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Cuomo signs legislation repealing provisions of law prohibiting practice of barbering on Sunday
Tue, Jul 13th 2021 02:25 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation (S.3812/A.436) that repeals provisions of law prohibiting the practice of barbering on Sunday. Though rarely enforced, there had been a law on the books making it a misdemeanor to cut hair or provide a shave to another person on Sunday.
Cuomo announces $200 million in food assistance for July
Tue, Jul 13th 2021 02:25 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced all New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive the maximum allowable level of food benefits for July. The agency is also working with the federal government to ensure this aid, which has brought in more than $2.5 billion in food assistance to New Yorkers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, will continue beyond July.
Mass-vaccination site at The Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls scheduled to cease operations
Mon, Jul 12th 2021 05:35 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced four mass-vaccination sites will cease operations as part of the ongoing downscaling that will allow the state to focus on localized vaccination efforts.
Higgins, Huizenga & Castor lead push to lift pandemic-related travel restrictions
Wed, Jul 7th 2021 03:05 pm
Congress members Brian Higgins, Bill Huizenga (MI-2) and Kathy Castor (FL-14) are leading a bipartisan push encouraging the Biden administration to take steps to safely reopen international travel to the U.S.
Higgins announces availability of arts grants funded through American Rescue Plan
Tue, Jul 6th 2021 02:10 pm
Congressman Brian Higgins announced the availability of more than $135 million in funding and competitive grants for arts organizations allocated through the American Rescue Plan.
SBA administrator announces closure of Restaurant Revitalization Fund program
Tue, Jul 6th 2021 11:15 am
This past Friday, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabel Guzman announced the closure of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, signed into law by President Joe Biden as part of the American Rescue Plan. The program provided aid to restaurants and other establishments struggling to make ends meet as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Erie County Department of Health vaccine clinics scheduled for community events on Saturday
Tue, Jul 6th 2021 11:15 am
The Erie County Department of Health will be set up two community sites in Buffalo on Saturday, July 10, to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. These clinics will offer single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine for ages 18 and older, and the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine series for youth ages 12-17.
As restaurant relief runs dry, Higgins pushes for additional funding to meet demand
Tue, Jul 6th 2021 10:00 am
As dedicated federal restaurant relief runs out, Congressman Brian Higgins is calling on Congress to move quickly to save jobs and prevent restaurants from having to close their doors. Higgins is cosponsoring the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act (H.R. 3807). The bipartisan legislation introduced in both the House and Senate would provide $60 billion in additional funding to fill the remaining need.
Cuomo signs legislation prohibiting public employers from penalizing employees for absences related to COVID-19
Thu, Jul 1st 2021 08:45 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday signed legislation (S.4201-A/A.4063) prohibiting public employers from penalizing employees who use sick leave or compensatory time to quarantine, seek medical treatment, or for other absences related to a COVID-19 diagnosis or contact.
Ryan to ECHDC: 'With COVID restrictions gone, hold public hearings for Buffalo Outer Harbor amphitheater project'
Thu, Jul 1st 2021 08:00 pm
On Thursday, New York State Sen. Sean Ryan joined Partnership for the Public Good Executive Director Andrea Ó Súilleabháin and Jay Burney of the Western New York Environmental Alliance and Times Beach Nature Preserve to urge the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. to seek more public input for the 8,000-person capacity amphitheater proposed for Buffalo's Outer Harbor.
Higgins & Rivera mark Canada Day with joint push to reopen border between US & Canada
Thu, Jul 1st 2021 09:20 am
The week, including Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4), typically tends to be one of the busiest times of the year for cross-border travel between the U.S. and Canada. However, this year the border remains closed to nonessential travel.
National Fuel customers eligible for emergency rental assistance program to help pay past-due utility bills
Wed, Jun 30th 2021 02:55 pm
New York state is now accepting applications for $2.7 billion in funding for income-eligible renters who fell behind on rent or utility payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. is encouraging all eligible customers to apply for up to 12 months in back rent and up to three months of future rent payments, as well as up to 12 months of overdue gas bill payments.
Data from past 5 months show 'breakthrough' COVID-19 disease in just .17% of fully vaccinated Erie County residents
Fri, Jun 25th 2021 02:25 pm
The Erie County Department of Health is announcing the demobilization of its larger COVID-19 vaccination clinics at KeyBank Center, Erie Community College (ECC) North and ECC South.
