Local Matters

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March 30, 2020 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, coronavirus, BJs Warehouse.

Press release:

As part of our efforts to do everything we can to safely serve your needs, BJ's Wholesale Club has made the decision to temporarily suspend the use of paper coupons in our clubs in order to reduce touchpoints and help mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

For the safety of you and our team members, until further notice, our clubs will not be accepting any paper coupons starting today -- March 30.

Your coupon savings are not going away. All of the BJ's coupons in the BJ's Savings Book will now have a clipless coupon. This means the savings will be automatically deducted from the price when you check out. You'll also see the savings on the price signs in our clubs and in your online cart on BJs.com.

A large assortment of manufacturer-published coupons are available to you for use through the BJ's mobile app and on BJs.com. By clipping these coupons online or on your app, you'll be able to use them in clubs or on BJs.com, without the need for paper.

Given the high demand for food and household essentials, we are working hard to replenish items as quickly as we can. We appreciate your patience and understanding that we may be out of stock of some items, including items that may be shown in our BJ's Savings Book.

In Genesee County, BJ's is located in the shopping plaza at 8330 Lewiston Road.

March 30, 2020 - 4:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Empire Hemp Co., hemp CBD oils, hemp CBD topical.

Empire Hemp Co. is invested heavily in the hemp cannabidiol market for consumers and in January opened a walk-up retail-sale window at its manufacturing site in Batavia's Liberty Square office complex.

It's located at 34 Swan St., Suite 4, in the city and is owned by Chris VanDusen and Shelly Wolanske.

On weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. walk-up customers can buy all-natural hemp cannabidiol (CBD) oil and topical products that many customers say have restorative effects.

Hemp CBD, or cannabidiol, is a nonpsychoactive and non-habit-forming compound that occurs naturally in the flowers of the hemp plant. Unlike marijuana, which contains high levels of THC, hemp flower does not have any intoxicating effects and does not produce a “high."

Empire Hemp Co. uses only the highest quality, locally grown, pesticide-free hemp flowers, grown in the sun by farming partners in Genesee, Orleans and Erie counties.

The owners say they treat these special flowers with the utmost of care, using a state-of-the-art supercritical CO2 extractor to preserve their beneficial compounds in as clean and pure a form as possible. They then blend the extracted hemp CBD oil in with the finest natural and botanical ingredients to create tinctures and salves of the highest quality.

All Empire Hemp Co. products are third-party tested to guarantee their strength and safety.

Their hemp CBD oils are available in three strengths: 600mg, 1200mg, and 1800mg, in both raw and mint flavor.

There are three different topical salves -- All Purpose, Muscle & Joint, Lemon Balm. There's also a muscle and joint relief product called "The Balm," which comes as a stick or roll-on, and contains a higher concentration of hemp CBD oil and more menthol -- for an "icy hot" effect on the skin. 

The products range from $25 to $100 in price.

"No matter who you are, we have a product to meet your specific needs," says Wolanske.

VanDusen said they moved into the Swan Street space in June but spent months preparing it for the manufacturing process, including the installation of the $250,000 extractor. By January, they had carved out their walk-up window and began to serve retail customers directly.

"We are one of the few companies in the state licensed to extract raw CBD oil from hemp plants and manufacture CBD oil products," VanDusen said.

He said Sen. Chuck Schumer has worked diligently to assist farmers, manufacturers and sellers in New York's rapidly emerging industrial hemp market, which was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill but initially hampered by a lack of clarity on FDA regulations and safety requirements. 

Schumer helped expedite FDA guidance on the classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sale of CBD products, a market the senator said is "brimming with potential to be a billion-dollar industry across New York State." Nationally, CBD product sales surpassed $200 million in 2018, according to data from Schumer's office.

Empire Hemp Company's walk-up window is open for business from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, or visit their website to find out more about their local hemp CBD line. Phone is (888) 895-9032.

Photo, courtesy of Empire Hemp Co.: Company president Chris VanDusen, left, helps an unidentified customer at the new walk-up window for retail sales.

March 30, 2020 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, business, agriculture.

