Business Support Blog During COVID-19

Welcome to the Business Resilience News Timeline

June 3, 2020 

Still, we are safer at home says Phase Two Guidelines Virginia-Forward-Phase-Two-Guidelines 6-2-2020

May 27, 2020  

 

Hot off the Press!

As we move forward, we know you are anxious to reopen your doors. To ensure the safety of our community and to help you navigate the new normal, we have created the Guide to re-opening Business Guide. We have included many of the recommendations developed by the Back to Work Virginia Task Force along with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with many other federal, state, and local resources. The Work Hard. Work Smart. Work Safe. Guide  will act as a living document that we will update during this dynamic and changing times, so please give your local Chamber of Commerce immediate feedback.
Here is the long version link to the Shenandoah Valley Guide to Re-Opening Businesses on issuu. https://issuu.com/h-rchamber/docs/sv_region_work-hard-smart-safe__2020_may_

 

May 11, 2020

Reopening Small Business What Customers Want survey  

New! RECOVERY RESOURCES for Small Business through the Virginia SBDC Network 

Review - Reopen - Recover is a downloadable PDF Checklist to help you asses where you and your business are financially, reviews your re-opening plan and helps you think over your marketing strategy. 

May 4, 2020

The SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.

The new eligibility is made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
  • SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.

At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.

Eligible agricultural businesses may apply for the Loan Advance here.

May 1, 2020

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Small Business Resiliency Grant program received 45 new applications seeking over $225,000 in assistance. Seven second-round grant applicants received between $2500-$4000 each for a total of $26,000 funds awarded.  The total funds distributed since April 10th equals $91,000 distributed to area small business!

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April 17, 2020

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been providing timely reporting and creating easy to follow guides with information on the CARES Act programs.

Small Business Emergency Loans Guide   

NEW:  Guide for Independent Contractors

 

 

April 15, 2020

Using the CARES Act to Support Child Care in Virginia 
Virginia is committed to supporting child care and ensuring essential personnel can work.

How to Apply
● Child care providers that are open, serving essential personnel, and want to apply for the new grant program
should look for information on how to apply at childcareva.com.  Download the CARES Grant Application Form 
● Providers participating in the Child Care Subsidy Program should consult the communications that will be
emailed directly to them and the FAQs available on this PDF. Questions may also be submitted to the
Virginia Department of Social Services at vendor.services@dss.virginia.gov.

April 13, 2020

Tremendous resources to the local community AND the greater area are listed on the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance COVID-19 Business Resources page

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation has established a Historic Sites Emergency Grant Fund to assist partners in the Shenandoah Valley during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This program is intended to provide support for historic sites who are or will be suffering financial hardship due to the interruption of normal operations caused by the Coronavirus public health crisis. Sites must be able to demonstrate their need by showing loss or expected loss due to reduced visitation and revenue. For more information and the application, go to the Historic Sites Emergency Grants Information website

April 10, 2020

Harrisonburg-Rockingham COVID-19 Business Support Taskforce Awards 25 Small Business Grants

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham COVID-19 Business Support Taskforce that formed last month to quickly coordinate support and resources for businesses in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham area in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has awarded $50,000 in grants, funded by the generous donation from F&M Bank, to 20 area small businesses, and another $15,000 to 5 more area businesses with additional financial support from Wells Fargo and Atlantic Union Bank.

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Small Business Resiliency Grant program received 100 applications seeking over $400,000 in assistance. Grant recipients received between $1500-$5000 and represent businesses ranging from restaurants to light manufacturing. In addition to the 25 businesses assisted, the number of jobs potentially impacted and ultimately saved could be over 150.

“We sincerely appreciate the quick and generous support of the bankers who have supported the Business Resiliency Fund. The need, just hearing about the number of applications, is great at this time and this is just one more example of this community stepping up when people are in need” said Aaron Ludwig, owner of Jack Brown’s and Billy Jack’s in Harrisonburg.

