COVID-19 Advisory

Shenandoah County has declared a Local State of Emergency.  The declaration provides enhanced access to resources of the Commonwealth if or when those are needed.

As we look towards the future, many businesses are beginning to develop their recovery plans.  Click here to visit our recovery page for a list of recommendations by industry.

Financial Resources:

  • FedEx Small Business Grant– FedEx has committed $1 million to provide grants for small businesses in the U.S. Each grant recipient will receive $5,000, plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office that can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more. See Terms and Conditions for full details.*

 

  • Virginia 30 Day Fund–  launched by technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife Burson. The goal is “to help businesses meet payroll, preserve health-care coverage for workers and avoid layoffs while awaiting the federal aid expected to arrive in about a month”. It will give up to $3,000 to each approved small business in a way that’s quick, easy and free of red tape.   Small business owners are asked to fill out a one-page form and submit a brief video highlighting the business and its employees. To qualify, the business must employ three to 30 people, be based in Virginia and operating for at least one year, and owned and operated by a Virginia resident. For more information on the Virginia 30 Day Fund and how to apply, Click here 

 

 

  • Mount Jackson Disaster Impact Loan Program–  Available to businesses that have a business license with the Town  and appear to meet the guidelines of the program, but also want to reach out to those businesses that have a “meaningful impact on the citizens of Mount Jackson”.  The business should have been in business for at least 6 months.  Maximum Loan = $10,000.   Interest free.  36 month term with the 1st payment being due 120 days after approval and then every 6 months thereafter.  Click here to download a copy of the application.

 

  • People Inc. COVID-19 Forgivable Small Business Loans: U.S. Small Business Administration microloans are now available to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Shenandoah (Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah or Warren). Microloans may be offered for any amount starting at $500 up to $50,000. COVID-19 forgivable small business loans are available in all 16 Virginia counties and cities People Inc. serves. For more information or to apply, you can call 833-437-0115.

 

  • Farmer Relief Fund–  AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.
    Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs.
    The application (linked to below in both English and Spanish) is simple and easy to complete but includes sufficient detail to ensure AFT is awarding producers that have the greatest needs. Applicants will be asked to estimate their financial loss. An initial application round extending until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1.   Apply in English
    Apply in Spanish
  • Additional Resources and Information for farms and agritourism venues can be found at the VDACS website.  Click here for more information.

 

  •   Restaurant Relief Fund– The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (“Fund”) was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing extraordinary hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Through this Fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have been impacted by COVID-19, including a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Grants will be awarded as soon as possible to those individuals who meet the prescribed eligibility criteria, as reviewed and verified by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). This Fund is operated by the NRAEF, whose mission is to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workers.

 

  • Small Business Administration Economic Impact Disaster Loans  (EIDL)   Due to limited appropriations funding, the application portal for the EIDL–COVID-19 assistance program (EIDL loans and EIDL Advances) is temporarily closed.  Additional funding is expected to be approved this week.  Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.   SBA is processing EIDL applications as quickly as possible. SBA will provide those whose applications are approved with loans that will cover the business’s short-term working capital needs.   Small businesses with less than 100 employees and under $50 million in annual revenues can apply for a loan of up to a new cap on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan will be 2 months (not 6 months) of operating expenses up to a maximum of $15,000.
    If you are deemed eligible for a loan then the applicant will receive a link to be able to check the status of their loan.
    Businesses can apply for an advance of up to $10,000 that does not need to be paid back.  The specific amount is determined by the number of employees
  • Daily SBA webinars are available and can be found at this website: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/richmond-district-office-9832468840
    A tutorial video showing steps on how to apply can be found at https://youtu.be/WUdjukly91I (link is also on our website)
    Here is a link for your Spanish speaking clients: www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español).    For help applying, here is a link to a video showing instructions on how to apply for an EIDL loan:  https://vccs.zoom.us/rec/share/3c5tBqDurVNLWYmdyE7nWLF-H7TVeaa8gSMXrKIEzBzLnqMbJrZ6OGnvzqLE3CBRFor help with this process, please feel free to contact our office or the Small Business Development Center.  

