with Grammy winner Cristina Pato. Vazquez is a graduate of the Adolfo Salazar Conservatory, the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid, the Peabody Conservatory, and earned his doctorate at the University of Maryland.

The string quartet by Persian-born Reza Vali, “Ashoob” 2014, Calligraphy # 14, uses the tuning of an ancient Persian scale. Reza’s music has been widely performed and recorded by renowned orchestras and chamber ensembles. SNM has championed Reza’s music since early in his career. He earned his doctorate at Pittsburgh University after studying at Tehran Conservatory and in Vienna. He has done extensive research on modes and tunings used in traditional Persian music and has incorporated these into his recent works. Dr. Vali is on the  faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.

The program also features music by one of SNM’s most successful former Israel winners, Derek Bermel. His Nine Revolutions (2019) for string quartet and electronics also includes video. Derek writes: “As I watched the InSight lander touch down on Mars in 2019, I felt awe at the feat of human achievement in pursuit of knowledge about the universe. At the time I was serving as composer-in-residence for the Seattle Symphony. I decided to create a work inspired by the journeys of the Mars missions that have spanned my lifetime and delivered to the human species some of the most powerful images from our neighbor planet. The work cycles through a series of chords, each iteration adding to the harmonic progression. In entirety it completes nine revolutions. The accompanying film for Nine Revolutions was created by Mike Gurfield.” (Derek Bermel, SNM’s Israel winner in 1997, was nominated for a Grammy in 2020.)

Katie Jenkins

Completing the program is Monologue (2019) for vocalizing cellist by Katie Jenkins, SNM’s 2021 NY Federation of Music Clubs/Israel Prize winner for this piece. Monologue went on to win 2 other prizes for Ms. Jenkins, who is now based in New York City. Her music can be identified by its unique way of weaving together tapestries of sounds and layering textures with a touch of Celtic flair as she draws on her Welsh roots. Jenkins engages in projects that encompass many forms of music making for the concert hall, multimedia environments, dance and film.Jenkins’ music has been performed across Europe and the US, including performances at National Sawdust where she held a fellowship, Juilliard, BBC Hoddinott Hall and music festivals in Bulgaria and Serbia. Jenkins is a 2021 Artist in Residence with the Dordor Gallery, Brooklyn. Her work featured in Vogue Italia, March 2021 Edition.

Musicians performing in this concert include violinists Noemi Miloradovic, David Fulmer, Jonathan Hwang, Amy Christian, Liviu Dobrota, violists Mia Chen and William Ford-Smith, cellists Zachary Sweet and Lydia Parkington, and double bassist Spencer Phillips. Composer Vazquez will conduct the Premiere of his “Migrants.”

For more information, please contact snm@societyfornewmusic. Tickets and reservations available on www.societyfornewmusic – are $20 adults, $15 students/senior citizens, 18 and under free. Reservations are encouraged. Free masks available at the door for those who forget to bring one.

Based in Syracuse, NY, the Society for New Music commissions, performs, and records new works by regional composers, catalyzes artistic connections across Central NY, and expands the audience for new music.


Police Respond to Canal Street Shooting

On Saturday, November 27th, 2021, at around 1:28 P.M., Officers responded to the 1000 block of Canal Street for a shooting with injuries call. Upon arrival, Officers located a 28-year-old female who was shot in the leg.  The victim was transported to Upstate Hospital, where she is expected to survive. The victim reported being shot while driving on Interstate 690 near the Teall Avenue exit.  The investigation is active and ongoing; anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5222.


Additional Transcripts, Exhibits, and Videos From Independent Investigation Into Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Former Governor Cuomo Released

Transcripts and Exhibits of Staff and Outside Advisors Released 

Video Testimony of Former Governor Cuomo, Top Aide, Complainants Also Released Additional Transcripts and Exhibits Will Continue to Be Released on Rolling Basis

New York – The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) continued the rolling release of transcripts and corresponding exhibits from the independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. On August 3, 2021, after nearly five months of investigating, the independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James — led by Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark — released their report concerning the multiple allegations of sexual harassment by Cuomo. Following the release of the report, multiple district attorneys asked that the OAG refrain from publicly releasing transcripts and other evidence so that their offices could first investigate and determine whether to file criminal charges against Cuomo.

