COVID-19 Update & Chamber Events
In order to stay abreast of the situation and maintain a healthy community and membership, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce will continue to monitor COVID-19 through updates provided by the Cherokee Emergency Management Agency and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).
The DPH encourages you to obtain your information from reliable and accurate sources such as:
Based upon the latest State of Georgia Executive Order pertaining to COVID-19 (signed by Governor Kemp April 2, 2020), links are provided to a Statewide Shelter in Place Handout and the Executive Order.
Georgia Chamber of Commerce Resource Page:
- TheGeorgia Department of Labor has issued several new rules to support employees across our state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Georgia Chamber will continue to work with the Department in their efforts to protect our workforce during this unprecedented time. The new rules alongside expanded user-friendly tools like the new Claims Status Dashboard and the single upload data entry for employers are crucial is this effort. Expanded rules and regulations can also be found on our webpage, www.gachamber.com/covid19.
- The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) will continually solicit and accept feedback on the list of both sectors/sub sectors and identified essential workers and will evolve the list in response to stakeholder feedback. CISA is asking businesses to share feedback on this list so they can provide the most useful guidance to critical infrastructure partners. Feedback can be sent to CISA.CAT@CISA.DHS.GOV.
Economic Injury Relief Overview (Recording Available)
The Georgia Chamber hosted SBA Administrator Ashley D. Bell and Director of Gov. Guaranteed Lending for Synovus Joseph Shuford on March 31st to provide a detailed overview of the economic injury relief programs available to small businesses.
To watch the conference via recording, please click on the link below: VIEW VIDEO HERE.
Special guest speaker, Senior U.S. Senator David Perdue, also delivered a high-level update on the CARES Act signed into law on March 27. His remarks were not included in today’s recording but can be found in the call’s written summary. READ MORE HERE.
US Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Resource Pages: www.uschamber.com/coronavirus
- Coronavirus Digital Toolkit
- Coronavirus Guidance for Employers
- Coronavirus Workplace Tips for Employees
- Coronavirus Resource Hub for Small Businesses
- Coronavirus Local/State Policy Tracker
- Coronavirus Workplace Flyer
Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist
The U.S. Chamber’s Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist serves as a comprehensive step-by-step tool to help small businesses, independent contractors, gig economy workers and other qualifying individuals prepare to file for a coronavirus relief loan under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The guide has been updated to include new information from the U.S. Department of Treasury, and is also available for download in Spanish here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program Guide
As you may know, the CARES Act expanded the Small Business Administration’s long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The EIDL program was created to assist businesses, renters, and homeowners located in regions affected by declared disasters. The program is applicable to small businesses and most small nonprofits (less than 500 employees), sole proprietors and independent contractors. Click here to view our new guide that helps you and your members to check eligibility, understand loan parameters, and find out how to access $10,000 emergency grants.
Employee Retention Tax Credit Guide
The CARES Act also created a new employee retention tax credit—that does not have size restrictions—for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to view our new guide to help businesses check eligibility, calculate their credit, and understand which employees count toward eligibility, among other information.
US Small Business Administration Resource Page:
Kennesaw State Small Business Development Center:
The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Kennesaw State University can answer your questions and help you address any concerns you may have about your business including cash flow, payroll, marketing, the effect of the COVID-19 virus on your business and and help you navigate the process of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The KSU SBDC is part of cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, KSU and UGA so there is no cost to you for their services. To schedule a teleconference appointment with one of their consultants, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 470.578.6450.
Department of Labor Assistance for Employees
Governor Brian Kemp and Labor Commissioner Mark Butler issued a statement regarding the Georgia Department of Labor Assisting Workers during this difficult time. Commissioner Butler is mandating that all employers electrically file a partial claim on behalf of their employees if the current situation has deemed it necessary for you to significantly reduce hours or temporarily lay off workers.
The benefits of partial claim filing:
- Employers retain their workforce – this is not considered a full lay-off
- There is no additional cost to the employer and the UI ratio will not increase due to these lay-offs during the current situation
- Your employees will be able to begin receiving monetary benefits within days of the electronic filing which will assist them with meeting the needs of their families
- Partial claims are temporary – they have a 6 week period (which can be extended under certain circumstances)
- Partial Claims do not count against any full claims you may need to make in the future. Should you end up having to lay off employees, those employees would still be entitled to the full 14 week benefit (the current length of time unemployment benefits are allowed).
Please go to https://dol.georgia.gov/ to begin the process.
SBA Loan Application
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Georgia small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by President Trump and following a request for Georgia from Governor Brian Kemp, SBA disaster assistance is now available to the entire state of Georgia. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Here are a few helpful application notes:
- Applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
- Please note that applicants are applying for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, so they MUST select the Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Option.
- If they select the wrong option, they do not have to re-register but they will need to start the application again.
- The following PDF explains the Three Step Loan Process: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Documents/Three_Step_Process_SBA_Disaster_Loans.pdf.
- Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
- For more information, visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster
US Congressman Barry Loudermilk District Update:
Most all Chamber Member Engagement Events scheduled until April 30th are being cancelled or postponed. Note: Based upon social distancing measures, this time period could be extended.
Please visit the Chamber Calendar of Events for details on webinars and virtual meetings as well as to review what was planned and will be forthcoming in future months.