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 New York City welcomed the much-anticipated return of indoor dining at 25% occupancy. While this marks an important step forward in our recovery, we remain ever vigilant as we hear about new clusters of COVID-19 surfacing in some neighborhoods. The City is in these areas with a thousand workers doing mask distribution, education, inspections and free testing. Please do your part and encourage others to do the same: wear a mask, practice social distancing and get tested. For more information on free testing, personal protective equipment and more, please visit The NYC Mayor's Office Coronavirus page.

And if you haven’t already, fill out the Census! This week NYC made it to a 60.9% Census self-response rate, a strong number considering the challenges we have faced, and better than we did in 2010. But New Yorkers still have more work to do to safeguard our federal allocation of funding and representation in Washington or Albany at a time when we need it most. So, get counted and continue to spread the word. It takes just 10 minutes online. Please visit

Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a package of bills that will expand protections for workers and commercial tenants. The bills extend and expand the City’s paid safe and sick leave law to reach more workers and reinforce and extend protections for commercial tenants.

 • Intro. 2032-A: Aligns the City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law with recently enacted New York State Paid Sick Leave Law. The law expands paid safe and sick leave to employees of small businesses with four or fewer employees and a net income of more than $1 million. This legislation also expands paid leave for workers at the largest businesses, those with 100 or more employees must now provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave.

 • Intro. 2083-A: Amends Local Law 55 of 2020, which temporarily prohibits the enforcement of personal liability provisions in commercial leases or rental agreements involving COVID-19 impacted tenants, by extending the sunset date of this protection from September 30, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
In addition, yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the new HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act proposal that includes the RESTAURANTS Act and Save Our Stages Act, both of which provide critical financial support for our restaurant and nightlife industries. The bill also includes another round of stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and Paycheck Protection Program loans, as well as state and local funding. We will continue to track the progress of the bill.

At the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), we recognize the significant challenges so many of our businesses and workers are facing. We continue to work with our colleagues in government and other stakeholders to assess impacts, develop recommendations and clarify guidelines to support a safe reopening of the industries we serve.


Indoor dining. Under State guidelines, restaurants are able to open indoor dining areas subject to strict safety protocols, including temperature checks at the door for all customers; collecting contact information for tracing from one person per table; face coverings when not seated; and tables spaced at least six feet apart. Sitting and standing at bars will be prohibited, and restaurants will close at midnight. Businesses must review and affirm that they will operate in accordance with Interim Guidance For New York City Indoor Food Services During The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Restaurants may be permitted to go to 50% capacity by November 1 if the rate of COVID infection doesn’t increase.

Outdoor dining. Outdoor dining is now year-round with selected corridors also expanding hours for Open Streets: Restaurants. Hours for each participating location can be found on the Open Streets: Restaurants homepage.

Operational guidance for indoor and outdoor Restaurant Reopening is available at or by calling the SBS hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC. To assist businesses participating in outdoor dining, the Office of Nightlife has made the following guides and informational materials available for download at

        • ”What to Expect When You’re Inspected”
        • “Multi-agency Reopening Toolkit for Restaurants and Bars”
        • It’s Up to You, New York social distancing guides and graphics
        • Take Out, Don’t Hang Out posters

In addition, MEND NYC, a program of the Office of Nightlife in partnership with the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), offers free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both New York City residents and businesses in the hospitality industry, which includes bars, clubs, restaurants or live music venues. For more information about the program, visit:


We are pleased to report that over 30 shows are slated to return to set in the coming months, including Blue Bloods, The Flight Attendant, For Life, and Power Book II: Ghost. Phase 4 production guidance is available on the Film Permit website. Please check frequently for updates and review the guidelines and FAQ before submitting permit applications. The Film Office is operating remotely, so please allow additional time for Film Permit processing.

Our partners at Brooklyn Workforce Innovations are currently holding free online information sessions for the next cycles of the Made in NY Production Assistant Training Program and Made in NY Post Production Program. To date, nearly 1,000 New Yorkers have completed these programs and gone on to work in production and post.