However, following the filing of a criminal complaint against Cuomo on October 28, 2021 in Albany County, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office informed the OAG that it would begin releasing evidence to Cuomo to comply with New York state’s discovery laws. These laws state that once someone is charged with a crime, they must be furnished transcripts and other evidence in their case. As these materials are now being released by the Albany County District Attorney’s office — and in an effort to provide full transparency to the people of New York — the OAG informed local district attorneys that it would immediately begin releasing, on a rolling basis, all transcripts, corresponding exhibits, and videos compiled during the investigation, pending redactions to protect the privacy of individuals, as appropriate. This rolling release of evidence began on November 9, 2021.

The investigation was conducted after, on March 1, 2021, the Executive Chamber made a referral, pursuant to New York Executive Law Section 63(8), for Attorney General James to select independent lawyers to investigate “allegations of and circumstances surrounding sexual harassment claims made against the governor.” Kim and Clark were chosen to lead the investigation on March 8, 2021.

The transcripts, exhibits, and video testimonies being released today include:

Subject of Investigation

  • Former Governor Andrew Cuomo:
    • Video Testimony (Transcript and Exhibits previously released)

Complainants

  • Charlotte Bennett:
    • Video Testimony (Transcript and Exhibits previously released)
  • Lindsay Boylan:
    • Video Testimony (Transcript and Exhibits previously released)
  • Brittany Commisso:
    • Video Testimony (Transcript and Exhibits previously released)
  • Ana Liss:
    • Video Testimony (Transcript and Exhibits previously released)
  • Virginia Limmiatis:
    • Video Testimony (Transcript and Exhibits previously released)
  • Alyssa McGrath:
    • Video Testimony (Transcript and Exhibits previously released)

Former Executive Chamber Staff and Outside Advisors

  • Rich Azzopardi:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Peter Ajemian:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Andrew Ball:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Stephanie Benton:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Steve Cohen:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Chris Cuomo:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Alphonso David:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Melissa DeRosa
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
    • Video Testimony
  • Jill DesRosiers:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Beth Garvey:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Linda Lacewell:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Dani Lever:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Judy Mogul:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Lis Smith:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Annabel Walsh:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits
  • Staffer #6:
    • Transcript
    • Exhibits

Additional transcripts, exhibits, and video testimonies will be released as they are available. Transcripts and exhibits previously released can be found on the OAG website.


The Silent Pandemic: COVID-19’s Impact on Mental Health

Syracuse, NY – Forty-one percent of adults report struggling with mental health or substance use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up from 20 percent pre-COVID. Nearly one in three adults now report having symptoms of anxiety or depression.

“Behind the masks, people are hurting,” says Geoffrey Hopkins, MD, senior medical director for behavioral health at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “As we approach another year of living with COVID-19, even more attention needs to be paid to mental health challenges as our country wrestles with finding its new normal.”

The National Center for Health Statistics, a part of the CDC, is monitoring the situation closely. In April 2020, it partnered with the Census Bureau to conduct an ongoing Household Pulse Survey designed to complement the ability of the federal statistical system to quickly respond to, and provide relevant information about, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. The survey is collecting information on symptoms of anxiety and depression experienced by participants. Results have been consistent since the pandemic began, with 30.8 percent of respondents reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression in phase 1 of the survey (April 23 – May 5, 2020), and 27.3 percent reporting symptoms in phase 3.2 (September 29 – October 11, 2021). For comparison, a similar pre-COVID NHIS survey conducted in 2019 found just 10.8 percent of adults aged 18 and over reported symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder.

“If there’s any good news since the start of COVID, it’s that Americans have embraced telemedicine, with its increased access to behavioral health services,” says Hopkins. “Patients can see a specific behavioral health provider on an ongoing basis from the privacy of their home, where they feel comfortable and can call at their convenience.” He also points out that, in areas that have a shortage of behavioral health professionals, especially those who treat children and adolescents, telemedicine offers patients access to behavioral health services that otherwise may not have been readily available to them.

Specialists providing care via telemedicine for behavioral health treatment include psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, counselors, and nurse practitioners. Services include treatment of mental health conditions such as generalized anxiety disorders, major depressive disorders, dysthymic disorders, posttraumatic stress disorders and adjustment disorders. Substance use disorders treated by telemedicine providers include opioid use disorder, alcohol use disorder, and tobacco use disorder.

