Category

COVID-19 Local Updates

03.19.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates

March 19, 2020

Good Thursday afternoon.

I have some updates to pass along – I apologize for the length of this email, but there is some information in here I feel pertinent. Should there be information in my email that you do not understand or that you need further clarification, please call me. I will make sure you have the answers you need. I can be reached at 740.335.0761.

First and foremost – The SBA JUST approved Ohio’s application for Disaster Relief. Please go to THIS WEBSITE to apply. Call or email should you need ANY help or have ANY questions or concerns.

Next, if you have purchased insurance through your chamber plan, please see the flyer below. Additional resources have been made available to you!

Yesterday afternoon, the Senate passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill provides, among other things, provisions to address Paid Sick Leave, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Unemployment Insurance for workers displaced by the ongoing outbreak. Furthermore, it includes provisions to provide diagnostic testing for coronavirus, and bolsters Medicaid and nutrition programs for at risk populations. Click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s summary.

Congress’s focus will now turn to the Phase Three stimulus package. Click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s letter to Congress and the President with the business community’s recommendations. We expect this process to move very quickly, so please continue to send me anything you are hearing from your members that could be useful as we advocate on your behalf.

Governor Mike DeWine signed a state active duty proclamation yesterday to activate approximately 400 service members from the Ohio National Guard to support humanitarian efforts in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Starting Monday, March 23, Soldiers from the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will support the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and food banks throughout 12 counties. Guardsmen from across the state will be assisting their neighbors by transporting, packaging, and distributing food from retail locations to homes in vulnerable areas, community-based locations, and partner agencies in rural counties.

As always, stay well and take care of each other-

Julie

The following is a 03.19.2020 press release from City Manager, Joe Denen. Please remember to extend kindness to our Fayette County friends and neighbors working hard to care for us.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/19/20

CONTACT: Joe Denen, City Manager
PHONE: 740-636-2340
Date of Release: 3/19/20

Washington Court House

Thank You for Being Kind Calm and Caring

Wednesday, Governor DeWine announced the closure of additional businesses to the public, tattoo parlors, nail salons, beauty and barber shops. I know that the growing number of changes to our daily lives is causing anxiety. However, we need to remember that the actions being taken are intended to protect human life.

I would like to thank the employees of Kroger, Wal Mart, Save-A-Lot and Aldi for working to keep grocery stores open. These fellow citizens are doing the best job that they can do under difficult circumstances. We owe all of them a communal debt.

In similar fashion, the employees of local banks; Merchants National Bank, First State Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Huntington Bank, US Bank, PNC Bank, LCNB National Bank, Woodforest National Bank and other financial institutions serving our community continue to come to work to address our needs. The safest place for your money is in the bank.

Employees of gas stations continue to come to work. I would like to thank every employee of every gas station in Washington Court House for their dedication to their job. Having fuel available for our needs is a reassurance.

The City Building remains open. You are encouraged to make use of all the remote options available to you to make payments or otherwise conduct business. Many of the employees at the City Building are younger people with families. They are worried about their kids and loved ones just like you. I am proud that despite their fears and worries, they join us every morning for a day of work.

The Street, Water, Wastewater and other functions of our community continue. I know a lot of you have purchased bottled water. No threat exists to the quality or deliverability of our water supply. The employees of the Service Department will ensure that the basic need of safe and wholesome tap water remains fulfilled regardless of events.

The Fire and Police Departments are ready to address our needs. If the burden placed on public services grows, how we address calls for service may require change, but your safety is their priority. Please remember that the virus has introduced an additional stress into the already stressful lives of police officers and firefighters. Care about firefighters and police officers like they care about you.

Fayette County Public Health along with the people of the Fayette County Memorial Hospital, local pharmacies and the folks of our emergency medical services are working to protect you. They care about you. Good people, doing a good job that deserve our thanks and more importantly our confidence.

In the coming days, we will hear distressing news. We are fighting a virus, a biological organism. If we are going to limit the spread of the COVID 19 virus, you must follow the direction given by Fayette County Public Health.

Wash your hands. If a sink is not available use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Cover every cough and sneeze. Do not put you hands in your mouth, eyes or nose. Clean surfaces that are frequently touched. Maintain social distance. Comply with public health directives concerning gatherings of people.

You have the power to make a real difference in slowing the progress of the virus. When you do shop to address your needs, please patronize local businesses. Small businesses in our community face many challenges introduced by the restrictions designed to keep us safe. Local businesses are the livelihoods of our families, friends and neighbors. Spending is a lot like voting; we make choices every day with our money.

Use the telephone or the internet to keep in contact with older family, friends and neighbors. Encourage members of at-risk populations to remain at home. Grocery shopping, picking up dine out meals and any number of other tasks can be done for them. I have said this before, we are in the same boat and we will row that boat together.

Thank you for being yourselves; kind, calm and caring,

Joe Denen
City Manager
City of Washington Court House
740-636-2340

03.18.2020 Afternoon Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates

March, 18, 2020

Good afternoon, all. Below is an update from Governor DeWine’s press conference today:

  • Announced the close of 181 BMV Deputy Registrars effective today, March 18, 2020. Five offices will remain open in an effort to handle CDL licensing. All 52 Driver Exam stations will close as well. Violations will not be issued to individuals who are unable to obtain a renewal due to closures.
  • All tattoo parlors, nail salons, beauty and barber shops are to close effective end of day, March 18, 2020.
    Gov. DeWine asks that all employers take the temperature of every employee at the beginning of every shift. While this is not a perfect way to contain the virus and protect the healthy, it is one more preventative measure that must be utilized.