Press release:

Trump endorsed Republican candidate for Congress Chris Jacobs (NY-27) held a virtual round table with Western New York farmers on Saturday to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on local agriculture and what can be done to help farmers keep operating.

“Big decisions need to be made as we move into our planting season," said Molly Anderson, of Torrey Farms. " The effects of COVID-19 will determine how we make those decisions and impact our capacity to perform. Luckily, President Trump is a businessman and understands the critical importance of our nation’s farms and will work with us so we can have the resources to get through this."

"The utmost concern, whether it was a dairy farmer or a crop farmer was the health and safety of their workforce," Jacobs said. "No different than any other essential business, farmers have been following the guidelines of health officials to ensure they can still perform their duties without jeopardizing the health of employees.

“Not only is agriculture the largest economic sector in our region, but our farmers are directly responsible for ensuring abundant healthy food remains on our tables. It has been my priority to stay directly in contact with those vital to this industry and learn what they need so that when I take office I can get right to work helping them through this crisis.

"I am deeply encouraged by everything Congress and President Trump has done to assist our farmers by passing the CARES Act, and I look forward to helping my future colleagues ensure the prosperity of our farmers for future generations.”

The CARES Act, which passed on Friday in the House of Representatives and was subsequently signed by President Trump, provides critical relief to farmers in America. Among that relief is $14 billion for USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation, $9.5 billion in funding for livestock operation programs, $100 million in additional rural broadband grants, and increased deductions for farmers who donate commodities.

March 28, 2020 - 1:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Note Your Worth Music Therapy, video, live stream, business.
Video Sponsor

We're talking with Sarah Hinze, owner of Note Your Worth Music Therapy. We've offered free live stream interviews to local business owners and this is part of that series.

March 27, 2020 - 6:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Blondies Sip-N-Dip, business, batavia.


In December, Andy and Laura Pedro purchased Blondies Sip-N-Dip on East Main Street Road in Batavia. Today, they officially opened for the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

Because of social distancing restrictions, right now, they can't serve walk-in customers but they have opened a walk-up window and they can use that window to service drive-thru customers.

"Not ideal," said Andy, "but we'll make it work."

March 27, 2020 - 2:22pm

Press release:

More than 80,500 initial Unemployment Insurance claims were filed last week, and overall claims increased by more than 520 percent over the past year, according to statistics released Thursday (March 26) by the New York State Department of Labor.

The claims data for New York State for the week ending March 21 --  the first week in which claims were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic -- show an increase by a minimum of 284 percent in each of New York’s 10 labor market regions.

Additional information about New York State’s UI claims, including regional and industry, will be forthcoming.

From Monday, March 16 to Saturday, March 21, the New York State Department of Labor received more than 1,734,100 total calls and over 2,270,300 web hits.

DOL has taken a number of steps to address this unprecedented increase in call volume and web traffic, including implementing a new, more efficient filing system based on the first letter of the applicant's last name (alphabetical order):

A  - F : Monday
G – N : Tuesday
O – Z : Wednesday
Missed your day: Thursday through Saturday

The New York State Department of Labor is dedicated to ensuring that every New Yorker who is entitled to UI benefits will receive all benefits due. New Yorkers seeking to file UI claims can visit labor.ny.gov or call the Telephone Claim Center at 1-888-783-1370.

March 25, 2020 - 3:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, NY Main Street Grant Program, BID, dri.

Press release:

The City of Batavia announced that applications for a $300,000 New York Main Street Grant Program that is available to all building owners within the Batavia Improvement District (BID) and Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) area will be extended until 4:30 p.m. April 10, 2020.

In light of recent events, mandates and changes to all of our routines, the City of Batavia will extend the due date of these grant fund applications to the close of business -- 4:30 p.m. -- on April 10th, 2020.

The City of Batavia encourages all residents to stay safe in these unprecedented times and continue to support your local businesses in any way possible. Our local businesses need our community support now, more than ever.

Guidelines and the applications can be found on the BDC website.