“If you’re dealing with mental health issues or substance use, speak with your primary care doctor, or ask your health insurer to help you find a behavioral health provider,” advises Hopkins. “You can get through this, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to suffer in silence behind your mask.”


‘SNAP’ Program Takes Action Increasing Access to Food Assistance for Older Adults and Disabled New Yorkers

Changes Include Simplifying Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Application and Extending Window For Receiving Benefits

Effort Aimed at Helping Eligible Older Adults Avoid Food Insecurity 

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced changes aimed at encouraging more food-insecure older adults and disabled individuals to enroll in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The changes include simplifying the SNAP application, extending the duration these households can receive benefits before needing to recertify, and eliminating the need for them to complete an interview during the recertification process.

“New York’s senior and disabled communities were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to food insecurity in some cases and exacerbating it in others,” Governor Hochul said. “Allowing easier access to SNAP benefits for these groups will help alleviate this stress. No one should have to wonder when their next meal will be and I am proud to take these steps to remove barriers that prevented older adults and disabled individuals on fixed incomes from accessing the food benefits that can help them to put food on the table.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which administers SNAP in New York, to offer a simplified application. This shortened application form can be used for both applying and recertifying for SNAP—easing and simplifying the process for qualified older and disabled adults. Households need only to complete a single sheet application, front and back, which greatly reduces the amount of time and effort required to apply or recertify for benefits.

Starting in December, eligible older New Yorkers can also now recertify their benefits for 36 months—12 months longer than the previous timeline for recertification. Additionally, applicants will no longer be required to complete an interview to recertify their benefits—frequently one of the greatest impediments to successful recertification.

Although New York leads the nation in SNAP participation among adults age 60 or older, the rate is still lower than the state’s overall average. About 70 percent of eligible older adults and disabled individuals are enrolled to receive benefits, which is significantly lower than the statewide participation rate estimate of roughly 89 percent.

One leading reason proposed for this lower participation is the length and complexity of the form to apply for SNAP. The regular application includes nine pages of questions and information geared at determining a household’s eligibility. Because many older individuals and disabled individuals live on fixed incomes and generally experience far fewer household changes, much less information is required to verify their eligibility and calculate benefits.

Additionally, studies show that providing SNAP benefits for those 65 and older results in better health outcomes. There is a direct link between SNAP and decreased long term care placement, health costs, and emergency visits. Receiving SNAP benefits also enables those aged 65 and older to focus their limited resources on paying for other basic needs such as prescriptions and rent.

Office of Temporary and Disability Executive Deputy Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “By making it easier to apply for and maintain their SNAP benefits, we can encourage a greater number of vulnerable New Yorkers put healthy, nutritious food on the table. I applaud Governor Hochul’s leadership in continuing to help even more households in the state access critical SNAP benefits.”

Followed by Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen stating, “For older adults, food insecurity is associated with worsening chronic disease, illness, and debility, which is why nutrition has been a core focus of our pandemic response effort. Under the leadership of Governor Hochul, we’ve greatly expanded home-delivered models to overcome food access barriers. The Governor has also been a leader in maximizing SNAP benefits and supplemental emergency assistance for all New Yorkers facing hunger. The pandemic continues to demand that we remain nimble in getting help to those who need it most. I am proud to join Governor Hochul in delivering these important program changes to simplify the application process and ensure continuity of food assistance for older adults.”


Attorney General James Releases Charities Report Finding More Than Two-Thirds of Charitable Campaign Donations Went to Charities While Professional Fundraisers Retained the Rest

New “Pennies for Charity” Report Looks Back at 2020 Fundraising Campaigns, Shows Professional Fundraisers Earned Over $380 Million

Despite Pandemic-Related Closures and Postponements, Charitable Giving Rose to Over $1.4 Billion in 2020

On Giving Tuesday, Report Lays Out Tips to Protect Donors’ Wallets from Sham Charities

New York – In time for Giving Tuesday and the holiday season, New York Attorney General Letitia James today released her annual “Pennies for Charity: Fundraising by Professional Fundraisers” report, which found that charities that retained professional fundraisers received about two-thirds of every dollar donated in 2020. Professional fundraisers retained the remainder — earning more than $380 million. Analyzing 718 campaigns conducted by professional fundraisers in 2020, the report concludes that charities earned 73 percent of donations from those campaigns, a small increase from the previous year and in line with the last four years’ results.

