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The original item was published from 4/13/2020 3:54:00 PM to 4/14/2020 3:20:24 PM.

News Flash

Economic Development

Posted on: March 17, 2020

[ARCHIVED] COVID-19 Business Resources

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The Office of Economic Development has compiled a list of resources for businesses in James City County. This list will be updated as new resources are available.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in James City County, please visit the County website.

Input Needed from Business Owners

SCORE is requesting business owners take a quick survey. They will use the results of this survey to better understand business experiences during COVID-19, and will they use this information to create response resources. Please respond by Thursday, April 16.
https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5533763/Coronavirus-Small-Business-Impact-Study-April-2020

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management Private Sector Team published a survey for the private sector to submit issues they are experiencing and offers of assistance to Virginia (donation, in-kind contribution, discounted, or contracted). That survey can be accessed at https://arcg.is/1amrze.

Tourism businesses are invited to take a survey from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
https://www.vatc.org/coronavirus/covid-19-virginia-tourism-industry-survey/

Newsletter Updates

The Office of Economic Development is sending out newsletter updates on a regular basis. You may subscribe online: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/list.aspx?ListID=356.

You may view previously sent messages online: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/list.aspx?PRVMSG=356.

Webinars

There are multiple Small Business Administration webinars on Economic Injury Disaster Loans over the next few days. You must register online to participate. James City County is part of the Richmond District.  https://www.eventbrite.com/o/richmond-district-office-9832468840 

COVID-19: Resources for Our Communities Webinars
Virginia Community Capital is partnering with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Virginia Small Business Development Center Network to host multiple weekly update webinars and office hours, announce new programs and resources and to assist Virginia’s business community. Businesses will have an opportunity to receive updates from state leaders on new resources; receive management, finance and marketing tips; and ask questions regarding programs to support Virginia’s entrepreneurs. This program will run through May 2020.

Webinars are Fridays at noon and on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. You must sign up to participate.
Fridays: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_H-_Gqj0bRl-752bm1TMScA
Tuesdays: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qR28S4pDQDWvdYGuW1DKUg

The Small Business Administration Richmond District Office is offering a webinar on Wednesday, April 15 about financing options for small businesses.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-lender-match-and-other-financing-options-for-your-small-business-tickets-100183557718

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership is offering “International Trade in a COVID-19 World” every Thursday at 2 p.m. through the end of May. Topics will include international business strategies and marketing. You can register online and view recorded webinars.
http://exportvirginia.org/international-trade-in-a-covid-19-world-webinar-series 

Marketing Advice to Combat an Economic Downturn SCORE Webinar: Tuesday, April 28 at 1 p.m.
Please register online: https://www.score.org/event/marketing-advice-combat-economic-downturn

Small Business Resources

Small Business Administration (SBA)
COVID-19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Economic Injury Disaster Loan
A disaster declaration was approved by the SBA for a number of Virginia localities including James City County. The declaration can be viewed online. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/ Businesses can now apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) online. https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ (Link updated March 30.) If a business does not have access to a computer or smartphone, please call SBA at 1‐800‐659‐2955 for assistance.

Payroll Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020. PPP loans will be processed by banks and credit unions and guaranteed by the SBA. The Hampton Road Small Business Development Center (SBDC) recommends approaching the bank where you do business. You can learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the SBA news flash. The Treasury Department has posted a list of FAQ regarding PPP.
SBA: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp
U.S. Department of Treasury: https://home.treasury.gov/cares.
Find a lender: https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find

PPP Scams: The Hampton Roads SBDC notes that many companies are offering to process PPP loans, but this is a scam. The only institutions authorized to participate in this program are banks and credit unions that are approved by the SBA.
Approved lenders: https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/va/richmond/resources/virginia-sbalenders 

Express Bridge Loans
SBA Express Bridge Loans enable small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-express-bridge-loans

Debt Relief
The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.

