News Flash

Economic Development

Posted on: March 17, 2020

COVID-19 Business Resources

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The Office of Economic Development has compiled a list of resources for businesses in James City County. This list will be updated as new resources are available.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in James City County, please visit the County website.

Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund

There is a new financial opportunity for local businesses. The Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund will provide forgivable loans to businesses located in the Greater Williamsburg region. https://www.yesjamescitycountyva.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3908 
More information: https://williamsburgcommunityfoundation.org/small-business-fund/

Input Needed from Business Owners

The Commonwealth of Virginia is requesting feedback from businesses in the form of a survey to get a better sense of personal protective equipment (PPE) needs from Virginia businesses as you look to reopen. The results of this survey could provide a better sense of businesses’ confidence levels regarding PPE needs as Virginia considers reopening the economy, as well as what role businesses would like state government to play.
https://www.surveys.online/jfe/form/SV_29ynQrKVbRlFHY9

The Virginia Tourism Corporation is requesting tourism-related businesses complete a survey. This survey is being administered by their partner, Southeastern Institute of Research.
https://sirresearch.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8IbZLmd2ji1snwp

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management Private Sector Team published a survey for the private sector to submit issues they are experiencing and offers of assistance to Virginia (donation, in-kind contribution, discounted, or contracted). That survey can be accessed at https://arcg.is/1amrze.

Newsletter Updates

The Office of Economic Development is sending out newsletter updates on a regular basis. You may subscribe online: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/list.aspx?ListID=356.

You may view previously sent messages online: https://jamescitycountyva.gov/list.aspx?PRVMSG=356.

Personal Protective Equipment for Manufacturers and Businesses

Manufacturers and businesses may need resources for purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to protect their employees. We have compiled a list of resources that may be of assistance if your business needs PPE.

Webinars

New Webinar Series: Helping Virginia Businesses Reopen in a COVID-19 World
Virginia Community Capital is sponsoring a new webinar series on Thursdays in May. Each session will be from noon until 1 p.m. and is free. The workshops will help businesses get ready and prepared to re-open after COVID-19 including updated regulations, supply chain updates, marketing, accounting/insurance, employment and more.  
https://www.yesjamescitycountyva.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3907

COVID-19: Resources for Our Communities Webinars
Virginia Community Capital is partnering with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Virginia Small Business Development Center Network to host multiple weekly update webinars and office hours, announce new programs and resources and to assist Virginia’s business community. Businesses will have an opportunity to receive updates from state leaders on new resources; receive management, finance and marketing tips; and ask questions regarding programs to support Virginia’s entrepreneurs. This program will run through May 2020.

Webinars are Fridays at noon and on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. You must sign up to participate.
Fridays: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_H-_Gqj0bRl-752bm1TMScA
Tuesdays: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qR28S4pDQDWvdYGuW1DKUg

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership is offering “International Trade in a COVID-19 World” every Thursday at 2 p.m. through the end of May. Topics will include international business strategies and marketing. You can register online and view recorded webinars.
http://exportvirginia.org/international-trade-in-a-covid-19-world-webinar-series 

There are multiple Small Business Administration webinars about their COVID-19 economic resources over the next few days. You must register online to participate. James City County is part of the Richmond District.
https://www.eventbrite.com/o/richmond-district-office-9832468840 

Small Business Resources

Small Business Administration (SBA)
COVID-19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Economic Injury Disaster Loan 
A disaster declaration was approved by the SBA for a number of Virginia localities including James City County. The declaration can be viewed online. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/ 

The SBA is unable to accept new applications (except for agricultural businesses) for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding. Find more information online.
The new agricultural eligibility is made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)). SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application. At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received.

Payroll Protection Program
As of May 8, the SBA is no longer accepting new Paycheck Protection Program loan applications. 

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. 