Attorney General Latitia James

“As New Yorkers get ready to give to their favorite charities on Giving Tuesday, they deserve to know where their money is going,” said Attorney General James. “My duty is to protect New Yorkers’ wallets and ensure that what they donate reaches the charity of their choice. My office will continue to crack down on misleading fundraising practices, so New Yorkers don’t have to worry the next time they give generously to a cause they support. With the holiday season upon us, I encourage all New Yorkers to use our tips as a guide to make informed contributions and ensure that their money is going to a trustworthy source.”

New York is home to a large and diverse number of charitable organizations. As did all sectors of our society, charities faced many challenges during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, despite a significant decrease in in-person fundraising and pandemic-related closures and postponements, charitable giving in response to fundraising campaigns in New York jumped to over $1.4 billion in 2020 — an increase of more than $179 million from 2019 pre-pandemic campaign revenues. Other report findings include:

  • In 339 campaigns, or 47 percent of campaigns, charities received less than 50 percent of funds raised, with professional fundraisers retaining the rest.
  • In 150 campaigns, or 21 percent of the campaigns, fundraising expenses exceeded revenue, costing charities more than $10 million.

This year’s “Pennies for Charity” aggregates information from reports filed with the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Charities Bureau by professional fundraisers for campaigns conducted on behalf of charities in 2020. Professional fundraisers must register with the OAG and their financial reports must break down the revenue raised, as well as the expenses generated by the campaign. The report and the searchable Pennies for Charity database containing data from those reports is posted on the Charities Bureau website.

This year’s report lays out tips for donors to follow before donating over the phone, through the mail, or online to ensure that their contributions reach the causes they intend to support. Important tips to keep in mind include:

  • If you’re contacted by a telemarketer, ask questions to make an informed decision: New York law requires telemarketers soliciting for charities to make certain disclosures to potential donors and prohibits them from making false, misleading, or deceptive statements when soliciting contributions. Telemarketers are required to tell potential donors their names, which professional fundraiser employs them, and if the telemarketer is getting paid. Donors may also ask what percentage of their donation will be paid to the fundraiser for fees and expenses.
  • If you receive a direct mail charitable appeal, verify the soliciting organization: Does the organization have a name that sounds like a well-known charity? Doublecheck — is it the one you think it is? Does the mailing claim to follow up on a pledge that you do not remember making? Does it clearly describe the programs that the charity plans to fund with your donation?
  • If you’re donating online, do your research first: Donating online or via an app is convenient for donors and can be cost effective for a charity. But before hitting “Send,” donors should check whether a campaign is legitimate. Below are steps to take before donating online:
    • Some online platforms that host groups and individuals soliciting for causes do not obtain permission from charities, or vet those charities who use their service. Donors should only give to campaigns conducted by people whom they know. Donors also should check what fees they will be charged and make sure that the charity has given its permission for the use of its name or logo. The site or the charity should confirm that the charity has approved the campaign.
    • When donating online, make sure the website is secure: The web address should start with “https.” Unless the charity uses a separate payment site, the web address should match that of the organization that will receive the donation.
    • Be wary of email solicitations that ask you to click a link or open attachments. These could be phishing scams that try to trick you into giving out your credit card number, Social Security number, or other confidential information.

More information about the OAG’s Charities Bureau and organizations regulated by it may be found online. If you believe an organization is misrepresenting its work or that a scam is taking place, please contact the OAG’s Charities Bureau at Charities.Bureau@ag.ny.gov or (212) 416-8401.

This report was authored by Director of Registrations and Fundraising Sections for the Charities Bureau Hanna Rubin and Charities Bureau Fundraising Supervisor Siobhan Blank. Data analysis was completed by Data Analyst Anushua Choudhury of the Research and Analytics Department, under the supervision of Director Jonathan Werberg. The Charities Bureau is led by Bureau Chief James Sheehan and Deputy Bureau Chief Karin Kunstler Goldman. The Charities Bureau is a part of the Division for Social Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux and is overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.


