PPP Vote, Open Streets Update, Landy Lowdown

Originally Published : May 29, 2020

PPP Reform Passes; City Council Introduces Open Streets Bill

Our favorite bipartisan lion tamers, Phillips & Roy hustled their bill through the House and now it’s headed to the Senate  for a vote next week.  Hopefully, Queen Bee McConnell and his drones will get behind the legislation because the brides and grooms on both sides of the aisle supported it.  But we know that Queen Bee can be ornery, so we will try to decipher his drawly drivel over the next few days to see whether he will rally the Senate to pass the damn thing.  Also, watching Rubio who for some reason has a bug up his ass and doesn’t like the bill. Could be a spotlight grab.

Here are the highlights of the new bill:

– Spend time increases from 8 weeks to 24 weeks
– Payroll taxes can be deferred
– Changes the split from 75/25 to 60/40.  That is 60% must be spent on payroll  and 40% can be spent on rent and utilities for full forgiveness.

Joey Regs and our crack PPP team will provide further comment on this bill as it moves along and will let you know how you might be able to use the new rules to your advantage.

Update: Open Streets

The City Council, led by Corey Johnson and Antonio Reynoso  introduced a new bill, 1957, that would require De Mayor to unbuckle his legs, stand up straight and start opening some streets while the weather is fair and people are thirsty and we can make some money.   

From the Council:  The legislation will require the City to identify open spaces (including sidewalks, streets, and plazas) where restaurants and bars can follow social distancing measures and safely serve customers outside. It would create a fast, simple permitting process that would allow outdoor service thorough the City to start quickly once we begin re-opening.

Well, our man in the street  and on his trusty bike, Henry Rinehart, who has been commandeering this movement, has some musings on today’s news and what it all means.  Here’s Henry:

Henry’s Happenings by Henry RinehartI encourage everyone to celebrate the wins on Open Streets by stepping out your front door and projecting your entrepreneurial vision on to the street around your businesses. Think big! You need about twice your front of house space to safely serve something like your usual occupancy. Ask yourself what public space adjacent to your business do you need access to in order to serve safely?

Roll up your sleeves and get back to advocating for your Open Street.  You should have already notified the DOT of your intention to open a street near you. You should have let your advocates at the Alliance know your plans. You should be in conversation with your neighbors about permission for temporary use. And then, keep pushing the #OpenStreets vision for you and your community.

Everyone reading this email needs more basic information before they can re-open safely, sustainably and profitably.  Here is what you need to know today:

 When: The Governor controls when. Tell everyone who will listen, and some who won’t, restaurants need open dining to be a permissible use in Phase 1. No one can afford to leave sales dying in the street for the month of June.

Where: The Mayor controls whereRestaurants CEO’s need the Mayor to be an effective CEO for the safe execution of Open Streets in Phase 1.

What: We want the city to approve a timely, free and city-wide process and empower relevant commissioners to execute the process.  We want the Mayor to set a deadline to make it happen.

So much has happened in the three weeks since David asked me to write to you. Most of what has happened has been good: curves flattened, streets opened, better weather, trickles of income from delivery and grab-n-go. And yet, the stakes just seem to be getting higher.  Let’s get the streets open and then, let’s all meet for the safest, biggest al fresco dinner in history

Thank you General!

A big thank you to Andrew Rigie, a.k.a The General, the leader of the Hospitality Alliance who has been front and center and a major influencer of every success so far in this epic series of battles.  He has been working doubles every day for us so let’s show him some love and hospitality and give him a seat at the table and support the Hospitality Alliance along with the Hospitality Coalition and ROAR of course.  Here’s The General with a report from the trenches in his own words:

Last week, Mayor de Blasio signed into law our legislation suspending enforcement of personal liability clauses in leases, capping third party delivery fees, waiving sidewalk café fees and more. Then today, we participated in a press conference with the City Council to introduce legislation to do exactly that – require the City to create a system to allow restaurants and bars to serve outdoors…and we already got a public hearing scheduled on the bill on June 4th

Yesterday morning we co-hosted a discussion with Senator Schumer where we discussed fixing the PPP, so it works for the hospitality industry. Then last night, in collaboration with the Business Interruption Group and Times Square Alliance we turned a bunch of the jumbotrons in Times Square dark and played a film with chefs and even Whoppi Goldberg made an cameo calling on the insurance industry to payout business interruption insurance claims.

The NYC Hospitality Alliance team is working around the clock getting results for our industry and have appeared in the press hundreds of times, spoken on dozens of virtual town halls telling our industry’s story and building political and public support for our cause…but there’s A LOT more that needs to be done. We must fight together in an aggressive and strategic way. 

Click here to join our newsletter, get involved and stay informed. If you operate a restaurant or nightlife venue please consider becoming a member for a dollar a day, or anyone can just make a contribution to fuel our vital work. If you can’t afford it due to the crisis we totally understand – just sign up for the newsletter and stay engaged – we need you and are here for you. Please feel free to reach out to [email protected]. In solidarity.

– Andrew Rigie, NYC Hospitality Alliance.

1932 Update by Mayan Bouskila, Chair, HL Real Estate Group

Bill 1932-A was signed into law on May 26, 2020 by the Mayor of New York.  If you satisfy the conditions set out in Bill-1932-A, you could walk away from your lease without incurring personal liability. 

However, despite Bill-1932-A now being law, there are risks involved in ‘handing back your keys’ to the landlord without obtaining a surrender and release, including, but not limited to: 

  • the landlord bringing a lawsuit against you and challenging your position; 
  • the landlord challenging the constitutionality of the law; 
  • whether a default has yet occurred if you have not received a notice of default; and
  • the form of guaranty being a separate agreement to the lease, and not a provision included in the lease. 

In light of the above, if you intend on ‘handing back your keys’, in order to do so with peace of mind, our advice is that you negotiate a surrender and release agreement with the landlord, and use Bill 1932-A to leverage a favorable outcome. 

If you would like assistance with negotiating a surrender and release with your landlord, please let me know and we can set up a time to speak. You can email me at [email protected]

As Jerry and the Boys would have said in support of Open Streets: “The sunny side of the street is dark. Nothing shaking on Shakedown Street”. 

Let’s get things shaking by opening the streets now!!

Good Night,