NYC Small Business Services Updates 5/6/21

May 7, 2021

Dear small business community,

Each May we celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and the ways in which our AAPI New Yorkers are essential to our city, making us all stronger.

This year, amid the immense challenges, hate, and bias that our AAPI communities have endured, we want to take the opportunity to stand up firmly for our neighbors and celebrate the incredible contributions that make our city special.

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen a significant rise in harassment and violence against Asian communities related to COVID-19 stigma and misinformation. There is a lot of anxiety and fear around COVID-19, but one thing is clear: people and places shouldn’t ever be stigmatized, and certainly not for the spread of viruses.

Know this: Our city is unified in its fight against stigma and hate. We stand with you and will continue to advocate for you and alongside you.

We encourage all New Yorkers to take time to show your favorite AAPI-owned business some love this month. We hope you continue to celebrate the incredible contributions of all our AAPI neighbors. Go on a food journey through the city, enjoy dumplings in Chinatown, try lamprais in Staten Island, savor dosas, momos, and roti in Jackson Heights. Read the stories of New Yorkers like Joanne, who is continuing her family’s entrepreneurial legacy, and Julie, who began her entrepreneurial journey to create opportunities for women in her community.

Visit for lists of local AAPI-owned businesses in the five boroughs.


New Yorkers: You have the right to be free from harassment and discrimination under the New York City Human Rights Law.

If you have faced harassment or discrimination in housing, at work, or in any public place, contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights by filling out this online form or by calling 212-416-0197.

If you are a victim of or witness a hate crime, call 911. If you need help in your language, say the name of your language or dialect (e.g., “Mandarin”) in English.

News for Business Owners 

As you may have heard, the State announced further easing of restrictions. See below for a roundup of what is changing.

  • Beginning May 17, the MTA will resume full 24-hour subway service. The MTA will continue its disinfection and cleaning effort.
  • Beginning May 17, the 12 a.m. food and beverage service curfew for private outdoor dining areas will be lifted.
  • Beginning May 19, capacity restrictions will be lifted for the following industries: retail, food services, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops, and other personal care services. This also applies to houses of worship. Businesses will only be limited by the space available for patrons or parties of patrons to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet.
  • Beginning May 19, event venues can expand capacity. Large-scale indoor event venues will operate at a 30% capacity and large-scale outdoor event venues will operate at 33% capacity. Social distancing, masks, and other applicable health protocols will still apply, including the requirement that attendees have proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test result.

Masks are still required indoors and businesses will have to follow social-distancing guidelines for six feet of separation with some exceptions. Restaurants may also erect barriers between tables if they cannot be six feet apart.

If you have any questions, our hotline is open. Call us at 888-SBS-4NYC

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