Downtown Ithaca COVID-19 Resource Page

Downtown Ithaca is committed to helping provide helpful information and resources to its downtown businesses and property owners.  This page is devoted to providing updated links and information as we gather it from various sources nationally, statewide, and in the community that we think will benefit our downtown businesses, property owners, offices and residents.

Daily Updates on the COVID-19 Pandemic:

The Downtown Ithaca Alliance recommends the following pages for daily updates and announcements.

New York State Governor's Office - Watch Governor Cuomo's daily press briefings.

Tompkins County Department of Health - providing daily updates on the number of active cases of COVID-19 in the county.

City of Ithaca - Emergency Preparedness Response Plan for COVID-19 and daily updates.

The Ithaca Voice COVID-19 Dashboard - providing daily news from around the county

Noteworthy COVID-19 Updates

Sales Tax Deadline Pushed to June 22

New York State announced on Thursday, May 21st that sales tax interest and penalty relief are being extended through June 22, 2020. The state previously provided relief through May 19 for returns due March 20.


Governor Cuomo issued executive orders 202.17 and 202.18 requiring all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public, including when taking public or private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles.


IRS extends tax filing through July 15th


Re-Opening Your Business Resources

On Monday, May 11th Governor Cuomo announced the Southern Tier, which includes Tompkins County, is on track to begin a regional, phased reopening.

The following guidance was provided by the State of New York as part of Governor Cuomo's NY Forward Reopening Plan as well as Tompkins County Health Department and other useful guidelines.  Please check back often for updates.

Local Resources

Area economic development service providers including the Tompkins Chamber & Visit Ithaca have created a list of resources to support your reopening and recovery goals. Please click below to review the resources.

DOWNLOAD Guidance Document

Industry Playbooks

We have collected playbooks from various industry associations. They may serve as a helpful resource for developing your own re-opening plan.

Playbooks for Retailers

Playbooks for Restaurants

Playbooks for Offices

Playbooks for Hotels

Helpful Q & A Sessions

The following videos are Q&A Sessions organized in Tompkins County to help answer questions and navigate the guidelines set forth by the State of New York in the New York Forward Reopening Plan.

Downtown Ithaca Alliance

On Monday, June 15, 2020 the Downtown Ithaca Alliance hosted a Phase 3 Reopening Q&A webinar with restaurant owners.  Watch here:

Tompkins County Health Department

On Friday, May 15, the TCHD hosted a town hall style Q&A so they could review the steps of Phase I and answer questions people in the community might have.

Downtown Ithaca, Chamber of Commerce & City of Ithaca

On Monday, June 3rd, the 3 partners hosted a quick session outlining key steps for office spaces re-opening.  Watch it here:

On Friday, May 15, the 3 partners hosted a quick session outlining key steps for retailers to start offering curbside and in-store pickup in Phase I.

Economic Relief Funds and Loan Support for Small Businesses

PPP Forgiveness

The Small Business Development Center for the Southern Tier hosted a Lunch & Learn session dedicated to filing PPP forgiveness on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

You can access the recording from yesterday by going HERE.

Please keep in mind that guidance is continuing to be adjusted, so check with your SBDC Advisor if you have specific questions.   The local SBDC Advisor for Ithaca & Tompkins County is Lindsay Wolf.

Email local SBDC Advisor

Small Business Administration(SBA) Loan Programs: EIDL & PPP

Learn more about the different kinds of loan programs available through the CARES Act to help small businesses through COVID-19. Congress is preparing to pass a new round of funding for the PPP.  Submit an application now so when funding becomes available you are in line.
Learn More & Apply
Visit ESD SBA site

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The CARES Act was passed by Congress on March 27, 2020.  The Act reinforced the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program as well as introduced several other loan and funding programs to help businesses and individuals.

Read about the CARES Act

Business Impact Survey for Tompkins County

The Tompkins Chamber, Tompkins County Area Development, the City of Ithaca, and Downtown Ithaca Alliance seek your input about the impacts you're seeing on your business or organization due to the Coronavirus, what actions you’ve taken, and what resources you’ve availed yourself of thus far (or plan to).

We will continue to survey our stakeholders regularly to more effectively measure the economic impacts from COVID-19, and to better understand the needs you have that require the most attention.

We are asking that the key decision maker only at your place of business or organization take this survey.

Take the Survey

Unemployment and Relief Funds for Workers

Resources for Employees & Businesses

Workforce Development Board of Tompkins County has worked to provide some helpful resources to employees and businesses through COVID-19.
Learn More About Workforce

Unemployment Insurance & Job Opportunities

The State of New York has announced a waiver to the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance for people who have been laid off due to the virus.

Learn More

Ithaca Tip Jar

The Ithaca Tip Jar is an online tool that makes it easy for those in the community who still have some discretionary income to toss a monetary tip to their favorite local bartenders, servers, hairdressers, baristas, or others who rely on tips.
Tip a server

Health & Safety

On April 14, 2020, the New York State Department of Health released updated health & safety guidelines to essential businesses for the workplace and their staff.

See the updated guidelines

Storefront Security

With mandated reduction of staff and closing of nonessential businesses it is important to make sure your store is safe and secure. The following list provides a checklist of security measures to consider.
Store Security Recommendations

NY State Mandates for Business

Effective Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.

For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order
pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law.

In anticipation, Tompkins County Health Department is collaborating with TST BOCES to initiate a cloth mask production effort in order to provide cloth masks to essential
businesses that need them for employees.

Learn more & Request masks for your business

Marketing Support for Downtown Businesses

List Your Business Online

A Directory of Directories

Locally and statewide, there are a number of directory listings built during the pandemic to specifically list your unique forms of service when storefronts must be closed. We've compiled a list of free placements to help spread the word about your services.

List of Directories promoting services during Covid-19

Our Hearts Beat As One Downtown Ithaca

Downtown Ithaca has employed a series of strategies to engage and encourage locals to support local downtown businesses during this time when most businesses can not operate their storefronts. Follow the link below to learn how your downtown business can utilize these strategies and participate.
Our Hearts Beat As One Campaign

Weekly Merchant/Business Meetings

Every Wednesday at 10:00 AM, we host a weekly Zoom meeting for downtown merchants and businesses. Please join us for this informative check-in. See your fellow merchants, get economic relief updates, and join in weekly Q&A discussion among other business owners and managers.
Weekly Zoom Meeting Link
Review Archived Meetings

Has Your Business Model Changed?

Downtown Ithaca is actively updating all business and services offering during COVID-19

Let us know if your hours of operation or types of service change.

    Business Continuity & Message to Customers

    With so many updates to business operations, it is important you have consistent message to customers across platforms from storefront window sign to social media.

    Marketing Strategy Checklist