I want to reiterate that Ohio has not yet received their approval for the Economic Injury Disaster loan program. Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted have filed the required request and now, we wait. We expect an answer shortly. Once that is approved, I will immediately forward the link so that you may apply, should you have a claim.

As always, reach out should you have any questions.
Julie

Disaster Loan Declaration

By COVID-19 Local Updates

March 18, 2020

Good morning.

Late yesterday I received the Disaster Loan Declaration form from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBA is working directly with Governor DeWine’s office to facilitate a disaster declaration from the SBA for businesses to be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster loans. To expedite this process, they need affected businesses to complete the form. Once you have done so, please email the completed forms to james.laipply@development.ohio.gov.

Once that declaration is made and the SBA has confirmed it, the agency will be able to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million per small business to assist with economic recovery.

The form and instructions are below. Should you have any issues, call the office and I will email the form directly to you.

Stay well-
Julie

Employment Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
As we continue to field calls from members, a recurring theme is staffing. We now find ourselves in a new situation. Many employers are laying off employees and some of you are in search of additional staff to help combat the rush. If your business is currently hiring, please send pertinent information to me by clicking THIS LINK

Please DO NOT reply to this email as issues with firewalls may prevent me from receiving your mail.

I will be organizing a list of open positions that will be available on our website and in our office on a newly created job board. Many employees of restaurants and in the service industry may find themselves in need of employment and we are trying to do our part to keep Fayette County employed.
Here is the information I require:

  • Company name and contact information-where should they apply?
  • Available positions
  • Shift available
  • Skills required

I will leave salaries up to the businesses to discuss with the prospective employee. However, I will share that information, should you choose to provide.

Additionally, we have three temporary employment agencies as members of our chamber.

Accel Temporary Services, RSS Staffing and The Reserves Network. Please reach out to them at any time you are in need of employees.

We are in this together –
Julie

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

By COVID-19 Local Updates
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or
    territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
  • Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
  • Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities as well as updated on our website: SBA.gov/disaster.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
  • For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • Visit SBA.gov/disaster for more information.

Update From Your Chamber

By COVID-19 Local Updates

March 16, 2020

Good afternoon.

For the last several days I have been actively monitoring all communication from the SBA, Ohio Governor, CDC and many other organizations. It is my goal to keep you as informed as possible, and armed with all the appropriate tools to help you keep your business moving forward. I said a moment ago, these waters we are navigating are unchartered. All we can do is stay informed, work together and above all, support each other.

Last week I sent an email with links I felt you would deem useful. The Guidance for Businesses is a great page published by the SBA with solid information. Below is additional information I have just recently received.

Lt. Gov. Husted spoke of the SBA Disaster Relief program yesterday in his press conference. This link explains the basic highlights of the program. As I receive further information, I will send it to you. Until then, the Development Services Agency has asked that any business that has been adversely affected contact them via this email with information on your business and the issues you are facing.

Employees are also feeling the effects of current restrictions. Here are a few things you should know so you can better assist your employees:

  • State policy currently states that any individual quarantined by a health professional or by their employer is considered to be unemployed and not subject to requirements to seek employment during this time. This rule also applies to companies that find it necessary to temporarily shut down due to the current state of emergency.
  • The mandatory one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits has been waived. Employees will be immediately eligible for unemployment compensation payment.

Further information can be found on the OJFS page by clicking here. . Employees can file for unemployment online (click here) or over the phone by calling 877.644.6562.

Additionally, the Governor released the following information for business owners:

  • The cost of these unemployment compensation changes will be mutualized
  • JFS will waive employer penalties for late reporting and payments for the next quarter

 

We have made every effort to support our restaurant members as they are facing immediate changes. An ad in the Record Herald, social media posting as well as information on our website have all been submitted today. We hope our neighbors will utilize delivery, carry out and curb side pickup in an effort to support these local restaurants. Purchase an extra gift card today and save it for when the crisis is over! Furthermore, Lt. Gov. Husted announced yesterday a temporary liquor buy-back program. This program pertains to liquor that has been purchased within the last 30 days as bars/restaurants were ‘stocking up’ for March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. Additionally, businesses/organizations that have purchased an F2 permit for use between 3/12 – 4/6/2020 can also seek reimbursement. I suggest calling 877-812-0013 or emailing ohioliquorinfo@com.ohio.gov as there are some rules that need to be followed for full refund.

As customers may be concerned with what type of safety precautions local businesses are taking, the US Chamber of Commerce has provided a customizable poster you can create, print and distribute right from your desktop. This flyer can be found by clicking this link.

Lots of information and I am sure, many changes to come. We are in the office and also available by phone. Email is always an option, but I do ask that you not reply directly to this email. Due to security, I may not receive it. My email is Julie@fayettecountyohio.com and my cell is 740.607.7733.

Stay well-

Julie