Mayor Patterson-Howard launches Small Business Task-force to assist COVID-19 reopening efforts

June 9, 2020 — Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard announces the launch of the Mount Vernon Small Business Task Force tasked with assisting local businesses to find solutions that will support reopening efforts in COVID-19 economy. The task force will offer guidance to Mount Vernon businesses through each of the four reopening phases to ensure they are prepared to open with safety measures in place.


On March 7, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued Executive Order 202, declaring a state of emergency in response to COVID-19. Community transmission of COVID-19 has occurred throughout New York, and in Mount Vernon, as of June 8, there are 2,646 cases. To minimize further spread, social distancing or at least six feet must be maintained between individuals where possible.

The task force will be identifying and assisting operators and owners to develop and implement best safety practices utilizing the guidelines as communicated by the State of New York. The cross-departmental task force will include members from Fire, Buildings, Emergency Management, and Police.

Mayor Patterson-Howard states, “The task force establishes the City as a resource as businesses begin reopening and recovery efforts in a COVID-19 economy. I use the term, ‘in a COVID-19 economy’ because COVID will not go away. We will learn to live and do business with it. Our business community specifically our retail district was hard hit by the virus, and so our City code enforcement agents will be the front-line to clarify and guide businesses as they come back online.”