Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins’ on Westchester County Reopening to Phase 1

Dear Friends,

Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins

You’ll be pleased to know that today, Tuesday, May 26th, Westchester as part of the Mid-Hudson Region, is reopening to Phase 1 of Governor Cuomo’s “Forward” Plan having met all 7 metrics. We met those metrics because you, your friends and family took seriously the wearing of masks or facial coverings and keeping social distance. That enabled us to lower the rates of new cases, hospitalizations, and thankfully, deaths. While this is good news, we cannot let our guard down so please continue to follow these precautions.

So what does a Phase 1 reopening mean? The governor’s plan enables more businesses to open up and lets the public enjoy a bit more of “normalcy.” Here is a brief and general description of what Phase 1 means. Please click here for a complete listing and more specific information in each category and what is allowed as we move from Phase 1 to Phase 4.

Under Phase 1:

  • Building construction on residential and commercial properties can resume as can highway, bridges and road construction.
  • A wide range of manufacturing can resume for a variety of industries including, but not limited to: clothing, computers, furniture, metal products, machinery, paper, plastics and rubber products, printing, wood products, and more.
  • Wholesale trade can resume for merchant wholesalers including, but not limited to: apparel, accessories, chemical and allied products, furniture, household appliances and electronic goods, machinery equipment, paper products, durable and nondurable goods.
  • Under this Phase, there is retail delivery, curbside and in store pickup for: clothing stores, direct selling establishments, electronics and appliance stores, furnishing and home furnishing stores, general merchandise, garden supplies, office supplies, shoe stores, sporting goods, and more.
  • Support activities for agriculture can resume as can forestry, fishing and hunting.

Each company that reopens must have and file a detailed plan for a safe opening.

The governor also just announced the creation of the New York Forward Loan Fund specifically designed to help small businesses and non-profits. Businesses must employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and have gross revenues under $3 million a year. Non-profits must provide direct services and have an operating budget of under $3 million. Neither is eligible if they have received a federal COVID related loan.  Click here for more information.

As you know, my office staff is ready to help you with any issue you may have, please call (914) 423-4031 or email us at We have been trying to assist the hundreds of my constituents who have had frustrating problems getting their Unemployment Insurance. We are also distributing hand sanitizers in large one gallon sizes for institutional use.

These last few months I have been reaching many community groups including frontline responders, business organizations, school administrators, labor organizations, the non-profit world and graduates via zoom.  It’s not the way I like to communicate—you know I am a face- to-face person—but I am grateful at least for having that opportunity.

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About the Author: Andrea Stewart-Cousins