Under this program:

  • The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-debt-relief

SCORE
SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. SBA.
https://www.score.org/coronavirus

SCORE has compiled tips for small businesses in “What to Do NOW to Save Your Small Business from COVID-19.”  
https://www.score.org/blog/what-to-do-now-save-your-small-business-covid-19

SBDC
The Virginia SBDC has a great resource page on their website.
https://www.virginiasbdc.org/covid/

You may find yourself wondering what loan option is best for your business. Virginia SBDC developed a great overview on their website.
https://www.virginiasbdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Virginia-SBDC-SBA-Loan-Overview.pdf

The Virginia SBDC has a prerecorded webinar giving guidance on how to apply for EIDL on their website.
https://www.virginiasbdc.org/eidl/

The Virginia Small Business Development Center has compiled “Guidance for Specific Business.” There are individual webpages for the following industries:

Hampton Roads SBDC (HRSBDC)
The HRSBDC has guidance on their website.
http://www.hrsbdc.org/preparing-covid-19-virginia-small-businesses/

Hampton Roads Workforce Council / Greater Peninsula Workforce Board  
Resources and information are available on their website.
http://www.vcwhamptonroads.org/corona-virus-update/ 

Rapid Response Funding
Due to the volume of requests to the Rapid Response Grant program received by the Hampton Roads Workforce Council and Greater Peninsula Workforce Board, they will be notifying companies no later than Tuesday, April 14. The original notifications were supposed to come out on Friday, April 10.

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council and Greater Peninsula Workforce Board’s Business Services team is working with employers to assist with their needs. If you are a business owner, employer or human resource representative who is considering work stoppages, layoffs or furloughs, they encourage you to contact their Business Services team. They will get back to you within one business day, or sooner, to discuss information and services that may assist impacted employees, including Unemployment Insurance, tax assistance, layoff aversion strategies, financial planning, remote access career services and more. Please email Steve Cook at scook@vcwhamptonroads.org 

Scams & Fraud

The Small Business Administration encourages business owners to be aware about scams tied to SBA loans and grants.
https://www.yesjamescitycountyva.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3813

The Federal Trade Commission encourages businesses to be familiar with the seven types of scams targeted towards businesses.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2020/03/seven-coronavirus-scams-targeting-your-business

The Federal Trade Commission recommends small businesses be aware of scams and go directly to the Small Business Administration for information about relief programs.
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/small-businesses-where-go-financial-relief-information

More information about scams is available on the JCC website.

Tourism Businesses

The Virginia Tourism Corporation has also compiled a list resources for tourism businesses.
https://www.vatc.org/cv19businessresources/

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association resources and news are available on their website.
https://www.virginiaisforrestaurantlovers.com/covid-19-info/resources-links

The Williamsburg Tourism Council has set up a resource guide for tourism businesses on their website.
https://www.visitwilliamsburg.com/coronavirus

The U.S. Travel Association has news and information for travel businesses on their website.
https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/covid-19-cares-act-relief-resources 

Local Chambers of Commerce and Retail Alliance

The Greater Williamsburg Business Council has a variety of resources on their website.
https://www.williamsburgcc.com/covid-19-sustainability-and-recovery-resource-center 

The Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has a COVID-19 newsletter. It can be viewed on their website.
http://www.virginiapeninsulachamber.com/

Hampton Roads Retail Alliance 
https://retailalliance.com/coronavirus-resources-for-retailers/

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce 
https://www.hrchamber.com/page/-covid_19-business-resource-guide

State Resources

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Businesses are encouraged to join the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Private Sector Portal. This portal provides useful information to businesses in the private sector.
http://bit.ly/VaPrivateSector

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer  Services (VDACS) 
VDACS has established a Coronavirus (COVID-19) website to provide relevant and up-to-date guidance and resources related to agriculture and agribusiness concerns.

