NYSBA Update April 24, 2020



Dear NYSBA Member,


We are now one month into Governor Cuomo’s shutdown of the residential construction industry and most other “non-essential businesses” in New York due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to give members an update on where we currently stand.


Governor Cuomo stated this week that New York will take a regional approach to opening up the economy.


The regions have been designated as:

Western NY (Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Olean)

Finger Lakes (Rochester)

Central New York (Syracuse, Ithaca)

Southern Tier (Binghamton, Corning)

Mohawk Valley (Utica)

North Country (Plattsburgh, Watertown)

Capital District (Albany, Saratoga, Glens Falls)

Mid-Hudson (Kingston, White Plains)


Long Island


Cuomo named current and former Lieutenant Governor’s Kath Hochul (Western NY) and Bob Duffy (Finger Lakes) to lead two of the regions, and designated himself as the lead of another (CapitalDistrict). He also named the Nassau and Suffolk County Executives to lead the Long Island effort.There have been no details provided on who will lead the effort in the other regions.


As soon as regional leaders were named, NYSBA mobilized our efforts to reach out to them to stress the importance of the residential construction industry to New York’s safety and economy. Our members have already been in contact with Hochul, Duffy and the Long Island county executives.


NYSBA’s Government Affairs Committee has been meeting every Monday and Thursday to coordinate our efforts on how to get our industry back to work.So when these changes occurred, we were able to move quickly.


In the meantime, we are working to assist our members for when construction opens up. To ensure that there are definitive protocols for residential construction job sites that respond to the coronavirus, a description of practices that would be implemented are included.


We have shared these protocols with the regional leaders as well as Empire State Development and the Governor’s Office.We recommend everyone be familiar with what may be required when residential construction returns.


Finally,Governor Cuomo has indicated several times recently the importance of a regional, multi-state, approach to restarting businesses. However, Residential construction is currently considered an essential industry in:




Rhode Island, and



New Jersey is allowing projects that are currently under contract to be completed, and Pennsylvania will allow construction projects to resume with four people on a job site beginning next Friday (May 1).


New York is the only state in the region that has not allowed residential construction to resume.It is important that you reach out to your Senator or Assembly member and ask them why New York is the only state in the entire Northeast that has chosen to completely shut down residential construction.


The residential construction industry remains ready to work diligently at this difficult time to provide innovative ways to respond to this crisis by continuing to provide employment and shelter for all of New York State’s residents.


If you have any questions or would be interested in joining NYSBA’s Government Affairs Committee, please feel free to contact me at any time.




Lew Dubuque

Lewis A. Dubuque

Executive Vice President

New York State Builders Association