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Resources for Businesses and Employees

Dutchess County’s Economic Rapid Response Team has worked to establish resources for businesses and employees adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Businesses
Find updates on recent closures, essential business guidance from the State, and guidance on how to increase your business’ resilience and protect the public and your employees.

For Employees
Find resources on unemployment insurance and job openings at essential businesses.



Recent Updates


The State issued an Executive Order directing employers to provide essential workers with masks, free of charge, to wear. Download a Using a Cloth Face Covering as a Mask Flyer (.pdf)

NOTE: Governor Cuomo has issued executive orders requiring all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public including when taking public or private transportation carriers or other for-hire vehicles.


Small business owners are being targeted by scammers as they apply for Small Business Administration loans and grants. Report any suspected fraud online or call the OIG’s Hotline at 800-767-0385. Tips from the SBA to protect your business' private information.

Local Essential Job Opportunities

The Dutchess One Stop Career Center has compiled a list of local essential employers that are now hiring. Visit their website and download the list to review openings and apply.

How and when can I file for Unemployment Insurance?

Residents seeking to file an unemployment insurance claim can visit or call the Telephone Claim Center at (888) 209-8124Frequently asked questions about Unemployment Insurance from the DOL.* 

If you are self-employed, you may file for Unemployment Insurance benefits online; view the State's Self-Employed Unemployment Insurance Guide.

The State's Telephone Claim Center filing system is now based on the first letter of the applicant’s last name (alphabetical order):

  • A – F: Monday
  • G – N: Tuesday
  • O – Z: Wednesday
  • Missed your day: Thursday through Saturday

Telephone Claim Center Hours:

  • Monday-Thursday, 8am-7:30pm
  • Friday, 8am-6pm
  • Saturday, 7:30am-8pm

*Due to ongoing high call volume, please be prepared for potentially long wait times. The Telephone Claim Center now offers a call-back feature. If you have been instructed to call to complete your application, you no longer need to call. A representative from the DOL will call you back within 72 hours.

Helpful Links

State Re-Opening Updates

The State will follow CDC guidlines to lift closure restrictions on a regional basis. Dutchess County has been included in the State's Mid-Hudson Region along with Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties. View or download the State's map of the 10 regions and a list of counties within each region. Regions must experience a 14-day decline in hospitalizations and deaths on a 3-day rolling average. A region must have fewer than two new COVID patients admitted per 100,000 residents per day. Read the State's regional guidlines for re-opening.

Businesses will re-open in phases:

Phase One

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain
  • Select retail using curbside pickup only

Phase Two

  • Professional services
  • Finance and insurance
  • Retail
  • Administrative support
  • Real estate and rental leasing

Phase Three

  • Restaurants and food service
  • Hotels and accommodations

Phase Four

  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Education

State Closure Updates

The following buisnesses have been ordered to temporarily close

  • Restaurants and bars closed for on-premises service; take-out and delivery only
  • Movie theaters 
  • Gyms
  • Casinos
  • Indoor portions of retail shopping malls
  • Amusement parks
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Barbershops
  • Hair salons
  • Tattoo or piercing parlors
  • Nail salons
  • Hair removal services and related personal care services

Dutchess Business Notification Network (DBNN)

For COVID-19 updates for businesses and non-profits, join the Dutchess Business Notification Network (DBNN):

Increase Your Business’ Resilience and Readiness

Download a flyer with Best Practices for Businesses During COVID-19 (.pdf)

Additionally, to increase your business’ resilience and readiness during the COVID-19 outbreak, DBCH recommends businesses strongly encourage employees to:

  1. Stay home when sick (Poster, .pdf)
  2. Cover your cough (Poster, .pdf)
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently for 20 seconds.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available. (Website/Social Media graphics for use to promote employee handwashing.)
  4. Clean frequently touched surfaces. NYS Department of Health has guidance about how facilities should be cleaned. AND  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list of EPA-registered antimicrobial products 
  5. Practice social distancing. Keep at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others whenever possible. Avoid social gatherings and unnecessary appointments.
  6. Wear a cloth face mask. A simple cloth face covering should be worn by everyone outside of their home when ample social distancing proves difficult. Businesses are required to provide face coverings to essential workers. Be sure to wash cloth masks frequently; the CDC advises a washing machine is sufficient.

Refer employees to the website for current information and status about COVID-19.  

To assist with your business’ continuity of operations, review policies related to the following situations in our Guidance section:


  • Employees who are ill should stay home until they are fever-free and symptom-free without the use of fever-reducing medications or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants) for at least 24 hours. Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
  • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
  • Employees who are sick upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. 
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
  • Utilize and display posters, videos, and social media resources found on our Resources page to encourage staff to follow these recommendations

Prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and their family members, dismissals of early childhood programs and K-12 schools due to high levels of absenteeism or illness:

  • Employers should plan to monitor and respond to absenteeism at the workplace. Implement plans to continue your essential business functions in case you experience higher than usual absenteeism.
  • Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so that the workplace is able to operate even if key staff members are absent.
  • Assess your essential functions and the reliance that others and the community have on your services or products. Be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).