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.

Latest Announcements

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

Wednesday, March 25th — Currently, there is not a Stay at Home Order for the State of North Carolina or Catawba County. Catawba County Public Health continues to closely monitor the coronavirus situation in Catawba County and are working directly with state and public health officials for guidance regarding any future Stay at Home actions.  Until a Stay at Home Order is in place, local government cannot provide definitive guidance regarding which businesses, services, or workforce personnel would be deemed essential. Those determinations will be made by state and/or local officials based on the situation at that time. Click and Read COVID 19 Local Business Information

Tuesday, March 23 – To help your Chamber and other economic development partners understand the local impacts of COVID-19 and how we can provide you the best assistance, we have released the Business Impact Survey.  Please take several moments to submit your responses to the following survey by April 1stClick here.

Monday, March 23rd – Gov. Roy Cooper announces tighter restrictions on public gatherings to 50 or less and have mandated business closures for hair salons and barber shops, gyms, movie theaters and similar businesses offering activities that run counter to social distancing to close by 5 p.m. Wednesday. K-12 schools will remain closed until May 15th.

Monday, March 23rd – Interested in making personal protective equipment for frontline medical staff?  The Carolina Textile District (CTD) is working with a group of manufacturers, community leaders and healthcare professionals to begin developing COVID-19 response products, with a focus on masks and gowns. In order to act as quickly as possible, the CTD has created intake processes to help filter through the different product needs and the services offered.  Visit their website here.  

Thursday, March 19th – The Families First & Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law. The economic stimulus package introduces paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to employers and will be effective on April 2, 2020. Read more

Wednesday, March 18 – Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order to expand unemployment benefits to workers affected by the COVID-19 disruption.  Read more.

Wednesday, March 18- The SBA has approved the request for North Carolina’s disaster declaration to provide 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.

On March 17, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order effective at 5:00PM that restaurants and bars will close for dine-in customers. Takeout and delivery orders can continue. Learn more.

On March 16, President Donald Trump issued his Coronavirus Guidelines for America, “15 Ways to Slow the Spread.”  Learn more.

On March 14, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order closing all K-12 public schools in North Carolina, starting on March 16, for a minimum of two weeks. The order also prohibits mass gatherings of more than 100 people. Learn more.

On March 12, the NC DHHS released recommendations for employers and employees regarding mitigation measures including teleworking technologies, staggering work schedules, and considerations for canceling non-essential travel. Workplaces should hold larger meetings virtually, to the extent possible. Additionally, employers should arrange the workspace to optimize distance between employees, ideally at least six feet apart. Employers should urge high risk employees to stay home and urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits. Learn more.

On March 10, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency. The declaration activates the Emergency Operations Center to help agencies coordinate from one location and makes it easier to purchase needed medical supplies, protect consumers from price gouging, and increase county health departments’ access to state funds. In addition to Governor Cooper’s emergency declaration, the NC DHHS is making several recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the number of people infected. Learn more.

On March 3, North Carolina reported its first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. COVID-19 is currently not widespread and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is providing timely updates on our state’s status. Learn more.

Current Status of COVID-19 Cases in Catawba County, NC & US

Total Confirmed Cases of COVID-19:  27

Total Negative Tests:  379 

(Updated: 4/7/2020; 1:10PM)

Learn more about how Catawba County Public Health is proactively responding here.

Situation Summary (NCDHHS): For the latest information on coronavirus in North Carolina.

Situation Summary (CDC): This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.

World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak: Information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, including daily updates.

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.

Business Resources

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):

Download the Presentation Slides:  Catawba County Business Presentation – COVID-19 – Part 1

Part 2 (VIDEO):

Download the Presentation Slides:  Catawba County Business Presentation – COVID-19 – Part 2

Download the Presentation Slides:  Small Business Technology Development Centers – COVID-19 – Part 2

Part 3 (VIDEO):

 
Part 4 (VIDEO):

Labor & Employment Resources

Families First and Coronavirus Response Act  – On March 18th, the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. Read more: U.S. Department of Labor News Release

COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Handout

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.

The Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board  has created resources for businesses and jobseekers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unemployment Resources —  File for unemployment Click here.  The NCDES will help both employers and employees navigate COVID-19 unemployment-related questions and program changes. Read 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. 

Small Business Resources

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.  

Navigating Your Small Business Through COVID-19 — North Carolina’s small business service providers are here to help you navigate this unprecedented event. As a collective, they have a long history of helping businesses prepare for and recover from crisis. 

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. If you need any assistance in the following areas, click the link above to schedule a confidential session.

  • Assess the financial impact on your business
  • Develop strategies for your business continuity and recovery
  • Analyze your cash flow
  • Evaluate options with creditors
  • Prepare your SBA economic injury loan application (if appropriate)

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.

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. 

Are you a manufacturer interested in producing PPE? Here’s an open resource guide that can answer FAQs.  Interested in partnering with this industry collaborative — Submit your interest form here

For additional guidance from the Economic Development Partnership of NC for companies seeking to produce critical medical equipment & more, click here

Additional Resources

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. 

Are you a manufacturer interested in producing PPE? Here’s an open resource guide that can answer FAQs.  Interested in partnering with this industry collaborative — Submit your interest form 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.

COVID-19

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.