Governor Hochul Encourages New Yorkers to Shop Locally on Small Business Saturday


Supporting Local Businesses This Saturday and Year-Round Strengthens Communities and Boosts Local Economies 

Watch the New York State Department of Labor Small Business Saturday Video Here

Governor Kathy Hochul along with Empire State Development, Department of Labor, Taxation and Finance, and Agriculture and Markets encouraged all New Yorkers to shop safely while supporting their local small businesses on Small Business Saturday, November 27, 2021. New York’s small businesses generate millions of jobs throughout the state and by choosing to shop locally this Saturday, and every day, New Yorkers are investing in their neighborhoods, strengthening their communities, and keeping tax dollars within New York State.

Gov. Kathleen Hochul

“I helped my mom start a flower shop and know just how much hard work it takes to get a small business off the ground. As small businesses recover from the economic toll of the pandemic, many are counting on sales generated during the holiday season to make their profits and stay afloat, “Governor Hochul said. “So let’s all lend a hand by shopping locally at small businesses in our communities on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.”

State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Small businesses are the heartbeat of New York’s economy. By supporting them this Small Business Saturday, we are supporting jobs, strengthening communities, and maintaining economic vitality across New York State, which is critical now more than ever as we continue to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage New Yorkers to join me in showing love to our local small businesses year-round.”

According to Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Amanda Hiller, “Small businesses were hit especially hard at the onset of the pandemic. To help them recover and thrive, we encourage all New Yorkers to shop small, not only this weekend but throughout the year.  We also urge small businesses to explore the tax credits and incentives New York offers to businesses in local communities across the state.”  

And State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball stated, “We are proud to support our agricultural industry through our various marketing, promotion, and grant programs.  New York has an incredible farming and small food business community that work hard to bring food to the tables of New Yorkers year-round, and to craft unique and special items that make perfect holiday gifts.  I encourage everyone to support their local farmer and food and beverage producer and shop local this year.”

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets supports New York’s over 33,000 farms, 700 farmers markets and farm stands and thousands of small agribusinesses across the State through its various programs. In addition to administering the Nourish New York and Restaurant Resiliency Program, the NYS Grown & Certified program markets local growers and producers participating in safe food handling and environmental sustainability programs, helping them better compete in the marketplace. The Taste NY program showcases New York food and beverage businesses at large public events, and at Taste NY stores, the State’s Welcome Centers, displays and concessions at more than 70 locations across New York. This year, Taste NY stores and markets will feature New York State grown Christmas trees and offer handmade gift baskets for the holiday season, helping to promote and boost business for New York’s farmers and producers.  Shoppers can also buy a variety of Taste NY gift baskets online at www.ShopTasteNY.com. Find more information here and here. In addition, the Department’s Divisions assist small agri-businesses and farmers by providing a variety of support services that enhance their business, increasing productivity, profitability and competitiveness.

New York State’s Support for Small Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

While New York State can provide assistance through an array of programs and initiatives designed to support small business growth and help entrepreneurs maximize their opportunities for success, we have created several programs to help small businesses navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, including:

  • The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program– The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Restaurant Resiliency Program –  Building on the successful Nourish New York initiative, the Restaurant Resiliency Program sets aside $25 million to provide grants to restaurants that offer meals and other food-related items to New Yorkers within distressed or underrepresented communities. The list of Restaurant Resiliency Program Awards is available below. The Restaurant Resiliency Program will partner with New York’s network of food banks and emergency food providers to purchase prepared meals from New York restaurants and deliver them to families in need.
  • The $25 million Meet in New York Grant Program–   The goal of the $25 million Meet in New York Grant Program is to help support the return of conferences, meetings and trade shows that generate significant tourism economic activity through overnight stays, dining and other tourism activities. More information on qualifying businesses and events can be found here.

The Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program has been extremely successful thus far, with over $363 million awarded to support over 21,000 small and micro-businesses across New York State. More than 20,600 awardees were businesses with ten or fewer employees, 83% of grantees were minority and women-owned business enterprises, and the average grant funded has been nearly $17,000.

