COVID-19 Resource Page
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:
COVID-19 Testing Sites:
Effective immediately, testing is available to all Georgians who request it, whether they have symptoms or not.
Individuals wanting to be tested can contact any Georgia public health department to schedule an appointment at a SPOC location convenient to them. Contact information for local health departments can be found on the DPH homepage at https://dph.georgia.gov/.
Contact the North Georgia Public Health District 1-2 hotline.
▪ Direct Patient Line (888-881-1474)
▪ The Direct Patient Line Is available Monday through Friday (8:30am-5:00pm) and Saturday (8:30am-12:00pm).
Download the Augusta Health App on your smartphone.
If you do not have a smartphone, you can call the Augusta University hotline at 706-721-1852.
Each CVS site offer self-swab tests to people who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. You must also register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment.
3785 Sixes Road, Canton
6120 Hickory Flat Highway, Canton
State of Georgia COVID-19 Hotline: 844-442-2681
If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.
Current State of Georgia Executive Order pertaining to COVID-19.
Governor Kemp’s Statewide Executive Order: Guidelines for Businesses
Georgia’s Shelter in Place Order has been extended for medically fragile and elderly Georgians until July 31st.
7-15 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
6-29 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
6-29 Executive Order: Renewal of Public Health State of Emergency
6-11 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance and Empowering a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
5-28 Executive Order: Renewing the Public Health State of Emergency issued on March 14 and renewed on April 8 and April 30 to assist with the state’s response to COVID-19
5-28 Executive Order: Providing ongoing guidance for reviving a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
5-12 Executive Order: Providing additional guidance for reviving a healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19
5-12 Executive Order: Regarding the Department of Driver Services and on-the-road driving exams
4-30 Executive Order: Renewing the Public Health State of Emergency
Cherokee Office of Economic Development
Covid-19 Business Resource Page:
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce continues to provide relevant information and resources:
- 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.
Re-opening Guidance Flyer – complete with executive order minimum basic operations and tips for keeping your workers and customers healthy.
Resiliency & Recovery Task Force – WSB’s coverage of this initiative led by the Georgia Chamber and in concert with 40 private sector partners to bring Georgia through recovery and into a stronger more resilient economy for the future.
Acceptable Use of PPP Forms – The Small Business Administration released the Paycheck Protection Loan Forgiveness Application, and in doing so answered many questions about loan forgiveness and acceptable uses of PPP funds.
US Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Resource Pages:
Guides and Resources from the U.S. Chamber
- Main Street Lending Program Guide
- State-by-State Business Reopening Guidance
- Backgrounder on Health Coverage Options
- Backgrounder on Unemployment Insurance Under the CARES Act
- Independent Contractor’s Guide to CARES Act Relief
- Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist
- Temporary Paid Leave and Family Medical Leave Guide
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program Guide
- Employee Retention Tax Credit Guide
- Coronavirus Small Business Guide
- Coronavirus Response Toolkit
NEW RESOURCES FROM THE US CHAMBER:
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Guide
Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the funds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses. Click here to download this step-by-step guide to calculate your loan forgiveness amount, navigate record-keeping requirements, and determine repayment terms on amounts not forgiven.
Reopening Business Digital Resources Center
New Resource Added!
As part of the Path Forward initiative, the U.S. Chamber unveiled its Reopening Business Digital Resources Center to equip America’s business community with the latest state guidelines, sector-specific guidance, small business advice, and other tools and resources as we look to reopen safely and keep employees and customers healthy and informed.
Now, the resources center also includes a customizable workplace flyer to help you communicate the steps your company is taking to keep them safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to employees and customers.
Small Business Reopening Playbook
Now Available in Spanish!
Considering that reopening strategies will largely depend on the state and business type, this guide has consolidated federal, state, and local guidelines, industry specific resources, insights and strategies from leading experts, and more.
The playbook is now available to download in Spanish—click here to learn more.
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.
Please review the following guidelines as you and your staff return to work.
Employer Filed Partial Claims
We encourage employers to work with their employees on plans to return to work. When business operations resume to normal operations as it was prior to the COVID-19 crisis, employers should discontinue submitting employer-filed partial claims for any employee who returns to their regular normal work schedule and is earning more than the weekly benefit amount (WBA) plus $300.
However, we understand some businesses will gradually return to full operation and many of their employees will be brought back to work on reduced hours. In these cases, the employees are eligible to continue to receive unemployment benefits. Employers are strongly encouraged to continue to submit weekly employer filed partial claims during this period.
For example, if you bring your employees back to work gradually and Employee A is working 30 hours a week at $15 an hour, you would report his/her earnings for the week as $450. If Employee A is receiving $250 per week from the GDOL in regular state unemployment benefits, you would add the $300 exemption amount and the $250 weekly benefit amount from the GDOL yielding $550. Since they earned $450 from the employer for the week and that is less than the $550, Employee A would still be eligible for $100 in state benefits and the additional $600 per week in federal benefits.
If Employee B is working 30 hours a week at $30 an hour, you would report his/her earnings for the week at $900. If Employee B is receiving $325 per week from the GDOL, you would add the $300 exemption amount and the $325 weekly benefit amount yielding $625. Since they are earning more from the employer at $900 than the allowed amount of $625 to receive benefits, Employee B would not be eligible for state benefits or the additional $600 per week in federal benefits.
If a decision is made to permanently lay off employees, we strongly encourage employers to continue to submit weekly employer filed partial claims on their behalf until further instructions are provided by the GDOL. The GDOL is currently developing a process where employers will be able to identify on the employer filed partial claim spreadsheet those employees permanently laid off. This transition will keep individual claimants from having to refile his/her claim starting the process over again. The claimant will be notified to begin requesting their own weekly unemployment payments.
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
CHAMBER OFFICE SCHEDULE & CHAMBER EVENTS
May 19th Virtual Regional Issues Meeting
Mark Butler, Commissioner
Georgia Department of Labor
Beginning in July, some events will return to face-to-face formats while others will be presented via virtual platforms or could be rescheduled or cancelled.