Buffalo, NY--- Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that Buffalo’s first responders have begun receiving vaccinations. Yesterday, Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo, Deputy Fire Commissioner Paul Eason and Lt. Shelby Thompson received their first doses of the vaccination at the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN), located at 564 Niagara Street. Members of the Buffalo Fire Department were provided a link to a portal of all participating vaccination facilities and are scheduling their own appointments for vaccination.
Mayor Brown stated, “Our first responders have been on the front lines since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency. It is critical that we protect them as they continue to serve our community during this key turning point in the fight against this global health pandemic.”
Buffalo Fire Commissioner Renaldo said, “I think it is vital for Buffalo firefighters to be vaccinated to safeguard ourselves, our families, our fellow firefighters and more importantly safeguard the citizens of Buffalo.”
Mayor Brown has vowed to take the vaccine on television and social media to promote confidence in the vaccine’s safety. He joins President-elect Joseph Biden, former Presidents Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton in pledging to increase public confidence in the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.
In response to a New York State Supreme Court decision issued yesterday, a number of restaurants in the City of Buffalo are now able to reopen indoor under Yellow Zone restrictions, which includes dining services at 50% capacity. All guests will be required to wear masks unless seated with tables limited to parties of 4 and 6 feet of distance between tables. The City of Buffalo’s Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning alerted small businesses registered with Reopen Buffalo of the change in status. For more information on the Reopen Buffalo initiative, including helpful resources for local small businesses, visit www.buffalony.gov/ReopenBuffalo.
Small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 emergency are encouraged to apply for assistance through the Buffalo Business Blitz. The Starz24 Foundation selected Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) to administer grants of up to $2,500 to each qualifying business. Applications will be accepted now through January 18, 2021, apply online at www.wedibuffalo.org/buffalobusinessblitz. Applicants may include small businesses located in Erie County, NY that filed taxes in 2019. The funding will target businesses that have been most affected by the pandemic, such as brick-and-mortar locations that do not have an e-commerce presence. WEDI will handle all logistics associated with the application process, including application evaluation and administration of the funds. To learn more about the Buffalo Business Blitz program participation criteria, visit starz24.org/bbbterms/.
The Buffalo Business Blitz began last month when Bills Cornerback Josh Norman provided $25,000 of his own money to create the fund, which continues to grow and so far has collected more than $425,000 in donations to assist small businesses. For more information about the Buffalo Business Blitz, visit https://starz24.org/buffalobusinessblitz/.
Mayor Brown continues to call on residents to participate in his “Selfie Challenge” by taking selfies at the new Selfie Station under the new banners at Buffalo City Hall. He is asking Bills fans to safely meet a goal of 2,021 photos between now and the next Bills playoff game this Saturday, January 16th, as a special way to honor the AFC East Champion’s winning season. Challenge participants must have their profiles set to public and tag Mayor Brown in their post for a chance to be featured on his social media. Please also tag the Buffalo Bills and use #GoBills and #BillsMafia to show the team your support. Be sure to follow @MayorByronBrown716 on Instagram, @MayorByronBrown on Twitter and @ MayorByronBrown on Facebook.
Mayor Brown directed the dome atop Buffalo City Hall to light up in blue and gold tonight in support of the Buffalo Sabres as they begin their season tonight. Mayor Brown also called on the Buffalo Landmark Illumination Team (LIT) to light their structures in a united show of support for the team during their home opener against the Washington Capitals.
City residents are reminded to obey the “No Parking 6 pm Thursday to 6 pm Monday” signs. We need to ensure that emergency vehicles can get down these streets.
Nearly 6,000 residents have signed up for the new 9am-4pm parking tool to assist residents during snow events in the City of Buffalo. Residents can sign up for the BuffAlert Parking Update initiative by texting JOIN PARKINGUPDATES to 30890. Once enrolled, participating residents will receive a text message or phone call 24 hours before the 9am-4pm Alternate Parking Restrictions need to be enforced for snow maintenance. The program provides residents with notice to move their vehicles in these zones during snow events.
The Division of Citizen Services and the Board of Block Clubs are holding another Virtual Block Chat on Friday, January 15th at Noon. Katie Walsh, Director of Mental Health Education at Compeer Buffalo is featured speaker and will discuss mental health and mental health first aid. Residents interested can attend the free event by visiting https://buffalony. webex.com/meet/citizenservices.
Show your pride in Buffalo while also helping to provide quality programming to young City residents. WKBW-7’s #BuffaloStrong campaign is helping the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, by launching a new, grey edition of the popular #BuffaloStrong shirts and hoodies. Through a continued partnership with Retro Buffalo, $7 from each t-shirt and hoodie purchase will go to the Buffalo PAL, which provides educational, athletic and cultural programs to over 20,000 City of Buffalo youth every year. To order, visit www.retrobuffalo.com/products/buffalo-strong. For more about how you can help Buffalo PAL, visit buffalopal.com.
Mayor Brown continues to expand efforts to keep residents informed on important updates in our community. Tune in to his radio show, “Talk of the Town with Mayor Brown,” Sunday, January 17th, at 1pm on the legendary WUFO Mix 1080 AM/ Power 96.5 for the latest on what is happening in the City of Buffalo.
Residents have an opportunity to provide input on the City of Buffalo’s new plan for our parks. Mayor Brown and The Trust for Public Land launched a new online survey for residents to comment directly on the development of the city’s park plan. The city also released the Buffalo Unlimited Activity Book, a fun opportunity for residents of all ages to get creative and share their vision for local parks. The Buffalo Parks Master Plan is a project of The City of Buffalo, The Trust for Public Land, New City Parks, and the Regional Plan Association. The community can find out more about the plan here: https://www. tpl.org/our-work/buffalo-parks-plan. Since 2006, Mayor Brown has invested $74 million in parks citywide.
To find the closest COVID-19 test site near you, visit covid19.buffalony.gov. The map contains a complete listing of all COVID-19 testing sites throughout the City with contact information for setting up an appointment, hours of operation and whether the site requires a prescription for testing.
January is National Blood Donor Month. Mayor Brown encourages healthy, COVID-19 symptom-free residents to give blood to help maintain an adequate supply. Donating is safe and social distancing precautions are in place to protect donors. To make an appointment or if you are interested in holding a blood drive, visit connectlifegiveblood.org.
Mayor Brown encourages residents interested in pursuing a new career to apply for American Medical Response’s (AMR) new class of the ‘Earn While You Learn’ academy. The program allows for trainees to be full-time employees while taking the necessary certification courses to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs). The innovative program allows trainees to be full-time employees while taking the necessary certification courses to become EMTs. The 11-week program has made a career in emergency medical services more accessible, ensuring that a candidate is financially secure while in training. For more information including how to apply, visit www.amr.net.
Use BuffAlert to stay informed on important information like emergencies and cancellations. You can sign up by texting JOIN BUFFALERT to 30890.