COVID-19 Resources for Business
March 19, 2020
There is no mission more critical to the City of Reidsville’s Economic Development department than to support the retention and expansion of the business and industry in our city. This holds true when times are good, and is doubly important during times of extreme crisis like the one we all face today.
On this page you will find a comprehensive list of available resources that may very well help your business in this uncertain time. I am communicating daily with the Reidsville Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, NC Department of Commerce, Rockingham County Economic Development staff and other local and state agencies to keep abreast of information that I can pass along to our business community.
Just know that my department is here to serve you and I will continue to share new information as it becomes available. Please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me with specific questions or suggestions that you feel might help a fellow business owner. I may not have the answer, but I will find it quickly. I appreciate all you do for Reidsville and wish you, your families and your employees health and safety during this time of crisis.
Jeff Garstka, Economic Development Director
336-347-2307 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay updated on general developments with our state's response to COVID-19:
www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus • Text COVIDNC to 898211
Please look at this unusual time as an opportunity to work with one another in ways you may have never imagined before. Collaboration is key! Consider sharing supplies, shopping together in bulk with whomever may have the best supplier, sharing employees, sharing delivery service drivers for those restaurants that may not have that capability, and utilize co-op marketing whenever you can!
Speaking of sharing … share each other’s social media posts, use #TeamReidsville.
Business Link North Carolina is a free service available to anyone starting a business or an existing business who has virtually any question regarding state resources. Their phone lines are open and ready to answer your call, (800) 228-8443.
BLNC staff are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Se Habla Español. There are Spanish-speaking counselors.
Call volume in BLNC is expected to be high, and callers may need to leave a message and await a returned call. Please be patient.
BLNC counselors will gather basic information from callers and refer the case to the most appropriate resource -- small-business experts with the either the Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC) or the state’s Small Business Center Network (SBCN) -- for assistance.
SBTDC and SBCN small-business counselors will assess needs – working, for example, to assist with the preparation of any SBA loan application materials that may be appropriate.
U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans
March 19, 2020: The U.S. Small Business Administration granted Governor Roy Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration for small businesses that are suffering economic losses due to the new Coronavirus, COVID-19. At the Governor’s request, the SBA granted a disaster declaration to small businesses across the state, allowing affected businesses to apply for low interest SBA disaster loans.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, or by emailing email@example.com.
March 24, 2020: Information from Susan R. Reagan (Director, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, North Carolina Small Business Center Network at Rockingham Community College)
This information is for your use to understand and apply for a SBA loan under the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program. The link to the EIDL online application is https://disasterloan.sba.gov. If you plan to apply for the loan at this time complete the two (2) page registration form found via the landing page and proceed to the application.
There are six (6) forms in the application process (linked):
I recommend you print and complete the forms BEFORE you begin the online process. This will expedite the application process, especially since the site may be slow due to high traffic volume. It is suggested that you consider entering your online application during non-peak hours. Based on the SBA site, non-peak hours are 7 p.m. - 7 a.m. The SBA site notes that some users are experiencing issues using Chrome. Please consider using an alternate browser such as, Edge or Internet Explorer 10 or later.
Other System Requirements:
If you have dial-up Internet service, you may experience delays.
The recommended browser is Internet Explorer 10 or later.
You should allow pop-up messages.
You must have Adobe Reader installed.
As we learn more about the EIDL process and related issues that may impact your business, I will continue to reach out with support. Please note that I am available via the email below to support you and your business in this process.
Susan R. Reagan
Director, Small Business and Entrepreneurship
North Carolina Small Business Center Network
at Rockingham Community College
336.342.4261 ext. 2245
If third party contacts you to provide assistance to process the SBA Disaster Loan for a fee, be aware that is likely a scam. These loans are directly with SBA (not through a bank or third party) SBA will be monitoring this activity, and the SBA suggests that businesses working with a SBA partner, such as the SBCN or SBTDC will be in a preferred position to have their loan application reviewed.
The Small Business Center at Rockingham Community College is available to assist in the following "must dos" for all businesses during this time:
Preparing a 3 month cash flow projection to understand the minimum amount needed to stay operational each month.
Negotiating all elements of the business budget that may be negotiable. Creating a lean operating plan, and looking into drawing down lines of credit.
Shift mindset from sales to service. Now is a great time to build goodwill.
Think about being creative with the sales model such as online or curbside. Be honest with clients.
Using thoughtful, strategic communication via all aspects of the business brand that can pay off later.
