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

As we head into the holiday season in the midst of confronting an uptick in COVID-19, nevertheless I remain thankful. I am thankful for our City’s creative industries and the bravery, drive and passion you continue to bring in your ongoing efforts to meet the challenges of this time. I am thankful for the first responders, medical professionals, essential workers and civil servants who are working to keep us safe and healthy. And I am grateful to everyone who continues to wear masks, maintain social distancing and practice proper hygiene to keep each other safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced updated COVID-19 micro-cluster focus zones in New York City. State COVID zone restrictions are in effect in certain parts of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. To find out where the zones are, and to see what restrictions apply to each zone, please visit

In this environment, staying local and avoiding large gatherings during the holidays will go a long way toward helping our city get through this latest challenge. It is also an opportunity for New Yorkers to go #AllinNYC. Earlier this week, our colleagues at NYC & Company launched, outlining NYC’s 2020 holiday programming and encouraging support of local businesses throughout the season. We encourage you to check out All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways *Holiday Edition* for staycation inspiration; Shop NYC to give the gift of NYC to those who cannot visit this year; and Virtual NYC to experience the City’s world-class arts, culture and entertainment from wherever you are.

As a reminder, New York State has updated the COVID-19 Travel Advisory. The new guidelines apply to anyone traveling into New York State. This includes New Yorkers who have traveled to other states or countries, as well as people visiting New York. Travelers originating from the contiguous states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, as well as first responders and essential workers, are exempt from the quarantine requirement. Nonessential travel is strongly discouraged. Our colleagues at the NYC Office of Mayor’s Counsel have posted a plain language FAQ on the updated travel restrictions. For more information, and for rules applicable to first responders and essential workers, visit the New York State website at or call the New York State hotline at 888-364-3065.

We must all do our part and remember to follow the core four—wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, stay home if you’re sick—and get tested! For more information on free testing, personal protective equipment and more, please visit the NYC Mayor's Office Coronavirus page

MOME continues to work with our colleagues in government to do whatever we can to help the industries we serve and keep you informed about new developments in New York City’s reopening and recovery.

The City has issued COVID-19 testing recommendations to complement existing guidance on physical distancing, use of face coverings and other prevention tools, including an Employer FAQ and a one-pager on testing frequency guidance. The City is encouraging that employees with any exposure to the public get tested monthly. We encourage you to share these guidelines with your networks.

NYC & Company is offering support for local businesses with free advertising for holiday promotions. All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways helps NYC businesses share their current promotions to New Yorkers who are staying home for the holidays this year. Businesses can register as many holiday promotions as they have available, and NYC & Company will highlight via press, social media and advertising. In addition, Mastercard is offering cardholders up to $100 rebate through the end of the year to encourage patronage of local businesses participating in the All In NYC promotion.

The Open Storefronts program runs until December 31. The program allows storefront businesses to use a portion of their sidewalk to display merchandise, sell goods, complete transactions, and provide queuing areas. Businesses can visit to review eligibility requirements and to complete a brief online application.

To accelerate the recovery of our small businesses, The NYC Small Business Resource Network offers free, personalized, one-on-one assistance for small business owners. The program is funded by The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, with support from the Partnership for New York City and the Partnership Fund and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in collaboration with Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and the Five Borough Chambers of Commerce. A team of dedicated Small Business Specialists will help small businesses navigate a range of challenges involving technology, real estate, legal and finance, new regulations, and more. Business owners can sign up for this service through the Chamber of Commerce in their borough.

The commercial eviction/foreclosure moratorium is now extended through January 1, 2021.


This past Wednesday, MOME’s Office of Nightlife conducted a Public Health and Dining Guidelines Town Call with representatives of various agencies including the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Transportation (DOT), Test & Trace, Small Businesses Services (SBS) and other City agencies. Viewers will find the latest COVID-19 Statistics, information about the Test and Trace Process for workers & patrons and can watch a lively question-and-answer session about the latest guidelines for bars and restaurants. If you were unable to attend, you can watch an archive of the program here.

