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Paycheck Protection Program – UPDATE

By COVID-19 Local Updates, News
Good Friday afternoon!
Below you will find a comprehensive explanation of the most current round of PPP loans. Please remember that while the portal for application is open, your personal lender may not have the information necessary to assist you at this time. Please be patient as they await direction and appropriate loan documents. This is a great time to gather your finances and read up on what will be expected of you throughout the loan application process.
If you received a PPP Loan during the first application period, the information below pertains to you and your business:
Second-draw PPP loans
One of the biggest changes with the new PPP is that Congress made funding available to businesses that had previously received a PPP loan. Borrowers are eligible for a second-draw PPP loan of up to $2 million, provided they have:
  • 300 or fewer employees.
  • Used or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan on or before the expected date for the second PPP loan to be disbursed to the borrower. The IFR also clarifies that the borrower must have spent the full amount of the first PPP loan on eligible expenses.
  • Experienced a revenue reduction of 25% or more in all or part of 2020 compared with all or part of 2019. This is calculated by comparing gross receipts in any 2020 quarter with an applicable quarter in 2019, or, in a provision added in the IFR, a borrower that was in operation for all four quarters of 2019 can submit copies of its annual tax forms that show a reduction in annual receipts of 25% or greater in 2020 compared with 2019.
The Economic Aid Act did not provide a general definition of gross receipts for determining a borrower’s revenue reduction, so the new guidance makes the definition consistent with the definition of receipts in 13 C.F.R. Section 121.104 of SBA’s size regulations. Specifically, the IFR defines gross receipts to include all revenue in whatever form received or accrued (in accordance with the entity’s accounting method) from whatever source, including from the sales of products or services, interest, dividends, rents, royalties, fees, or commissions, reduced by returns and allowances. Forgiven first-draw PPP loans are not included in the 2020 gross receipts.
First-time applicants:
The Economic Aid Act makes first-draw PPP loans available to borrowers that were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020, and come from one of the following groups:
  • Businesses with 500 or fewer employees that are eligible for other SBA 7(a) loans.
  • Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and eligible self-employed individuals.
  • Not-for-profits, including churches.
  • Accommodation and food services operations (those with North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes starting with 72) with fewer than 500 employees per physical location.
  • Sec. 501(c)(6) business leagues, such as chambers of commerce, visitors’ bureaus, etc., and “destination marketing organizations” that have 300 or fewer employees and do not receive more than 15% of receipts from lobbying. The lobbying activities must comprise no more than 15% of the organization’s total activities and have cost no more than $1 million during the most recent tax year that ended prior to Feb. 15. 2020. Sports leagues are not eligible.
  • News organizations that are majority-owned or controlled by an NAICS code 511110 or 5151 business or not-for-profit public broadcasting entities with a trade or business under NAICS code 511110 or 5151. The size limit for this category is no more than 500 employees per location.
PPP applicants must submit documentation sufficient to establish eligibility and to demonstrate the qualifying payroll amount, which may include, as applicable, payroll records; payroll tax filings; Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income; Form 1040, Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business, or Schedule F, Profit or Loss From Farming; income and expenses from a sole proprietorship; or bank records.
Eligible costs
PPP borrowers can have their first- and second-draw loans forgiven if the funds are used on eligible costs. As with the first round of the PPP, the costs eligible for loan forgiveness in the revised PPP include payroll, rent, covered mortgage interest, and utilities. In addition, the following costs are now eligible:
  • Covered worker protection and facility modification expenditures, including personal protective equipment, to comply with COVID-19 federal health and safety guidelines.
  • Covered property damage costs related to property damage and vandalism or looting due to public disturbances in 2020 that were not covered by insurance or other compensation.
  • Expenditures to suppliers that are essential at the time of purchase to the recipient’s current operations.
  • Covered operating expenditures, which refer to payments for any business software or cloud computing service that facilitates business operations; product or service delivery; the processing, payment, or tracking of payroll expenses; human resources; sales and billing functions; or accounting or tracking of supplies, inventory, records, and expenses.
To be eligible for full loan forgiveness, PPP borrowers will have to spend no less than 60% of the funds on payroll over a covered period between eight or 24 weeks.
Simplified forgiveness
Borrowers that receive a PPP loan of $150,000 or less shall receive forgiveness if the borrower signs and submits to the lender a certification that is not more than one page in length, includes a description of the number of employees the borrower was able to retain because of the loan, the estimated total amount of the loan spent on payroll costs, and the total loan amount. The SBA has yet to create the simplified application form but must do so by Jan. 20. The form may not require additional materials unless necessary to substantiate revenue loss requirements or satisfy relevant statutory or regulatory requirements. Borrowers are required to retain relevant records related to employment for four years and other records for three years, as the SBA may review and audit these loans to check for fraud.
To apply, CLICK HERE then choose the appropriate option – PPP First Draw or PPP Second Draw.
Again, we find ourselves in uncharted waters. Many have called with questions and we are happy to help you navigate. I will do my best to answer your questions or provide you with the necessary resources.
Monday, January 8th is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and as such, many of our businesses will be closed in observation. Enjoy your weekend!
Julie