The Treasury Department has additional resources on their website:

PPP Scams: The Hampton Roads SBDC notes that many companies are offering to process PPP loans, but this is a scam. The only institutions authorized to participate in this program are banks and credit unions that are approved by the SBA.
Approved lenders: https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/va/richmond/resources/virginia-sbalenders 

Express Bridge Loans
SBA Express Bridge Loans enable small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-express-bridge-loans

Debt Relief
The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.

Under this program:

  • The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-debt-relief

SCORE
SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. SBA.
https://www.score.org/coronavirus

SCORE has compiled tips for small businesses in “What to Do NOW to Save Your Small Business from COVID-19.”  
https://www.score.org/blog/what-to-do-now-save-your-small-business-covid-19

Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
The Virginia SBDC has a great resource page on their website.
https://www.virginiasbdc.org/covid/

As businesses begin to look at reopening and/or planning to transition to the ’new normal,’ there are a number of factors to consider and decisions to be made. The Virginia SBDC recommends reviewing the guidance they have compiled in their Recovery Resource Center to determine your next steps. Wherever your business may be currently, the Virginia SBDC suggests starting at the very beginning of the checklist and working your way through.
http://www.virginiasbdc.org/recoveryresourcecenter 

The Virginia SBDC has compiled “Guidance for Specific Business.” There are individual webpages for the following industries:

Hampton Roads SBDC (HRSBDC)
The HRSBDC has guidance on their website.
http://www.hrsbdc.org/preparing-covid-19-virginia-small-businesses

You may also find that America’s Small Business Development Center also has helpful resources including a Business Resiliency Guide.
https://americassbdc.org/protect-your-business/

Hampton Roads Workforce Council / Greater Peninsula Workforce Board  
Resources and information are available on their website.
http://www.vcwhamptonroads.org/corona-virus-update/ 

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council and Greater Peninsula Workforce Board’s Business Services team is working with employers to assist with their needs. If you are a business owner, employer or human resource representative who is considering work stoppages, layoffs or furloughs, they encourage you to contact their Business Services team. They will get back to you within one business day, or sooner, to discuss information and services that may assist impacted employees, including Unemployment Insurance, tax assistance, layoff aversion strategies, financial planning, remote access career services and more. Please email Steve Cook at scook@vcwhamptonroads.org 

Scams & Fraud

The Small Business Administration encourages business owners to be aware about scams tied to SBA loans and grants.
https://www.yesjamescitycountyva.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3813

The Federal Trade Commission encourages businesses to be familiar with the seven types of scams targeted towards businesses.
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2020/03/seven-coronavirus-scams-targeting-your-business

The Federal Trade Commission recommends small businesses be aware of scams and go directly to the Small Business Administration for information about relief programs.
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/small-businesses-where-go-financial-relief-information

More information about scams is available on the JCC website.

Tourism Businesses

The Virginia Tourism Corporation has also compiled a list resources for tourism businesses.
https://www.vatc.org/cv19businessresources/

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association resources and news are available on their website.
https://www.virginiaisforrestaurantlovers.com/covid-19-info/resources-links

The Williamsburg Tourism Council has set up a resource guide for tourism businesses on their website.
https://www.visitwilliamsburg.com/coronavirus

The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) has news and information for travel businesses on their website.
https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/covid-19-cares-act-relief-resources 

USTA also produced a document, "Travel in the New Normal: Industry Guidance for the Health and Safety of All Travelers."
https://www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/media_root/document/HealthandSafetyGuidance.pdf

Local Chambers of Commerce and Retail Alliance

The Greater Williamsburg Business Council has a variety of resources on their website.
https://www.williamsburgcc.com/covid-19-sustainability-and-recovery-resource-center 

The Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has a COVID-19 newsletter. It can be viewed on their website.
http://www.virginiapeninsulachamber.com/

Hampton Roads Retail Alliance 
https://retailalliance.com/coronavirus-resources-for-retailers/

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce 
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce has a business resource guide and a business recovery guide.
https://www.hrchamber.com/page/-covid_19-business-resource-guide
https://www.hrchamber.com/page/covid_19-business-recovery-guide/

State Resources

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Businesses are encouraged to join the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Private Sector Portal. This portal provides useful information to businesses in the private sector. Each week, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management hosts a private sector phone call for businesses. To listen to this call, sign up for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Private Sector Portal. http://bit.ly/VaPrivateSector

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) 
VDACS has established a Coronavirus (COVID-19) website to provide relevant and up-to-date guidance and resources related to agriculture and agribusiness concerns.

