Important Update: Grant Opportunity - Applications Available NOW
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is launching the “Save Small Business Fund” for certain zip codes across the country. Small businesses that employ between 3 and 20 people and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for the $5,000 grant.
The application will go live on April 20, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. PT and will only take a few minutes to complete. All you will need is your business’s W-9 form. Grants will be awarded on a weekly basis, but you only need to apply one time to be eligible for funding.
For more information about this opportunity, visit the page linked below. On this page, there is also the option to sign up to receive an email notification when the application goes live!
The current state of the nation’s economy has taken a major impact during the COVID-19 era and current small businesses have suffered greatly. If you had plans on starting a new business you may feel that the timing is not right and possibly surrender any idea you may have of being an entrepreneur. Though many sectors of the economy have seen a downturn, startups can gain a new foothold during this time.
Startups are exciting! Entrepreneurs can provide creative ways to provide new experiences to consumers. If you’re serious about starting a company, now is the perfect time to get yourself setup for success. I provided answers to frequently asked questions. I enjoy working with small businesses and I want to help Alamance County businesses and startups and I’m willing to listen to any of your questions or concerns.
Now that the PPP is out of funds, what's next? Another wave of legislation at the Federal level seems inevitable, but in the meantime there are more programs from the CARES Act they may be of interest to business, especially those with loans they would like to refinance.
Check out the document below for the Treasury Department's guide on the Exchange Stabilization Fund and pay particular attention to the Main Street Lending portion of the guide.
As always, reach out if you have questions or need guidance.
For many businesses, you are scouring the internet for all of the available resources you can access to help you get through this pandemic. Most of the media and business attention has been focused on the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the SBA - and the frustrations in applying, getting an SBA lender and getting cash out of these programs.
This post will examine some of the tax credits that are unlocked in the the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES act created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19.
The analysis inserted below is from the US Chamber of Commerce . Continue reading this blog post below the insert for eligibility requirements and guidance on the program.
Small businesses reeling from the coronavirus pandemic have been thrown a lifeline through the Congress and the $2.2 Trillion Cares Act, a combination of loans, grants and tax policy changes designed to keep businesses afloat and capitalized until the world and economy returns to normalcy.
The Small Business Administration has made available Economic Injury Disaster Loans as a recurring source of loan funds during natural disasters and now again during this public health crisis. The Federal Government has also passed the $2.2 Trillion Cares Act and has placed additional assistance for small businesses as one of it's top priorities.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million. Additionally, small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. 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.
Through the CARES Act, a new resource is available to American businesses called the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 Billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone. These loans are forgivable after certain criteria have been met and the application for this program opens today, April 3! However, many lending institutions have remarked that their processes for taking in these applications will likely be delayed to next week.
Below you will see a document outlining the differences between the two programs that may help you decide if you should apply for one or both loan funds. Click here for a link to the full list of resources offered by the SBA.
A word of advice, businesses are allowed to double dip into both the EIDL and PPP, but PPP is much more restrictive on it’s uses, so when applying, use it for payroll and use the EIDL for other bills like utilities and rent.
If you were looking for an infographic to help understand the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program, take a look at what local agency Ethos Creative Group put together for Alamance Strong!
Here's the US Treasury Department's Homepage on PPP
As our country grapples with the threat of a pandemic and as we adjust to the challenges this new threat poses, it is important to plan for the new challenges and vulnerabilities that any such adjustments will necessarily create.
Congress has passed—and the President has signed—an unprecedented relief package to help businesses keep a connection to their employees and to help all Americans keep the bills paid, but such problems will hardly be the last ones that this virus causes. And with the wholesale pivot of the workforce to remote work that does not appear set to let up until the summertime, there is no more timely concern to raise among local businesses than cybersecurity.
The United States government has been proactive in their response to the increased threat of foreign actors seeking to use this crisis as an opportunity to divide and frighten Americans. But the government cannot be the only—or even primary—group taking action to safeguard against cyber-attacks. To that end, businesses should first know the threats that they face. Criminal elements and nation states both will be specifically targeting private American businesses in this crisis. In fact, we already have a model for foreign countries’ behavior, as we discovered last summer when the United States Department of Treasury announced that North Korea had stolen over $2 billion from American companies to finance their WMD and illicit missile programs.