An urgent message from Secretary of State LaRose

By News
AROSE WARNS OHIO BUSINESSES
OF E-MAIL SCAM
Fake E-Mail Alleging to Be from the Secretary of State’s Office Tells Recipients to
“Validate” Their Profile
COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is alerting Ohio businesses about a phishing email that started today and warning recipients not to click a link in the e-mail alleging to be from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. The e-mail is not from the Ohio Secretary of State.
The e-mail appears to tell recipients that they must click a link to “validate” their profile so they don’t experience any delays in service. The clicked link then asks for detailed information to be submitted, including the individual’s social security number.
Secretary LaRose became aware of the e-mails on Monday afternoon. A screenshot of the e-mail can be seen below.
“It’s so important for Ohioans to be good caretakers of their personal information,” said LaRose. “Scammers are always working to find new ways to make a buck. Don’t give them the upper hand — verify the source of e-mails before sharing your personal data.”
Anyone who has received this e-mail should immediately delete it. If you clicked on the link, it’s recommended that you swiftly inform your company’s Information Technology office.
The Secretary of State’s business services division can be reached at Business@OhioSoS.gov or 877-767-3453 (877-SOS-FILE). While the Secretary of State’s office does occasionally communicate with registered businesses in Ohio, they will never send an email with a link requesting personal information such as social security numbers.

12.04.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates, News
Good afternoon, all.
Our Small Business Season promotion is well under way with many shoppers finding amazing gifts right here at home! The best news is, you still have NINE days to shop small and be entered to win an amazing basket full of donated items worth over $1,000.00! If you haven’t made it to the office to pick up your shopping passport, you can download and print one by CLICKING HERE.Shop local, get your passport stamped and be entered to win! Every dollar spent with our friends and neighbors truly makes a difference.
In the Governor’s daily update today, new recommendations for quarantining were discussed. The following quote is taken with permission from the Fayette Co. Public Health officials. Please follow their social media outlets for the most up-to-date information.
“The CDC is now providing public health agencies with options to shorten the length of quarantine in some situations (quarantine is for individuals who are a close contact of a positive COVID case). As a local public health agency, we are required by the Ohio Revised Code to follow the policies established by the Ohio Department of Health, and the existing policy calls for a 14-day quarantine period. We are waiting for ODH to review the CDC’s new guidelines and provide us with direction. We will announce any changes. Thanks for your patience!”
Governor DeWine announced today Ohio is set to receive more than 90,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine around December 15th. Healthcare workers, along with EMS and vulnerable individuals, will be the first to receive the vaccine. Congregate care residents and staff are considered ‘vulnerable individuals’ and will receive vaccinations in the first round. At this point, it does not appear there will be a sufficient amount of vaccine for the general public.
Upcoming TechCred Application Period Opens January 4th
Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, announced the results of the October round of TechCred, which will provide the opportunity for 246 Ohio companies to upskill their workforce.
The most recent TechCred application period closed at the end of October. During this round, 246 Ohio employers were approved for funding, resulting in Ohio employees earning up to 3,164 technology-focused credentials. This round marks a milestone as funding for the program has been approved for over 15,000 credentials.
In August, the TechCred program exceeded 10,000 tech-focused credentials, fulfilling a commitment made by Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted to fund 10,000 technology-focused credentials each year.
Since the program’s start, a total of 966 Ohio employers have been approved for funding, supporting the earning of 15,105 tech-focused credentials by Ohio employees.
The seventh TechCred application period opens on Monday, January 4th and closes on January 29th at 3:00 p.m.
Businesses with employees who have completed their TechCred training are reminded to submit proof of credential completion to receive reimbursement at TechCred.Ohio.gov.
You can learn more about the program at TechCred.Ohio.gov.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy weekend,
Julie

