This guide is designed to provide specific measures for businesses across multiple categories to safely remain open, or reopen during these dynamic times. We're here to help our business community succeed which in turn helps our community to prosper. Click here to download.
"We're All in This Together" and will remain #ShenCoStrong and #StrongerTogether
Recovery Resources for Small Businesses As businesses begin to look at reopening and/or planning to transition to the 'new normal,' there are a number of factors to consider and decisions to be made. The Virginia SBDC recommends using the process here no matter what stage you are in to determine your next steps. This checklist is meant to help guide you through those important questions as you look to reimagine your business and find success in the post-crisis world. Wherever your business may be currently, we suggest starting at the very beginning of the checklist and working your way through.
SBA recommended Webinars:
Phase 1 calls for:
· Safer at Home (especially if you are vulnerable)
· No social gatherings of more than 10 people
· Continued social distancing
· Continued teleworking
· Face coverings recommended in public
· Easing limits on businesses and faith communities
COVIDCheck, a new online risk-assessment tool to check their symptoms and connect with the appropriate health care resource, including COVID-19 testing. COVIDCheck is a free, web-based, artificial intelligence-powered telehealth tool that can help individuals displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19 self-assess their risk and determine the best next steps, such as self-isolation, seeing a doctor, or seeking emergency care.
Here you can find a list of all COVID-19 Testing Sites in Virginia. You can search by radius or by geographic region.
Here you can find a map of all public wifi hotspots in Virginia. This resource may be helpful to you if you are working remotely or homeschooling as a result of COVID-19..
Employers - Information to share with your Employees:
Virginia Cooperative Extension’s ”Coping with a Money Crunch” webinar will offer residents of the Northern Shenandoah Valley information and tools to help them handle the personal finance stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. People can participate using Zoom from their web browser or by downloading the Zoom app for their tablet or smart phone. They can also call in from either a mobile or landline phone. Click here for more details or to register.
Protecting Your Home - 6 Steps to Take Now When Seeking Mortgage Assistance - Click here
Renter's Guide - 6 Steps to Take When You Can't Afford Rent - Click here
Grants, Loans, Resources for Businesses Affected by Covid-19
Lord Fairfax Health Department Covid 19 Fact Sheets for Businesses:
Virginia Tourism Impact Survey: Virginia Tourism is working closely with the U.S. Travel Association, the Office of the Governor, the Virginia Department of Health, and other state agencies to provide the most up-to-date information to our industry partners, and to take proactive measures to protect the health and safety of our citizens and visitors.
An excellent checklist and tool for business owners provided by the LFSBDC. Download here.
Town of Mount Jackson Disaster Impact Loan The Town of Mount Jackson has initially set aside $130,000 for these loans. Details for the loan are: Maximum loan amount of $10,000 • Interest free loan (0%) • Three-year term • No payments for 120 days after the end of the month loan funds are disbursed to the business, and then every six months thereafter. • Business must have been operational in Mount Jackson or have had a meaningful impact on the citizens of Mount Jackson for at least the previous 6 months • Eligible uses of funds: payroll, utilities, inventory, rent or mortgage Please contact Townmanager@mountjackson.com for questions or to submit your application. The Town plans to disburse funds on an approved application by the end of April.
USDA has taken many immediate actions to assist farmers, ranchers, producers, rural communities, and rural-based businesses and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on these actions, visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus
Virginia 30 Day Fund for Small Businesses: This fund is being launched by technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife Burson. The goal is “to help businesses meet payroll, preserve health-care coverage for workers and avoid layoffs while awaiting the federal aid expected to arrive in about a month”. It will give up to $3,000 to each approved small business in a way that’s quick, easy and free of red tape. Small business owners are asked to fill out a one-page form and submit a brief video highlighting the business and its employees. To qualify, the business must employ three to 30 people, be based in Virginia and operating for at least one year, and owned and operated by a Virginia resident. For more information on the Virginia 30 Day Fund and how to apply, click here.
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
SBA Disaster Loans (EIDL)
The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.
If you would like to have a one-on-one consultation with a business consultant to help answer your questions please click here to register. La SBA ofrece asistencia en caso de desastre a las pequeñas empresas de Virginia afectadas económicamente por el Coronavirus (COVID-19
For assistance with the application contact Christine Kriz at the LFSBDC.