Christine McLaughlin, co-owner of Valley Olive Oil & Balsamics in McGaheysville, summed up her appreciation for a grant with “Thanks to some wonderful people keeping an eye out for us. With the Harrisonburg Rockingham Business Support Taskforce’s Small Business Resilience Grant, we will make it through this and be able to stay open for our wonderful customers!  We are so appreciative for the help and everyone who made this grant possible for all the businesses hit hard during this pandemic!”

Businesses located in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County are encouraged to submit applications as they will be reviewed on a rolling basis as additional funding is received. Businesses eligible to apply are those that have been located in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County for at least a year and that have 25 or fewer employees. Funding can be used for managing operational costs like payroll, rent, and similar expenses.

Applicants who weren’t selected are also being encouraged to connect with the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center for guidance and advice in addition to applying for federal assistance.

Make a Donation to the Fund

The Taskforce has partnered with the Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County to accept additional donations for the fund. Gifts may be made online at www.tcfhr.org or by mailing a check to The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg & Rockingham County, P O Box 1068, Harrisonburg, VA 22803. Please note the “Harrisonburg-Rockingham Business Resiliency Fund” on the check.

About The Harrisonburg-Rockingham COVID-19 Business Support Taskforce

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham COVID-19 Business Support Taskforce is an ad-hoc group convened to coordinate resources, information, and support for the business community in response to the nation’s pandemic. Members include representatives from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, the City of Harrisonburg Economic Development, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SVSBDC), Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, Rockingham Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.

Comparison 4-10-2020

April 8, 2020

PBMares has launched a weekly webinar series to help you navigate through this unprecedented disruption.  The webinars will provide you timely insights, resources & recommendations.  As the COVID-19 disruption continues to evolve, their webinars will focus on the most important opportunities available to you and your business.  Our subject matter experts will provide you additional insights into:

  • CARES Act
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • Small Business Administration’s EIDL Program
  • Liquidity & Cash Flow Management
  • Remote Workforce Planning

Please register for the webinar series here: pbmares.com/covid-19-webinar-series 

~~Immerge, A division of McClung Companies has developed a Shop Local page to support local businesses in the Shenandoah Valley!  Submit your retail or service contact information here: www.shoplocalshenvalley.com

The Immergetech Team located in Harrisonburg, VA serving the Shenandoah Valley with Website Design, Digital Marketing and more...

For additional funding opportunities, check our Business Resource Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2020

With $349 Billion in Emergency Small Business Capital Cleared, SBA and Treasury Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute Funds

WASHINGTON – Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin today announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need.

The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.
• The new loan program will be available retroactive from Feb. 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.

Loan Terms & Conditions
• Eligible businesses: All businesses, including non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees, or no greater than the number of employees set by the SBA as the size standard for certain industries
• Maximum loan amount up to $10 million
• Loan forgiveness if proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated business operating expenses in the 8 weeks following the date of loan origination (due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs)
• All loans under this program will have the following identical features:
o Interest rate of 1.0%
o Maturity of 2 years
o First payment deferred for six months
o 100% guarantee by SBA
o No collateral
o No personal guarantees
o No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA

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Click for Virginia SBA Lender Ranking information

Monday, March 30th

The SBA is working to streamline the loan application process.  New guidelines to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan is found here: covid19relief.sba.gov

This is the main SBA page for a review of all the programs:  www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Additionally, there is new information on a $10,000 Loan Advance:
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

The CARES Act Guide  is a downloadable PDF from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship and outlines the latest programs:

Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Small Business Debt Relief Program

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants

Friday, March 27th

What a week!  So much has happened just in the last two days, including the latest legislation. In anticipation of this bill, there is a document from the U. S. Senate Committee that we can share for your reading pleasure over the weekend from Senator Tim Kaine's office via your H-R Chamber: Small Business Owner Guide.