NC 211 to Provide Assistance for COVID-19
March 18, 2020: Governor Roy Cooper has announced that 211 is the number to call for assistance and resources related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. NC 211 is an information and referral service, operated by United Way of North Carolina, where families and individuals can obtain free and confidential information on health and human service resources within their community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Resources are available in most languages.
“Services like NC 211 are critical during times of emergency,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to make sure North Carolinians have access to the resources they need while we continue to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response. Individuals who have specific needs related to food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, health care, substance abuse treatment, as well as specific resources for older adults and for persons with disabilities, and much more should dial 211 or TTY 888-892-1162 for assistance. Due to expected high call volume, those wanting to stay updated on general developments with North Carolina’s response to the coronavirus crisis should sign up for 211’s text alerts by texting COVIDNC to 898211.
NC 211 cannot provide direct medical services, and COVID-19 can only be diagnosed by a healthcare professional. If you suspect you or someone you care for may have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you should contact your healthcare provider. If you do not have a provider, you can call your local health department or a Federally Qualified Health Clinic for guidance.
To learn more about NC 211, visit nc211.org.
Coronavirus Related Leave
Sets up a paid sick leave requirement for employers with fewer than 500 employees to give to their employees who have the virus; are in quarantine or caring for someone in quarantine; or are caring for a child under 18 whose school is closed. Full-time workers receive 80 hours of paid sick leave, and part-time workers receive time equal to the average number of hours they work in a given two-week period. Pay is capped at $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate for employees with the virus or in quarantine. Pay is capped at $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate for employees caring for someone in quarantine or for a child whose school closed. The required sick leave and family leave are paired with a refundable payroll tax credit to cover these amounts, and the requirement ends December 31.
Amends the Family and Medical Leave Act to set up a temporary emergency paid leave program through December 31. Requires private employers with fewer than 500 workers and government employers to provide employees up to 12 work weeks of leave, for those who have worked at least 30 days. Applies if the employee requests leave to take care of a child under 18 whose school or day care facility is closed. The first 10 days may be unpaid but generally would be covered by the emergency sick leave requirement, or the employee could use vacation leave or other eligible paid leave for these days. For the rest of the leave, employees would be entitled to at least two-thirds of their regular pay, up to $200 per day and $10,000 total. Employers will be fully reimbursed for these amounts. Employers with fewer than 25 employees do not have to reinstate an employee who takes leave if the position no longer exists and the employer tried to put the person in a similar position. Allows the Labor Department to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from this new leave requirement if it would put them in jeopardy.
Provides payroll tax credits for employers required to provide emergency paid sick leave or family medical leave under the bill. The emergency paid sick leave credit provides a maximum credit of $511 per day, for up to 10 days or two weeks, for employees on leave because they have the virus or are in quarantine. If the employee is on leave to care for a child whose school or daycare closed, or to care for a person who is in quarantine or seeking medical care, the maximum credit per employee is $200 per day, for up to 10 days or 2 weeks. The payroll credit for family leave applies to leave required to be paid to employees beyond the 10 sick days, but it only covers wages paid to an employee on leave to take care of a child whose school or day care facility is closed. The family leave credit provides a maximum credit of $200 per day, up to $10,000 or 10 weeks. Both credits apply against the employer’s portion of the Social Security tax and cover 100% of wages required to be paid. Both credits are fully refundable.
Establishes comparable sick leave and family leave income tax credits for self-employed workers, to cover the same coronavirus-related circumstances, days of leave, and wage amounts as the employer credits. The self-employed tax credits are also 100% refundable.
Employers in the U.S. possessions and territories are subject to Social Security tax and therefore will be eligible for the employer tax credits on the same basis as U.S.-based employers. Special rules provide for Treasury to make payments to U.S. possessions and territories to cover the cost of administering comparable sick and family leave credits for the self-employed.
Provides the Treasury with broad authority to issue rules and guidance, including to help businesses manage cash flow to meet the sick leave and family leave requirements.
Provides that the Social Security Trust Fund and Railroad Retirement Fund are held harmless through a general fund transfer.
$1 billion for emergency administration unemployment insurance grants to states. The states will receive half of their funds within 60 days after meeting conditions, such as requiring employers to tell employees about UI benefits when they separate and letting people apply remotely as well as in person. States that see at least a 10% increase in unemployment claims will receive the rest of the funds. States are also given authority to make changes to their regular UI practices in light of COVID-19, such as waiving job search requirements and eliminating any waiting period.
Provides 100% federal funding, up from 50%, for extended unemployment benefits. These additional weeks of benefits begin when a state has a high unemployment rate and when a recipient has exhausted benefits in his or her state.