To further New York State’s commitment to small businesses, Governor Hochul announced plans to introduce legislation in January 2022 at the start of New York State’s legislative session to create a $200 million program designed to support businesses started just prior to or during the pandemic. This forward-looking initiative would utilize existing funding in the state’s $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program to support younger businesses that were otherwise ineligible for relief through existing state and federal programs to ensure greater inclusivity among small and micro-businesses.

Empire State Development’s Division of Small Business & Technology Development supports the development and expansion of businesses with under 100 employees by directing an array of programs and initiatives, such as access to capital, entrepreneur development, and commercialization and technology assistance to support small business growth and help entrepreneurs maximize opportunities for success.

The New York Forward Loan Fund, an early lifeline to small businesses during the pandemic, is one of the most collaborative and large-scale programs to provide access to small businesses. It provides flexible and affordable credit to the smallest businesses through a network of New York State based CDFI lenders and partners – and the results to date are exciting and encouraging. This model is now being replicated across the country as a way to provide a holistic resource to the community finance industry to meet the enormous demand in the market. The New York Forward Loan Fund funded $86.6 million in loans to more than 1,500 businesses state-wide, nearly two-thirds to minority and women-owned businesses, through one of the toughest periods in New York’s history.

The New York State Department of Labor offers a multitude of no-cost services for businesses of all sizes, including more than 220,000 job postings on the NYSDOL  website, access to tens of thousands of qualified candidates in our talent pool, career fairs and customized recruitments, and Human Resources consultation services. More than 24,000 businesses each year work with the Department of Labor to list their jobs, find the right candidates, access hiring and training incentives, obtain business tax credits and incentives, get help with one-on-one labor law and safety and health compliance services, and find layoff aversion resources. For more information, visit: https://www.labor.ny.gov/business.

New York State offers dozens of tax credits and incentives to help small business owners and entrepreneurs make a beneficial impact in their local communities. Small businesses can access a variety of resources and programs anytime at the Tax Department’s dedicated Business incentives webpage. This is a one-stop shop for details about tax credits and incentives for a variety of enterprises in various industries—from farming and agriculture to research and development to manufacturing.

Businesses may also qualify for job credits and incentives for hiring and training local workers, or for tax credits and exemptions intended to encourage property improvements. The Tax Department’s website, www.tax.ny.gov, offers businesses and their representatives a convenient way to meet their tax obligations. The Online Services for businesses webpage provides efficient ways to make payments, view filing information, or otherwise interact with the Tax Department.

How to Support Small Businesses During COVID-19

  • Purchase gift cards – Most small businesses, from your favorite restaurant, bar or coffee shop, your neighborhood specialty retailer, or your local hair salon, offer gift cards or gift certificates. By purchasing gift cards, it will inject needed investment into these businesses well past the holiday season.
  • Order take-out or delivery from your local bar or restaurant – Don’t forget to tip well. Restaurant workers have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Many restaurants are offering curbside delivery.
  • Shop online – If your favorite local business has a web presence, shop online to avoid crowds. Many businesses will ship or offer curbside delivery.
  • Give positive reviews – If you have found a great product, meal, or service or even a great promotion or sale, let your friends and family know. Don’t forget to leave a great review on your social media feed. The best advertising is word-of-mouth.
  • If you have to make a return, take a store credit over a refund – If you can. This keeps the money within the small business and every little bit helps.

Senator Rachel May Announces $700K for Gun Violence Prevention Programs


Syracuse, NY – On November 24th Senator Rachel May (D-Onondaga, Madison, Oneida) announced a new set of funding awards for gun violence prevention to two programs in her district, totaling over $700,000.

  • A $1.88 million statewide SNUG award for hospital-based street outreach workers and social workers:
    • Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility (SNUG), 2 hospital responders, award amount $160,020
    • SUNY Upstate Medical Center, 2 Social Workers and 1 P/T Mental Health Professional, award amount $282,980
  • A $262,000 SNUG award to Syracuse Community Connections, for community-based street outreach workers. This will fund five positions.

“It is critical that we support local, on-the-ground gun violence prevention programs,” said Senator May. “There are amazing organizations here in Syracuse that have been doing tremendous work to fight gun violence for many years. I have long been a supporter of giving them the resources they need to build upon this work and am very excited to announce this state support for new outreach positions in our city.”