If you have any questions please contact Andrew Maguire by email at:   [email protected]

March 24, 2020 - 12:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in National Ag Day, business, agriculture, farmers, pandemic.

Press release:

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement today (March 24) regarding National Agriculture Day and President Donald J. Trump’s Proclamation recognizing the importance of America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers:

“Our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers in America are feeding and clothing the world," Secretary Perdue said. "Now more than ever it’s important that the American people not forget that. Our farmers are resilient, and during these uncertain times they are still working, day in and day out, to produce what’s needed for our growing population.

"Today, on National Ag Day, I challenge the American public to keep our farmers, ranchers and producers on their minds – for all their work to provide us a safe, healthy and abundant food supply. We owe them a debt of gratitude.”

View U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue's brief speech about today:

March 23, 2020 - 5:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, restaurants, The Great American Takeout.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is encouraging area residents to take the night off from cooking on Tuesday, March 24th and order takeout!

A national coalition of restaurants has organized “The Great American Takeout” on Tuesday, March 24, asking Americans to order at least one delivery or pickup meal on Tuesday to show support for the restaurant industry.

Many of our favorite restaurants are still working hard to keep us fed and the only way to support these struggling businesses is to order takeout or delivery.  

Staying home doesn't mean you have to miss out on "Taco Tuesday" or your favorite weekly specials; order takeout, delivery or curbside pickup and be part of something bigger: #TheGreatAmericanTakeout

There are great breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert options on this list, so be sure to show your support all day!


Editor's Note: Click here for The Batavian's list of local restaurants that offer takeout and/or delivery.

March 23, 2020 - 5:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Tops Friendly Markets, jobs, employment, batavia, Le Roy.

Press release:

While the current situation hasn’t been easy on anyone, if you find yourself or someone you know looking for a job, Tops Friendly Markets is hiring for temporary and permanent positions and they welcome your application.

Stop by any one of Tops' 162 stores, their warehouse in Lancaster, NY, or visit here online to learn more.

March 23, 2020 - 3:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, covid-19, Genesee Lumber, construction.

Press release:

Customers of Genesee Lumber Company are asked to call ahead to place their orders for pickup, in response to the CDC recommendations for social distancing. Employees at Genesee Lumber will prepare customer orders and place them in the designated pickup areas outside of the building.

As of today (March 23), this policy will remain in effect until March 31st, but this could change as the pandemic continues to grow. Genesee Lumber can be reached at (585) 343-0777 from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 7 a.m. -1 p.m. on Saturdays. Closed Sundays.

Genesee Lumber will also continue job-site deliveries, but asks that you do not assist our drivers in unloading.

“We have taken all precautions to meet the government recommendations for social distancing and have our staff following all of the guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus,” said John Harrower, owner of Genesee Lumber.

Genesee Lumber is a building materials supplier on Franklin Street in Batavia that has been in business since 1928. For more up-to-date information you can visit www.geneseelumber.com.

March 20, 2020 - 6:08pm

Press release:

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he is signing the "New York State on PAUSE" executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone.

It includes a new directive that all nonessential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.

Guidance on essential services under the executive order is as follows:

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIES, including any for profit or nonprofit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction.

(Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health).

This guidance is issued by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a Empire State Development and applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business and steps to request such designation. With respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and nonessential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the restrictions. 

For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, "Essential Business," means:

1. Essential Health Care Operations, including:

  • research and laboratory services
  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides for the elderly
  • doctor and emergency dental
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers

2. Essential Infrastructure, including:

  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • airports/airlines
  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
  • hotels, and places of accommodation

3. Essential Manufacturing, including:

  • food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • sanitary products
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • agriculture/farms
  • household paper products

4. Essential Retail, including:

  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer's markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores

5. Essential Services, including:

  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • animal shelters

6. News Media

7. Financial Institutions, including:

  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting
  • services related to financial markets

8. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, including:

  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support.

9. Construction, including:

  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers 
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes

10. Defense

  • defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the U.S. government.

11. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, including:

  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection

12. Vendors that Provide Essential Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:

  • logistics
  • technology support for online services
  • child care programs and services
  • government owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services

If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.

Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained. 

Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet.

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should only be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.

To request designation as an essential business, please click here (PDF).

Restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business:

  • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business.
  • Businesses ordered to close on Monday, March 15, 2020 under the restrictions on any gathering with 50 or more participants, including but not limited to, bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, casinos, auditoriums, concerts, conferences, worship services, sporting events, and physical fitness centers, are presumed to be compliant with NYS issued restrictions and must remain closed and are not eligible for designation as an essential business for purposes of this guidance.

For Guidance on cleaning and disinfection of facilities, refer to the New York State Department of Health Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19 here (PDF). 

For further information: New York State Department of Health's COVID-19 webpage.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention webpage.

Local health department contact information can be found here.

March 20, 2020 - 5:34pm
Video Sponsor

Press release:

In an effort to assist current business customers with unexpected financial burdens faced during the current COVID-19 crisis, and on the heels of its recently announced relief for consumer loan customers, Tompkins Financial has implemented a loan assistance program for its eligible commercial clients.

Tompkins’ new Loan Assistance Program provides up to 60 days of deferment for all commercial loans.

“We understand that companies, including our small business customers, are the backbone of the U.S. economy and that they need our support during this critical time more than ever,” said Stephen Romaine, president and CEO. “As a community bank, it is our duty to assist businesses in the best way we can, which includes taking a market-leading position on loan deferment that we hope will inspire others to do the same during this time of unexpected hardship.”

Tompkins announced late Wednesday that it would provide this program as well as loan relief options to retail customers, preceding New York State’s announcement Thursday. Loan customers who are experiencing challenges with loan repayment should contact their banker via phone or email immediately, or reach out to Tompkins’ Customer Care Center at 1-888-300-0110 to review options that may be available to them. 

About Tompkins Financial Corporation

It is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Ithaca, NY, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Tompkins VIST Bank, Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors. For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit online.

March 20, 2020 - 2:28pm

From the U.S. Small Business Administration:

Given the trying times we’re dealing we wanted to give you some updates you can pass along to your businesses. The first question businesses should be asking is of their current bankers and landlords. Are they able to defer payments for a few months? On current SBA Loans banks do have the authority to provide a deferment. Given the situation, we hope that landlords and other lenders would provide deferment as well.

Next, New York State has been approved and declared a State eligible for C for the novel coronavirus. Businesses can apply for these loans at: www.sba.gov/disaster

Disaster Loan Fact Sheet

It is a good idea for folks to have 3 years of tax returns, P&L from last year, Balance Sheet, Monthly Cash Flow and a listing of their liabilities (Mortgages, loans, etc.) together before applying. These loans do not replace lost sales but can cover fixed costs such as rent, utilities and payroll (if keeping employees).

I am doing a webinar with the Better Business Bureau and Lynn Oswald from our NCCC SBDC on Wednesday, March 25th from noon to 1 p.m. Please join us from the webinar as we’ll explain more about the Disaster Loan program and give other tips and resources for business survival in this trying time. Link to register.

Our Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Mentors and Women’s Business Center are operating during this time. Most are doing appointments via phone or web conference, but are available for businesses who have questions.

Please let me know if you need anything or have any further questions.

Best regards,

Greg Lindberg

Small Business Administration

March 20, 2020 - 11:15am

Statement from Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association:

“We are happy to announce that all New York small businesses, including restaurants, are now eligible for low-interest loans through the federal Small Business Administration.

"Up until (now), New York businesses were unable to apply for these much needed loans due to communities not being listed as 'disaster areas.' Through continued conversations with Empire State Development and representatives from the federal SBA program, we’ve conveyed how serious the situation is for New York restaurants.

"Many have already shut their doors and will not be able to reopen. While this is a great first step, we need to find additional ways to save the restaurant industry. When this pandemic is over, going out for a nice meal will help us all feel normal again. But some restaurants simply won’t make it.”

