Category

COVID-19 Local Updates

07.23.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
07.23.2020
Good afternoon.
As we prepare for the statewide mask mandate to begin this evening at 6:00 p.m., I have attached a poster you can print and hang on your doors to remind visitors to wear their masks. As official signage from the state becomes available, I will forward that to you. Click here to print the Mandatory Mask Sign.
The order discussed during yesterday’s news conference has not yet been published on the coronavirus webpage. Up-to-date information can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Fayette County remains at a level one in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. Detailed information about the advisory system and indicators therein is found by clicking this link.
In other news, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an order allowing Ohio attorneys to receive required Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit for serving as precinct election officials on Election Day this fall. The decision supports the Secretary’s Ready for November initiative by recruiting new poll workers to ensure Ohio voters have a safe, secure, and fair election.
“Safe and accessible in-person voting is essential, and that requires large numbers of dedicated poll workers who will deliver accurate, accessible, secure, elections for their fellow Ohioans,” Secretary LaRose said. “The smart, hard-working, patriotic men and women who practice law in our state are ideally suited for this crucial public service.”
The office will be closed Monday, July 27 through Friday, July 31, 2020. We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 3, 2020. There will be no daily updates sent next week, so pleased stay tuned to the coronavirus.ohio.gov website for current information and guidance.
Wishing you all a great evening,
Julie

07.22.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
07.22.2020
Good afternoon.
As we are aware, cases of the coronavirus continue to spike in areas throughout our state. With that in mind, today Governor DeWine announced the following changes to current orders:
  • Beginning 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2020 all Ohioans will be required to wear face masks while in public.
  • Masks are required when indoors at any location other than your home.
  • Masks must be worn outdoors if you are unable to maintain an appropriate social distance from those not residing in your household.
  • When waiting for or riding in public transportation.
This order is for all Ohioans 10 years of age and older but the following exclusions do apply:
  • Those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability
  • Those who are actively exercising or playing sports
  • Those who are officiants at religious services
  • Those active involved in public safety
  • Those who are actively eating or drinking

A ‘Travel Advisory’ has been issued for the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, South Carolina, and Texas. If you have visited or plan to visit one of these states, you are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days once returning home.

The official order discussed during today’s news conference has not yet been published on the coronavirus webpage. Up-to-date information can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
I am happy to leave you with a bit of good news. Lt. Governor Husted reported that Ohio saw a 10.9% unemployment rate for the month of June. Since the reopening of Ohio, our unemployment rate has continued to decline.
Wishing you all a great evening,
Julie

07.16.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
07.16.2020
Good afternoon.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced $20 million in grants have been awarded to retool or expand manufacturing facilities in Ohio. These grants were awarded to help continue producing personal protective equipment locally.
Each grant is worth up to $500,000 and is expected to create 829 new jobs and retain 1,133 Ohio jobs. More than half the grants have been awarded to small businesses with less than 25 employees.
In an effort to keep all informed on the statistics here at home, please review the graphic below provided by our Fayette Co. Public Health Department. Fayette County remains a level 1 county on the state alert system.
Wishing you all a great evening,
Julie

07.15.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
07.15.2020
Good evening to you all.
This evening, Governor DeWine spoke to all Ohioans from his office inside our capitol building. He stated that our way of life and the well-being of our state are in danger due to the drastic increase in positive cases over the last several weeks.
While he understands we are all tired of the changes we have had to endure over the last several months, he asked all Ohioans to continue to or begin to wear masks in public. ‘Good decisions will protect the economy and save lives,’ stated the governor. Another round of shutdowns will cause a loss of at least 5% of the country’s GNP.
Numerous news outlets have reported Kroger (effective 7.22.20), Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club (effective 7.20.20) will begin requiring the wearing of face coverings while shopping.
While no orders were released this evening, we expect a 2:00 p.m. news conference on Thursday, July 16th. If new orders are issued, or any pertinent information is shared, it will be forwarded to you.
Wishing you all a great evening,
Julie

07.09.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
07.09.2020
Good afternoon to you all.
In an effort to ‘catch up’ with the most recent orders, changes and recommendations, I am providing links for sector specific guidelines.
‘RESPONSIBLE RESTART OHIO’ Guidance:
Colleges will have to implement a coronavirus testing plan and guidance on isolating students and staff who are showing symptoms of the virus, according to guidelines announced DeWine Thursday. Because coronavirus safety precautions will increase costs for schools, DeWine’s administration and the General Assembly are requesting the Controlling Board approve $200 million to be allocated for higher education and $100 million for K-12 schools.
Lt. Governor Husted announced the IMAP program today. This program was created to provide opportunities for Ohioans who are low income, partially unemployed or totally unemployed to participate in a training program and receive a microcredential. Training providers that submit successful applications will be reimbursed up to $3,000 upon completion of each microcredential. Additional information and application can be found at imap.development.ohio.gov. Applications for trainers are being accepted through July 24, 2020.
Don’t forget tomorrow’s shop hop in downtown WCH! Main Street Fayette has organized a fun evening with the Candy Land theme. Please remain vigilant of social distancing and hand hygiene as we continue to show the rest of Ohio that business and public health can coexist in Fayette County. I am sure it will be a ‘sweet’ evening!
Make it a great day-
Julie