Governor Hochul Provides November 25, 2021 Update to New Yorkers on State’s Progress Combating COVID-19

92,720 Vaccine Doses Administered Over 24 Hours 

28 COVID-19 Deaths Statewide Wednesday   

Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday updated New Yorkers on the state’s progress combating COVID-19.

“Happy Thanksgiving New York – let’s continue to take care of ourselves and our neighbors, and keep our communities safe and healthy,” Governor Hochul said. “We know the tools to avert a spike in the numbers this winter: Get vaccinated. Get the second dose if you haven’t already. Get the booster if you’ve done both. And don’t forget to wear a mask in public indoor places.”

Today’s data is summarized briefly below:

  • Test Results Reported – 226,602
  • Total Positive – 8,388
  • Percent Positive – 3.70%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive – 3.84%
  • Patient Hospitalization – 2,583 (+3)
  • Patients Newly Admitted – 371
  • Patients in ICU – 509 (+11)
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation – 246 (+4)
  • Total Discharges – 214,246 (+361)
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS – 28
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS – 46,343The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only.
  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC – 59,041

This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings.

  • Total vaccine doses administered – 29,439,755
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours – 92,720
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days – 700,307
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose – 85.6%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series – 78.2%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) – 90.3%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) – 80.5%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose – 73.8%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series – 66.2%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) – 77.5%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) – 68.2%

Each region’s 7-day average of cases per 100K population is as follows:

Region
Monday, November 22, 2021 
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 
Capital Region
56.99
59.15
58.38
Central New York
52.48
51.78
50.24
Finger Lakes
64.29
64.77
64.33
Long Island
32.29
33.47
35.02
Mid-Hudson
24.01
24.32
24.78
Mohawk Valley
66.32
66.59
65.03
New York City
16.34
16.81
17.10
North Country
59.98
59.84
59.36
Southern Tier
61.90
61.45
61.88
Western New York
73.06
76.53
77.45
Statewide
33.87
34.64
34.94

Each region’s 7-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:

Region 
Monday, November 22, 2021 
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 
Capital Region
6.80%
7.04%
6.87%
Central New York
6.71%
6.48%
6.34%
Finger Lakes
8.57%
8.56%
8.56%
Long Island
4.20%
4.28%
4.39%
Mid-Hudson
2.95%
2.94%
3.08%
Mohawk Valley
7.64%
7.80%
7.76%
New York City
1.65%
1.67%
1.67%
North Country
7.23%
7.35%
7.73%
Southern Tier
4.97%
5.06%
5.13%
Western New York
9.72%
9.88%
9.77%
Statewide
3.81%
3.84%
3.84%

Each New York City borough’s 7-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:

Borough in NYC 
Monday, November 22, 2021 
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 
Bronx
1.60%
1.67%
1.64%
Kings
1.60%
1.56%
1.59%
New York
1.30%
1.29%
1.27%
Queens
2.03%
2.12%
2.13%
Richmond
2.48%
2.53%
2.54%

Yesterday, 8,388 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 in New York State, bringing the total compiled by HERDS to 2,674,232. A geographic breakdown is as follows:

County 
Total Positive 
New Positive 
Albany
33,929
153
Allegany
5,867
47
Broome
27,865
136
Cattaraugus
9,777
110
Cayuga
9,585
35
Chautauqua
14,614
123
Chemung
12,630
82
Chenango
5,452
26
Clinton
7,904
51
Columbia
5,600
32
Cortland
6,020
21
Delaware
4,282
28
Dutchess
37,627
80
Erie
122,293
858
Essex
2,927
20
Franklin
5,253
39
Fulton
7,678
39
Genesee
8,444
71
Greene
4,861
23
Hamilton
510
2
Herkimer
8,139
54
Jefferson
11,088
90
Lewis
4,125
24
Livingston
7,037
64
Madison
7,219
40
Monroe
96,018
563
Montgomery
7,027
30
Nassau
223,988
532
Niagara
28,121
207
NYC
1,126,580
1,626
Oneida
32,627
174
Onondaga
58,601
274
Ontario
11,437
73
Orange
61,473
210
Orleans
5,359
31
Oswego
13,890
94
Otsego
5,255
53
Putnam
13,013
16
Rensselaer
17,067
126
Rockland
55,139
83
Saratoga
24,009
186
Schenectady
19,020
98
Schoharie
2,615
12
Schuyler
1,876
18
Seneca
3,145
25
St. Lawrence
12,554
80
Steuben
12,197
138
Suffolk
252,799
746
Sullivan
9,393
69
Tioga
6,236
27
Tompkins
7,281
58
Ulster
18,785
84
Warren
7,070
86
Washington
6,456
86
Wayne
9,986
89
Westchester
147,370
193
Wyoming
5,166
43
Yates
1,953
10