We’ve all seen the headlines about Congress approving a multi-phase emergency stimulus to help businesses harmed by COVID-19. But what about private companies, institutions and non-profits? What type of business funding assistance is being offered by big companies and organizations to further assist in our rebound?
Facebook and Google are giants of Silicon Valley and are stepping up to provide other with resiliency grants, loans, and ad credits during these trying times. Below is a brief summary of their programs. Check back with this post for updates in the coming weeks about how these and other programs are developing!
It's All About Community. Although our daily lives have changed and travel and exploration of our area has all but ceased at this time, the Alamance County Visitors Bureau continues to share the efforts of our partners and highlight their businesses. Whether it's dining, retail or the opportunity to get outdoors and explore our own "backyard", we are charged with sharing the message that our partners are here and need the support of our community now more than ever.
North Carolina is one of the top ten most visited states in the country and we play an important role in that result. Our partners are proud to call Alamance County home and they are the reason we continue to grow as a place to visit. Our downtowns have seen tremendous growth and people have noticed. We do not want to lose that momentum.
We continue to share their stories. We are adding new campaigns to our social platforms that will provide for further engagement. If you are missing your favorite local spot - this campaign will be for you! In addition, changes have been made to some of our upcoming advertising schedules since travel has been halted for the majority. With so many of our retailers getting creative on how to continue to stay relevant and keep their business "open", virtual shopping and a variety of classes are now available.
One of our upcoming on-air marketing messages include:
"While it might be a little while before you’re able to get out and explore the area, we'll be here to help you celebrate when things feel normal again. We look forward to sharing our musical experiences, exploring our downtown shops and dining together."
Our website offers several partner resources and we will continue to update this list. Dining establishments offering curbside or takeout service, are available here.
This is a time to inspire our residents and our followers.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is an unprecedented event causing significant disruptions and impacts to life across all sectors. The disruption to our local economy will be temporary. The City of Graham has created the COVID-19 information page on the city's website (cityofgraham.com/covid-19/) with resources to help lessen the pandemic's effects on Graham's business community and their employees. City officials will continue to update the content as more information on funding, technical assistance, and other resources become available.
Leos Creative along and other downtown Graham business owners have created an app connecting consumers and business owners. The app is a tool to provide consumers an alternative way to shop while social distancing is in place. The app provides business owners the opportunity to post information. The post can range from daily specials to new arrivals. To access the app https://lovegraham.glideapp.io/
Mayor Jerry Peterman has issued a Proclamation ordering all individuals living within the City of Graham to “stay at home” effective at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020. His decision for his Proclamation is a result of various conversations with state and local public health officials, leaders from local hospitals, and mayors and municipal managers advising local leaders to reinforce safety measures for their residents. The Proclamation is valid through Thursday, April 16, 2020 and will be regularly reviewed and evaluated and may be revised, amended, or extended accordingly, based upon existing evidence and recommendations by the Public Health Director and Alamance Emergency Management.
Further updates on Graham's response can be found at: cityofgraham.com/covid-19
United Way of Alamance County has been working diligently these past few weeks given the impact COVID-19 is having on our community and partners. #Help4Alamance is a fund that has been established to help Alamance County neighbors during this public health crisis. As a part of the Alamance County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), we, along with many community partners, have been meeting to focus on the changes that Alamance County is facing based on this crisis.
Housing insecurity, childcare and food access have been priorities during this time of uncertainty. Staff have been serving on the housing insecurity task force of the EOC and been able to coordinate meals for those staying in hotels awaiting COVID-19 test results. Currently, shelters in the county are taking precautions to lessen the possibility of the spread of COVID-19 in their residents.
Food pantries have been serving record numbers throughout the county. United Way is assisting in finding access to fresh foods and shelf-stable items for these pantries. ABSS has recently launched feeding sites and bus route deliveries for breakfast and lunch. United Way is also playing a crucial role in obtaining supplies for childcare centers such as hand sanitizer, baby wipes and toilet paper. We aided in coordinating childcare for county government workers that are considered mission critical and must report to work during this time.
