COVID-19 Relief

Artists, health experts, gig workers, community spaces, community leaders, activists, policy makers, and mutual aid providers coordinate NYC COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

Letter to Elected Officials
Grassroots Relief Models
Rent is Due - What To Do
Community Space Insurance Tips

Priorities & Letter to Elected Officials

We need a concerted effort at the Federal, State and City level for:

  • Free Covid-19 testing and free treatment for all Covid-19 cases
  • Emergency unemployment insurance benefits immediately accessible to independent contractors impacted by Covid-19 and increase unemployment benefits for all workers
  • A rent break and mortgage payment moratorium for residential and commercial spaces impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak
  • Postpone all business payments such as government fees, fines as well as property and sales taxes for all impacted businesses and their landlords.
  • The NYC Small Business Services grants for businesses with fewer than 5 employees should be expanded to businesses up to 10 employees and made available to all independent contractors impacted by Covid-19 work cancellations.
  • The Department of Cultural Affairs and Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment should establish emergency grants for small venues specializing in live music and DJ performance and subsidize access to technology enabling venues and individual artists to stream—and monetize-- music events as a substitute for live audience attendance.
Letter to Elected Officials

Relief Models

Artists & Spaces: How has COVID-19 affected you, your work, friends, and community space?

What do you need?

We can help each other find solutions.

Add examples of grassroots relief nation-wide to this Google Doc to shape our response and be a NYC resource.

e.g. An artist relief fund in Seattle has raised over $100k in direct relief. Clubs in Chicago are fundraising for employees. SF has a Moratorium on Evictions.

Grassroots Relief Models

Rent is Due - What to Do

Q&A: #KnowYourRights #COVID19 Relief

Featuring rad housing and small business lawyers of Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A & Diana Mora of Friends and Lovers


Thank you Catherine Peyton Humphreville & Kristie Ortiz-Lam at Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A!

  • Prioritize Food Before Rent

  • Talk with Landlord
  • Evictions Are On Pause
  • Tell Governor Andrew Cuomo: #CancelRent

Pay for necessities before rent. We need to #CancelRent with a rent suspension. Know our rights.

Ban Virus Loopholes on Community Space Insurance

Because of your voice, a bill A-10226 is introduced to remove the Virus Exclusion insurance loophole.

Call NYS Assemblymember Kevin Cahill: 845-338-9610
Calls count, leave a message.

“Pass bill A-10226 to ban the Virus Exclusion insurance loophole. Call me back with your plan to #SaveNYCSpaces."


This is not legal advice

Business Interruption Insurance for Community Spaces
Many space operators are looking to insurance companies to pay out through their business interruption insurance as a result of closing due to COVID19, as mandated by the State.

File An Insurance Claim! Even if space operators don’t think they are covered by their Business Interruption Insurance, file a claim with your insurance company anyway.

Language to include in claim:

This order is given because of the propensity of the virus to spread person to person and also because the virus physically is causing property loss or damage due to its proclivity to attach to surfaces for prolonged periods of time."

Viruses Likely Excluded In Insurance Policy Spaces’ business Interruption Insurance likely only covers physical damage to the business and excludes viruses and bacteria.

Keep Records Of Cases Of COVID-19 At Your Business Document any incidence of COVID-19 at your business. If you have had someone who was sick working at the business or patron, document that as best you can, be considerate of others health privacy.

Also, document loss of revenue at your business due to COVID-19. This is a good time to catch up on your books (at least 18 months back).

Don't State Publicly That Your Business Is Not Infected Do not say explicitly (on social media or publicly) that your business has not been infected, because your insurance company may use those posts to say that you were not impacted.

You should say “As a result of COVID19 and in keeping with state social distancing requirements, we have converted to delivery/takeout only (or closing)”.

Landlord May Have Lost Rent Insurance, You May Be On Their Policy Your landlord may have insurance for lost rent, and you may be listed as additional insured on their policy. Conversely, your landlord may also be listed on your insurance policy. Talk to them. You may have a Force Majeure policy that removes liability for unavoidable catastrophes.

Delivery/Takeout Won’t Harm Your Claim You can still do delivery/take out, if that’s what you want to do. Doing delivery/takeout won’t harm your chances of getting money from your insurance company. That will show you are doing everything in your power to maintain business revenue.

Tell State Reps: Ban virus exclusions We need to advocate to our state legislators to say that insurance companies can not use exclusions for viruses or bacteria. Usually for exclusions in policies, the insurance company will let you purchase standalone coverage for just that one exclusion. This is not the case for viruses and bacteria - you cannot purchase insurance for this. This may allow state legislators to say that insurance companies cannot have viruses as an exclusion.

Questions or resources

Thank you to the New York Hospitality Coalition for providing this information.

Join the NYC Artist Coalition

We are an emerging coalition of artists, creative organizations, community leaders, activists, policy makers, and specialists providing mutual support and advocating for informal and affordable community spaces in NYC. Join us in protecting community spaces for all New Yorkers.

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