Niagara County clerk says extensions for expired licenses, permits ending
Fri, Jun 25th 2021 10:10 am
Niagara County Joseph Jastrzemski on Thursday said Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not be extending his executive orders as the state of emergency for COVID-19 ends. This means there will not be any more extensions for expired drivers' licenses and permits.
Cuomo: New York ending COVID-19 state disaster emergency
Thu, Jun 24th 2021 08:35 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced New York will end the state disaster emergency declared March 7, 2020, to fight COVID-19. His team said, "Given New York's dramatic progress against COVID-19, with the success in vaccination rates, and declining hospitalization and positivity statewide, the state of emergency will expire after Thursday, June 24."
Higgins says public remarks pointing to action on US-Canada border is welcome
Thu, Jun 24th 2021 08:35 am
Congressman Brian Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group, expressed cautious optimism following public remarks indicating action to allow for additional people to cross the U.S.-Canada border could come in a matter of weeks.
Ortt joins federal representatives in calls to protect WNY's Canadian property owners
Thu, Jun 24th 2021 08:35 am
On Wednesday, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt joined calls from New York's federal representatives to stop any taxes on foreigners who currently own a vacant property in Canada. Along with increased COVID-19 vaccination thresholds, the Canadian government announced it was moving forward with a plan to tax foreign owners whose properties remain vacant.
Women's Business Center to host free in-person & remote 'actionable insights' post-COVID business recovery seminar
Thu, Jun 24th 2021 08:15 am
A seminar hosted by the Women's Business Center (WBC) at Canisius College through the "ReConnect. ReStart. ReGrow." COVID-19 recovery program is bringing together a COVID-19 recovery task force (a panel of industry experts), women business owners and entrepreneurs for a morning of networking and business advice.
COVID-19: $25 million in child care scholarships for essential workers
Wed, Jun 23rd 2021 11:55 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced New York state will provide $25 million in child care scholarships to all essential workers starting June 23. Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, transportation workers, food delivery workers and grocery store employees.
Higgins urges SBA to deliver 'urgently needed relief to struggling venues'
Tue, Jun 22nd 2021 06:30 pm
Congressman Brian Higgins is urging the U.S. Small Business Administration to answer for "unreasonable delays" in the release of funds for the Shuttered Venue Grant Operators (SVOG) program and work quickly to ensure venues receive their COVID-19 relief funding.
Higgins calls on US government to fight for action on border
Mon, Jun 21st 2021 04:45 pm
Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group, said, "We have gone too long without action. We need this administration to stand up for Americans."
Nearly 9 out of 10 recent COVID-19 cases in Erie County were not fully vaccinated
Fri, Jun 18th 2021 04:15 pm
Based on data retrieved from the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) by the Erie County Department of Health, nearly nine out of 10 new COVID-19 cases from late May until mid-June were not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Cuomo announces new pop-up vaccination sites to serve areas with lower vaccination rates
Fri, Jun 18th 2021 07:55 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced 12 new pop-up vaccination sites will open in areas where ZIP code data shows the vaccination rate is significantly lower than the statewide average. Locally, a site opened at the Broadway Market (999 Broadway, Buffalo).
Higgins: $2.152 million to support economic recovery & small business opportunity in WNY
Thu, Jun 17th 2021 09:45 am
Congressman Brian Higgins announced $2.152 million in new federal funding made available through the U.S. Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The Rapid Response Grants, funded with resources approved by Congress in the December 2020 appropriations bill, are targeted to reach distressed and underserved communities.
As COVID-19 restrictions lift across state, UB scientists find highly transmissible delta variant in Erie County
Wed, Jun 16th 2021 05:40 pm
University at Buffalo scientists who are doing genomic sequencing of COVID-19 samples report the delta variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Erie County. First identified in India and now responsible for a significant outbreak in the United Kingdom, the delta variant is believed to be as much as 200%, or twice as transmissible, as the original coronavirus strain.
Niagara County gives out Beacon of Hope Award to health department leadership
Wed, Jun 16th 2021 05:35 pm
The Niagara County Legislature returned to meeting in person this week and acknowledged the leadership team of the Niagara County Health Department for its "tremendous efforts in leading the county through the pandemic."