10.27.2020 Update

By News
Good afternoon.
I will start with a couple of housekeeping items. Last week, the chamber experienced an email server outage. This issue lasted about 36 hours. If you emailed me and I have not replied, please reach out. More than likely, I have not received your email. Also, please remember to not hit ‘REPLY’ to these email updates. Due to firewall settings, I do not always receive the replies. My email is julie@fayettecountyohio.com and I can be reached at anytime by a direct email.
Fayette County remains a ‘red’ county and will do so until the Thursday update from the Ohio Department of Health and the Governor. As of today, 82 of our 88 counties are considered ‘High-Incidence Counties.’ Please be mindful when out in public, while shopping and with those not currently living in your household.
TechCred Registration deadline! Friday, October 30, 2020
What Is TechCred?
TechCred helps Ohioans learn new skills and helps employers build a stronger workforce with the skills needed in a technology-infused economy.
Many of these trainings can be completed online!
These technology-focused credentials take a year or less to complete and prepare current and future employees for the technology jobs Ohio employers need.

Let us help you with Small Business Saturday!

By News

Small Business Saturday is Coming to Fayette County!

Once again, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce has been designated a “Neighborhood Champion” for the American Express Small Business Saturday. We will be celebrating Small Business Saturday for THREE WEEKS! We want to give everyone plenty of time to hit all the hot spots in search of the perfect gift. This is exciting news, and here is where you come in! Would you like me to help you market all the great things your business has to offer?

I will create a ‘Shopping Passport’ that will be given to anyone interested in shopping their way through Fayette County. Each passport will have a listing of all participating stores. If they purchase something from your store, simply stamp their passport. We ask that all participating stores donate one item to be used for our raffle prize baskets. When a shopper has a completed passport, they drop it off at the Chamber office for their chance to win one of those baskets full of Fayette County treasures!

I will take care of all the marketing – you just stamp the passports and enjoy the sales!

In order to meet print deadlines, you must register as a participating business no later than NOVEMBER 6TH.

If you are a shopper, we are serving up breakfast, coffee, and shopping passports on Saturday, November 28th. Stop in the office between the hours of 9 AM and 12 PM to grab your reusable shopping bag, map of participating businesses, and your passport. Each of our participating businesses will stamp your passport as you visit their store in search of the perfect Christmas gift. Return a completed passport to the chamber by December 20th to be entered for a chance to win one of our great prize baskets!

I encourage you all to think of what unique gifts you can purchase this holiday season without ever leaving Fayette County! Support your community, your friends, and neighbors and shop local-dine local-think local today and every day!

Wishing you all a great evening-
Julie

OSU South Centers IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

By News
October 19, 2020
Members and Friends,
Please read below for an important announcement from our OSU South Centers:
Financial Planning Course Available to Ohio Businesses
Starting and running a business is a challenge, and more than half fail in the first four years. The economic volatility of recent COVID-19 disruption has amplified confusion, anxiety, and fear.
A six-session virtual course in financial management can give participants the tools and confidence needed to manage their businesses by the numbers. The program is called Profit Mastery, and it provides independent business owners financial perspective and tools to take advantage of opportunities and deal with challenges.
Participants will attend six virtual sessions, beginning Oct. 29 and also will have access to the Profit Mastery online video curriculum. Any business that has been open at least one year and is interested in exploring new opportunities to increase profitability and manage cash flow during the coronavirus pandemic should attend.
The cost for the course normally is $895, but the Ohio Small Business Development Centers have worked with Profit Mastery so that 400 Ohio businesses will be able to participate at no cost.
To register and for more information, please CLICK HERE.
As always, please call the office if you have any questions. This is a great opportunity and one I hope you will utilize, should you have a need.
Make it a great Monday,
Julie Bolender

10.06.2020 Update

By News

New business, new member, grant opportunities and today’s top Chamber news!