07.07.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
07.07.2020
Good afternoon to you all. I am pleased to begin this update with a bit of good news. Our Public Health Department is reporting no active cases of COVID-19 today! If you are unfamiliar with their daily updates, visit their Facebook page for more in-depth information. Vigilance is so important. Please do not let your guard down – Fayette County is in a great spot right now and I am sure we all want to stay there!
Unfortunately, many of Ohio’s counties are not as healthy. Today, the governor announced an order that will go into effective Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. This order will mandate that any person in a level 3 or level 4 county (see picture below) must wear a facial covering while in public spaces. Lt. Governor Husted reminded us that enforcement of this order is on the shoulders of law enforcement, not business owners. Additionally, if any of these counties drop to a level 2, the order for mask wearing will drop.
The Ohio Department of Health has issued an order allowing for contact and non-contact sports to resume for all teams provided the teams agree to all of the guidelines to include but not limited to:
  • Testing of all players, coaches, athletic directors, support staff and officials before travel and before competition.
  • Daily symptom assessments
  • Strict social distancing by players who are not actively playing or practicing
  • Immediate isolation for a participant who develops symptoms
  • Athletic Trainers must wear a face covering while attending to a player
  • Strong recommendation for coaches and officials when possible
Once the official order is published, I will forward a link as well as a summation of important information. Today’s orders have created several questions and concerns and we will do our best to get answers.
Many of our members are also members of the Highland-Fayette-Clinton Safety Council. Attending Safety Council meetings allows our members to save a significant amount on their Workers’ Compensation premium each year. Additionally, each county is awarded funds to assist in a community safety project. Today, I had the pleasure of presenting a $1,000.00 check to Chief Andy Bivens of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. These funds will be used to purchased LED lighted safety vests and Stop/Slow signs for emergency response vehicles.
If you would like to participate in safety council, or if you have questions, please give our office a call at 740.335.0761. Our new membership year will begin soon. There is no fee to join, you can potentially save premium money and we have a great lunch and program monthly!
Wishing you all a great Tuesday evening!
Julie

07.02.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
Happy Independence Day! As we begin a new month, and a new year for the chamber, we thank you for your support. This year is special – we are celebrating our 75th anniversary! Stay tuned for details on how we plan to celebrate this milestone.
I would like to take a moment to thank you for the purchases made during our ‘Fayette County Focus Forward’ grant program. Each and every purchase helped us provide grants for our small businesses adversely affected by the mandatory shut down. We will be awarding those grants soon – stay tuned for pictures!
Today, the governor announced his guidance for the reopening of schools. At this time, the website is experiencing issues and the complete publication is not available online. We are hopeful that will be quickly resolved and that we will be able to provide you that complete guidance.
Although the publication is not available, Governor DeWine outlined the principles listed below. These guidelines are for any school system in the state of Ohio.
  • Symptom assessment – any child with a temperature of or over 100.4 will be sent home.
  • Proper hand washing/sanitation
  • Sanitize high-touch surfaces
  • Practice social distancing
  • Every school must develop a face covering policy.
  • School staff must wear a face covering.
  • The governor strongly recommends children in grades three and up to wear a face covering.
Governor DeWine turned his conversation to, as he put it, ‘how to live with the virus.’ Seven indicators have been established to determine the threat of the virus on a county by county basis. The seven indicators are:
  • New cases per capita
  • Sustained increase in new cases
  • Proportion of cases not congregate cases
  • Sustained increase in emergency room visits
  • Sustained increase in outpatient visits
  • Sustained increase in new coronavirus hospital admissions
  • ICU bed occupancy
As depicted in the image below, we are at an ‘Alert Level 1.’ This is positive news for Fayette County and we ask for continued vigilance in slowing the spread.