Current State COVID-19 restrictions require restaurants and bars, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment, to close from 10:00pm to 5:00am daily. Restaurants are still allowed to provide curbside, food-only pick-up or delivery after 10:00 pm, but will not be permitted to serve alcohol to go. The State Liquor Authority will issue further guidance for licensees as to what sales are continued to be permitted.

In addition to the new State restrictions, the City has issued additional guidance for Open Restaurants to make all roadway seating areas as safe as possible this winter.  As announced in September, some safety enhancements will be mandatory to meet this goal while minimizing the need for costly improvements. The guidance—which will be posted to the DOT website— includes new roadway barrier requirements, enclosure guidelines and expectations during snowfall, along with ways in which the City will assist restaurant owners remain compliant. The City is ready to help program participants with any questions and is deploying a team of inspectors to assist owners/managers in understanding new and existing requirements. Participants may submit questions to DOT at or call the SBS hotline at (888) SBS-4NYC.
The Office of Nightlife has made the following guides and informational materials available for download at

        •  “Multi-Agency FAQ for Indoor and Outdoor Dining Guidelines and Regulations”
        •  ”What to Expect When You’re Inspected”
        •  It’s Up to You, New York social distancing guides and graphics
        •  Take Out, Don’t Hang Out posters

MEND NYC is a program offered by the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings' Center for Creative Conflict Resolution in partnership with the Office of Nightlife to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address a number of neighborhood disputes while ensuring that small businesses thrive. MEND NYC helps address issues that may include:

        •  Quality-of-life issues between residents and businesses
        •  Negotiation between commercial tenants and landlords
        •  Neighboring business to business misunderstandings

Design Corps: Small Business Reopening Network is an online directory where restaurants and venues can connect with licensed, trained designers and architects for free consulting and services to help improve their space and ensure compliance with outdoor dining requirements. For additional information on the Design Corps program please review the detailed guidelines.


Current guidance for filming is available on the Film Permit website. 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.

To assist productions with promoting safety protocols on set, the Film Office has produced a suite of graphics and posters available for download here


While there are still certain limitations on event permits through December 31, 2020, we continue to work with agency partners to support safe, creative arrangements for community celebrations, performances, and activations throughout the city. Frequently asked questions about outdoor events permitting can be found here.

Guidance for group music activities, including live performances and music recording, in New York City during the COVID-19 public health emergency is 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.

* * *

MOME continues to support and participate in a wide variety of events by and for our fellow New Yorkers in the creative economy.
•  Virtual NYC Curator Collections features a new group of contributors: Christopher Y. Lew (Whitney Museum of American Art), Kristina Newman-Scott (BRIC), Eileen Jeng Lynch (Wave Hill), Hitomi Iwasaki (Queens Museum), Matthew López (Tony-nominated playwright, “The Inheritance”), David Rios (Children’s Museum of Manhattan), Solana Chehtman (The Shed) and Victoria Munro (Alice Austen House). The Virtual NYC curators act as expert guides, handpicking their favorite online experiences including live and recorded performances, digitized exhibitions, social media gatherings and virtual tours from museums, galleries, comedy clubs, theaters and other venues around the city.

•   The National Museum of the American Indian’s 20th Annual Native Cinema Showcase runs through November 27. This year the museum is presenting the full program online — streaming new films, fan favorite classics, and conversations with filmmakers. The showcase provides a forum for engagement with Native filmmakers and stories from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and the Arctic.

•    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!

•    Red Nation Film Festival runs through November 30. Now in its 25th year, the country’s largest Native American Film Festival is virtual this year. The festival is a showcase for new work by American Indian and Indigenous international independent filmmakers, bringing together decision makers and content creators with the goal of ensuring media representation of American Indian and Indigenous content to the world at large.
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.

On behalf of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, I wish you and yours a peaceful and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

Stay NYC strong,

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