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

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced food establishments will not be permitted to offer indoor dining beginning on Monday, December 14 as COVID-19 indicators continue to rise in New York City. The State will continue to evaluate the return of indoor dining as it relates to hospitalization levels. Outdoor dining, pick-up, and delivery will continue to be allowed while indoor dining is suspended. From 10:00 pm to 5:00 am, restaurants and bars must close outdoor dining and may not serve alcohol to-go after 10:00 pm. Remember: New York State outdoor dining guidelines permit installing a temporary or fixed cover (i.e. awning, roof or tent) only if two or more side walls are open. If your structure has three side walls or more, it is considered an indoor dining area and therefore must close until State officials deem indoor dining may resume.

The City continues to advocate for federal support for our local industries. Earlier this week, Mayor de Blasio joined Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and New York labor leaders in sending a letter to the New York Congressional Delegation on the critical need for state and local funding in any stimulus bills. Federal support is crucial for New York City’s recovery as well as that of the nation’s overall economy given the City’s role as a leading economic engine nationally.

This week brought some welcome news: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced additional preparations for vaccine distribution and that the City is expected to receive 465,000 doses of the vaccine by the beginning of January. In accordance with New York State and CDC guidelines, the initial expected doses will be given to nursing home residents and staff, as well as health care personnel performing high-risk activities. Additionally, Mayor de Blasio announced that we will stand up a dedicated Vaccine Command Center to coordinate vaccine distribution across the city.  Through targeted outreach and a network of trusted community messengers, the City will ensure equitable vaccine distribution to the 27 neighborhoods hardest-hit by COVID-19.

While news of the vaccine brings hope, we must stay vigilant and keep doing what we know works: wear a mask, get tested, socially distance, and if you’re a senior citizen or have a pre-existing medical condition, stay home as much as possible. Nonessential travel is strongly discouraged. Our colleagues at the NYC Office of Mayor’s Counsel have posted plain language guidance on safe protocols for the holidays and current travel restrictions. 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 For more information, visit the New York State website at or call the New York State hotline at 888-364-3065.

Even in these challenging times, I can’t think of a better place to be home for the holidays than New York City. Our colleagues at NYC & Company have put together a comprehensive guide to the City’s 2020 holiday offerings. All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways *Holiday Edition* offers staycation inspiration; Virtual NYC provides online access to the City’s world-class arts, culture and entertainment experiences; and Shop NYC lists shopping guides to support our diverse local businesses. All In NYC: Bookstores includes a list of local bookstores throughout the city and offers access to special offers, discounts and even money back on certain purchases. This holiday season especially we encourage you to show your love for NYC. Support local businesses and cultural organizations and encourage others to do the same by promoting your favorite spots on social media with the following hashtags as appropriate: #AllInNYC #ShopYourCity #NYCLovesBookstores #NYCDiningDecember

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (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.

Look forward to dancing—and theater, music, and other performance—in the streets in 2021! Yesterday, the New York City Council approved the creation of an Open Culture Program for the use of designated City streets for artistic and cultural events from March 1 to October 31, 2021. Eligible entities include  members of the Cultural Institutions Group, organizations that are eligible for a grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Development Fund, individuals who received funding from a borough arts council within the past two years, and NYC entertainment facilities  intended or designed to be used for a performance in front of a live audience. We look forward to sharing additional information about guidelines and eligibility in the coming months.

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.


This coming Tuesday, December 15 at 1pm the Office of Nightlife will host a Town Hall for Hospitality Workers. Representatives from the NYC Department of Health, Test & Trace Corps, Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, Street Activity Permit Office and the Freelancers Union will discuss the latest information about City resources including:

       •  COVID-19 updates, health and safety measures
       •  Labor laws, gatherings, and live performance regulations
       •  Employment resources, and unemployment benefits
       •  Physical and mental healthcare
       •  Public aid including food and housing assistance
       •  Residential rent mediation and more

Register to Attend:

This past Thursday, ONL and the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams hosted a Town Call for Brooklyn Hospitality Businesses with representatives of various agencies including the Department of Health, Test & Trace Corps, Small Businesses Services, Office of Special Enforcement and the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. If you were unable to attend, an archive of the program will soon be available on ONL’s Facebook page.

Guidance for winter operations of Open Restaurants is posted on the DOT website and includes roadway barrier requirements, enclosure guidelines and expectations during snowfall, along with ways in which the City will help 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 also has made a suite of operational guidance materials and public informational posters and graphics available for download at

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

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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 available online just in time for the holidays. Featured organizations include: Pregones/PRTT, The Bushwick Starr, La Mama, The Chocolate Factory, and A Collaboration: Kaleidoscope Entertainment and Staten Island Illuminart Productions. The series of five outdoor pop-up performances took place from October 23 through October 26, 2020 in public plazas across the five boroughs. 

•  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.

Wishing you peace and light this holiday season.

Stay NYC strong,

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