Yesterday, 28 New Yorkers died due to COVID-19, bringing the total to 46,343. A geographic breakdown is as follows, by county of residence:

Deaths by County of Residence 
County 
New Deaths 
Albany
1
Allegany
1
Broome
1
Cattaraugus
2
Chemung
2
Clinton
1
Dutchess
1
Erie
2
Kings
1
Livingston
1
Manhattan
2
Monroe
1
Nassau
2
Niagara
1
Onondaga
1
Orange
1
Queens
1
Rensselaer
2
Saratoga
2
Schenectady
1
Washington
1

All New York State mass vaccination sites are open to eligible New Yorkers aged 12 years and older for walk-in vaccination on a first-come, first-serve basis, with 10 sites open to eligible New Yorkers aged 5 and older. People who would prefer to schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site can do so on the Am I Eligible App or by calling 1-833-NYS-4-VAX. People may also contact their local health department, pharmacy, doctor or hospital to schedule appointments where vaccines are available, or visit vaccines.gov to find information on vaccine appointments near them.

New Yorkers looking to schedule vaccine appointments for 5-11-year-old children are encouraged to contact their child’s pediatrician, family physician, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), rural health centers, or pharmacies that may be administering the vaccine for this age group. Parents and guardians can visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations. Make sure that the provider offers the Pfizer-BioNTechCOVID-19 vaccine, as the other COVID-19 vaccines are not yet authorized for this age group.

Visit our new website for parents and guardians for new information, frequently asked questions and answers, and resources specifically designed for parents and guardians of this age group. 

Yesterday, 20,857 New Yorkers received their first vaccine dose, and 9,953 completed their vaccine series. A geographic breakdown of New Yorkers who have been vaccinated by region is as follows:

People with at least one vaccine dose
People with complete vaccine series
Region
Cumulative
Total
Increase over past 24 hours
Cumulative
Total
Increase over past 24 hours
Capital Region
796,133
802
715,883
282
Central New York
613,724
544
560,629
171
Finger Lakes
811,181
945
739,862
396
Long Island
2,000,796
1,303
1,774,948
726
Mid-Hudson
1,556,378
1,904
1,361,388
547
Mohawk Valley
308,170
309
283,055
125
New York City
7,164,872
13,473
6,369,892
7,087
North Country
286,246
227
255,563
91
Southern Tier
413,390
340
375,087
140
Western New York
890,272
1,010
804,235
388
Statewide
14,841,162
20,857
13,240,542
9,953

The COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Dashboard is available to update New Yorkers on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The New York State Department of Health requires vaccinating facilities to report all COVID-19 vaccine administration data within 24 hours; the vaccine administration data on the dashboard is updated daily to reflect the most up-to-date metrics in the state’s vaccination effort. New York State Department of Health-reported data from NYSIIS and CIR differs slightly from federally-reported data, which is inclusive of federally-administered doses and other minor differences. Both numbers are included in the release above.


Attorney General James Issues Statement on the Guilty Verdicts in the Death of Ahmaud Arbery

New York – New York Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement on November 24th in response to the convictions of the individuals who murdered Ahmaud Arbery:

“The guilty verdicts reached today are important in showing true accountability in a system that should be fair and just for all. It is clear that the facts, as laid out by the strong arguments of the prosecution, resonated with the jury.

“However, we cannot mistake accountability with justice. True justice would be Ahmaud Arbery here today, living his life as he was meant to before he was senselessly taken from the world.

“Though nothing can ever bring Ahmaud back, or erase the pain of losing their loved one, I pray that the Arbery family can find some semblance of peace as we continue to march forward towards justice for all.”