 

 

  •   Payroll Protection Plan–  The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses.
    If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable.    Click here for the application
  • Click here for a list of approved lenders
  • Here is a link for your Spanish speaking clients: www.gobierno.usa.gov/coronavirus (en Español) as well as CARES ACT Spanish help guide.
  • Other information related to PPP-
    • Payroll costs used in the calculation are the average of the last 12 months instead of Feb 15-June 30, 2019 page 8
      The outstanding amount of an EIDLoan is rolled into the PPP loan page 8-9
      Specific language about independent contractors having the ability to apply for a PPP page 11 and 15
      Interest rate is 1% page 11
      Term of loan is 2 years page 12
      Deferment is 6 months, not one year. Interest will accrue during the 6 months. page 13
      The forgivable portion of the loan could be the full amount if all $$ are used for forgivable purposes: payroll, mortgage interest, rent, utilities. Not more than 25% of the forgiveness portion may be used for non-payroll. page 13-14 ( SBA will issue additional guidance on loan forgiveness.)
  • Paid Sick Leave– On March 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published guidance explaining the Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act). This Act will take effect on April 1, 2020 and applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. To ensure that you are up to date on all guidelines, please see the links below to access the relevant information:
    Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights Fact Sheet
    Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements Fact Sheet
    Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers Fact Sheet
    The DOL is expected to be providing additional guidance in the near future.

 

  • Small Business Layoff Aversion Grant– the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board has received Virginia Rapid Response funding to prevent or minimize the duration of unemployment resulting from COVID-19. The board will award 18 grants of up to $5,000 to regional small business employers eligible to remain open during the COVID-19 emergency.
    Grants awards are first come, first served, and will be dispersed to selected businesses on a reimbursement basis once documentation to verify expenses has been submitted. Reimbursement process, timeline, and required documentation will be discussed and finalized during the application process. Performance measures including the number of jobs saved, estimated amount of annual wages saved, and project-specific results will also be required as part of the grant award. Priority will be given to regional targeted industry sectors in manufacturing, health care, transportation and logistics, construction, and to businesses that demonstrate the use and leveraging of additional funding resources.

 

  • SBA Express Bridge Loans– Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
    Terms
    Up to $25,000
    Fast turnaround
    Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan

 

  • Marketing Grant–  Ogden Newspapers Inc, the parent company for the Northern Virginia Daily has established a $1 million fund to help local businesses get back to full strength by subsidizing local marketking efforts through matching grants.  Businesses operating in the local community can apply for up to $15,000.

 

  • #TheValleyStrong–  Businesses have the opportunity to add their business listing to become part of the Business Resource Directory at the Harrisonburg Radio Group  and be included in free PSAs for this program.

 

Hotels: Do you want to make space available to local, state, and federal government?
Governors, mayors and public health officials across the country are seeking hoteliers who are willing to enter into temporary leases for certain types of lodging properties at this time. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is currently working with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a database of willing properties in order to meet the demand for housing capacity during the pandemic. Check out the Hotels for Hope website here.   If you are interested, please complete this form.

 

Upcoming Webinars

Here is a recorded version of a webinar Christine Kriz with the SBDC did today on financial and communication tips for small business owners right now: https://vccs.zoom.us/rec/play/uJcrIuCt-D83S9GXsgSDAKR9W9S9fa6s1XVP_foPz0a1USUFZlChYuZDYQ6PSxQIc5AGXSC9IElTn1A?autoplay=true&startTime=1587486866000

Marketing & Social Media Tips

Immerge, a local tech firm out of Harrisonburg, has created a free website to showcase LOCAL businesses in the Shenandoah Valley. This site will serve as a community resource https://www.shoplocalshenvalley.com/  Click Here to submit your business for inclusion.

Facebook for Business – Tips and resources to help small businesses deal with business interruptions such as the coronavirus pandemic, including a Small Business Grants Program.

Google’s Help Center – Suggestions for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, regarding updates to their business information on Google My Business.

Google’s Remote Work Hub – Tips about running online meetings, collaborating on documents remotely, and more.

Content Marketing Institute – Articles and research on content development.

 

Employee Resources

  • Unemployment funds are available through the Virginia Employment Commission. The Governor has waived the one week waiting period so that workers can start receiving benefits right away. Affected workers or businesses can contact the Virginia Employment Commission for information on how to apply for help.
  • Unemployment Insurance – If you are a worker who has been totally/partially separated from your job due to Covid-19,  click here to file a claim for unemployment insurance. You call 1-866-832-2363 Mon-Fri 8:30am– 5:00pm