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

It’s been a thrill to see the lights back up on Broadway this month with previews of new shows and re-openings of long-running favorites. As I watch the performances, I can’t help but reflect on the Herculean efforts that were made to bring these productions back to the stage—from the costumers to the choreographers, the performers and musicians, the stage crews and front of house staff. I invite you to join us in celebrating the return of Broadway at Curtain Up! a star-studded, three-day-long festival kicking off today, Friday, September 17, at noon in Times Square. Hope to see you there! 
Key to NYC

Key to NYC mandates that indoor entertainment and recreation, indoor dining, and indoor fitness establishments check workers and patrons for proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. 

The City published three new #KeytoNYC Small Business Service Guides for Entertainment, Fitness and Indoor Dining establishments. The documents are available in multiple languages on the Key to NYC website, which also includes links to the following resources: 
Note: The Key to NYC website will be updated regularly with new guidance and resources. The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) also will continue to provide additional updates as they become available.

In addition, you can watch a video recording of a multi-agency Key to NYC webinar hosted by MOME’s Office of Nightlife with representatives from City Hall, NYC Department of Small Business Services, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Commission on Human Rights. 


New York State requires all employers to implement an Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Plan. Employers can find the regulation with requirements for the plan and anti-retaliation requirements and templates for the plans in English and Spanish on the NYS Department of Labor website (under Resources, near the bottom of the webpage). This plan is different than the Key to NYC implementation plan, so be sure to review the NYS DOL guidance carefully.  

NYS Department of Health guidance for classrooms statewide during the 2021-2022 academic year requires all students, personnel, teachers, administrators, contractors, and visitors to wear masks at all times indoors, regardless of vaccination status. There are exceptions for people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask and for certain activities like playing an instrument, singing, and eating. For more information, visit the NYS Department of Health’s webpage.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

People ages 12 and older are eligible for the vaccine. (Note: People who are between 12 and 17 years of age are eligible only for the Pfizer vaccine.) In addition, the Centers for Disease Control announced that the COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.

People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised (meaning they have a weakened immune system) are now eligible for a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine 28 days after the completion of their two-dose vaccine series. Find more information on the NYC Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine webpage.

Reminder: Labor Law section 196-b allows employees to use sick leave for the recovery of any side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination and section 197-c allows leave to receive vaccinations.

It’s never been easier to get a vaccination:  
•   You can find your nearest COVID-19 vaccine site online or call 844-VAX-4NYC.     

•    Vaccinations are available at some schools throughout August; see the list of dates and locations on the Department of Education’s website. (The first week of NYC public school starts on September 13!) 

•   There are now many walk-up vaccine sites throughout the City where appointments are longer required. See a list of sites where you can get a walk-up vaccination today.

•   The NYC Mobile Vaccine Buses and Vans visit neighborhoods across the five boroughs to offer convenient, ADA-accessible COVID-19 vaccinations. The full schedule is available here. In-person interpretation in multiple languages and multilingual vaccine materials are available on site. Appointments are not required, but you can book in advance online or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC. 

•   Free transportation to vaccination appointments in NYC is available for city residents 65 and older and those with disabilities who have no other way to get to a vaccination site. To arrange for transportation, call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).  

•   Anyone living in the five boroughs can sign up for an in-home vaccination online or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692). Even if you received your first dose of Pfizer or Moderna through a different program, such as a clinic or mobile vaccination site, you can still receive the second dose at home.

•   Businesses and other organizations can request a temporary vaccination pop-up site in their facility or neighborhood. 
New York City is offering incentives to encourage more New Yorkers get vaccinated. Adults who receive their first vaccine dose at New York City-run sites are now eligible to receive a $100 pre-paid gift card, free tickets, or memberships, and can enter a competition to win exclusive prizes. Anyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine at any time can take advantage of discounts and giveaways from other NYC businesses by showing their CDC vaccination card. 

Face Coverings

To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, the Mayor and the NYC Health Department strongly recommend all people over age two to wear masks or face coverings indoors in public places in New York City, even if fully vaccinated. On September 15, Governor Hochul announced new mask requirements at NYS-regulated child care facilities, residential congregate programs, and certain other NYS-licensed or NYS-regulated facilities.

Reminder: if you are unvaccinated, the NYS Department of Health regulations require you to wear a mask or face covering in public (outdoors and indoors) unless you can maintain social distancing. Also, please remember to keep doing what we know works: wash your hands; if you’re sick, get tested and stay home; and get vaccinated.  


All travelers, domestic and international, should continue to follow all CDC travel requirements.

On August 30, the European Union removed the U.S. from its list of countries for which EU member states should lift non-essential travel restrictions. Members of the EU may choose to lift restrictions on non-essential travel for fully vaccinated travelers. If you have plans to travel to the EU, make sure to check your destination country’s requirements. 

Arts and Entertainment
Applications are open for the third round of grants from the NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre, a program in partnership with New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Qualified applicants can apply for finishing grants through November 1, 2021.The NYC Women’s Fund was created to address the underrepresentation of female-identified creatives in the entertainment industries. Since the program’s launch in 2018, MOME has awarded $3.5 million to 157 film, theatre, and music projects. Information about the program, including a schedule of informational sessions, is available on the NYC Women’s Fund website

Open Culture performances continue to roll out in neighborhoods across the city. The program, which runs through October 31, allows ticketed, socially distanced, outdoor performances at nearly 200 street locations throughout the five boroughs. The NYC Open Culture Program Resources page offers tips for planning and preparation for Open Culture events, links to best practices and protocols for live performance developed by unions and performing arts organizations.   