We continue to work with our colleagues at The Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Transportation to support safe, creative arrangements for community celebrations, performances, and activations to continue in the city. (See list of upcoming events later in this letter.) Frequently asked questions about permitting outdoor events can be found here. In addition, our webinar, Culture in Public Spaces: A Webinar with Outdoor Event Permitting Agencies is available to view on the Department of Cultural Affairs YouTube Channel and features a discussion on current procedures and best practices for applying for event permits in public streets, sidewalks, plazas and parks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidance for group music activities, including live performances and music recording, in New York City during the COVID-19 public health emergency is now available on the MOME website. The music guidance synthesizes COVID-19-related safety requirements from numerous sources, including the New York State Department of Health, the Empire State Development Corporation, the State Liquor Authority, and other State and City laws. The guidance is presented in a plain-language format and includes links to information from other State and City government agencies.

•   Information and guidelines for businesses reopening in Phase 4 are available at Under the State’s New York Forward plan, each business must develop a written Safety Plan for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Businesses may fill out this template or develop their own Safety Plan, which must be conspicuously posted on site and made available to the New York State Department of Health or New York City health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.

•   Free Webinars for Small Businesses: The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) offers a wide range of free events, courses, and mentor sessions to provide information about requirements and guidelines to re-opening, emergency preparedness, financial assistance, certification for minority and women business owners, regulatory changes, employee support, licensing, inspections, and more. They also have a small business hotline—888-SBS-4NYC or 888-727-4692—to answer questions about the latest guidelines and regulations.

•   The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) offers information about reopening requirements and health and safety guidelines for the workplace, including FAQs for NYC Workers and an update about workplace laws for employers and employees to stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition, they have set up a Worker Protection Hotline at 311 or 1-212-436-0381 for questions about reopening or to report an employer that is not following reopening requirements.

•   Free face coverings for small businesses: DCWP and SBS also are working with business-serving partner organizations throughout the five boroughs to distribute free face coverings citywide to small businesses and their employees.

•   The NYC PPE + Reopening Supplies Marketplace provides a one-stop-shop for easy-to-access suppliers of (i) face masks and coverings, (ii) face shields, (iii) gloves, (iv) cleaning and disinfectant products, (v) physical barriers and portable furniture, and (vi) other supplies needed for re-opening. It represents both local and national suppliers and manufacturers to provide a wide range of order minimums.
New York State’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory remains in effect. Travelers from Level 2 and Level 3 countries (that’s all but 31 countries from across the globe), 32 states and Guam and Puerto Rico must provide local authorities with contact information and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New York. For more information, visit the New York State website at or call the New York State hotline at 888-364-3065.

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MOME continues support and participate in a wide variety of events by and for our fellow New Yorkers in the creative economy.
•    “Made in NY” Talks - MOME is pleased to partner with the Center for Communication to present the first two virtual programs of the Fall 2020 series. Additional talks will be announced soon. All talks will be recorded and available to view online in the future.
               ○   October 6: “Report for the Future: Covering the White House Race” features a discussion about a current political scene littered with disinformation, that provides a dangerous digital landscape for media to navigate. Leading editors, producers, and correspondents will address lessons learned from 2016, and the challenges of covering the current race to the White House.
               ○   October 12: “Write Smart: Write Funny” features a discussion with the writers of the late-night series DESUS & MERO, who will talk about the effect of their show on the national conversation, from politics and pop culture to sports, music, and beyond; and address how the show continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

•    The 15th Brooklyn Book Festival is free and online September 28 through October 5, with an array of national and international literary stars including Colson Whitehead, Joyce Carol Oates and Salman Rushdie, plus independent publishers, literary magazines, and literary organizations and a lively day devoted to children’s publishing.

•    The NYC Media Lab Summit 2020 is an online conference that will run October 7 through 9. This event brings together 1,000-plus virtual attendees from NYC Media Lab’s core community—including media and tech executives, university faculty, students, investors, and entrepreneurs—to explore the future of media and tech in New York City and beyond. Events include discussions, workshops, and innovative demos with media & tech execs, university faculty, students, investors, and entrepreneurs.

•    The 43d Annual Asian American International Film Festival runs October 1-11 with a daily line up of more than three hours of live-streamed panels, Q&As, and performances. Most of the 16 feature films in the festival are available for the audiences in the US and Canada to view on-demand within a 48-hour window.

•    The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival runs October 1 to November 8 and will include a slate of speakers and dozens of films focused on animals from every corner of the globe.

•     The 9th Annual Photoville Festival runs through November 29 with community and artist programming, plus photo exhibitions in public spaces throughout the city. This festival provides an accessible venue for photographers and audiences from every walk of life to engage with each other, and experience thought-provoking photography from across the globe – with free admission for all!
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

As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns or for support.

Stay NYC strong,

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