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: “We can’t thank Governor Cuomo and state officials enough for forgiving interest and penalties on late sales tax payments," Fleishut said. "For some restaurants, this little bit of breathing room could mean the difference between paying employees and shutting their doors forever. That being said, this relief is temporary, and we’ll continue to advocate for additional ways to help restaurants survive during this crisis.”

March 19, 2020 - 5:39pm

From the New York State Workers Compensation Board:

New legislation signed by the governor provides a combination of benefits for eligible employees who are subject to an order of mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19.

These benefits vary depending on the size and annual income of the employer.

  • Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and employees may use Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine. These benefits may provide wage replacement up to a maximum combined total of $2,884.62 per week.
  • Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least five days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine order, and employees may use Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine. These benefits may provide wage replacement up to a maximum combined total of $2,884.62 per week.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers, will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.

Leave for Quarantine/Isolation of Employee’s Child

The legislation also provides Paid Family Leave for working parents whose minor dependent child is subject to an order of mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation. In addition to job protection, eligible employees may receive up to a maximum benefit of $840.70 per week for the duration of the quarantine.

Note: These benefits are not available to employees who are able to work through remote access or other means.

The provisions of the quarantine legislation take effect immediately, ensuring that New York workers will be able to take advantage of these benefits.


For more information, visit ny.gov/COVIDpaidsickleave or call the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline at (888) 364-3065.

For more information or to apply for disability benefits and/or Paid Family Leave, visit PaidFamilyLeave.ny.gov/COVID19 or call the Paid Family Leave Helpline at (844) 337-6303.

March 19, 2020 - 5:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, H-2A, H-2B, labor certification, covid-19.

Press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today (March 19) announced a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to help facilitate the identification of foreign and domestic workers that may be available and eligible to transfer to other U.S. agricultural sector employers to fulfill critical workforce needs within the United States under existing regulatory authority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ensuring minimal disruption for our agricultural workforce during these uncertain times is a top priority for this administration,” Secretary Perdue said. “President Trump knows that these workers are critical to maintaining our food supply and our farmers and ranchers are counting on their ability to work. We will continue to work to make sure our supply chain is impacted as minimally as possible.”

“American farmers and ranchers are at the frontlines of maintaining the nation’s food supply,” Secretary Scalia said. “In these unprecedented times, it is critical for them to have the workforce they need. This new partnership between USDA and DOL will help support our farmers, ranchers, and American families.”


USDA and DOL have identified nearly 20,000 H-2A and H-2B certified positions that have expiring contracts in the coming weeks. There will be workers leaving these positions who could be available to transfer to a different employer’s labor certification. The data, available on www.farmers.gov/manage/h2a, includes the number of certified worker positions, the current employer name and contact, attorney/agent name and contact, and the worksite address

This information will be a resource to H-2A employers whose workforce has been delayed because of travel restrictions or visa processing limitations. Employers should be aware that all statutory and regulatory requirements continue to apply. Employers are encouraged to monitor www.travel.state.gov for the latest information and should monitor the relevant Embassy/Consular websites for specific operational information.

March 19, 2020 - 1:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in Banking, business, KeyBank, coronavirus.

Press release:

CLEVELAND – March 19 -- KeyBank today announced additional steps it will take across its network to support clients and help protect our teammates and our communities from the spread of coronavirus.

Starting today all KeyBank branches will move to serving clients by drive-thru or in its lobbies by appointment only.

This move will allow KeyBank to continue to offer full-service to its clients while also instituting appropriate social-distancing guidelines as recommended by local, state, and federal health authorities.

KeyBank today also said that for those clients who are unfortunately experiencing a hardship, there are specific programs and resources for them. Clients may be eligible for a forbearance or extension, waived fees (late or overdraft) or waived penalties for early CD withdrawal.

Also, KeyBank’s Borrower Assistance program is available for clients with certain loans with KeyBank. More information about these programs are available here.

In addition, next week, KeyBank will launch a resource for qualifying existing clients designed to provide a sense of security – a shorter-term unsecured personal loan. KeyBank’s new Temporary Assistance Loan will be designed to feature same day approval, next-day funding, with very low rates. Full details on this new loan will be available next week.