Media Production   

Film permittees must follow State regulations on face coverings and social distancing and implement an Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Plan, but the NYS DOH Interim Guidance for Media Production During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency is optional. Additional guidance for on location filming is available on MOME’s film permit webpage. Please read the FAQ on Production Activity on Public Property in New York City During the COVID-19 Pandemic for answers to questions about remaining health and safety requirements and limitations on film permits. To assist productions with promoting COVID-safe protocols on set, MOME has available for download production-specific educational posters.

Note: The Film Office is currently closed to walk-in visitors. If you need assistance, please call (212) 489-6710. 


The Office of Nightlife, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health and Backline, has launched Elevate Nightlife to connect the nightlife community directly with mental health resources and services. As part of the Elevate Nightlife Mental Health Initiative, people who work in the nightlife industry in New York City can participate in a free and confidential weekly mental health support group moderated by a Backline Care licensed therapists, every Monday at 4pm.
The legal process to make the Open Restaurants Program permanent is now underway. You can read more about the process on the NYC Department of City Planning’s website.   


NYC Business Quick Start provides small businesses a sole point of contact to help navigate City regulations, guarantees a 48-hour response to all small business inquiries and will cut processing time by 50 percent. The program is a collaboration between several key agencies including SBS, Department of Buildings (DOB), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). For more information, visit the NYC Business Quick Start website or call 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).

The NYS Department of Labor can help connect New Yorkers to over 200,000 available jobs as federal unemployment assistance benefits end. (New Yorkers in need of job assistance may also receive free services at NYC Department of Small Business Services Workforce 1 Career Centers.)

The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program provides $800 million in assistance for small businesses (including small for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations), experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Flexible grants up to $50,000 can be used for operating expenses, including payroll, rent or mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, personal protective equipment, or other business expenses incurred during the pandemic. Over 330,000 small and micro businesses are potentially eligible for this program, including 57 percent of the State’s certified MWBEs. Application help is available by phone at 877-721-0097. 

A new moratorium on COVID-related residential and commercial evictions for New York State is in effect until January 15, 2022. Under the new law, all protections of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act for residential tenants who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic will remain in place, along with new protections on commercial evictions. You can read the new law on the New York State Senate’s website
In addition, the state has expanded outreach under the NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). ERAP began accepting applications on June 1. Applicants to the program automatically receive protections from eviction while their application is pending. Eligible low and moderate-income households can get up to 12 months of their back rent paid, three months of future rent, and other assistance. There are no immigration status requirements to qualify for the program, and the State recently announced a new streamlined application process for New York’s rent relief program to help eliminate potential barriers for eligible New Yorkers to receive funding. NYC’s Human Resources Administration website offers information about the program, as well as a list of organizations that can help New Yorkers with their applications.
Note: There are additional eviction protections available to NYC Tenants. Up-to-date information and resources are available on NYC’s 311 portal and NYC Human Resources website for renters at risk of eviction or entering shelter.

NYC homeowners at risk of being displaced from their communities can get help from the expanded Homeowner Help Desk. You can call 1-855-HOME-456 or stop by a Help Desk event. Support includes helping homeowners resolve housing challenges due to COVID-19, managing a home as a small landlord, understanding a home’s flood risk, and more.  

Almost 850 NYC-based applicants received Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG) according to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s September 13, 2021 report. New York State applicants have received a combined total of $1,472,270,472 as of September 13 —more than any other state. SBA will begin sending invitations for supplemental awards for the SVOG program. SVOG supplemental awards are to be provided to those who received an initial grant and illustrated a 70% loss when comparing 2021’s first-quarter revenues to the same in 2019.  Supplemental award applicants can choose to apply for any amount up to 50% of their original SVOG amount, with a $10 million cap of the initial and supplemental awards combined, according to the law. The supplemental awards also allow SVOG recipients to extend the time to use their grant funds for expenses accrued through June 30, 2022 and lengthen their budget period to 18 months from the initial grant’s disbursement date. For more information, visit the SBA website.  

The American Rescue Plan extends a number of critical tax benefits, particularly the Employee Retention Credit and Paid Leave Credit, to small businesses. Find out more on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website.       

Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, sole proprietors and independent contractors can still apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Learn more about EIDL and the Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance.

Borrowers may be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness. The SBA launched a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans $150,000 or less through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA. The new forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on August 4, 2021. Information about PPP loan forgiveness is available on SBA’s website.  

The arts, entertainment, and hospitality industries were hit hard by the pandemic, with high unemployment rates. Many workers are experiencing housing insecurity and challenges with rent and mortgages. Please visit the federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s webpage to find help, whether you are a renter, homeowner, or landlord. 


General elections are on November 2 this year. Applications to register to vote are due by October 8, 2021. Visit the NYC Board of Elections website for more information. 

For the latest updates, sign up for MOME’s newsletter, follow our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit our website at

Stay safe and stay NYC strong,  

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