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of meeting with representatives of Fayette County‘s newest business, DIS-TRAN Steel. We are excited about the industry and careers they pledge to bring to Fayette County. Below is a press release from DIS-TRAN. I ask that you share the information regarding their upcoming career fair and expansion to Fayette County. Please also visit our Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and share the career fair post!
One of the country’s leading steel pole manufacturers is expanding operations and opening a new steel plant in Washington Court House. DIS-TRAN Steel, a Louisiana-based company, will move into an existing facility at 1629 Old US 35 SE, according to an announcement from the company, and will produce tapered tubular steel poles for the electric utility industry.
The expansion provides the space and manpower needed for DIS-TRAN Steel to better serve its customers in the Ohio Valley, Northeast and Upper Midwest parts of the United States, according to the release. Over the next five years, DIS-TRAN Steel plans to hire 200 new employees in Washington C.H. to provide high performance products for its customers unique and ever-changing needs.
“We’ve monitored the market for a long time. There is a strong demand for steel to maintain and expand the electrical grid and Ohio is strategically the best location for DIS-TRAN Steel to grow, not just our products and services, but also our team,” said Donnie Roberts, PE, president of DIS-TRAN Steel.
The facility will give DIS-TRAN Steel an additional 58,000 square feet of space on a 25-acre lot.
Jarrod Gemar, VP of business operations for DIS-TRAN Steel, said the company will reach full production capability within the first few months of 2021.
“This expansion is intended to build the foundation for the future of our company, and we see this growth as vital to supporting our customers in the development of America’s utility infrastructure. We chose Washington Court House because we thought that this community best shared our values and culture, as well as, provided the skilled workforce necessary to support our growth plans. We look forward to working together with local businesses and officials to provide significant opportunities for local workers and set the stage for future growth.” says Gemar.
DIS-TRAN Steel officials said they excited about the expansion and the potential it brings to the community and surrounding areas.
“The Fayette County Commissioners are grateful to DIS-TRAN Steel for the large investment and quality new jobs this project brings. Working with the City of Washington Court House, we are pleased to support such an important project and welcome the business to our community,” said Dan Dean, chairman of Fayette County Board of Commissioners.
The company is looking to hire 40-50 immediate new team members and will host a Job Fair Oct. 20 and 21. Candidates interested in registering for the Job Fair can do so at https://web.distran.com/job-fair-registration

County Commissioners announce CARES Act Grant Program

The Fayette County Commissioners recently announced a small business grant program, funded by the CARES Act, for county-based businesses. If you are a business owner with 25 or fewer employees, and suffered loss due to the pandemic, please fill out the application and return to the County Commissioners office or the Chamber of Commerce office. Each grant award is worth up to $10,000.00 and questions regarding the application can be directed to the Commissioner’s office or by calling the chamber at 740.335.0761. Click the green button below to access the application.

County CARES Act Grant Application

10.08.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates, News
Good afternoon.
Earlier today, we learned Fayette County is transitioning from an orange level to a red level under the Public Health Advisory System.
What does this mean for your business?
Our community?
Business and school continue. It is important that you take a moment to take inventory of your procedures. Are employees wearing masks, provided adequate time to wash and sanitize their hands, and are they provided appropriate time at home if they are sick? Are you sanitizing on a regular basis or in between customers? I have lists of recommended procedures for various industries and am happy to share, should you have a need.
If at any time you need COVID-procedure signage for your business, please call. I will print them out and deliver, or I can send them in electronic format for you to print. It is important that we post reminders around our workplaces and shops. Old habits die hard, and we are still not used to masks!
Here are the indicators as provided by Governor DeWine’s office:
▪ New cases per capita (290.9 cases per 100,000 residents)
▪ Sustained increase in new cases (.7 average cases on 9/21 to by 7.3 by 10/5)
▪ Proportion of cases not in a congregate setting
▪ Sustained increase in outpatient visits (1.1 average visits on 10/1 to 2.4 on 10/6)
The risk level guidelines for the public can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/OPHASM/COVID-19-Risk-Level-Guidelines-GP.pdf
A statement from Fayette County Public Health with helpful information can be found by clicking this link.