The Shenandoah County Industrial Development Authority is issuing the Shenandoah County Disaster Impact Loan Program ($5,000 loans). The program aims to help small businesses who may be struggling due to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on their day to day operations.
The Shenandoah County Disaster Impact Loan Program will provide interest-free loans on a 3-year term with no payments for 90 days after the funds are distributed to the business. Any business that plans to apply must have been established within Shenandoah County or one of its incorporated towns for at least the past 6 months. The loans can be used for payroll, rent, utilities and inventory. Funds are limited and therefore not all applications may be approved. Click here for more details and to apply
The Coronavirus pandemic has raised several legal questions and concerns. Getting sound legal advice and support at a time like this can go a long way in reducing your stress and protecting your rights. LegalShield lawyers have been working around the clock to provide 4.4 million people and businesses the guidance they need. We are committed to remaining open and available throughout the pandemic to provide legal support. Learn more about how to protect yourself and your legal rights during these uncertain times here.
The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board has received Virginia Rapid Response funding to prevent or minimize the duration of unemployment resulting from COVID-19. The board will award 18 grants of up to $5,000 to regional small business employers eligible to remain open during the COVID-19 emergency.
Grants awards are first come, first served, and will be dispersed to selected businesses on a reimbursement basis once documentation to verify expenses has been submitted. Reimbursement process, timeline, and required documentation will be discussed and finalized during the application process. The grant cannot cover wages of employees experiencing work reductions or layoff. For additional information visit here or, contact Joan Hollen, SVWDB Representative, email@example.com, 540-442-7134.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide to help small businesses and self-employed.
Other Funding Resources
Restaurant Relief Fund- Applications open April 2nd. Created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Through this Fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have demonstrated being financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. These grants will be made on a first-come first-served basis, subject to availability of funds. 100% of the Fund's proceeds will go to providing grants to restaurant workers. This Fund is operated by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, whose mission is to attract, empower and advance today's and tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice workers
If you are a worker who has been totally/partially separated
from your job due to Covid-19, click here to file a claim for unemployment insurance. You can also call 1-866-832-2363, Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM.
All Valley VEC offices are closed at this time but they are able to assist online.
|Paid Sick Leave Update|
On March 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published guidance explaining the Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act). This Act will take effect on April 1, 2020 and applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. To ensure that you are up to date on all guidelines, please see the links below to access the relevant information:
The DOL is expected to be providing additional guidance in the near future.
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce released the COVID-19 Resource Center to provide the latest information on COVID-19. We encourage all members of the chamber community to utilize this resource to ensure your business and employees have the necessary information to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
CDC Guidance & Prevention Protocols for Businesses
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued COVID-19 guidance for businesses and is updating them as new developments occur: Resources for Business & Employers
Virginia’s long-standing Right-to-Work law has fostered a pro-business environment in Virginia that has consistently made us one of the best states for business in the country. Right-to-Work, however, is at risk of being overturned this year. While Governor Ralph Northam has stated he will not sign legislation repealing Right-to-Work, there is an effort to change Virginia’s law. This is an important issue to Virginia’s business community and employees statewide.
The “Virginians for Employee Free Choice” coalition is a statewide advocacy campaign focused on educating voters on the importance of Virginia’s Right-to-Work law while also activating targeted local support to contact key legislators in the Virginia General Assembly. The coalition is broad, encompassing a number of industries and businesses large and small. We encourage our members to engage in this issue and consider joining the coalition also.
Right-to-Work is critical to Virginia’s economy and workforce. Repealing or weakening our law means:
Chamber Joins VAWEST
Read the 2020 General Assembly Report here.
Your Board of Directors is aware of the increased flow of proposed legislation in both the State Senate and House that will impact businesses in Shenandoah County and the Commonwealth in 2020. As such, the Board has approved membership in VA WEST to monitor proposed legislation in order to keep you, our members, informed. In addition, we will monitor legislative releases from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and we plan to send routine legislative and action alerts during the legislative session, beginning in January, to ensure our members have an opportunity to be engaged and give perspective. Read the Legislative Agenda here.