NEW From Rockingham County:  A Business & Organization Status GIS Mapping Tool

As part of the County Coronavirus alert and GIS hub, an application was created to support community business and organizations to assist the efforts of the recently formed Regional COVID-19 Business Support Task force. The following link could be shared with news media, Chamber, SVP, Downtown Renaissance and tourism sites as well in order to facilitate community business and organization operational status.  Organizations can use the “Submit Form” link to add their organization along with operational information. Users can utilize the “Near Me” feature to search for businesses and organizations within their device’s location (either mobile or desktop)

This is an application which could prove valuable for other applications for the County. Thanks to Mark Rathke and his colleague Bradford for creating this tool!For more on Maps, check out: How to Visualize Data for Your Area on data.census.gov: In this brief video tutorial, discover how to visualize the most popular statistics for your area through the data visualization profiles on data.census.gov.

The Valley Strong

Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a movement to help support local businesses today, so they can keep their doors open tomorrow.

Hosted by the Harrisonburg Radio Group with hashtag #TheValley Strong is a directory of local Businesses, Gift Cards and Job announcements, and a direct link to WSVA Radio so you can hear the latest news.

The Shenandoah Valley Partnership has an excellent COVID-19 Response Page with links pertaining to the entire Valley.

GENEDGE logo

 

Public Private Strategies has curated a list of resources that have been made available by advocacy groups, technology companies, and federal, state, and local government agencies to help businesses and their workers maintain their physical and economic health during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

From Wednesday, March 25th: Yes, it already seems like a week ago doesn't it? 

Resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber continues to create, update, and evolve our various resources—including the Live Blog, Coronavirus Response Toolkit, Small Business Guide, Coronavirus Workplace Flyer, and more—to ensure that you and your members have the most up to date information and impactful tools to navigate this pandemic. For additional information and resources please visit the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

Status of Building Officials' offices across the Commonwealth on VBCOA website

Virginia Manufacturer Association VMA COVID-19 Resource Page 

Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation COVID-19 Update Page outlines regulated non-essential businesses that most close

Many businesses are having questions about classification of Employee vs Independent Contractor.  See IRS Revenue Ruling 87-41: The Twenty Factors

FEMA has a page on HOW TO HELP that gives contact information producing COVID-19 related products.  *Contact the SBDC office if you want more detail on the challenges of creating/manufacturing personal protective products, and we'll put you in touch with our International Trade Manager and other subject matter experts.

On Wednesday, April 1st, Renee Haltom, Vice President and Regional Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond spoke to H-R Chamber members and here is how she would like for us to participate. 

Dear Shenandoah Valley small businesses,

Right now it is more important than ever for the Federal Reserve to understand how business leaders are experiencing the economy. Therefore, I’d like to make a special appeal for you to join our monthly survey of business conditions.

By way of background: Each month the Richmond Fed asks business executives in our region to answer a short questionnaire on current business conditions. We have one survey for manufacturing firms and another for non-manufacturing firms. The information we collect helps us understand the current economy in a way that is often more up-to-date and with deeper context than formal data can reveal – so it is a critical contribution to monetary policy, and really is a public service. Individual responses are kept confidential, but the aggregated results are published on our website and are followed widely by the media. The survey includes the ability to add comments – which, again, are kept confidential – and therefore gives you a voice directly to the Federal Reserve.

It is a short (5 minutes) online survey, and we are now including special questions about the effects of the COVID-19 virus. We would be grateful for your participation in this critical time and going forward. If you’re willing to participate, please contact Rich.RegionalSurveyTeam@rich.frb.org or call us at 804-697-8152.

I will add that my role at the Richmond Fed is to meet with business leaders to understand the economy. So I am eager to hear from businesses directly – both in normal times (on issues stemming from growth prospects to labor to prices), but especially now to understand how the virus and associated relief efforts are affecting you. If you have insights to share, please feel free to contact me at any time at renee.haltom@rich.frb.org.

Many thanks, and I hope to see you all virtually or in person soon.
Best regards,

Renee Haltom
Vice President and Regional Executive
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
(804) 697-8401
https://www.richmondfed.org/research/people/haltom
renee.haltom@rich.frb.org

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