COVID-19 Business Resource Guide
This page will be updated with new and relevant resources for business as they become available. If you have information that you would like to share with Catawba County’s business community regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please email us.
COVID-19 Business Impact & Recovery Survey
As the impact of the current crisis continues to unfold, your Chamber & the Catawba EDC want to understand how our business community is being affected. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey below, it will help us to develop and advocate for the most relevant solutions to provide immediate support & expedite recovery. Your responses will remain confidential & anonymous.
Thursday, April 9th – Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order 121 that provides new required and recommended policies for retail establishments, addresses COVID-19 mitigation measures for long-term care facilities, and expedites the processing of unemployment insurance claims by expanding availability of the attached claims process. To learn more or review some FAQs about Executive Order 131, please click here.
Friday, March 27th – Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 121, a Stay-at-Home order, effective at 5:00PM on Monday, March 30th. Businesses deemed non-essential must cease operations. Essential Businesses as defined in the order, businesses with contractors/staff who operate solely out of their own residence and businesses who meet social distancing requirements may continue operations. Review the order for details to determine if you meet these specifications. No special permit is needed for a business deemed essential or who falls under any of the categories stated above to continue operations. Read Executive Order 121: EO121-Stay-at-Home-Order-3
For a complete summary of all updates that have taken place since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in NC: Updates since March 3, 2020
COVID 19 Business Resource Guide – Download this special section that was included in the Hickory Daily Record on Sunday, April 5th in Section D to read about the various emergency loan programs and other advice regarding things you should be doing now to weather this economic disruption.
“COVID-19 & Your Business” Webinar Series covering the following topics: An overview of COVID-19, preventative measures to protect your workplace, continuity of business operations, labor & employment law guidance, business resources & assistance and answers to other frequently asked questions. Please view the recorded webinars below, along with downloading a copy of the slides for each session. For more information, please email us.
Part 1 (VIDEO):
Part 2 (VIDEO):
Part 3 (VIDEO):
Part 4 (VIDEO):
Part 5 (VIDEO):
Funding & Immediate Assistance
CONGRESS APPROPRIATES ADDITIONAL PPP FUNDS — On April 24th, Congress approved $484 billion in funding for small businesses, including $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. The SBA began accepting applications at 10:30AM on Monday, April 27th. If your bank is not accepting any new applications, please email Connie Saunders for an alternative option.
US Chamber’s Small Business Guide and Checklist for the Payroll Protection Program — The CARES Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn.
A Comprehensive Guide to the CARES Act Financing Available to Small Businesses — SCORE has compiled a comprehensive list of the loan and grant programs that are currently available that require little to no collateral. Additionally, they’ve included the information you need to pull together to apply.
Paycheck Protection Program — 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. For a top-line overview of the program, CLICK HERE. For more information and updates, visit HERE or HERE.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) — The SBA is providing low-interest federal loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. Applicants are encouraged to apply.
NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loans are a vital resource to help North Carolina small businesses be resilient and adaptive in the face of the corornavirus crisis. These are primarily designed to be a timely source of bridge loan financing until businesses can access SBA Disaster or other federal disaster funding.
LISC Small Business Relief Grants – The Local Initiatives Support Corporation grants will be made in the amounts of $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000. Applicants who applied in the first round must apply again by completing the application via the link below. Eligible Businesses – Small businesses and enterprises affected the COVID-19 across the country, especially those in under served communities, including entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses. Non-profit organizations are ineligible for this funding. Application must be completed by Tuesday, April 28th, 11:59 p.m. ET.
Immediate Business Counseling & Assistance
The SBTDC’s Appalachian State University-affiliated regional office is located in Hickory. Work with their team of counselors who have extensive experience working with businesses recovering from disasters to develop your overall Covid-19 Recovery Plan.
Labor & Employment Resources
Ogletree Deakins has compiled a comprehensive Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) resource guide for employers. View their resource portal here.
COVID-19: FAQs on Federal Labor and Employment Laws
Ogletree Deakins provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the latest developments on the virus and guidance from federal agencies.
FFCRA Employee Not Working Chart — This is a quick guide for employers regarding emergency paid leave / FMLA Extension by EbenConcepts.
Lay-Offs vs. Furloughs & Other FAQs for Employers – Chamber Investor, Broome Associates provides answers to FAQs regarding lay-offs, furloughs, FMLA, employee benefits and more.
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (CDC)
The CDC provides this interim guidance to help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19. Let your employees know you are monitoring the situation and share best practices for prevention and treatment.
- For people seeking to apply for unemployment insurance benefits, due to the COVID-19 situation (Read Fact Sheet for Individuals)
- For employers seeking guidance for how to navigate the new changes to the unemployment insurance system (Read Fact Sheet for Employers)
Executive Order 131: Batching Unemployment Claims
Starting Monday, April 13, 2020, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 131 – in addition to other changes, this order also allows business to file a batch of unemployment claims on behalf of your employees, known as an “attached claim.
In order to allow more employers to utilize the “attached claims process”, the following requirements have been temporarily lifted, such as:
- The employer credit balance is not verified.
- Benefits are not limited to six weeks once per year.
- The employer is not required to pay the full amount of the benefit at the time the claim is filed.
To learn more or review some FAQs about Executive Order 131, please click here.
Catawba County United Way Establishes Emergency Fund — The CCUW will be providing additional funding to those community partners with the greatest need and whose clients are being hit the hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak. View online or press release for more information.
Urgent Childcare — If you are a parent who provides necessary services to, or cares for, members of our communities and your child care has fallen through or is unavailable because of COVID-19 closures, click HERE for information about urgent childcare. There is also childcare day services available through the YMCA; please click this link to download a flyer with information.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Production
The Carolina Textile District is working to network manufacturers, community leaders & healthcare professionals in the Carolinas to create COVID-19 response PPE, with a focus on masks & gowns, for those on the front lines of this crisis.
For additional guidance from the Economic Development Partnership of NC for companies seeking to produce critical medical equipment & more, click here.
Business Continuity Planning
Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist (HHS & CDC)
Planning for pandemic influenza is critical. To assist you in your efforts, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed the following checklist for large businesses. It identifies important, specific activities large businesses can do now to prepare, many of which will also help you in other emergencies.
Pandemic Preparedness Planning For U.S. Businesses With Overseas Operations (CDC)
The United States Government has created the following guide to help U.S. businesses with overseas operations prepare and implement pandemic business continuity. This is a list of suggestions and can serve as a starting point for developing a comprehensive plan. The checklist highlights actions applicable to businesses of all sizes, although each item does not necessarily apply to every overseas business.
Sample Pandemic Preparation Questions
The following are questions to ask during an outbreak, questions to ask once an outbreak becomes a pandemic, and which actions your crisis management team should perform regularly afterward to stay prepared.
Current Status of COVID-19 Cases in Catawba County, NC & US
Total Confirmed Cases of COVID-19: 127
Total Negative Tests: 1,802
For the most updated case counts and to see how Catawba County Public Health is proactively responding,click here.
NC DHHS and NCAHEC Weekly Business Forum, Every Wednesday from 11:30am to 12:00pm beginning March 25, 2020: The NC DHHS Division of Public Health (DPH) and NC AHEC will hold weekly forums for the NC business community. The forums will enable members of the business community to obtain timely information on COVID-19 and to pose questions directly to public health subject matter experts. Click here for call information.
North Carolina COVID-19 Hotline: 1-866-462-3821
Sign Up for Text Updates: North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.
NC 2-1-1 — Governor Roy Cooper announced NC 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina as a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community.
About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The CDC offers information on how Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, and what to do if you are sick, and frequently asked questions, including printable fliers.