10.02.2020 Update- CARES Act Grant Program

By COVID-19 Local Updates, News

National Manufacturing Day

Happy National Manufacturing Day! The mission of Manufacturing Day is to promote modern manufacturing practices and jumpstart new approaches to growing the manufacturing talent pool. Over the next decade, there are expected to be 3.5 million job openings in manufacturing, with a growing skill shortage.
The main priorities of Manufacturing Day as listed by the Manufacturing Institute are:
  • Change the perception of careers in manufacturing to reflect its true status as the most advanced, high-tech industry in the country.
  • Re-establish the U.S. as the global leader of manufacturing education.
  • Advocate for education and job training policies that strengthen the U.S. manufacturing workforce.
The ultimate goal is to help manufacturers build a steady pipeline of qualified and diversified manufacturing talent to help build and support local economies for decades to come.
Our Fayette County Economic Development Director Godwin Apaliyah and City of Washington Economic Development Director Chelsie Baker have provided opportunities for high school students to tour various manufacturing companies around Fayette County in years past. Unfortunately, with our current pandemic, that has not been a possibility this year. Regardless, we celebrate our manufacturing companies and the strength and growth they bring to our county.

County Commissioners announce CARES Act Grant Program

The Fayette County Commissioners recently announced a small business grant program, funded by the CARES Act, for county-based businesses. If you are a business owner with 25 or fewer employees, ordered to close and suffered loss due to the pandemic, please fill out the application and return to the County Commissioners office or the Chamber of Commerce office. Each grant is worth up to $10,000.00 and questions regarding the application can be directed to the Commissioner’s office. Click the green button below to access the application.

County CARES Act Grant Application

Recovery, Adaptation & Innovation | Small Business Week

By News

Recovery, Adaptation & Innovation

While it looks different than celebrations of the past, this week is National Small Business Week. Unfortunately, we are unable to celebrate together, but rest assured we are celebrating your resiliency and success. If your business is a member of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and you would like me to feature your story on our Facebook page, please contact me! I would love to share why you opened your business, your favorite part of your workday, or why you feel Fayette County is the best fit for you. Email your submissions to julie@fayettecountyohio.com or give me a call at 740.335.0761. Please DO NOT reply directly to this email.
At our fingertips is a valuable resource, free to all small business owners. Melissa Carter, Business Specialist with the OSU South Centers Small Business Development Center is available to assist you. As you may remember, Melissa speaks at many of our educational events and is also available to you on a one-on-one basis. Join Melissa this Thursday, September 24th for a free Zoom webinar aimed at preparing your business for the upcoming Holiday season. The event is free to attend but you must register. Details can be found by following THIS LINK.
As you will remember, I shared information from the City of Washington Court House regarding their CARES Act Grant program for small businesses. I am pleased to announce the Fayette County Commissioners will also be providing grants to those businesses who qualify and are located outside the City of Washington Court House. Details regarding their program will be announced next week and forwarded to you as they are available.
Director of Economic Development Chelsie Baker reminds business owners that these grants are up to $10,000 each and are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applications can be picked up at the City Building during regular business hours or downloaded at the link provided below. Additionally, Chelsie is available to answer questions by calling 740.636.2340 or via email at cbaker@cityofwch.com.
Please use this National Small Business Week as a reminder to support those who support our community. When you find yourself in need of a good or service, please SHOP LOCAL, DINE LOCAL, THINK LOCAL. Together we will continue to rebuild and revitalize.
Make it a great evening, Fayette County!
Julie