Virginia ABC Laws
On April 8, Governor Northam issued an Executive Directive authorizing Virginia ABC to take actions to help alleviate conditions caused by COVID-19. As of Friday April 10, mixed beverage restaurants, limited mixed beverage restaurants, distillers and limited distillers with an agreement with ABC will be able to sell product samples and cocktails to go or for delivery, subject to limitations imposed by Virginia ABC. Additionally, this directive allows ABC to defer license renewal fees for 90 days from original expiration date for licenses expiring in March, April, May and June. These deferrals will allow businesses to continue to operate without concern over choosing between keeping an employee or renewing a license. Previously, ABC laws were modified to allow take out and delivery beer and wine. More information is available online: https://www.abc.virginia.gov/covid-19.

Restaurant owners are encouraged to review the Virginia ABC guidance on outside dining areas to follow regulations for Phase One of Forward Virginia.
https://www.abc.virginia.gov/covid-19#Outdoor

From the Governor of Virginia
Latest information:     https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus-updates

Forward Virginia: Phase One

The Governor of Virginia has published regulations, guidelines and best practices for a variety of business sectors as Phase I of Forward Virginia began on Friday, May 15.
https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia/

On April 24, Governor Ralph Northam announced a diverse group of leaders participating in the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Business Task Force, which will continue to provide advice and guidance to the Cabinet on a safe, responsible strategy for easing restrictions on businesses and individuals. This list includes Christy Coleman, executive director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.
https://www.yesjamescitycountyva.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3873

Support for Impacted Employers

  • Regional workforce teams will be activated to support employers that slow or cease operations. Employers who do slow or cease operations will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.
  • The Governor authorized Rapid Response funding through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act for employers eligible to remain open during this emergency. Funds may be used to clean facilities and support emergency needs.
  • Governor Northam is directing all employers to follow U.S. Department of Labor guidance on workplace safety. https://bit.ly/39Zub3c

Utilities
The State Corporate Commission is extending a suspension on utility service disconnections it ordered on March 16, 2020 by 30 days. The order prohibited disconnections of electricity, gas, water and sewer utility services during the coronavirus public health emergency. The SCC order extends the ban on service disconnections through June 14, 2020. It was originally May 15. This provides immediate relief for any customer, residential and business, who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
https://www.scc.virginia.gov/newsreleases/release/SCC-Extends-Ban-on-Utility-Service-Disconnects-Unt

The Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade has created a compilation of resources and information for Virginia businesses in relation to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
https://www.commerce.virginia.gov/covid-19/

The Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity has resources on the website and have been providing regular updates.
https://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/about-us/news/covid19/

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation has information on their website.http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/COVID-19/

The Virginia Department of Taxation has information online for businesses: https://www.tax.virginia.gov/news/coronavirus-updates.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has guidance for businesses on their website. http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/schools-workplaces-community-locations/

On April 25, VDH issued interim guidance for daily COVID-19 screening of employees. This includes questions to ask employees and suggested protocol if an employee develops symptoms while at work. https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/vdh-interim-guidance-for-daily-covid-19-screening-of-employees-and-visitors

You may also find their guidance on cloth face coverings to be useful. http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/cloth-face-covers/ 

Federal Resources

CARES Act Summary
To view a summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, please click here. The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship created this document.

The Treasury Department has compiled information on their website about the CARES Act.
https://home.treasury.gov/cares 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from April 1 through December 31, 2020. More information is available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/disaster-assistance-and-emergency-relief-for-individuals-and-businesses

The IRS has compiled relevant tax relief information on their website.
https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

The IRS is offering an Employee Retention Credit as part of the CARES Act. Information is available on their website and includes other FAQs.
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-employee-retention-credit-under-the-cares-act

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA has a variety of resources on their website for workplaces and they also have a publication,

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has released best practices for retail food stores, restaurants and food pick-up and delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/best-practices-retail-food-stores-restaurants-and-food-pick-updelivery-services-during-covid-19

There is a great infographic from the FDA online. https://www.fda.gov/media/136812/download

The FDA has released a new checklist for restaurants reopening: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/best-practices-re-opening-retail-food-establishments-during-covid-19-pandemic. There is also a PDF checklist available: https://www.fda.gov/media/137867/download.

The FDA also has addition resources on their website: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.

Center for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has issued COVID-19 guidance for businesses:

Other Resources

VA 30 Day Fund
A new forgivable loan program is available through the non-profit organization, VA 30 Day Fund. This fund is open to small businesses with three to 30 employees. Loan amounts do not exceed $3,000.
https://va30dayfund.com/

Port of Virginia
Information about the Port of Virginia is available on their website.
http://www.portofvirginia.com/

The Better Business Bureau has compiled information for businesses.
https://www.bbb.org/council/coronavirus/

The COVID-19 Business Recovery Forum 757 is a resource set up the the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance.
https://www.757recovery.com 

GENEDGE is Virginia’s best public resource to help manufacturing and industry innovate, compete and grow. They have information for manufacturers on their website.
https://supplychain.genedge.org/ 

The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission has information about the impacts of COVID-19 on their website.
https://hrcovid19-hrpdc-gis.hub.arcgis.com/

Virginia Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resources
https://www.vachamber.com/covid-19/

U.S. Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resources
https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus

They have also put together a guide and checklist on their website.

Nation Restaurant Association – COVID-19 Reopening Guidance
https://restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/business/COVID19-Reopen-Guidance.pdf

RestaurantOwner.com wants to do everything possible to connect restaurant owners to resources and information that will help them make informed decisions and take appropriate, proactive steps to protect themselves, their staffs and their customers.
https://www.restaurantowner.com/public/Restaurant-Owner-Resources-for-Surviving-the-Coronavirus-Crisis.cfm

RestaurantOwner.com has compiled a list of best practices during COVID-19 for independent restaurants.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association has a blueprint for shopping safely on their website that may be a good resource for retail businesses. https://www.rila.org/shop-safe
A downloadable PDF is also available.

The National Retail Federation has an "Operation Open Doors" checklist on their website.

U.S. Economic Development Administration and the International Economic Development Council have compiled multiple resources for different sectors including fitness facilities, manufacturing and retail.
https://restoreyoureconomy.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=Reopening%20by%20Industry&category=COVID19RESOURCES

William & Mary - Raymond A. Mason School of Business
Need support services during COVID-19? Ask the experts! MBA students at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary are offering small business crisis services. A team of students backed by faculty and volunteers is offering support to locally owned small businesses (more than one and less than 100 employees) for free.They are offering services on a first-come, first-served rolling basis. Send an email to wmmbacrisisservices@gmail.com.

Assistance with E-Commerce
Do you need e-commerce assistance? Check out https://offline2on.com/ for resources on how to quickly pivot your business model to online. Many resources are free at this time. Offline2On.com is a community-led, cross-platform initiative to support businesses in ramping up their e-commerce efforts in the wake of COVID-19 by connecting merchants with the resources, developers, platforms and partners they need to take action. The initiative brings together nearly 1,000 technologists, designers, writers, marketers, PR professionals, as well as industry leaders from all over the world in the e-commerce space, working with platforms such as BigCommerce, Magento and Shopify.

Last update May 18, 1:02 p.m.

Contact Information
James City County Office of Economic Development
757-253-6607; yesjcc@jamescitycountyva.gov

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