COVID-19 Information for Businesses


New York Forward -

For questions regarding NY Forward, please contact Empire State Development (ESD)


New York Forward – Phase I

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
  • Retail Trade
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Higher Education Research 

New York Forward – Phase II

  • Offices
  • Real Estate
  • Essential and Phase II In-Store Retail
  • Vehicle Sales, Leases, and Rentals
  • Retail Rental, Repair, and Cleaning
  • Commercial Building Management
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops
  • Outdoor and Take-Out/Delivery Food Services              

New York Forward – Phase III

New York Forward – Phase IV   

  • Higher Education
  • Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools
  • Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment 
  • Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment
  • Media Production
  • Professional Sports Competitions With No Fans
  • Malls
  • Sports and Recreation          


Isolation & Quarantine Guidance for Businesses  

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Employee Paid Leave Rights 

  • FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.
  • FFCRA Employee Paid Leave Rights (Link not compatible with Internet Explorer) 
  • Fact Sheets, Questions and Answers and More Info (Link not compatible with Internet Explorer)    

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) 

Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA)

Buffalo Niagara Partnership (BNP)

Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 Loans 

New York State on PAUSE 

  • Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has taken aggressive action to combat the spread of the infectious COVID-19 virus, as suspected and confirmed cases have surged around the world. Specifically, the Governor has imposed sweeping measures to protect public health and safety, including restrictions on businesses and gatherings through Executive Orders designed to reduce public density and slow the rate of transmission. These measures, together known as “New York State on PAUSE,” directed all non-essential businesses to close their in-person operations and banned all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason. (See Executive Orders 202.6, 202.7, 202.8, 202.10, and 202.11.)
  • PAUSE 10 Point Policy
  • Essential Business List Available Here: For questions about Essential Businesses contact Empire State Development, call 716-846-8200 or email the Empire State Development WNY Regional Control Room at   


Question regarding phases and NY Forward:

Additional Resources

Frequently Requested


Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations

Western New York 211