Changes to Branch Operations

For clients who need basic services, such as withdrawals, deposits, payments, and other transactions, all KeyBank drive-thrus will remain open. ATMs will also be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Clients needing additional services requiring an in-person meeting with a banker, such as loan applications, will be able to meet at a KeyBank branch by calling and making an appointment. Clients can also book an appointment online through individual branch page here.

For information on branch locations, contact information, and drive-thru availability, clients are asked to log on to Key.com and use the branch locator to find their nearest location. KeyBank clients are also always able to access their accounts and perform transactions through online banking at Key.com, digital banking on the KeyBank app, and by calling 1-800-Key2You.

Statement from KeyBank

KeyBank has made the decision to further help reduce the risk our communities face from the spread of coronavirus. These steps include moving all KeyBank branches to drive-thru and appointment only service.

Our primary focus is protecting our clients, employees, and communities, and this decision was not made lightly. These changes will be in place indefinitely. However we will review our branch operations on a regular basis and adjust our plan accordingly. We will continue to follow the advice of the CDC, state, and local authorities for best health practices in our branches and offices.

We ask our clients to check to see which branches have drive-thrus and which are accepting in- person appointments by heading online to key.com, or by calling their branch ahead of time. KeyBank will continue to support our clients through all our channels, including our online and mobile banking, and the ability to use any KeyBank ATM.

For up-to-date information regarding how KeyBank is protecting clients and their finances, as well as programs and assistance for clients facing economic hardship, please log on to: key.com/coronavirus.


KeyBank's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyCorp is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $145 billion at Dec. 31, 2019. It is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) member.

Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of over 1,100 branches and more than 1,400 ATMs.

Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit online: KeyBank.

March 19, 2020 - 12:36pm

Press release:

In an effort to assist current customers with unexpected financial burdens faced during the current coronavirus crisis, Tompkins Bank of Castile has implemented a temporary loan assistance program for our customers.

Our new Loan Assistance Program offers two-month loan payment deferment for various loan types, including consumer and commercial loans and mortgages.

“Our commitment to our customers and community continues to be the driving force for all we do,” said John McKenna, president and CEO. “As a community bank, it is our duty to assist our customers when facing unexpected hardship. We’re grateful to be able to support our customers in any way we can.”

Customers who would like to participate in the program will need to contact their banker via phone or email immediately, or reach out to Tompkins Customer Care Center at 1-877-243-8030 to review options that may be available to them. Please visit our website for more information.

March 19, 2020 - 12:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Tompkins Bank of Castile, coronavirus.

Press release:

In support of NY State’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Tompkins Bank of Castile is transitioning to serving customers by drive-up or appointment only as of today, March 19. To make an appointment, customers may call their preferred branch or the Tompkins Bank of Castile Care Center at 1-877-243-8030.

Mobile and Online banking remain available 24/7 for many banking needs, including depositing checks, paying bills, and more. Other service options include:   

  • Full service 24 hour ATMs
  • Night drop depositories (available at most branches) 

Customers should be aware that the Gainesville Branch will be closing, and the Amherst branch will be by appointment only. Customers who normally bank at the Gainesville Branch are encouraged to schedule appointments at the Warsaw and Castile offices. 

“We are committed to implementing every measure possible to take great care of our employees and our customers, while providing uninterrupted access to your funds,” said John McKenna, president and CEO of Tompkins Bank of Castile.

“We understand the challenges that we all will be facing in the coming weeks, but we want to assure all of our customers that your Tompkins family is here for you. Through the power of our community, our employees, and our customers – we can get through this together.”

The company continues to monitor the coronavirus situation closely, and is following the guidance of relevant authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and various state and local government entities. As such, all functions that can be accomplished outside of a physical branch or office location have been moved to a remote environment.

For the most current information on the actions Tompkins Bank of Castile is taking, please visit their website.

Tompkins Insurance Agencies customers are encouraged to call TIA’s Customer Care Center at 1-888-261-2688. 

Tompkins Financial Advisors clients are encouraged to contact their advisor directly, or call 1-800-275-4003.



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