Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that small businesses Citywide can begin submitting plans for public open space use to ensure safe physical distancing to protect patrons and employees during the COVID-19 outbreak. Members of the City’s Small Business Social Distancing Initiative Working Group, which is comprised of private-sector experts and City officials, developed the application to help businesses quickly and safely reenter our recovering Western New York economy. The application is now available at www.buffalony.gov.
Mayor Brown also announced today that more than 300 small businesses have registered on the City’s new Reopen Buffalo webpage. The online resource enhances the City’s ability to communicate with small businesses through the registry. Businesses can also share information about their reopening status with the community. Reopen Buffalo features an interactive map and directory, as well as links to additional resources. For more information, go to www.buffalony.gov. The City of Buffalo Office of Permits and Inspection Services is assisting companies eligible to reopen with specific permit and licensing needs that cannot be met online at www.buffalony.gov/435/Permit-Inspection-Services. For licenses, call 851-6583 or 851-4951. For permits, call 851-4935 or 851-5033.
Mayor Brown was joined by Juneteenth Festival organizers and others today for the annual raising of the Pan-African flag in Niagara Square in honor of Buffalo’s 45th Annual Juneteenth Festival. While it usually takes place in historic Martin Luther King Jr. Park, this year, as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, organizers are hosting the two-day festival virtually to protect the health and safety of residents. On June 13th and 14th, residents can participate by visiting JuneteenthofBuffalo.com to watch video presentations and other activities celebrating and honoring the culture, history and achievements of African Americans.
Mayor Brown stated, “Juneteenth is the nation’s oldest celebration of the end of slavery. The City of Buffalo is proudly home to one of the largest Juneteenth festivals in the country, and I am grateful to the Juneteenth Committee for continuing this historic celebration of African-American heritage and culture for residents of Buffalo and Western New York under these difficult and extraordinary circumstances.”
Juneteenth began on June 19, 1865, the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army rode into Galveston, Texas and freed the slaves who lived their under the powers granted him by the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been enacted two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln. Modern Juneteenth celebrations commemorate that day in 1865.
The Census response rate for the City of Buffalo slightly increased over the weekend, the response rate as of Monday,
June 1st, was 48.4%. The City is still well behind the national response rate of 60.4%, and Mayor Brown continues to push for 100% participation. An accurate count is critical to the City’s ability to access hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid that fund infrastructure improvements, education, critical community programming and much more. Complete your questionnaire at 2020Census.gov.
Mayor Brown is reminding residents that tonight there is a 6 pm parking switchover, from 6 pm Monday to 6 pm Thursday. The alternate side parking on these streets is critical for emergency vehicle access.
Residents looking for work can get assistance through the Buffalo Employment and Training Center by calling 856-JOBS. Employment counselors are available for remote counseling sessions. More than 100 residents have been placed in positions since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency.
ConnectLife says patients need blood and patients need you. Donations continue to diminish and many June blood drives have been canceled. Mayor Brown is asking healthy residents to give blood and is also calling on organizations to consider hosting blood drives to help boost the local supply. Donating is safe and physical distancing precautions are in place to protect donors. To donate or to host a drive, visit connectlifegiveblood.org.
If you are interested in getting tested for COVID-19, find the closest test site near you by visiting covid19.buffalony.gov. The map contains a complete listing of all COVID-19 testing sites, with addresses, which are located throughout the City, contact information for setting up an appointment, hours of operation and whether the site requires a prescription by a doctor for testing. Additional locations to provide this vital service can be added to this resource by visiting www.buffalony. gov/SubmitTestSite.
Mayor Brown’s innovative Instagram challenge, #BuffaloPAUSE – Powered by AT&T, continues to call on young City residents to stay active and creative while staying home and staying safe! For the Week 7 challenge, Mayor Brown is asking local teens to help save our planet by recycling. Using the radio edited version of E-40’s “Choices (Yup),” make a video showing the do’s (yup) and don’ts (nope) of recycling from home. To see how it is done, watch Say Yes Breaking Barrier’s members model the challenge on Mayor Brown’s IG story. The most creative video will win an Apple IPad Mini from National Grid. Use #BuffaloPAUSE on your post by Saturday, June 6th at 11:59 pm to be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card!
To enter the #BuffaloPAUSE challenge, participants must be between the ages of 13 and 18, reside in the City of Buffalo, and have a public profile on Instagram. All entries must take place at home indoors or outdoors following proper physical distancing guidelines. Only one submission per person or from a social media account can win each week. Tag your post with #BuffaloPAUSE on Instagram. Selected winners will be notified via Direct Message (DM) with a link to fill out a form so we can process your gift card. All prizes and awards are funded by AT&T.