Cuomo: COVID-19 restrictions lifted as 70% of adults have received first dose of vaccine
Tue, Jun 15th 2021 03:05 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced COVID-19 restrictions are lifted immediately as 70% of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series. The state's health guidance and "New York Forward" industry-specific guidelines - including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing - are now optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and personal care services, among other commercial settings.
$105 million in grant funding for nonprofit arts & culturals, artists
Tue, Jun 15th 2021 01:15 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the availability of $105 million in critical arts and cultural funding through the New York State Council on the Arts, including a program to reinvigorate near-term live performances that opens for applications Wednesday. The grants will aid in the arts sector's multiyear recovery from COVID-19 and spur the revitalization of New York's creative economy, which fosters $123 billion annually in economic activity and supports more than 500,000 jobs statewide.
NYS landmarks to be lit blue & gold, with firework displays in recognition of reaching 70% of single dose vaccinations
Tue, Jun 15th 2021 01:10 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced landmarks across the state will be lit blue and gold tonight in celebration of reaching 70% of New York adults receiving their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. In addition to these lightings, firework displays will be held at 10 sites across the state beginning at 9:15 p.m.
NYS Office for the Aging launches partnership with Association on Aging & Selfhelp to bring Virtual Senior Center into homes of older adults
Tue, Jun 15th 2021 01:10 pm
The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) announced a partnership with the Association on Aging in New York and Selfhelp Community Services to bring Selfhelp's Virtual Senior Center (VSC) into the homes of older New Yorkers to improve connectivity, combat social isolation, improve health and wellness. Launching initially with 20 pilot counties, the VSC will be available as a tool to help organizations bring their communities online for more than 700 potential AAA's.
AAA adds inspected clean enhancement to its Diamond hotel inspections
Fri, Jun 11th 2021 11:55 am
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels have adapted their cleaning procedures and housekeeping standards, and the AAA Diamond Program is evolving to meet the changing expectations of today's travelers. In fact, according to AAA research, 76% of consumers surveyed would be disappointed if a third-party inspection did not evaluate whether high-touch areas in a hotel are sanitized.
Applications open for $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program
Fri, Jun 11th 2021 11:30 am
The program reimburses New York small businesses with grants of up to $50,000 for COVID-19-related expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021. Grants will be awarded to small and micro businesses and small for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations, with priority being given to socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, including minority- and women-owned business enterprises, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses, and businesses located in economically distressed communities.
Cuomo proposes legislation to waive taxes on funding from $800 million COVID-19 pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant program
Tue, Jun 8th 2021 04:25 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday proposed legislation to waive taxes on grants from the $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant program. Applications for the program will be accepted starting June 10 for small and micro businesses and small for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations to help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.
New York state announces $200 million in additional food aid for June
Tue, Jun 8th 2021 04:25 pm
The New York state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) announced all New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive at least the maximum allowable level of food benefits for June, a benefits distribution that will push more than $200 million in federal aid into the state's recovering economy.
Statement by Higgins on US-Canada border
Tue, Jun 8th 2021 03:55 pm
Congressman Brian Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the northern border caucus and the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group, released the following statement Tuesday in response to ongoing discussions about U.S.-Canada border restrictions:
Senate & Assembly Republicans: 'End the disaster emergency declaration'
Tue, Jun 8th 2021 10:25 am
New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay and members of their respective conferences on Monday announced the introduction of a concurrent resolution that would terminate the state disaster emergency declared by Gov. Cuomo on March 7, 2020, under executive order 202 and revoke his decision-making authority.
'Doses & Mimosas' with Erie County Department of Health and 3 Buffalo restaurants
Tue, Jun 8th 2021 10:20 am
The Erie County Department of Health is announcing a "Doses & Mimosas" event on Sunday, June 13, in partnership with Savoy Buffalo, Mr. Goodbar and 40 Thieves in Buffalo.
New pop-up vaccination sites to serve areas with lower vaccination rates
Mon, Jun 7th 2021 05:15 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced 11 new pop-up vaccination sites will open in areas where ZIP code data shows the vaccination rate is significantly lower than the statewide average. New York will expand on the program and open additional sites in the coming weeks.
 

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