06.29.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates No Comments
Greetings!
As you are aware, the ‘Fayette County Focus Forward’ initiative is currently running through June 30, 2020. The small business that will benefit from the proceeds of the sale of these items greatly appreciate your generosity. It is not too late to order your items and you can do so by clicking this link. THE ONLINE STORE CLOSES TUESDAY AT MIDNIGHT! Don’t delay!
Several of the items available for purchase can be seen at the chamber office. We are located at 206 E. Court Street and welcome you to come in, take a look and place your order! These items make great incentive prizes for employees, Christmas gifts, or ‘just because’ gifts. Your purchase makes a difference in the life of a small business owner. If your business has purchased items, send us a picture of the employees in their shirts! We would love to promote you on our social media pages! Thank you for your support!
Just a reminder – The deadline for SBA to approve Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications is Tuesday, June 30. This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program.
In today’s press conference, Governor DeWine announced that the current Stay Safe Ohio order will continue to be in effect until which time he is able to release the next-phase plan. We expect that plan later this week. As always, it will be forwarded to our membership as soon as it is published.
Stay cool and enjoy your evening!
Julie

06.16.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
06.16.2020
Good afternoon.
Before we recap pertinent news from today’s conference, I ask for your help. As you are aware, the ‘Fayette County Focus Forward’ initiative is currently running through June 30, 2020. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these items are returned to our small business members adversely affected by the stay at home order. Many businesses that are eligible to receive these funds have yet to contact the chamber to sign up. It really is that simple! If you meet the criteria listed below, call me and let’s discuss how you can receive these grant dollars.
If you missed the first round of EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) advances and loans, it is not too late to apply. The portal has just been reopened for ALL businesses/industries. Click here to access the application. The terms and rates stay the same for this round. You will receive $1,000 per employee – up to $10,000. Should you need to apply for additional monies, a 30-year loan with a 3.75% interest rate and a one-year deferment will apply.
Today marked the first day that the state had to borrow money to meet unemployment, DeWine said. The state requested $3.1 billion in borrowing authority from the U.S. Department of Labor. Per Governor DeWine, this amount exceeds what the state thinks it will need to pay out benefits.
Additionally, Lt. Governor Husted said The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has identified at least 3,000 cases of fraud and fake unemployment claims during the coronavrirus pandemic. It is important during this time to keep a close check not only on our finances but those of loved ones who may fall prey to the multitude of scams that are circulating.
Please read below for more information on our small business grants. We hope you will share and support! As always, call the office with any questions or concerns.
Enjoy your evening!
Julie
All proceeds benefit you – our members!
Join us as we help Fayette County ‘Focus Forward’
During troubling times, Fayette County comes together. We support, encourage, and believe in each other. Today is no different.
Many of our small businesses have been left behind during this pandemic as they did not meet the criteria for various federal grants and loans. Through the generosity of Tony’s Welding and Fabrication and Quali-Tee Designs, we have begun a small business grant fund. These grants are available to any Fayette County Chamber member with 10 or fewer employees adversely affected by the Stay at Home order.
To further fund the grant, we are offering for sale, several different t-shirts, travel mugs, and even a reusable shopping tote! These items are available for purchase by following THIS LINK. 100% of proceeds will be split evenly amongst the participating members.
To participate and receive grant dollars, we ask the following:
  • You are a member in good standing prior to June 3, 2020
  • Your payroll does not exceed ten individuals
  • Your business was adversely affected by the Stay at Home Order
  • You share our webstore link on your business Facebook page.
Your participation and promotion of this event is vital to its success! Please call the chamber office to convey your wish to participate.It is really that easy!
Our store closes on June 30th. Make sure to order your items before time is up! While you will receive a quality item to enjoy yourself or give as a gift, you will also be lending a hand to our small business members. Let’s show them how much we appreciate what they bring to our community!
If you have any questions or if, as a small business owner, you would like to receive a grant, please give the office a call at 740.335.0761.
Thank you for joining us as we focus on moving Fayette County forward!

06.15.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
06.15.2020
Good afternoon.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, has issued new and revised guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This guidance implements the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA), signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020, and expands eligibility for businesses with owners who have past felony convictions.
Key Updates
  • The “covered period” for a PPP loan adjusted from June 30, 2020, to December, 30, 2020
  • For loans made before June 5, 2020, borrowers and lenders may mutually agree to extend the maturity of such loans from two years to five years
  • The maturity for loans made on or after June 5, 2020 is five years
  • Those that submit a loan forgiveness application to a lender within 10 months after the end of the loan forgiveness covered period will not have to make any payments of principal or interest on the loan before the date on which SBA remits the loan forgiveness amount on the loan to the lender (or notifies the lender that no loan forgiveness is allowed).
  • The SBA Administrator interprets the Act’s 60 percent payroll costs requirement to be a proportional limit on non-payroll costs as a share of the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount, rather than as a threshold for receiving any loan forgiveness.
  • The eligibility threshold for those with felony criminal histories has been changed. The look-back period has been reduced from 5 years to 1 year to determine eligibility for non-financial felonies. The period remains 5 years for felonies involving fraud, bribery, embezzlement, or a false statement in a loan application or an application for federal financial assistance. The application also eliminates pretrial diversion status as a criterion affecting eligibility.
Read the entire Interim Final Rule here.
Access the updated PPP Borrower Application here, and the Lender’s Loan Guaranty Application here.
Please read below for more informaion on our small business grants! We hope you will share and support! As always, call the office with any questions or concerns.
Enjoy your evening!
Julie