Background image of Brooklyn Bridge. Text reads the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Supporting New York City's Creative Economy
Dear Friends, 

This week our nation celebrated the strength and promise of American democracy with the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden and the first African American, first Asian American and first woman Vice President Kamala Harris. In these first few days of his Administration, President Biden announced a national strategy for combating the pandemic and urged immediate action for stimulus funding. We remain hopeful that this renewed sense of urgency in Washington will provide critical support for New York City’s efforts to respond to the public health emergency and economic crisis.

As of this week, more than half a million doses of vaccine have been given to New York City residents. The City is making every effort to increase the vaccine supply from the federal government, especially now as vaccine supply shortages have forced the cancellation of appointments at COVID-19 Vaccine Hubs through Sunday, January 24. The vaccine supply continues to fluctuate on a daily basis so please consult the City’s Vaccine Command Center and continue to check the State's website for the full list of eligible groups.

In the meantime, we must remain vigilant. With rising cases and hospitalizations, we need to keep doing what we know works: wear a mask, socially distance, avoid nonessential travel, and get tested. There is now a dashboard with a list of wait times at Health + Hospitals testing sites that is refreshed every two hours. State COVID zone restrictions remain in effect in certain parts of the city. To find out where the zones are, and to see what restrictions apply to each zone, please visit or call the New York State hotline at 888-364-3065.

Effective January 26, all international passengers traveling to the U.S. will be required to show proof of a negative COVID test or clearance from a public health official or licensed health care provider prior to boarding, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new order. Travelers arriving from outside of the U.S. are also required to quarantine for seven days after arrival pursuant to President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel dated January 21, 2021.

This week, MOME and the Office of Nightlife presented Town Calls for NYC Arts, Entertainment, Hospitality and Nightlife businesses and workers. Representatives from the Small Business Administration-New York, NYC Department of Small Business Services, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, NYC Human Resources Administration, the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Planning, and the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants provided the latest information about federal loans and other assistance programs. Recordings of the sessions will be available on the Office of Nightlife website and Facebook page.

At the state level, following the announcement of his Creative Rebuild agenda last week, Governor Cuomo presented a package of proposals to support the recovery of the arts, entertainment, and hospitality sectors. The Pandemic Recovery and Restoration Program would extend and enhance the New York State tax credits for film and television, live musical and theatrical productions, and provide tax credits for small businesses in highly impacted sectors and restaurants in particular. Additional state proposals, including workforce development programs, unemployment system reforms, and tourism investment programs, are described on the Governor’s website. Here at MOME, we look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues in government to advance the State’s plans and build on the work we are doing at the local level to boost our creative sectors through programming initiatives and technical assistance.

At the federal level, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopened earlier this month and currently offers:

       •   First Draw PPP Loans for first time program participants, and
       •   Second Draw PPP Loans for certain businesses who have previously received a PPP loan.

To connect New York City’s small business owners to federal relief funds, the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has launched Fair Share NYC, offering free webinars, technical assistance and access to lenders to help businesses interested in applying for PPP loans. For more information, visit or call 888-SBS-4NYC.

Like many of you, we are eagerly awaiting program guidelines for businesses and non-profits eligible for grants under the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program (formerly known as Save Our Stages). The Grant Program, which passed as part of the third stimulus package, includes $15 billion for grants of up to $10 million to qualified live venue operators and promoters, performing arts organizations, theatrical producers, talent representatives, movie theater operators, and non-profit museums that have auditoriums. By law, the U.S. Small Business Administration must post program guidelines by February 10, 2021. Stay tuned for updates. Until then, the SBA has posted preliminary guidelines here and there is an unofficial plain language FAQ from the National Independent Venue Association.


Commissioner’s Directive 11 is posted on the Film Permit website. The Directive, which was issued on December 23, 2020, updated NYC production guidance to align with the State’s latest COVID zone restrictions, which allows media production to continue in Orange and Yellow Zones. It also extends cast and crew limits on exterior filming on public property through February 28, 2021. To assist productions with promoting safety protocols on set, the Film Office has produced a suite of graphics and posters available for download here.

Please be sure to check frequently for updates and review the guidelines and FAQ before submitting permit applications. If you have questions after reading these guidance documents, please call the Film Office at (212) 489-6710. Please keep in mind that the Film Office is still operating remotely so please allow additional time for Film Permit processing.

The Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund offers approximately $3 million in reimbursement grants for up to $5,000 to eligible businesses. The Empire State Development program is intended to support full-service restaurants during the winter months when outdoor dining is limited and as restaurants adjust to New York State’s COVID-19 safety restrictions and new mandates. The Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund is a partnership between New York State, Diageo Wine & Spirits, Southern Glazer Wines & Spirits and The National Development Council (NDC). Grant funding will be managed by the National Development Council (NDC).

While the State prohibition on indoor dining at food establishments continues, outdoor dining, take out, and delivery are still allowed. The State Liquor Authority’s Guidance on Closing of Indoor Dining in New York City explains the state’s restrictions on SLA-licensed establishments, and additional guidance for SLA licensees is available here. Guidance for winter operations of Open Restaurants is posted on the DOT website. Participants may submit questions to DOT at or call the SBS hotline at (888) SBS-4NYC. The Office of Nightlife also has made a suite of operational guidance materials and public informational posters and graphics available for download at

With many New York City restaurants relying on takeout and delivery as a major source of business in light of COVID-19 restrictions, NYC & Company is launching NYC Restaurant Week To Go with a record more than 570 restaurants across all five boroughs participating. Each restaurant is offering at least one special $20.21 takeout or delivery meal for lunch and/or dinner. Tax, delivery fees and gratuity are additional to the meal price. Beginning January 25 through January 31, diners can search participating eateries at, where they will then be redirected to the restaurant’s preferred delivery or takeout options. Restaurants also have the option to extend this offer for an additional week, February 1 through7. We encourage you to support local restaurants that need our support now more than ever.
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Stay safe and NYC strong,

Anne del Castillo
Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment
Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment