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

Earlier this week, we celebrated the reopening of the Power Station at BerkleeNYC, which was made possible by a public-private partnership with Berklee, philanthropist Pete Muller, the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME). We are so proud to have supported the preservation of this iconic studio, which has been the birthplace of so many legendary recordings by artists from all over the world, and now has an expanded role in preparing the next generation of musical talent. 

Key to NYC

Key to NYC requires indoor entertainment and recreation, indoor dining, and indoor fitness establishments to check workers and patrons for proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. The Key to NYC website offers guidance and resources, including Frequently Asked Questions and Guidance for Businesses on Equitable Implementation. 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.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources   

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are now available for many New Yorkers: 
•  Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Recipients: Anyone 18 or older who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago can now get a booster shot of any of the three types of vaccines authorized in the U.S.
•   Pfizer and Moderna Vaccine Recipients: The following people are now eligible for a booster shot of the vaccine, if they received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago: 
      ○  People 65 or older
      ○  People 18 to 64 and either have an underlying medical condition or a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure due to their job (for example, health care workers) or where they live or frequently visit (for example, a homeless shelter)
      ○  People living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility 

As of October 28, 2021, 12 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in NYC. It’s never been easier to get a vaccination. The Vaccine Command Center offers resources and information on how to access vaccines by appointment and at walk up sites, mobile units, and at home. You can find your nearest COVID-19 vaccine site online or call 844-VAX-4NYC.  

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 (CDC) 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.

The federal government is committed to providing children age 5 through 11 with access to COVID-19 vaccines if authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). And the City and State are ready to make those vaccines available. But as of this week, the federal government has not yet authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for children age 5 through 11. For the most accurate information about vaccines and children under age 12, visit the CDC’s website

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.
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.  


On October 25, President Biden and the CDC formally announced the U.S will lift travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign national air travelers effective November 8.  The United States’ new international air travel policy replaces the existing country-by-country restrictions, putting in place a consistent approach worldwide. For more information and FAQs on the new international air travel policy visit the U.S. Department of State’s website.  

All travelers, domestic and international, should continue to follow all CDC travel requirements. More information about international travel requirements is available on the State Department’s website.

Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Plan

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.    

Arts and Entertainment

Monday, November 1 is the deadline to apply for grants from the NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre, a program in partnership with New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). 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.    

MOME and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs have partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health to offer mental health resources for creative workers, including a list of resources for performing arts professionals and a webinar on “Promoting Mental Health for Creative Workers” featuring a discussion on mental health resources for NYC creatives. A recording of the program is available here

Americans for the Arts has released two new versions of their COVID-19 Impact on the Arts surveys that arts organizations and artists/creative workers should respond to: 
1.   A Survey of Arts and Cultural Organizations and Creative Businesses gathers information about the challenges facing the arts sector in the relief/recovery and re-opening processes. All types of arts and cultural organizations are invited to participate in this survey:
 • Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations across all artistic disciplines (including service organizations)
 • Government arts agencies, departments, divisions, programs, and facilities
 • For-profit and commercial creative businesses
 • Programs that operate under the umbrella of a parent organization or fiscal agent
 • Unincorporated programs/collectives

2.   The Impact of COVID-19 on Artists and Creative Workers Survey is designed to assess the creative and social, as well as financial and professional, impact of COVID-19 on artists and creative workers across disciplines. All types of creative workers are invited to participate in this survey: practicing artists, culture bearers, educators and teaching artists, creative entrepreneurs, and hobby artists. 

A.R.T./New York announced three grant programs providing flexible, general operating support to small theatres: 
1.   The NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund provides grants of $2,000-$5,000 to theatres throughout New York State with annual budgets of under $500,000.
2.    The Strengthening NYC Theatres Grant Program (formerly the Nancy Quinn Fund) gives New York City-based theatres with annual budgets under $250,000 one-year grants of $1000-$2000.  
3.    The New York City Small Theatres Fund, in partnership with the Howard Gilman Foundation, will provide around 10 New York City theatres with annual budgets under $250,000 with two-year general operating support grants of $5,000-$10,000 annually.
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. 


Propane heaters are no longer allowed in Open Restaurants. The NYC Department of Small Business Services will be providing grants up to $5,000 for restaurants with annual revenue of $1 million or less, which may be used to swap out propane heaters for either electric or natural gas radiant heaters. (We will provide more information when it is available.) Electric radiant heaters are allowed on both sidewalk and roadway. Natural gas radiant heaters are allowed on the sidewalk only.

The deadline for applying for an All-Night Permit for New Year’s Eve is Tuesday, November 16. Read more on the State Liquor Authority’s webpage

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.

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 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. 

On October 7, Governor Hochul announced that $125 million in state funding is now available to help landlords whose tenants declined to participate in the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program or vacated in arrears. Administered by the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Landlord Rental Assistance Program provides up to 12 months of past-due rent to eligible landlords. Priority will be given to those landlords owning small-to-medium-sized properties. 

A 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
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.  

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). Earlier this month, the SBA announced that it improved the EIDL program to better meet the needs of small businesses, especially those hardest hit industries and smallest entities that still need relief. Among other changes, the SBA has increased the amount of funding that can be borrowed from $500,000 to $2 million for qualified applicants. Learn more about EIDL and the Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance

Almost 850 NYC-based applicants received Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG) according to the SBA’s September 20, 2021 report. New York State applicants have received a combined total of $1,720,433,006 as of October 25 — more than any other state. SVOG supplemental awards are currently being made to those who received an initial grant and illustrated a 70% loss when comparing 2021’s first-quarter revenues to the same in 2019. 425 New York State businesses have already been awarded supplemental grants. 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.       

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 next Tuesday, November 2
. Early voting began October 23. Visit the NYC Board of Elections website for more information.   

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Stay safe and stay NYC strong,  

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