If you are interested in donating or volunteering, please click here. Your donation will be used based on the greatest needs. We expect these needs to change in the days and weeks ahead and will be meeting regularly with community partners to assess these needs. If we all work together, we will lessen the severity of the COVID-19 impact on Alamance County.
Dollar for dollar, your donation to #Help4Alamance will be matched up to $25,000! https://app.mobilecause.com/e/I7Eq1w?vid=6ebk9
If you are in need of NC COVID-19 resources and assistance, dial 211 or (888) 892- 1162. This free line operates 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. If you would like text message updates, text COVID-19 to 898211 to receive general information and updates.
NPR's Kelsey Snell has assembled an excellent article summarizing the federal CARES Act legislation that is designed to help business and individuals recover and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The article takes you step-by-step through the legislation as approved: Coronavirus Legislation Details.
Some other excellent web resources summarizing the CARES act include:
International Economic Development Corporation
National Law Review
Please share your favorites with us!
As the leading Business Organization in Alamance County the Alamance Chamber recognizes the extreme circumstances under which our businesses are working during COVID-19. The Chamber is here to serve as a hub for businesses looking for resources and information. We’ve gathered resources for businesses to reference as you make plans for your business. These resources can be found at on the COVID-19 Resource Page on our website.
The Coronavirus outbreak is prompting necessary public safety measures that impact the workforce and economy. It’s time to work together to minimize the spread of the virus and protect our employees, clients, and the community to the greatest extent possible all while supporting local businesses. Supporting local businesses is important as the Alamance County Community navigates through this uncertain time. There are several ways that you can support local businesses including following local businesses on Social Media, sharing their post and generating traffic to their websites, shop small/shop local online or over the telephone, order take-out from local restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries, buy gift cards now and plan to use them later, maintain subscriptions to health clubs, and ask our small businesses how you can help them.
In addition to providing resources on our website, the Chamber is hosting regular “All Business Briefing” calls to provide access to resources and information. To see all upcoming calls visit our Events Calendar. Registration is not required. We encourage all businesses have a representative participate in these calls.
We will notify you as decisions and policies are announced for businesses and the economy. We encourage businesses to follow us on Facebook.
It is more important than ever that we work together to support local businesses. The Alamance Chamber is here to be a partner with your business.
Chamber Website: http://www.alamancechamber.com/
To all of our #AlamanceStrong Businesses: Thank you for helping the public health community’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic! We are encouraging companies that are producing or have pivoted to producing needed items to do the following:
Want to make sure that others in the state know what you manufacture? Register on https://www.manufacturednc.com/. This site has existed for some time and is where we are directing individual hospitals and care providers who reach out to us seeking specific resources and items.
Are you a manufacturer willing to help with production of finished PPE or materials? Is your business able to pivot to manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment? Manufacturers interested in contributing to textile PPE (gowns, masks, gloves, etc.) can contact the Carolina Textile District (CTD) for help in transitioning their production to prototype and producing medical supplies during the COVID-19 crisis. Contact Sara Chester. Carolina Textile District for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 828-674-3141
One of the brightest spots of this Coronavirus outbreak has been the willingness of community leaders, ecosystem builders and small business owners to develop open, web-based systems to keep track of business response in an ever-changing environment. We've been amazed by all of the hard work going on out there throughout Alamance County and Burlington!
Here are the best open-source resources we've identified for residents, businesses and organizations who are looking to support small business or share resources available to the broader community.
*Please note that posting these links to do not equate endorsement of the people, companies or offers found within.
Burlington Restaurant Delivery & Curbside List
Alamance CVB Restaurant Delivery & Curbside List
Alamance Chamber of Commerce Business Updates
Chapel Hill - Carrboro Chamber Google Doc - Frequently Asked Business Questions
Durham Retail Curbside & Delivery
Share with us your favorite crowd or org-sourced lists that are helping drive community action and support in your neighborhood or block!