In an effort to ensure you are aware of Governor Cooper's Executive Order 118 that impacts unemployment insurance for both employers and employees, we wanted to include the following information:
1. Order removes the one-week waiting period for individuals to apply for benefits
2. Order removes the requirement that a person must look for another job during this time
3. Order also allows employees, who lost their jobs or who have had their hours reduced due to COVID-19 issues, to apply for unemployment benefits
4. Order instructs the Employment Security office to not allocate charges to employers’ accounts for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19
The Governor also stressed it is important for people to apply for these benefits online at https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment. You can also find a FAQ at https://des.nc.gov/need-help/covid-19-information with answers for both employers and employees.
NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending Program supports North Carolina small businesses and family farms as they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. This rapid recovery loan helps small businesses bridge the gap between when crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover. More information at link: https://ncrapidrecovery.org/
Essential Business Suppliers: Defense Alliance of North Carolina: NC Emergency Management has a process to vet businesses (to determine if they are essential business suppliers) and allow them the ability to continue operations is an emergency is declared or a shelter in place order is issued, should their usual operations warrant such. Businesses should email firstname.lastname@example.org. and provide the following:
1. Business name
2. Point of Contact including (name, email, phone, address)
3. Nature of their business and why they are critical to continue operations
4. Business website address
Please be aware that the BEOC (Business Emergency Operations Center) is experiencing a high volume of these requests, so the response could be delayed.
NCWorks: Although the local NCWorks facility is closed to guests and appointments, they do have staff available to answer questions and provide other assistance virtually. Here is their contact number: NCWorks Career Center – Rockingham: 336.634.5600
Documentation: We highly recommend that each of your businesses keep a documented list of any and all expenses incurred due to this pandemic. This includes any supplies, time off paid to staff, time staff has spent on this issue outside of their normal duties, and loss business. While we do not know the specifics of the Federal Government's stimulus package, we expect there to be relief included for businesses, especially small businesses, which will likely require good documentation of the impact of COVID-19 on your organization.
DISRUPTIONS - Supply Chain Disruptions – Go to - https://www.manufacturednc.com/
NC State University created this great database of any product made or manufactured here in NC. You may want to add your product to the list.
CUSTOMS - Import/Export Information
Raleigh Regional Office – US Dept. of Commerce – 919-281-2750
US Customs Office – Charlotte Office 704-329-6100
EMPLOYEES – What to Do? Besides keeping people at home…
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - If needed, file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim.
As an employer you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA is a federal program that provides temporary payments to people in a federally declared disaster area whose employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of the disaster. Business owners that are self-employed, a farmer, or a commercial fisherman, who is unemployed as a direct result of the disaster may be eligible. For more information go to https://des.nc.gov/; Phone: 888-737-0259.
LENDERS - FUNDING OPTIONS: (CDFI’s)
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are regulated like banks but these are nonprofits, focusing on helping small, community businesses.
Thread Capital (NC Rural Center) – contact 919-212-4950; Email: email@example.com; Website: https://www.threadcap.org/; Thread Capital was launched in 2018 by the NC Rural Center and continues to be an operating subsidiary of the Center.
Carolina Small Business Development Fund (formerly The Support Center) – (919) 803-1437; Website: https://carolinasmallbusiness.org/; Loan Products: https://carolinasmallbusiness.org/loans/loan-products/
If Veteran, one can obtain a loan with no money down, honorable discharge
Self-Help Credit Union – They are a credit union and a CDFI. Call (800) 476-7428; Website: https://self-help.org/; Support local businesses that enhance the community; Special lending for childcare locations.
Carolina Community Impact, Inc. – NEW CDFI which is backed by a consumer credit educational nonprofit, Community Loan Center of NC Triangle. Each loan will include credit counseling services.
Contact: Scott Wolford - firstname.lastname@example.org; 919-861-5321
§ Website: www.carolinacommunityimpact.org
§ Nonprofit behind CCI, Inc. - Community Loan Center of NC Triangle – Tel: www.clctriangle.org
NC Community Development Initiative – Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Phone: 919.828.5655; Website: http://ncinitiative.org ; has great market research information too - http://ncinitiative.org/resource-center/
LOCAL RESOURCES FOR RECOVERY PLANNING:
See websites such as www.ready.gov/business, for helpful guides and checklists.
EDUCATION: Check out Small Business Center Network for Online Webinars – NCSBC.net
This database of suppliers contains every kind of thing produced in NC. Whether you’re a manufacturer who wants to localize your supply chain or a business searching for packaging suppliers, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here.
Find the Manufacturer or Supplier for your needs at ManufacturedNC - https://www.manufacturednc.com/