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 enter this period of shorter and colder days, the annual celebrations of light seem all the more poignant this year. It has been a welcome sight to see the holiday spirit come to life across the five boroughs. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) was proud to be part of the team in City Government that helped bring about the safe, fun and celebratory broadcasts of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, which allowed people here at home and across the globe to experience the holiday traditions that are so emblematic of New York City.

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of joining Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Jonnel Doris of NYC Small Business Services (SBS), Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to announce MOME’s All In NYC: Bookstores campaign as part of the City’s Small Business Saturday kick-off. Building on MOME’s work to support our publishing sector, the campaign encourages New Yorkers to support their neighborhood bookstores especially during this holiday shopping season. The website features a list of local bookstores throughout the city and offers access to special offers, discounts and even money back on certain purchases. Stop by. Show love. Shop your city.

In addition to encouraging support of local businesses throughout the season, our colleagues at NYC & Company launched, outlining NYC’s 2020 holiday programming. 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.

New York State’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory outlines new guidelines for 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.

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

Regardless of where you are, 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 urging that employees with any exposure to the public get tested monthly. We encourage you to share these guidelines with your networks.

Last week, the Mayor announced three financial assistance programs available through SBS for small businesses in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods:
•   NYC LMI Storefront Loan. Storefront businesses with at least two but fewer than 100 employees that are located in certain neighborhoods are eligible for zero-interest loans up to $100,000. The loan can be used to help businesses restart or continue operations after experiencing challenges from COVID-19.

•   Reducing Business Debt. An Interest Rate Reduction Grant will help reduce the interest expense owed on an existing loan with select Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). CDFIs focus on serving businesses that cannot easily access capital and creating opportunities that positively affect the communities they serve. SBS has partnered with 11 CDFIs who work primarily with Asian, Black, Latinx, and immigrant business owners.

•   Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant. This will provide funding to community-based development organizations (CBDOs) to implement local COVID-19 recovery support to small businesses. The funds will be used to conduct outreach, provide technical assistance to connect small businesses, increase awareness and comprehension of new City and State rules and regulations, and strengthen merchant relationships to foster collaboration and increased local organizing.
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.


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.

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


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.

* * *

MOME continues to support and participate in a wide variety of events by and for our fellow New Yorkers in the creative economy.
•   MOME’s innovative Off Broadway in the Boros: Pop Ups performances are now viewable online just in time to entertain us for the holidays. The series of five outdoor pop-up performances took place from October 23 through October 26, 2020 in public plazas across the five boroughs. The performances were created to provide support for artists and organizations struggling during the pandemic. The participating organizations were: Pregones/PRTT, The Bushwick Starr, La Mama, The Chocolate Factory, and A Collaboration: Kaleidoscope Entertainment and Staten Island Illuminart Productions.

•   “Made in NY” Talk: Writing for NYC Children's Media will take place Monday, December 7 at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. Leading writers and producers from Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, 9 Story Media, Silvergate Media and Writers Guild of America-East will share stories about their career experiences, thoughts on the state of inclusion and equity in the industry, and advice for emerging writers. The event is free. Register here:

•  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.
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.

Sending light to all of you this holiday season.

Stay NYC strong,

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