Virginia ABC Laws
On April 8, Governor Northam issued an Executive Directive authorizing Virginia ABC to take actions to help alleviate conditions caused by COVID-19. As of Friday April 10, mixed beverage restaurants, limited mixed beverage restaurants, distillers and limited distillers with an agreement with ABC will be able to sell product samples and cocktails to go or for delivery, subject to limitations imposed by Virginia ABC. Additionally, this directive allows ABC to defer license renewal fees for 90 days from original expiration date for licenses expiring in March, April, May and June. These deferrals will allow businesses to continue to operate without concern over choosing between keeping an employee or renewing a license. Previously, ABC laws were modified to allow take out and delivery beer and wine. More information is available online: https://www.abc.virginia.gov/covid-19.

From the Governor of Virginia
Latest information:     https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus-updates

The Governor’s Office has compiled a useful list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Executive Order Fifty-Three.

The Governor’s Office has compiled a list of business FAQs about Virginia’s Statewide Stay At Home Order.

If you have business-related questions for the Commonwealth of Virginia, please send an email to business@virginia.gov.

Support for Impacted Employers

  • Regional workforce teams will be activated to support employers that slow or cease operations. Employers who do slow or cease operations will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.
  • The Governor authorized Rapid Response funding through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act for employers eligible to remain open during this emergency. Funds may be used to clean facilities and support emergency needs.
  • Governor Northam is directing all employers to follow U.S. Department of Labor guidance on workplace safety. https://bit.ly/39Zub3c

Utilities
The State Corporate Commission is extending a suspension on utility service disconnections it ordered on March 16, 2020 by 30 days. The order prohibited disconnections of electricity, gas, water and sewer utility services during the coronavirus public health emergency. The SCC order extends the ban on service disconnections through June 14, 2020. It was originally May 15. This provides immediate relief for any customer, residential and business, who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
https://www.scc.virginia.gov/newsrel/r_extnodisconnect_20.aspx

The Virginia Department of Taxation has information online for businesses: https://www.tax.virginia.gov/news/coronavirus-updates.

Federal Resources

CARES Act Summary
To view a summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, please click here. The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship created this document.

The Treasury Department has compiled information on their website about the CARES Act.
https://home.treasury.gov/cares 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from April 1 through December 31, 2020. More information is available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/disaster-assistance-and-emergency-relief-for-individuals-and-businesses

The IRS has compiled relevant tax relief information on their website.
https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

The IRS is offering an Employee Retention Credit as part of the CARES Act. Information is available on their website and includes other FAQs.
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-employee-retention-credit-under-the-cares-act

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA has a variety of resources on their website for workplaces and they also have a publication, "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" (PDF).

Center for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has issued COVID-19 guidance for businesses:

Other Resources

VA 30 Day Fund
A new forgivable loan program is available through the non-profit organization, VA 30 Day Fund. This fund is open to small businesses with three to 30 employees. Loan amounts do not exceed $3,000.
https://va30dayfund.com/

Port of Virginia
Information about the Port of Virginia is available on their website.
http://www.portofvirginia.com/

The Better Business Bureau has compiled information for businesses.
https://www.bbb.org/council/coronavirus/

Virginia Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resources
https://www.vachamber.com/covid-19/

U.S. Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resources
https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus

They have also put together a guide and checklist on their website.

William & Mary - Raymond A. Mason School of Business
Need support services during COVID-19? Ask the experts! MBA students at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary are offering small business crisis services. A team of students backed by faculty and volunteers is offering support to locally owned small businesses (more than one and less than 100 employees) for free.They are offering services on a first-come, first-served rolling basis. Send an email to wmmbacrisisservices@gmail.com.

Assistance with E-Commerce
Do you need e-commerce assistance? Check out https://offline2on.com/ for resources on how to quickly pivot your business model to online. Many resources are free at this time. Offline2On.com is a community-led, cross-platform initiative to support businesses in ramping up their e-commerce efforts in the wake of COVID-19 by connecting merchants with the resources, developers, platforms and partners they need to take action. The initiative brings together nearly 1,000 technologists, designers, writers, marketers, PR professionals, as well as industry leaders from all over the world in the e-commerce space, working with platforms such as BigCommerce, Magento and Shopify.

Last update April 13, 3:20 p.m.

Contact Information
James City County Office of Economic Development
757-253-6607; yesjcc@jamescitycountyva.gov

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